Abstract

Chromitite zones associated with ultramafic units of the Lysanskiy layered complex of dunite–peridotite–gabbro composition could well represent the primary source for the placers bearing platinum-group minerals (PGM) of the entire drainage of the River Sisim and its tributaries, the rivers Ko and Seyba, eastern Sayans. Alluvial gold present in the placers of River Seyba, as elsewhere in the Sisim Placer Zone, reflects mineralisation during a recent period of tectonic activity. We focus on the PGM in the Seyba suite, and in particular on the attributes of pentlandite enriched in platinum-group-elements (PGE) and the compositionally similar and recently defined ferhodsite, which were trapped in host grains of Os–Ir–Ru alloy. Both minerals formed from small volumes of fractionated Fe–Ni–Cu melt considerably enriched in the PGE. In the Seyba suite, as in several others, the amounts of PGE in ferhodsite exceeds that in pentlandite, which results in a greater proportion of vacancies than in pentlandite.

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