Journal article

Platinum-group elements in the Merensky reef .1. PGE in solid solution in base metal sulfides and the down-temperatuue equilibration history of Merensky ores

C Ballhaus, CG Ryan

CONTRIBUTIONS TO MINERALOGY AND PETROLOGY | SPRINGER VERLAG | Published : 1995

Abstract

The platinum-group elements (PGE) in base metal sulfides (BMS) of the Merensky reef are mostly close to the detection limit of the proton microprobe. The only phase that accommodates appreciable PGE is pentlandite. Total average PGE plus Au grades of the sulfide fraction of the Merensky reef are about 500 ppm. We estimate the modal proportions of the major BMS to be around 53 percent pyrrhotite, 25 percent pentlandite, and 22 percent chalcopyrite (ignoring minor phases). Using this estimate, we calculate by how much the sulfides are oversaturated with respect to individual PGE. With respect to Pt, the sulfides are many times oversaturated, i.e., nearly all Pt occurs as discrete PGE phases. W..

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University of Melbourne Researchers