Skip to main content
Log in

New data on associations of platinum-group minerals in placer deposits of British Columbia, Canada

  • Published:
Mineralogy and Petrology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Summary

We have conducted electron microprobe (EMP) analysis of 158 grains of platinum-group minerals (PGM; 0.1–1 mm in size) from 11 placer samples collected from Holocene fluvial placers and buried paleochannel placers at various localities in British Columbia. These grains principally comprise Pt-Fe-(Cu) alloy minerals: Fe-rich platinum [ΣPGE:(Fe + Cu + Ni) = 3.6–7.6], Pt3Fe-type alloy (isoferroplatinum or Fe-rich platinum), subordinate “Pt2Fe”-type alloy (probably, a compositional variant of Fe-rich platinum) and the tulameenite-tetraferroplatinum series. Less-abundant are iridium [Ir-dominant Ir-Os-(Pt) alloy] and osmium [Os-dominant Os-Ir-(Pt) alloy]. Ruthenium [Ru-dominant Ru-Ir-Os alloy] occurs as a single grain. One of these Pt-Fe alloy grains is unusually zoned; its core zone is: Pt74.0Fe20.4Cu1.9Ir1.5Rh1.1Pd1.0Os0.08Ru0.01Ni0.01 (in at%) [ΣPGE:(Fe + Cu + Ni) = 3.5], and its rim zone is: Pt78.5Fe15.5Cu1.7Ir1.5Rh1.4 Pd1.2Ni0.15Os0.06Ru<0.01 [ΣPGE:(Fe + Cu + Ni) = 4.8]. This zoning indicates late-stage removal of Fe and corresponding addition of Pt, probably as a result of interaction with a late fluid phase. Various combinations of minor elements: Ir-Rh, Rh-Pd, and Ir-Rh-Pd are observed in the analysed Pt-Fe-Cu alloys. However, the Ir-Pd pair appears to be prohibited because of crystallochemical factors. Minute PGM inclusions in Pt-Fe alloy grains, likely derived from the Tulameen complex, comprise: hongshiite (Pt1.04Pd0.02 Cu0.93), sperrylite (Pt0.93Ir0.03)Σ0.96(As2.02Sb0.01)Σ2.03, hollingworthite-platarsite (Rh0.74 Pt0.21Fe0.02Pd0.02Ir0.01)Σ1.00S0.91As1.10, cuprorhodsite-malanite (Cu0.91Fe0.03Ni<0.01)Σ0.95 (Rh1.06Pt0.89Ir<0.01)Σ1.95S4.10, a rare Te-rich isomertieite (Pd10.96Fe0.03)Σ10.99(Sb1.13 Te0.94)Σ2.07As1.93, and an unusual Pt-Pd-Rh antimonide [(Pt + Pd + Rh):(Sb + As) = 1.2–1.25], related to genkinite. This antimonide may exhibit a minor solid solution extending from genkinite toward stumpflite. In addition, 20 grains of diopside [Ca46.4–49.1Mg42.8–48.2Fe3.1–8.1; ≤0.59 wt% Cr2O3] and 20 grains of olivine [Fo86.8–91.5 Fa7.9–12.5], from a PGM-bearing placer located in the vicinity of the Tulameen complex, were analysed. The compositional ranges of these placer silicates are comparable to those of clinopyroxene and olivine in the olivine clinopyroxenite and dunite units of the Tulameen complex. The majority of the analysed placer PGM grains were probably derived from Alaskan-type source rocks, whereas an ophiolitic source, associated with the Atlin ophiolite complex, is suggested for the placer PGM deposits in the Atlin area, northern British Columbia.

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

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • AY Barkov ME Fleet (2004) ArticleTitleAn unusual association of hydrothermal platinum-group minerals from the Imandra layered complex, Kola Peninsula, northwestern Russia Can Mineral 42 455–467 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.42.2.455

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • AY Barkov ME Fleet GT Nixon VM Levson (2005a) ArticleTitlePlatinum-group minerals from five placer deposits in British Columbia, Canada Can Mineral 43 1687–1710 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.43.5.1687

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • AY Barkov ME Fleet RF Martin TAA Halkoaho (2005b) ArticleTitleNew data on “bonanza”-type PGE mineralization in the Kirakkajuppura PGE deposit, Penikat layered complex, Finland Can Mineral 43 1663–1686 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.43.5.1663

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • AY Barkov ME Fleet RF Martin MN Feinglos B Cannon (2006) ArticleTitleUnique W-rich alloy of Os and Ir and associated Fe-rich alloy of Os, Ru, and Ir from California Am Mineral 91 191–195 Occurrence Handle10.2138/am.2006.1841

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • AY Barkov RF Martin TAA Halkoaho G Poirier (2000) ArticleTitleThe mechanism of charge compensation in Cu-Fe-PGE thiospinels from the Penikat layered intrusion, Finland Am Mineral 85 694–697

    Google Scholar 

  • P Bayliss HD Kaesz EH Nickel (2005) ArticleTitleThe use of chemical-element adjectival modifiers in mineral nomenclature Can Mineral 43 1429–1433 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.43.4.1429

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • JFW Bowles (1990) ArticleTitlePlatinum-iron alloys, their structural and magnetic characteristics in relation to hydrothermal and low-temperature genesis Mineral Petrol 43 37–47 Occurrence Handle10.1007/BF01164220

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cabri LJ (ed) (2002) The geology, geochemistry, mineralogy, mineral beneficiation of the platinum-group elements. Can Inst Mining Metall Petroleum, Spec Vol 54, 852 pp

  • LJ Cabri CE Feather (1975) ArticleTitlePlatinum-iron alloys. Nomenclature based on a study of natural and synthetic alloys Can Mineral 13 117–126

    Google Scholar 

  • LJ Cabri DC Harris TW Weiser (1996) ArticleTitleMineralogy and distribution of platinum-group mineral (PGM) placer deposits of the world Explor Mining Geol 5 73–167

    Google Scholar 

  • Cabri LJ, Laflamme JHG (1981) Analyses of minerals containing platinum-group elements. In: Cabri LJ (ed) Platinum-group elements: mineralogy, geology, recovery. Can Inst Mining Metall Spec Vol 23, pp 151–173

  • LJ Cabri JHG Laflamme JM Stewart (1977a) ArticleTitlePlatinum-group minerals from Onverwacht. II. Platarsite, a new sulfarsenide of platinum Can Mineral 15 385–388

    Google Scholar 

  • LJ Cabri JM Stewart JHG Laflamme JT Szymański (1977b) ArticleTitlePlatinum-group minerals from Onverwacht. III. Genkinite, (Pt,Pd)4Sb3, a new mineral Can Mineral 15 389–392

    Google Scholar 

  • G Garuti EV Pushkarev F Zaccarini (2002) ArticleTitleComposition and paragenesis of Pt alloys from chromitites of the Uralian-Alaskan-type Kytlym and Uktus complexes, northern and central Urals, Russia Can Mineral 40 1127–1146 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.40.4.1127

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • D Hagen TH Weiser H Than (1990) ArticleTitlePlatinum-group minerals in Quaternary gold placers in the upper Chindwin area of northern Burma Mineral Petrol 42 265–286 Occurrence Handle10.1007/BF01162695

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • DC Harris LJ Cabri (1973) ArticleTitleThe nomenclature of the natural alloys of osmium, iridium and ruthenium based on new compositional data of alloys from world-wide occurrences Can Mineral 12 104–112

    Google Scholar 

  • DC Harris LJ Cabri (1991) ArticleTitleNomenclature of platinum-group-element alloys: review and revision Can Mineral 29 231–237

    Google Scholar 

  • Z Johan P Picot (1972) ArticleTitleLa stumpflite, Pt(Sb, Bi), un nouveau minéral Bull Soc fr Minéral Cristallogr 95 610–613

    Google Scholar 

  • Z Johan M Ohnenstetter E Slansky LM Barron D Suppel (1989) ArticleTitlePlatinum mineralization in the Alaskan-type intrusive complexes near Fifield, New South Wales, Australia. 1. Platinum-group minerals in clinopyroxenites of the Kelvin Grove prospect, Owendale intrusion Mineral Petrol 40 289–309 Occurrence Handle10.1007/BF01164604

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Z Johan M Ohnenstetter W Fischer J Amossé (1990) ArticleTitlePlatinum-group minerals from the Durance River alluvium, France Mineral Petrol 42 287–306 Occurrence Handle10.1007/BF01162696

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Levson VM, Mate D, Ferbey T (2002) Platinum-group-element (PGE) placer deposits in British Columbia: characterization and implications for PGE potential. In: Geological Fieldwork 2001. British Columbia Geological Survey, Paper 2002-1 (303–312)

  • VM Levson S Morison (1995) Geology of placer deposits in glaciated environments J Menzies (Eds) Past glacial environments – sediments, forms and techniques Butterworth-Heinemann London, UK 441–478

    Google Scholar 

  • KN Malitch OAR Thalhammer (2002) ArticleTitlePt-Fe nuggets derived from clinopyroxenite-dunite massifs, Russia: a structural, compositional and osmium-isotope study Can Mineral 40 395–418 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.40.2.395

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • AM McDonald LJ Cabri CJ Stanley NS Rudashevsky G Poirier JE Mungall KC Ross BR Durham VN Rudashevsky (2005) ArticleTitleUngavaite, Pd4Sb3, a new intermetallic mineral species from the Mesamax Northwest deposit, Ungava region, Quebec, Canada: description and genetic implications Can Mineral 43 1735–1744 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.43.5.1735

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • F Melcher (2000) ArticleTitleBase metal – platinum group element sulfides from the Urals and the Eastern Alps: characterization and significance for mineral systematics Mineral Petrol 68 177–211 Occurrence Handle10.1007/s007100050009

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • F Melcher T Oberthür J Lodziak (2005) ArticleTitleModification and alteration of detrital platinum-group minerals from the eastern Bushveld complex, South Africa Can Mineral 43 1711–1734 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.43.5.1711

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • IY Nekrasov AM Lennikov BL Zalishchak RA Oktyabrsky VV Ivanov VI Sapin VI Taskaev (2005) ArticleTitleCompositional variations in platinum-group minerals and gold, Konder alkaline-ultrabasic massif, Aldan Shield, Russia Can Mineral 43 637–654 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.43.2.637

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • GT Nixon LJ Cabri JHG Laflamme (1990) ArticleTitlePlatinum-group-element mineralization in lode and placer deposits associated with the Tulameen Alaskan-type complex, British Columbia Can Mineral 28 503–535

    Google Scholar 

  • T Oberthür F Melcher L Gast C Wöhrl J Lodziak (2004) ArticleTitleDetrital platinum-group minerals (PGM) in rivers of the eastern Bushveld complex, South Africa – general characteristics of the PGM assemblage Can Mineral 42 563–582 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.42.2.563

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • T Oberthür TW Weiser L Gast R Schoenberg DW Davis (2002) ArticleTitlePlatinum-group minerals and other detrital components in the Karoo-age Somabula gravels, Gweru, Zimbabwe Can Mineral 40 435–456 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.40.2.435

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • NS Rudashevsky AM McDonald LJ Cabri TFD Nielsen CJ Stanley YuL Kretzer VN Rudashevsky (2004) ArticleTitleSkaergaardite, PdCu, a new platinum-group intermetallic mineral from the Skaergaard intrusion, Greenland Mineral Mag 68 615–632 Occurrence Handle10.1180/0026461046840208

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • P Somasundaram D Kim JM Honig TM Pekarek (1997) ArticleTitleMagnetic and specific heat studies of the effect of sulfur nonstoichiometry in CuIr2S4 + x (x = −0.1, 0.0, and 0.1) J Appl Phys 81 4618–4619 Occurrence Handle10.1063/1.365181

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • RM St Louis BE Nesbitt RD Morton (1986) ArticleTitleGeochemistry of platinum-group elements in the Tulameen ultramafic complex, southern British Columbia Econ Geol 81 961–973 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gsecongeo.81.4.961

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • EF Stumpfl AM Clark (1965) ArticleTitleHollingworthite, a new rhodium mineral, identified by electron probe microanalysis Am Mineral 50 1068–1074

    Google Scholar 

  • ND Tolstykh JY Foley EG Sidorov KVO Laajoki (2002) ArticleTitleComposition of the platinum-group minerals in the Salmon River placer deposit, Goodnews Bay, Alaska Can Mineral 40 463–471 Occurrence Handle10.2113/gscanmin.40.2.463

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • R Törnroos B Johanson K Kojonen (1996) ArticleTitleAlluvial nuggets of platinum-group minerals and alloys from Finnish Lapland Geol Surv Finland Spec Pap 26 63–64

    Google Scholar 

  • TW Weiser H-G Bachmann (1999) ArticleTitlePlatinum-group minerals from the Aikora river area, Papua New Guinea Can Mineral 37 1131–1145

    Google Scholar 

  • Z Yu (1995) ArticleTitleChengdeite – an ordered natural iron-iridium alloy Acta Geol Sinica 69 215–220

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. Y. Barkov.

Additional information

Authors’ addresses: Andrei Y. Barkov, Robert F. Martin, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University, 3450 University Street, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2A7, Canada; Michael E. Fleet, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 5B7, Canada; Graham T. Nixon and Victor M. Levson, B.C. Geological Survey, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, PO Box 9320 Stn. Prov. Govt., Victoria, British Columbia V8W 9N3, Canada

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Barkov, A., Martin, R., Fleet, M. et al. New data on associations of platinum-group minerals in placer deposits of British Columbia, Canada. Mineralogy and Petrology 92, 9–29 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00710-007-0192-6

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00710-007-0192-6

Keywords

Navigation