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Platinum metals in magmatic sulfide ores

Science

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Abstract

Platinum-group elements (PGE) are mined predominantly from deposits that have formed by the segregation of molten iron-nickel-copper sulfides from silicate magmas. The absolute concentrations of PGE in sulfides from different deposits vary over a range of five orders of magnitude, whereas those of other chalcophile elements vary by factors of only 2 to 100. However, the relative proportions of the different PGE in a given deposit are systematically related to the nature of the parent magma. The absolute and relative concentrations of PGE in magmatic sulfides are explained in terms of the degree of partial melting of mantle peridotite required to produce the parent magma and the processes of batch equilibration and fractional segregation of sulfides. The Republic of South Africa and the U.S.S.R. together possess more than 97 percent of the world PGE reserves, but significant undeveloped resources occur in North America. The Stillwater complex in Montana is perhaps the most important example. Copyright ?? 1980 AAAS.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Platinum metals in magmatic sulfide ores
Series title:
Science
Volume
208
Issue:
4451
Year Published:
1980
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
1417
Last page:
1424
Number of Pages:
8