Abstract

Mafic-ultramafic sills of up to 450m in thickness occur near the contact between sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Silverton Formation, Transvaal Supergroup, on the farms Blaauwboschkraal, Zwartkopje and Waterval, some 10km north of Waterval Boven in the Mpumalanga Province. The sills consist of peridotite, harzburgite, pyroxenite and gabbro, and may locally contain up to about 10% Ni-Cu-PGE sulphides. Metal contents of the rocks reach 0.7% Cu, 0.8% Ni, and 2 ppm PGE. Sulphides are found at variable levels within the intrusions and are interpreted to have precipitated from distinct surges of magma streaming through a conduit. This model is analogous to that proposed for the Uitkomst Complex, which hosts sulphides of broadly similar composition to the present bodies and which consists of broadly similar lithologies, apart from the presence of chromitite in the latter. The lithological and compositional similarities between the intrusions raise the possibility of undiscovered economic sulphide concentrations in the present bodies. However, olivines in most of the ultramafic rocks are undepleted in Ni, suggesting that either sulphide segregation was minor and localized, or that any metal-depleted magmas were flushed out of the conduit by undepleted magma.

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