Abstract

The Kilvenjärvi deposit is a high-grade platinum-group element (PGE) deposit located in the basement below the Portimo Layered Igneous Complex, Finnish Lapland. It consists of a stockwork of massive Cu-Fe-Ni sulfide veins, up to a meter wide, which cut metamorphic banded gneiss, amphibolite, and granite. The veins are surrounded by intense sulfide disseminations that are accompanied by an alteration of the basement mineral assemblage to chlorite, calcite, orthoamphibole, monazite, and an unidentified hydrous ferroaluminous silicate. The veins locally carry in excess of 110 ppm PGE, and neighboring rocks in the basement that contain disseminated sulfides locally carry 25 ppm PGE. The PGE are hosted primarily by michenerite (PdBiTe) and sobolevskite (Pd[Bi,Te]), with only very few grains of merenskyite, sperrylite, vysotskite-braggite, paolovite, cooperite, and isomertieite.

The massive sulfide veins host two distinct mineral assemblages that reflect an event of sulfur addition. The primary assemblage of chalcopyrite, pentlandite, and pyrrhotite is similar to that of common orthomagmatic sulfides and appears to represent the crystallization product from a sulfide melt. However, the primary minerals have been replaced extensively by a low-temperature secondary assemblage of chalcopyrite, pyrite, marcasite, Ni-bearing pyrite, violarite, and millerite. The disseminated sulfides in the basement lithologic units comprise only the secondary assemblage and are notably richer in chalcopyrite than the massive sulfide veins. The sulfides are associated with chlorite and calcite, indicating that they were likely introduced by carbon-rich (CO2 or CH4) hydrothermal fluids.

The Kilvenjärvi deposit is extremely fractionated in PGE compared to unmineralized rocks and PGE occurrences within the Portimo Complex. Os and Ir concentrations are very low, and Pd/Ir ratios reach 2.5 × 105. The massive and disseminated sulfides can be distinguished by their slightly different PGE patterns. Most notably, the massive sulfides are richest in Pd, and the disseminated sulfides are richest in Pt and Au. This fractionation appears to be consistent with an initial concentration in a magmatic sulfide melt followed by hydrothermal redistribution.

The Re-Os isotopes have been significantly affected by Re mobility and cannot be used for dating. However, platinum-group mineral separates from the Kilvenjärvi deposit have nearly uniform isotopic compositions (187Os/188Os = 0.18–0.20) that are invariably higher than rocks from the Portimo Complex. Thus, it is evident that the Kilvenjärvi deposit had a significantly higher crustal contribution (possibly accounting for up to 18% of the Os) than parental magmas for the Layered series of the Portimo Complex. Contamination and fractional sulfide crystallization within the Portimo Marginal series may have been responsible for this isotopic signature.

The deposit has some similarities to the various offsets associated with the Sudbury structure, Canada. A primary magmatic origin of the sulfides and PGE is evident from the mineralogy, geochemistry, and isotope geochemistry. However, the deposit has been subjected to extensive hydrothermal alteration involving carbon-rich fluids and resulting in a partial redistribution of the sulfides, PGE, and Re, extensive recrystallization, and a partial resetting of the Re-Os isotope system.

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