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Platinum–palladium–gold mineralization in the Nkenja mafic–ultramafic body, Ubendian metamorphic belt, Tanzania

Evans, David M., Barrett, Finn M., Prichard, Hazel Margaret and Fisher, Peter Charles 2011. Platinum–palladium–gold mineralization in the Nkenja mafic–ultramafic body, Ubendian metamorphic belt, Tanzania. Mineralium Deposita 47 (1-2) , pp. 175-196. 10.1007/s00126-011-0353-8

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Abstract

Significant and widespread enrichment of platinum, palladium, and gold has been found within the Nkenja mafic–ultramafic body located in southern Tanzania in the central part of the Ubendian metamorphic belt. This body is dominated by partly serpentinized chromitiferous dunite, wehrlite and olivine clinopyroxenite, which are tectonically intercalated with amphibolitized metagabbro. The dunites contain both disseminated and seam-type chrome spinel with an Al-rich composition. The seams are thin, impersistent and, together with enclosing dunite, often show deformation at granulite facies conditions. Forsterite contents of olivine in the dunite range from 87 to 92 mol%. Clinopyroxene in wehrlite and clinopyroxenite is diopsidic with significant contents of Al and Na. Clinopyroxene forms irregular bands and crosscutting veins in the dunite, as well as occurring as weakly dispersed isolated grains in the dunite. Elevated levels of Pt, Pd and Au occur in all ultramafic rocks, but not amphibolitized metagabbro, and there is a weak correlation between high abundances of platinum-group element (PGE) and chromitites. PGE values are erratically distributed and are associated with trace to minor amounts of disseminated sulphides (pyrrhotite, pentlandite, heazlewoodite, chalcopyrite and bornite). The abundances of all PGE are consistently anomalous, suggesting a primary igneous control by sulphides in ultramafic rock. However, there has evidently been a strong metamorphic and/or hydrothermal overprint on what was probably an original magmatic concentration of PGE-bearing sulphides. Geological mapping and petrological evidence, as well as the style of PGE sulphide mineralization, are consistent with the Nkenja ultramafic body being part of the crustal section of a dismembered Palaeoproterozoic ophiolite.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chromite – Dunite – Mafic–ultramafic – Nkenja – Ophiolite – Platinum–palladium – Tanzania
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 0026-4598
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2018 20:41
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/9938

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