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Distribution of noble metals in magmatic sulfide occurrences in the Montagnais Sill Complex, Labrador Trough, Canada

Smith, William D. ORCID:, Maier, Wolfgang D. ORCID: and Bliss, Ian 2021. Distribution of noble metals in magmatic sulfide occurrences in the Montagnais Sill Complex, Labrador Trough, Canada. Canadian Mineralogist 59 (6) , pp. 1599-1626. 10.3749/canmin.2000119

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ABSTRACT We have characterized the distribution of noble metals among six styles of magmatic sulfide mineralization in the Montagnais Sill Complex of the Labrador Trough in northern Québec using optical and electron microscopy combined with laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry trace element analysis of sulfides. The principal sulfide minerals include pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, and pentlandite with accessory sphalerite and sulfarsenides. In addition, cubanite, troilite, and mackinawite are present in ultramafic-hosted assemblages. The precious metal mineral assemblages are dominated by tellurides, Ag-rich gold, and sperrylite which generally occur at the margins of sulfides. Few iridium-group platinum group element- and Rh-bearing grains were identified and mass-balance calculations show that these elements are generally hosted in pyrrhotite and pentlandite. Virtually all Pt and Au are hosted in precious metal grains, whereas Pd is distributed between precious metal grains and pentlandite. Where present, sulfarsenides are a key host of iridium-group platinum group element, Rh, Pd, Te, and Au. The presence of troilite, cubanite, and mackinawite and the absence of pentlandite exsolution lamellae in the ultramafic-hosted sulfides indicates an initial sulfide melt with a high metal/S ratio. Sulfarsenides present among globular sulfide assemblages derive from an immiscible As-rich melt that exsolved from the sulfide melt in response to the assimilation of the As-bearing floor rocks. In this study, the composition of sulfides is consistent with those derived from Ni-Cu-dominated deposits and not platinum group element-dominated deposits.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Mineralogical Association of Canada
ISSN: 0008-4476
Date of Acceptance: 24 August 2021
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 10:14

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