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GEOREF RECORD

Partition of platinum, palladium, iridium, and gold among coexisting minerals from the deep ore zone, Strathcona Mine, Sudbury, Ontario

L. L. Chyi and J. H. Crocket
Partition of platinum, palladium, iridium, and gold among coexisting minerals from the deep ore zone, Strathcona Mine, Sudbury, Ontario
Economic Geology and the Bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists (November 1976) 71 (7): 1196-1205

Abstract

Platinum, palladium, iridium, and gold were determined by radiochemical neutron activation analysis in coexisting pyrrhotite, pentlandite, chalcopyrite, and magnetite from the deep ore zone of Strathcona mine, Sudbury, Ontario. Platinum and palladium are the most abundant noble metals and their average concentrations reach ppm levels in chalcopyrite and pentlandite, whereas average gold and iridium values do not exceed 15 ppb, except for the gold content of pentlandite which averages 118 ppb.Individual noble metals are strongly associated with specific sulfide minerals. Palladium and gold are concentrated with pentlandite, and platinum and iridium are associated with chalcopyrite. Relative to the most abundant sulfide, pyrrhotite, palladium and gold are concentrated in pentlandite by a factor of approximately 14, and platinum and iridium are concentrated in chalcopyrite by a factor of approximately 6. Except for iridium, magnetite is depleted in noble metals relative to all sulfide minerals.Using phase relations in the Cu-Fe-Ni-S system as a guide to the paragenesis of the principal sulfide minerals, it is suggested that the palladium-pentlandite association is best explained by a solid solution of much of the palladium in pyrrhotite at magmatic temperatures with a subsequent exsolution with pentlandite below 300 degrees C. The same process was presumably significant in controlling the gold distribution.Some chalcopyrite probably exsolved from the pyrrhotite solid soluton at subsolidus temperatures, but the direct precipitation of chalcopyrite from a copper-rich magmatic liquid is also feasible. The platinum-chalcopyrite association therefore suggests that the platinum distribution is controlled in part by a solid solution in pyrrhotite and in part by fractionation into a copper-rich magmatic liquid. The distribution of platinum values in this Strathcona deep ore zone suite indicates that both processes were operative.


ISSN: 0361-0128
EISSN: 1554-0774
Coden: ECGLAL
Serial Title: Economic Geology and the Bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists
Serial Volume: 71
Serial Issue: 7
Serial Info: An issue devoted to platinum-group elements
Title: Partition of platinum, palladium, iridium, and gold among coexisting minerals from the deep ore zone, Strathcona Mine, Sudbury, Ontario
Pages: 1196-1205
Published: 197611
Text Language: English
Publisher: Economic Geology Publishing Company, Lancaster, PA, United States
References: 17
Accession Number: 1977-010684
Categories: Geochemistry
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. tables, geol. sketch map
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Society of Economic Geologists
Update Code: 1977
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