Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 51, Issue 8, pp 993–1011 | Cite as

Cu–Ni–PGE fertility of the Yoko-Dovyren layered massif (northern Transbaikalia, Russia): thermodynamic modeling of sulfide compositions in low mineralized dunite based on quantitative sulfide mineralogy

  • Alexey A. Ariskin
  • Evgeny V. Kislov
  • Leonid V. Danyushevsky
  • Georgy S. Nikolaev
  • Marco L. Fiorentini
  • Sarah Gilbert
  • Karsten Goemann
  • Alexey Malyshev


The geology and major types of sulfide mineralization in the Yoko-Dovyren layered massif (northern Transbaikalia, Russia) are presented. This study focuses on the structure, mineralogy, and geochemistry of poorly mineralized plagiodunite and dunite in the lower part of the intrusion. Assuming these rocks contain key information on the timing of sulfide immiscibility in the original cumulate pile, we apply a novel approach which combines estimates of the average sulfide compositions in each particular rock with thermodynamic modeling of the geochemistry of the original sulfide liquid. To approach the goal, an updated sulfide version of the COMAGMAT-5 model was used. Results of simulations of sulfide immiscibility in initially S-undersaturated olivine cumulates demonstrate a strong effect of the decreasing fraction of the silicate melt, due to crystallization of silicate and oxide minerals, on the composition of the intercumulus sulfide liquid. Comparison of the observed and modeled sulfide compositions indicates that the proposed modeling reproduces well the average concentrations of Cu, Cd, Ag, and Pd in natural sulfides. This suggests the sulfide control on the distribution of these elements in the rocks. Conversely, data for Pt and Au suggest that a significant portion of these elements could present in a native form, thus depleting the intercumulus sulfide melt at an early stage of crystallization.


Yoko-Dovyren layered massif Average sulfide composition Mineralized dunite COMAGMAT Modeling S saturation Precious metals 



We acknowledge support of AngloAmerican, BHP Billiton, Votorantim Metais, and the Australian Research Council through funding to CODES (Hobart, Australia) at the initial stages of the projects (AMIRA project P962, 2007–2010). The authors also thank the University of Tasmania for providing Visiting Scholarships to AAA at the UTAS in 2011 and 2014 and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research for their support during 2008–2014 (projects 08-05-00194a, 11-05-00268a, and 14-05-00216a). ML Fiorentini also acknowledges support from the Australian Research Council through the Future Fellowship Scheme (FT110100241) and Foundation Project 2a of the Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems. This is contribution 639 from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems ( We also wish to thank Masha Anosova and Kostya Ryazantsev (Vernadsky Institute, Moscow) for their assistance with sample preparation, Paul Olin with help with LA-ICP-MS analyses at the University of Tasmania, and Veniamin Polyakov (Institute of Experimental Mineralogy, Russia) for his help with statistical calculations. Thorough comments of Evgeny Koptev-Dvornikov (Moscow State University, Moscow) on the textures of ultramafic cumulates were invaluable. We gratefully acknowledge Dr. Elinor Morrisby for her editing of the earlier version of the manuscript. Wolf Maier, Reid Keays, and Georges Beaudoin are thanked for their careful reviews. The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of the late Eduard Konnikov who worked on this project during 2007–2011.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (PDF 84 kb)
126_2016_666_MOESM2_ESM.xls (465 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexey A. Ariskin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Evgeny V. Kislov
    • 3
  • Leonid V. Danyushevsky
    • 4
  • Georgy S. Nikolaev
    • 2
  • Marco L. Fiorentini
    • 5
  • Sarah Gilbert
    • 4
  • Karsten Goemann
    • 6
  • Alexey Malyshev
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of GeologyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Vernadsky InstituteMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Geological InstituteUlan-UdeRussia
  4. 4.CODES CoE and Earth SciencesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  5. 5.Centre for Exploration Targeting, School of Earth and Environment, ARC Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid SystemsThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  6. 6.Central Science LaboratoryUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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