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Distribution of platinum-group elements in the Platreef at Overysel, northern Bushveld Complex: a combined PGM and LA-ICP-MS study

Holwell, D. A. and McDonald, Iain ORCID: 2007. Distribution of platinum-group elements in the Platreef at Overysel, northern Bushveld Complex: a combined PGM and LA-ICP-MS study. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 154 (2) , pp. 171-190. 10.1007/s00410-007-0185-9

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Detailed mineralogical and laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry studies have revealed the physical manifestation of the platinum-group elements (PGE) within the Platreef at Overysel, northern Bushveld Complex, South Africa. The PGE in the Platreef were originally concentrated in an immiscible sulfide liquid along with semi-metals such as Bi and Te. As the sulfide liquid began to crystallize, virtually all the Os, Ir, Ru and Rh partitioned into monosulfide solid solution (mss), which on further cooling, exsolved to form pyrrhotite and pentlandite with Os, Ir and Ru remaining in solid solution in both phases with Rh prefentially partitioning into pentlandite. Platinum, some Pd and Au were concentrated in the residual sulfide liquid after mss crystallization, and were then concentrated in an immiscible late stage melt along with semi metals, which was expelled to the grain boundaries during crystallization of intermediate solid solution (iss) to form Pt and Pd tellurides and electrum around the margins of the sulfide grains. Tiny droplets of this melt trapped in the crystallizing mss and iss cooled to form Pt–Bi–Te microinclusions in all sulfide phases, whilst the excess Pd was accommodated in solid solution in pentlandite. Minor redistribution and recrystallization by hydrothermal fluids occurred around xenoliths and at the very base of the mineralized zone within the footwall, however, the overall lack of secondary alteration coupled with the volatile-poor nature of the gneissic footwall have allowed the preservation of what may be the most ‘primary’ style of Platreef mineralization. The lack of PGM inclusions within early liquidus phases suggests very early sulfur saturation in the Platreef, lending support to theories involving S saturation occurring prior to intrusion of the Platreef, possibly within a staging chamber.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: Platreef; Bushveld Complex; Platinum-group minerals; Platinum-group elements; Sulfide minerals; Laser-ablation ICP-MS
ISSN: 14320967
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 08:53

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