This contribution presents the first detailed three-dimensional (3D) in situ analysis of samples from the Platinova Reef using high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (HRXCT) and 3D image processing and quantification coupled with microscopic and mineralogical investigations. Our HRXCT analyses reveal the complex textural relationships between Cu-rich sulfides (bulk composition close to bornite), skaergaardite (PdCu), Au-rich phases, silicates and Fe-Ti oxides and provide unequivocal textural evidences, not observed previously. The association in 3D between Cu-rich sulfide globules, PdCu alloy and ilmenite is inconsistent with a hydrothermal origin of the Cu-Pd mineralization. In contrast, our results combined with phase diagrams strongly support a primary magmatic origin for the Cu-Pd mineralization where Cu and Pd-rich, Fe-poor sulfide liquid represents a cumulus phase that forms by in-situ nucleation. These sulfide droplets and attached skaergaardite grains were trapped during the formation and crystallization of the Fe-Ti oxides. Subsequent, post-cumulus processes led to the partial to total dissolution of the sulfide not entirely enclosed by the Fe-Ti oxides (i.e., not protected from reaction) leading to the observed variability in Cu and Pd composition at the aggregate (sulfide. +. PdCu) scale and to the occurrence of free PdCu alloys. In contrast to the PdCu alloy, gold-bearing minerals are never observed entirely enclosed within the Fe-Ti oxide. Two hypotheses can be envisaged for the formation of the gold enriched layer in the upper part of the section. Gold may have either precipitated from high-temperature late magmatic Cl-rich fluids. Alternatively, gold may have been enriched during fractional crystallization after sulfide had been suppressed from the liquidus after the Pd layer crystallized and then deposited along redox barriers.
- Programområde 4: Mineralske råstoffer