Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 65, Issue 3–4, pp 161–183

Platinum-group elements in porphyry copper deposits: a reconnaissance study

  • M. Tarkian
  • B. Stribrny


Sulphide and flotation concentrates from 33 porphyry copper deposits have been investigated for platinum-group elements (PGE), Au, Cu and platinum-group minerals (PGM). The major sulphides in the samples studied are chalcopyrite and pyrite. Bornite is less frequent and molybdenite occurs in traces only. PGM (merenskyite, sperrylite and an unidentified Pd-Sb telluride) have been found as inclusions in chalcopyrite.

Pd and Pt are present in concentrations above the analytical detection limit (> 8 ppb) in 70% respectively 30% of the deposits studied. The contents of Os, Ir, Ru and Rh are below detection limits in all samples. The analytical results show that 7 deposits (six of island arc and one of continental margin setting) reveal relatively high Pd contents (130–1900 ppb) which are associated with high Au contents (1–28 ppm). In five of them discrete PGM can be identified in accordance with elevated levels of Pd. Correlations of Au, Pd and Pt point towards a common origin.

Even though the data base is relatively small, a trend is obvious, suggesting that Au-rich island arc porphyry copper deposits might host more Pd and Pt than the continental margin type ones. Other aspects of intrusive rocks, such as geological age, chemical composition and magma type do not seem to influence PGE contents.

Platingruppen-Elemente in porphyrischen Kupfer Lagerstätten: eine Überblicksstudie


Es wurden Sulfid- und Flotationskonzentrate aus 33 Porphyry Kupfer Lagerstätten: auf Platingruppenelemente (PGE), Au, Cu and Platingruppenminerale (PGM) untersucht. Die Hauptsulfide im untersuchten Probenmaterial sind Chalkopyrit und Pyrit. Bornit ist weniger häufig and Molybdänit tritt nur in Spuren auf. An PGM wurden Merenskyit (in den Lagerstätten: Elacite, Majdanpek and Skouries), Sperrylith und ein nicht näher identifizierbares Pd-Sb- Tellurid (in der Lagerstätte Mamut) als Einschlüsse in Chalkopyrit festgestellt.

Pd ist in 70% and Pt in 30% der untersuchten Lagerstätten: nachweisbar (> 8 ppb), während die Gehalte von Os, Ir, Ru and Rh in allen Proben unterhalb der Nachweisgrenze liegen. In 7 Lagerstätten: (davon sechs vom Inselbogen- und eine vom Kontinentalrandtyp) wurden relativ hohe Pd-Konzentrationen (130–1900 ppb) festgestellt, die auch durch hohe Au-Gehalte (1–28 ppm) gekennzeichnet sind. In 5 Lagerstätten: sind entsprechend den hohen Pd-Gehalten PGM nachweisbar.

Geochemische Korrelationen zwischen Au, Pd and Pt weisen auf eine gemeinsame Herkunft dieser Metalle hin. Obwohl der Datenbestand noch relativ klein ist, ist ein Trend bereits sichtbar, daß Au-reiche Inselbogenporphyries Where Pd- und Pt- Gehalte erwarten lassen als der Kontinentalrand-Typ. Andere Aspekte wie geologisches Alter, Magmentyp and Chemismus der betreffenden Intrusivgesteine spielen bei der PGEFührung offensichtlich keine Rolle.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Tarkian
    • 1
  • B. Stribrny
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Mineralogy and PetrologyUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural ResourcesHannoverGermany

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