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Geology, mineralogy, and PGE mineralization of the copper-nickel occurrences of the Kvinum ore field, Sredinny Range, Kamchatka

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Abstract

The geology and mineralogy of host metamorphic rocks, the mineralogy of sulfide ores, and the distribution of PGE mineralization were studied in detail for the Kvinum-1 and Kvinum-2 copper-nickel occurrences of the Kvinum ore field, which are the most promising targets for the copper-nickel-PGE mineralization of the Sredinny Range of Kamchatka. It was established that stringer-disseminated and massive copper-nickel ores are localized in amphibole peridotites, cortlandites, and form ore bodies varying from tens of centimeters to 5–20 m thick among the layered cortlandite-gabbroid massifs. The massive sulfide ores were found only at the bottom of cortlandite bodies and upsection grade into stringer-disseminated and disseminated ores. Pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, and pentlandite are the major ore minerals with a sharply subordinate amount of pyrite, sphalerite, galena, arsenopyrite, and löllingite. Besides pentlandite, the Ni-bearing minerals include sulforasenides (gersdorffite), arsenides (nickeline), and tellurides (melonite) of nickel. It was found that PGE mineralization represented by antimonides (sudburyite) and tellurobismuthides (michenerite) of Pd with sharply subordinate platinum arsenide (sperrylite) is confined to the apical parts of massive sulfide zones and the transition zone to the stringer-disseminated ores. Ore intervals enriched in arsenides and tellurides of Ni, Pd, and Bi contain high-purity gold. In the central parts of the orebodies, the contents of PGE and native gold are insignificant. It is suggested that the contents of major sulfide minerals and the productivity of PGE mineralization in the cortlandites are defined by combined differentiation and sulfurization of ultramafic derivatives under the effect of fluids, which are accumulated at the crystallization front and cause layering of parental magmas with different sulfur contents. The fluid-assisted layering of mafic-ultramafic massifs resulted in the contrasting distribution of PGM in response to uneven distribution of sulfur (as well as As, Te, and Bi) during liquid immiscibility. The productivity of PGE mineralization significantly increases with increasing contents of S, As, Te, and Bi (elements to which Pt and, especially, Pd have high affinity) in fluids.

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Original Russian Text © I.A. Tararin, V.M. Chubarov, E.K. Ignat’ev, S.V. Moskaleva, 2007, published in Tikhookeanskaya Geologiya, 2007, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 94–110.

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Tararin, I.A., Chubarov, V.M., Ignat’ev, E.K. et al. Geology, mineralogy, and PGE mineralization of the copper-nickel occurrences of the Kvinum ore field, Sredinny Range, Kamchatka. Russ. J. of Pac. Geol. 1, 82–97 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1819714007010095

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