Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 775–783 | Cite as

The use of mantle normalization and metal ratios in the identification of the sources of platinum-group elements in various metal-rich black shales



It has been shown that Ni/Cu versus Pd/Ir and Cu/Ir versus Ni/Pd ratios, as well as mantle-normalized metal patterns can be successfully used to evaluate the effects of partial melting, crystal fractionation and sulfide saturation in mafic and ultramafic rocks. Platinum-group element (PGE) enrichments occur in Zn-, Cu- and Ni-rich black shales in a number of geological settings. These facies are generally associated with the development of continental rift structures, both without significant volcanic activity (examples in Canada, China, Finland and Poland) and with volcanic activity (Czech Republic and Namibia). Using the same element ratios as were used in mafic igneous rocks, it is evident that metal-rich black shales associated with volcanic rocks reflect the fractionation of PGEs in volcanogenic facies. It is further concluded that, in metal-rich black shales in which distributions of Ni and Cu have been altered by various processes, the Cu/Ir versus Ni/Pd and Ni/Cu versus Pd/Ir ratios plots are applicable for determination of the source of PGEs only after careful evaluation of Ni and Cu enrichments.


Metal-rich black shale Mantle normalization Metal ratios Source of PGEs 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Czech Republic, through grant ME-444 (KONTAKT), and it is a contribution to the IGCP Project 429. The current version of the manuscript benefited from reviews by A. Brown, R.M. Coveney Jr., B. Lehmann, D. Lenz and two anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Pašava
    • 1
  • Sarah-Jane Barnes
    • 2
  • Anna Vymazalová
    • 1
  1. 1.Czech Geological Survey, PraguePraha 1Czech Republic
  2. 2.Sciences de la TerreUniversité du Québec à ChicoutimiChicoutimiCanada

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