Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

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

  • 414 Accesses

  • 20 Citations


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. Anders E, Grevesse N (1989) Abundances of the elements: meteoritic and solar. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 53:197–214

  2. Bach W, Roberts S, Vanko DA, Binns Ra, Zeats CJ, Craddock PR, Humphris SE (2003) Controls of fluid chemistry and complexation on rare-earth element contents of anhydrite from the PACMANUS subseafloor hydrothermal system, Manus Basin, Papua New Guinea. Miner Depos 38:916–935

  3. Barnes SJ, Boyd R, Korneliussen A, Nillson LP, Often M, Pedersen RB, Robins B (1988) The use of mantle normalization and metal ratios in discriminating between the effects of partial melting, crystal fractionation and sulphide segregation on platinum-group elements, gold, nickel and copper: examples from Norway. In: Prichard HM, Potts PJ, Bowles JFW, Cribb SJ (eds) Geo-Platinum. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 113–143

  4. Barrie CT, Hannington MD (1999) Classification of volcanic-associated massive sulfide deposits based on host-rock composition. In: Barrie CT, Hannington MD (eds) Volcanic-associated massive sulfide deposits: processes and examples in modern and ancient settings. Reviews in Economic Geology, vol 8. Society of Economic Geologists, pp 1–11

  5. Barriga F, Binns R, Baldauf J, Miller DJ (2000) Anatomy of an active, felsic-hosted hydrothermal system, eastern Manus basin. Leg 193 Scientific Prospectus, Ocean Drilling Program, Texas A&M University, College Station, p 60

  6. Binns RA, Barriga FJAS, Miller DJ (2002) Leg 193 summary. In: Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Initial Reports, 193, College Station, pp 1–84

  7. Borg G, Tredoux M, Maiden KJ, Sellschop JPF, Wayward OFD (1988) PGE and Au distribution in rift-related volcanics, sediments and stratabound Cu/Ag ores of Middle Proterozoic age in central SWA/Namibia. In: Prichard HM, Potts PJ, Bowles JFW, Cribb SJ (eds) Geo-Platinum. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 303–317

  8. Cabri LJ, Sylvester PJ, Tubrett MN, Pereogedova A, Laflame JHG (2003) Comparison of LAM-ICP-MS and micro-PIXE results for palladium and rhodium in selected samples of Norilśk and Talnakh sulfides. Can Mineral 41:321–329

  9. Cave RR, Ravizza GE, German CR, Thomson J, Nesbitt RW (2003) Deposition of osmium and other platinum-group elements beneath the ultramafic-hosted Rainbow hydrothermal plume. Earth Planet Sci Lett 210:65–70

  10. Clarke AL, Humprey P, Johnson CJ, Pak DK (1985) Cobalt-rich manganese crust potential. OCS Study MMS 85–0006, Mineral Management Service, U.S. Department of Interior, pp 23

  11. Crocket JH (1989) PGE in mid-ocean volcanic exhalites; a major fractionation of PGE from gold. In: IAGOD 5th international platinum symposium, Abstracts, Bull Geol Soc Finland, 61, part 1, p 47

  12. Crocket JH (1990) Noble metals in seafloor hydrothermal mineralization from the Juan de Fuca and mid-Atlantic ridges: a fractionation of gold from platinum metals in hydrothermal fluids. Can Mineral 28:639–648

  13. Crocket JH (2002) Platinum-group element geochemistry of mafic and ultramafic rocks In: Cabri LJ (ed) The geology, geochemistry, mineralogy and mineral beneficiation of platinum-group elements. CIM Spec, vol 54, pp177–210

  14. Crocket JH, MacDougall JD, Harris RC (1973) Gold, palladium and iridium in marine sediments. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 37:2547–2556

  15. Douville E, Bienvenu P, Charlou JL, Donval JP, Fouquet Y, Appriou P, Gamo T (1999) Yttrium and rare earth elements in fluids from various deep-sea hydrothermal systems. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 63:627–643

  16. Gemmell JB, Binns RA, Parr JM (1996) Comparison of sulfur isotope values between modern back-arc and mid-ocean ridge seafloor hydrothermal systems. EOS Tr Am Geophys Un 77:W117

  17. Goldberg ED, Koide M, Schmitt RA, Schmitt RH (1963) Rare earth distribution in the marine environment. J Geophys Res 68:4209–4217

  18. Goldberg ED, Koide M, Yang JS, Bertine KK (1988) Comparative marine chemistries of the platinum group metals and their periodic table neighbors. In: Kramer JR, Allen HE (eds) Metal speciation. Lewis, London, pp 201–217

  19. Halbach P, Prause B, Koch K, Westholt M (1990) Platinum and palladium in Co-rich ferromanganese crust deposits. Mar Min 9:117–126

  20. Haynes BW, Law SL, Barron DC, Kramer GW, Maeda R, Magyar MJ (1985) Pacific manganese nodules: characterization and processing, U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Mines, Bulletin 679, p 44

  21. Hein JR, Schultz LM, Gein LM (1990a) Central Pacific cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts: historical perspective and regional variability. In: Keating BH, Bolton BR (eds) Geology and offshore mineral resources of the Central Pacific Basin. Circ-Pac Counc Energy Mineral Resourc, Houston, Earth Sci Ser, vol 15, pp 261–283

  22. Hein JR, Schultz MS, Kang JK (1990b) Insular and submarine ferromanganese mineralization of the Tonga-Lau region. Mar Mineral 9:305–354

  23. Herzig PM, Petersen S, Kuhn T, Hannington MD, Gemmell JB, Skinner AC, Shipboard Scientific Party (2003) Shallow drilling of seafloor hydrothermal systems using R/V Sonne and the BGS Rockdrill: Conical Seamount (New Ireland Fore-Arc) and PACMANUS (Eastern Manus Basin), Papua New Guinea. InterRidge News 12:22–25

  24. Hodge VF, Stallard M, Koide M, Goldberg ED (1985) Platinum and palladium anomaly in the marine environment. Earth Planet Sci Lett 72:158–162

  25. Hodge VF, Stallard M, Koide M, Goldberg ED (1986) Determination of platinum and iridium in marine waters, sediments and organisms. Anal Chem 58:616–620

  26. Koide M, Goldberg ED, Niemeyer S, Gerlach D, Hodge V, Bertine KK, Padova A (1991) Osmium in marine sediments. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 55:1641–1648

  27. Mannheim FT (1986) Marine cobalt resources. Science 232:600–608

  28. McMurtry GM, Vonderhaar DL, Mahoney JJ, Gregson D, Tyne C (1989) Platinum-group metals in ferromanganese crusts from pacific seamount. In: IAGOG 5th international platinum symposium, Abstracts, Bull Geol Soc Finland, vol 61, pp 47–48

  29. Moss R, Scott SD, Binns RA (2001) Gold content of Eastern Manus Basin volcanic rocks: implications for enrichment in associated hydrothermal precipitates. Econ Geol 96:91–107

  30. Naldrett AJ (1989) Platinum-group element deposits. In: Cabri LJ (ed) Platinum-group elements: mineralogy, geology recovery. CIM Spec, vol 23, pp197–231

  31. Pan P, Wood SA (1994) Solubility of Pt and Pd sulfides and Au metal in aqueous bisulfide solutions. II. Results at 200° to 350°C and saturated vapor pressure. Miner Depos 29:373–390

  32. Pan Y, Xie Q (2001) Extreme fractionation of platinum group elements in volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits. Econ Geol 96:645–651

  33. Paulick H, Herzig P (2003) Volcanic facies controls on mass transfer at the active, dacite-hosted PACMANUS hydrothermal system, Manus basin, Papua New Guinea (Ocean Drilling Program Leg 193). In: Eliopoulos D et al (eds) Mineral exploration and sustainable development. Millpress, Rotterdam, pp 167–170

  34. Petersen S, Herzig P, Hannington M, Gemmel B (2003) Gold-rich massive sulfides from the interior of the felsic-hosted PACMANUS massive sulfide deposit, Eastern Manus Basin (PNG). In: Eliopoulos D et al (eds) Mineral exploration and sustainable development. Millpress, Rotterdam, pp 171–174

  35. Stuben D, Glasby GP, Eckhardt JD, Berner Z, Mountain BW, Usui A (1999) Enrichments of platinum-group elements in hydrogenous, diagenetic and hydrothermal marine manganese and iron deposits. Explor Min Geol 8:233–250

  36. Waters JC, Binns RA, Naka J (1996) Morphology of submarine felsic volcanic rocks on Paul Ridge, eastern Manus basin, Papua New Guinea (abs) American Geophysical Union, Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting, Brisbane. Abstract Suppl EOS Tr Am Geophys Un 77:W120

  37. Wood SA (2002) The aqueous geochemistry of the platinum-group elements with applications to ore deposits. In: Cabri LJ (ed) The geology, geochemistry, mineralogy and mineral beneficiation of platinum-group elements. CIM Spec, vol 54, pp 211–249

  38. Wood SA, Mountain BW, Pan P (1992) The aqueous geochemistry of platinum, palladium and gold: recent experimental constraints and a re-evaluation of theoretical predictions. Can Mineral 30:955–982

  39. Yang K, Scott SD (1996) Possible contribution of a metal-rich magmatic fluid to a sea-floor hydrothermal system. Nature 383:420–423

Download references


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.

Author information

Correspondence to Jan Pašava.

Additional information

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

Editorial handling: B. Lehmann

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

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

Download citation


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