Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 53, Issue 7, pp 1019–1038 | Cite as

In situ strontium and sulfur isotope investigation of the Ni-Cu-(PGE) sulfide ore-bearing Kevitsa intrusion, northern Finland

  • Kirsi LuolavirtaEmail author
  • Eero Hanski
  • Wolfgang Maier
  • Yann Lahaye
  • Hugh O’Brien
  • Frank Santaguida


The ~ 2.06-Ga Kevitsa mafic-ultramafic intrusion in northern Finland hosts a large disseminated Ni-Cu-PGE deposit. The deposit occurs in the ultramafic olivine-pyroxene cumulates and shows a range in Ni tenors varying from 4–7 wt% (regular ore) to > 10 wt% (Ni-PGE ore). There are also a metal-poor sulfide mineralization (false ore) and contact mineralization that are uneconomic (Ni tenor < 4 wt%). The obtained 87Sr/86Sr(i) values of the Kevitsa ultramafic cumulates are highly radiogenic (> 0.7045) in comparison to the estimated depleted mantle Sr isotope ratio of ~ 0.702 at 2.06 Ga. The sulfur δ34S values are generally higher than + 2‰, which together with the Sr isotope data imply involvement of crustal material in the genesis of the Kevitsa intrusion and its ores. The 87Sr/86Sr(i) values obtained from the ore-bearing domain of the intrusion show stratigraphic variation and exceed 0.7050, with the maximum value reaching up to 0.7109. In contrast, in rocks around the ore domain, the initial Sr isotope compositions remain more or less constant (0.7047–0.7060) throughout the intrusive stratigraphy. The isotope data suggest that the ore-bearing domain of the intrusion represents a dynamic site with multiple injections of variably contaminated magma, whereas the surrounding part of the intrusion experienced a less vigorous emplacement history. No correlation is observed between the strontium and sulfur isotope compositions. This is explained by bulk assimilation of the silicate magma in a deeper staging magma chamber and variable assimilation of sulfur during magma transport into the Kevitsa magma chamber. The low level of metals in false ore and the Ni-depleted nature of its olivine suggest that some sulfides may have precipitated and deposited in the feeder conduit during the initial stage of magma emplacement. Cannibalization of early-formed sulfides by later magma injections may have been important in the formation of the economic ore deposit.


Strontium isotopes Sulfur isotopes Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide ore Kevitsa intrusion Central Lapland greenstone belt 



FQM is acknowledged for the access to the company’s database and drill cores. The personnel at the Kevitsa mine are kindly thanked for all their assistance during drill core sampling. We are particularly grateful to Shenghong Yang, Markku Lappalainen, Petri Peltonen, Teemu Voipio, and Tommi Lehtilä for discussion and support of the research. We also want to thank Marco Fiorentini and an anonymous reviewer for valuable review and editors Bernd Lehmann and Pasi Eilu for their comments that helped us improve the manuscript. Leena Palmu is thanked for helping with the mineral chemistry analyses.

Funding information

Financial support for this study was provided by First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FQM) and research grants from the Academy of Finland (grant number 281859), K.H. Renlund Foundation, Tauno Tönning Foundation, and Scholarship Fund of the University of Oulu

Supplementary material

126_2018_792_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (182 kb)
Electronic Supplementary Material 1 In-situ 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the in-house standard determined during two sets of Sr isotope analyses. (PDF 181 kb)
126_2018_792_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (32 kb)
Electronic Supplementary Material 2 In-situ Sr isotopic analyzes of plagioclase from the Kevitsa intrusion. (XLSX 32 kb)
126_2018_792_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (25 kb)
Electronic Supplementary Material 3 Sample-scale correlations of in-situ determined 87Sr/86Sr(i) and anorthite contents of plagioclase. (PDF 25 kb)
126_2018_792_MOESM4_ESM.xlsx (19 kb)
Electronic Supplementary Material 4 In-situ S isotopic analyses of pyrrhotite and pyrite from the Kevitsa intrusion (XLSX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oulu Mining SchoolUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.The School of Earth and Ocean SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  3. 3.Geological Survey of FinlandEspooFinland
  4. 4.First Cobalt CorbTorontoCanada

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