Mineralogy of Pd in the magnetitite layer within the upper gabbro of the Mesoarchean Nuasahi Massif (Orissa, India)

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Mineralogy of Pd in the magnetitite layer within the upper gabbro of the Mesoarchean Nuasahi Massif (Orissa, India)

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » mer 04 apr, 2018 10:18

▪ Prichard, H.M., Mondal, S.K., Mukherjee, R., Fisher, P.C., Giles, N. (2018): Geochemistry and mineralogy of Pd in the magnetitite layer within the upper gabbro of the Mesoarchean Nuasahi Massif (Orissa, India). Mineralium Deposita, 53, 547–564.

Palladium concentrations of 1–3 ppm with an average Pt/Pd ratio of 0.15 have been located for the first time in a magnetitite layer in the Nuasahi Massif in Orissa India. This layer occurs at a high stratigraphic level in the complex and is nearly 4-km long and 5–12-m thick. The sections of the Pd-rich zone identified to date extend over a distance of 1 km at the southern end of the layer. Several phases of mineralization are evident. The first, primary assemblage of platinum-group minerals (PGM) contains Pd-sulfides (vysotskite), Pd-Pb alloys (zvyagintsevite), and a Pd-In alloy, a mineral probably new to mineralogy. These PGM are confined to central magnetite grains in the magnetitites. The magnetite grains with exsolved fine laths of ilmenite at centers are referred to as central magnetite grains. These central magnetite grains are commonly surrounded by blebs of ilmenite and magnetite that contain the majority of the PGM. These are dominated by Pd-antimonides, variably altered to Pd-oxides, and other PGM including PtAs2 (sperrylite), RuS2 (laurite), and IrRhAsS (irarsite/hollingwothite). Many of these PGM also occur in the interstitial silicates, with rare occurrences in the central magnetite grains. We propose that the platinum-group elements (PGE) crystallized during a minor sulfide saturation event that occurred as the magnetitites crystallized. This event produced the minor Cu-sulfides in these magnetitites. Later introduction of antimony and arsenic, during the alteration event that produced the blebby ilmenite and magnetite, led to the more primary PGM being succeeded by the main PGM assemblage, dominated by Pd-antimonides. These are associated with secondary Cu minerals and sperrylite. Subsequent oxidation during weathering in the hot wet Indian climate produced the Pd-oxides. The Nuasahi Massif is a sill-like Archean layered ultramafic-mafic intrusion genetically linked to high-Mg siliceous basalt or boninites and is characterized by unusually thick layers of chromitite. PGE are concentrated in these chromitites and in the base metal sulfide-bearing breccias in the overlying gabbro. The Pd in the magnetitites described here indicates the presence of a third level where PGE are concentrated and a magma that crystallized to produce PGE concentrations at three stratigraphic levels in the massif. This indicates that similar thin sill-like intrusions, hosting unusually thick chromitites, may also have PGE concentrations at a number of stratigraphic levels.
Marco E. Ciriotti

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