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Noble metals segregation and fractionation in magmatic ores from Ronda and Beni Bousera Lherzolite Massifs (Spain, Morocco)

Abtrennung und Fraktionierung von Edelmetallen in magmatischen Erzen der LherzolitMassive von Ronda und Beni Bousera (Spanien, Marokko)

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Summary

Three types of mineralization are found in high-temperature lherzolite massifs of Southern Spain and Northern Morocco: (Cr) chromite, (Cr-Ni) chromite-nickel arsenide, (S-G) sulphide-graphite. The ore veins are distributed in this order from the plagioclase-lherzolite core to the garnet-lherzolite border of the massifs. These hightemperature ore assemblages (1200-600°C) have cumulate textures including orthopyroxene and/or cordierite as main silicate minerals.

High average PGE concentrations are present in the Cr-Ni ores (2000 ppb) in relation to the Ni-arsenide abundance. The Cr ores have only 900 ppb PGE, and the S-G ores are PGE-poor (350 ppb). Gold roughly follows the PGE distribution: 13,000 ppb in Cr-Ni ores, 570 ppb in Cr ores, and only 88 ppb in S-G ores. The chondrite normalized PGE patterns of the Cr-Ni ores are chondritic, whereas those of the Cr and S-G ores have respectively negative and positive slopes. The Pd/Ir ratio strongly increases from the Cr ores (0.39) to the Cr-Ni and the S-G ores (2.7 and 3.4)). There are some (Os, Ru)S2 inclusions in the chromite of the Cr ores. In the Cr-Ni ores, some minute Au, Au-Cu, and Au-Bi-Te grains are observed. No PGM have been found, except in a weathered Cr-Ni ore sample where abundant PGM (PtAs2, IrAsS) are present., suggesting that PGE may be hidden as solid solution in the Ni-arsenide.

The ore-forming magma probably has a mantle source-rock. The earliest chromites (Cr ores) contain Os-Ir-Ru mineral inclusions, whereas most of the gold and the remaining PGE with higher Pd/Ir ratio were partitioned into an immiscible As-S-liquid, which fractionated later into an earliest PGE-Au-rich NiAs-phase (Cr-Ni ores) and then a PGE-Au-poor MSS-phase (S-G ores).

Zusammenfassung

In den Hochtemperatur-Lherzolit Massiven von Süd-Spanien und Nord-Marokko kommen drei Typen von Vererzung vor: (Cr) Chromit, (Cr-Ni) Chromit-Nickelarsenid, (S-G) Sulfid-Graphit. Die Erzgänge sind in dieser Abfolge vom Plagioklas-Lherzolit Kern zum Granat-Lherzolit Rand der Massive angeordnet. Diese Hochtemperaturparagenesen (1200°-600° C) haben Kumulattexturen mit Orthopyroxen und/oder Cordierit als Hauptsilikatminerale.

Hohe Durchschnittsgehalte an PGE kommen in den Cr-Ni Erzen (2000 ppb) vor, und diese stehen in Beziehung zur Häufigkeit der Nickel-Arsenide. Die Cr-Erze führen nur 900 ppb PGE und die S-G Erze sind PGE-arm (350 ppb). Gold folgt in ungefähr der PGE-Verteilung: 13000 ppb in Cr-Ni Erzen, 570 ppb in Cr Erzen, und nur 88 ppb in S-G Erzen. Die Chondrit-normalisierten PGE Verteilungen der Chrom-Nickel Erze sind chondritisch, während jene der Cr- und S-G Erze negative, bzw. positive Neigungen zeigen. Das Pd/Ir Verhältnis nimmt von den Cr-Erzen (0, 39) zu den Cr-Ni und den S-G Erzen (2,7 und 3,4) deutlich zu. Es gibt einige (Os, Ru)S2 Einschlüsse in den Chromiten der Cr Erze. In den Cr-Ni Erzen, kommen winzige Einschlüsse von Au, Au-Cu und AuBi-Te Körnern vor. Keine PGM konnten nachgewiesen werden, mit Ausnahme eines verwitterten Cr-Ni Erzes wo reichlich PGM (PtAs2,1rAsS) vorliegen. Dies weist darauf hin, daß PGE in fester Lösung in den Nickel-Arseniden gebunden sein könnten.

Das erzbildende Magma dürfte dem Mantel entstammen. Die am frühesten gebildeten Chromite (Cr-Erze) enthalten Einschlüsse von Os-Ir-Ru Mineralen, während ein Großteil des Goldes und der verbleibenden PGE mit höheren Pd/Ir Verhältnissen in eine nicht mischbare As-S fluide Phase gingen; die letztere fraktionierte später in eine frühe PGE-Au-reiche NiAs-Phase (Cr-Ni Erze) und dann in eine PGE-Au-arme MSS-Phase (S-G Erze).

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Leblanc, M., Gervilla, F. & Jedwab, J. Noble metals segregation and fractionation in magmatic ores from Ronda and Beni Bousera Lherzolite Massifs (Spain, Morocco). Mineralogy and Petrology 42, 233–248 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01162693

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