Partitioning of Cu, Ni, Au, and platinum-group elements between monosulfide solid solution and sulfide melt under controlled oxygen and sulfur fugacities

Mungall, James E. and Andrews, David R.A. and Cabri, Louis J. and Sylvester, Paul J. and Tubrett, Michael (2005) Partitioning of Cu, Ni, Au, and platinum-group elements between monosulfide solid solution and sulfide melt under controlled oxygen and sulfur fugacities. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 69 (17). pp. 4349-4360. ISSN 1872-9533

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Abstract

We have performed six experiments in which we equilibrated monosulfide solid solution (mss) with sulfide melt in evacuated silica capsules containing solid buffers to fix oxygen and sulfur fugacity, at temperatures of 950°C, 1000°C and 1050°C at bulk concentrations of ∼50 ppm for each of the PGE and Au, 5% Ni, and 7% Cu. Concentrations of O, S, Fe, Ni and Cu were determined by electron microprobe, whereas precious metal concentrations were determined by laser-ablation inductively-coupled mass spectrometry. Partition coefficients of all elements studied show minimal dependences on oxygen fugacity from the IW to the QFM buffers when sulfur fugacity is fixed at the Pt-PtS buffer. Cu, Pt, Pd and Au are strongly incompatible and Ru remains moderately to strongly compatible under all conditions studied. At all oxygen fugacities, at the Pt-PtS sulfur buffer, Ir and Rh remain highly compatible in mss. In the single run at both low oxygen and low sulfur fugacity Ir and Rh were found to be strongly incompatible in mss. At QFM and Pt-PtS the partition coefficient for Ni shows weak temperature dependence, ranging from 0.66 at 1050°C to 0.94 at 950°C. At lower oxygen and sulfur fugacity Ni showed much more incompatible behavior. Comparison with the compositions of sulfide ores from the Lindsley deposit of Sudbury suggests that the sulfide magma evolved under conditions close to the QFM and Pt-PtS buffers. The compatible behavior observed for Ni, Ir and Rh at Lindsley and most other magmatic sulfide deposits hosted by mafic rocks requires equilibration of mss and sulfide liquid at moderately high sulfur fugacity and low temperatures near to the solidus of the sulfide magma. We argue that this constraint requires that the sulfide magma must have evolved by equilibrium crystallization, rather than fractional segregation of mss as is commonly supposed.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/412
Item ID: 412
Keywords: copper; fractionation; gold; magma chemistry; nickel; partitioning; platinum group element
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Earth Sciences
Date: 10 September 2005
Date Type: Publication

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