Weathering of PGE sulfides and Pt–Fe alloys in the Freetown Layered Complex, Sierra Leone

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Weathering of PGE sulfides and Pt–Fe alloys in the Freetown Layered Complex, Sierra Leone

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » lun 15 gen, 2018 11:46

Referenza:
▪ Bowles, J.F.W., Suárez, S., Prichard, H.M., Fisjer, P.C. (2017): Weathering of PGE sulfides and Pt–Fe alloys in the Freetown Layered Complex, Sierra Leone. Mineralium Deposita, 52, 1127–1144.

Abstract:
Fresh and weathered rocks and saprolite from Horizon B of the Freetown Layered Complex contain platinum-group minerals (PGM). The PGM in the fresh rocks are 1–7 μm across, including cooperite (PtS), isoferroplatinum (Pt3Fe), minor tetraferroplatinum (PtFe), tulameenite (Pt2FeCu), Os-bearing laurite (RuS2), and other base metal-sulfide (BMS)-bearing PGM. The weathered rocks contain fewer of those PGM but a high proportion of disordered Cu–(±Pd)-bearing Pt–Fe alloys. The saprolite hosts scarce, smaller (1–3 μm) ordered PtFe and disordered PtFe3. The Pt–Fe alloys became increasingly Fe rich as weathering proceeded. Pt–Fe oxides appeared during weathering. Copper sulfides associated with the primary PGM and cooperite (with <3% Pd) were destroyed to provide the minor Cu and Pd found in some of the disordered Pt–Fe alloys. Platinum- and Pd-bearing saprolites have retained the original rock fabric and, to a depth of about 2 m, surround residual rocks that show progressive weathering (corestones). Ground water passing through the saprolite has transported Pt and Pd (and probably Au) in solution down slope into saprolite over unmineralized rocks. Transport is marked by changes in the Pt/Pd ratio indicating that the metals have moved independently. Palladium is present in marginally higher concentrations in the deeper saprolite than in the corestones suggesting some retention of Pd in the deeper saprolite. Platinum and Pd are less concentrated in the upper saprolite than the deeper saprolite indicating surface leaching. Alteration occurred over a long period in an organic and microbial rich environment that may have contributed to the leaching and transport of PGE.
Marco E. Ciriotti

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