Abstract

New data on the Gongo Soco palladium-oxygenated compounds are presented for the first time since the work of Johnson and Lampadius (1837). A variety of PdO species is documented, always in association with Cu, Fe and Mn, and includes Pd(OH)2 or PdO.H2O, and phases with metal excess in relation to oxygen, interpreted as metastable. Their remarkable occurrence in ‘ouro preto’ (black gold) and jacutinga (auriferous itabirite/iron ore) is the result of mertieite-II alteration. It involves leaching of Sb and As, limited removal of Pd, and incorporation of Cu, Mn and Hg into PdO species. The locus of Hg-bearing PdO species in microfractures parallel to the enclosing gold-mineralized shear band suggests at least one low-temperature hydrothermal generation. The presence of a halite crystal attached to gold testifies to the involvement of Cl-saturated hydrothermal fluids in the oxidizing environment of jacutinga formation.

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