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PGE distribution in massive sulfides from the PACMANUS hydrothermal field, eastern Manus basin, Papua New Guinea: implications for PGE enrichment in some ancient volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits

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Abstract

The distribution of platinum group elements (PGE) in Cu- and Zn-rich samples from the Roman Ruins and Satanic Mills vent sites in the PACMANUS hydrothermal field (Papua New Guinea) was studied and compared to that from selected ancient volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits. Samples from the Satanic Mills site are enriched in Pd and Rh when compared to samples from Roman Ruins and reach highest values in active and inactive Cu-rich black smoker chimneys and chalcopyrite-cemented dacite breccias (up to 356 ppb Pd and up to 145 ppb Rh). A significant positive correlation was established between Cu and Pd and Rh in samples from both vent sites. Comparisons of chondrite normalized patterns and values of Pd/Pt and Pd/Ir ratios in Cu-rich sulfides and probable source rocks (felsic volcanic rocks/MORB) along with the evidence for a magmatic component in the PACMANUS hydrothermal system indicate that leaching of back-arc volcanic rocks together with addition of magmatic volatiles to the convecting hydrothermal system was the most important factor for PGE enrichment at PACMANUS and likely at some PGE-enriched ancient VMS deposits.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by Czech Geological Survey Grant 3240. This work is a contribution to the IGCP Project 502 “Global Comparison of Volcanic-hosted Massive Sulphide Districts”. Cruise SO166 was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research through a grant to PMH (BMBF Grant 03G0166A). Additional support through the Leibniz Program of the German Research Foundation is also acknowledged. Special thanks to Alister Skinner and his professional Rockdrill team of the British Geological Survey for getting the sample off the seafloor. Critical comments from B. Lehmann on an early version of the MS were very useful. The current version of the manuscript benefited from a review by A. Koschinsky.

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Correspondence to Jan Pašava.

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An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00126-005-0464-1

Editorial handling: B. Lehmann

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Pašava, J., Vymazalová, A., Petersen, S. et al. PGE distribution in massive sulfides from the PACMANUS hydrothermal field, eastern Manus basin, Papua New Guinea: implications for PGE enrichment in some ancient volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits. Miner Deposita 39, 784–792 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00126-004-0442-z

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Keywords

  • Platinum group elements
  • Pd and Rh enrichment
  • Volcanogenic massive sulfides
  • Hydrothermal vents
  • Manus basin