Nickel tenor variations between Archaean komatiite-associated nickel sulphide deposits, Kambalda ore field, Western Australia: the metamorphic modification model revisited

Bill Stone, Mehrdad Heydari, Zoran Seat

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    Geochemical data for 870 ore samples of 14 nickel sulphide (NiS) deposits from throughout the major Archaean Kambalda ore field, Western Australia, reveal highly heterogeneous Ni tenor (wt% Ni in 100 wt% sulphide) variation that is difficult to explain solely by magmatic processes. The Ni tenor values for the deposits range from 6.2 wt% Ni (Helmut deposit) to 19.7 wt% Ni (Carnilya Hill deposit), close to the range for within single deposits (9.7-19.3 ewt% Ni). Contents of Ni and platinum-group elements (PGE) broadly increase with decreasing Fe and with increasing abundance of metamorphic pyrite+magnetite+silicates. In turn, the abundance of the metamorphic phases appears to be complexly related to structural setting, metamorphic grade, alteration type, and proximity to felsic intrusion. Chondrite-normalised multi-element plots of deposit compositions reveal relative depletions in Au, As, Bi, and Te.The relationship of increasing Ni content with secondary phase abundance indicates a strong role for metamorphic modification in the tenor variation. Replacement of pyrrhotite by pyrite+magnetite+chlorite during oxidation reduced the abundance of Fe sulphide relative to Ni sulphide and increased the Ni tenor of the residual sulphide. The extent of the oxidation reflects the extent of alteration fluid ingress along deformation structures and fabrics during talc-carbonate alteration, regional metamorphism, and felsic intrusion related to D3. The relative depletions of Au, As, Bi and Te combined with relative enrichments of these metals in nearby orogenic gold deposits mean that NiS deposits could represent metal reservoirs for Archaean gold hydrothermal systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)295-316
    JournalMineralogy and Petrology
    Volume82
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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    Ore deposits
    komatiite
    Sulfides
    Nickel
    ore deposit
    sulfides
    Archean
    nickel
    deposits
    minerals
    sulfide
    Ferrosoferric Oxide
    Ores
    Metals
    Gold deposits
    Talc
    Silicates
    Oxidation
    magnetite
    Carbonates

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    @article{1e3ba96e65e044b4a62f7651090bda4d,
    title = "Nickel tenor variations between Archaean komatiite-associated nickel sulphide deposits, Kambalda ore field, Western Australia: the metamorphic modification model revisited",
    abstract = "Geochemical data for 870 ore samples of 14 nickel sulphide (NiS) deposits from throughout the major Archaean Kambalda ore field, Western Australia, reveal highly heterogeneous Ni tenor (wt{\%} Ni in 100 wt{\%} sulphide) variation that is difficult to explain solely by magmatic processes. The Ni tenor values for the deposits range from 6.2 wt{\%} Ni (Helmut deposit) to 19.7 wt{\%} Ni (Carnilya Hill deposit), close to the range for within single deposits (9.7-19.3 ewt{\%} Ni). Contents of Ni and platinum-group elements (PGE) broadly increase with decreasing Fe and with increasing abundance of metamorphic pyrite+magnetite+silicates. In turn, the abundance of the metamorphic phases appears to be complexly related to structural setting, metamorphic grade, alteration type, and proximity to felsic intrusion. Chondrite-normalised multi-element plots of deposit compositions reveal relative depletions in Au, As, Bi, and Te.The relationship of increasing Ni content with secondary phase abundance indicates a strong role for metamorphic modification in the tenor variation. Replacement of pyrrhotite by pyrite+magnetite+chlorite during oxidation reduced the abundance of Fe sulphide relative to Ni sulphide and increased the Ni tenor of the residual sulphide. The extent of the oxidation reflects the extent of alteration fluid ingress along deformation structures and fabrics during talc-carbonate alteration, regional metamorphism, and felsic intrusion related to D3. The relative depletions of Au, As, Bi and Te combined with relative enrichments of these metals in nearby orogenic gold deposits mean that NiS deposits could represent metal reservoirs for Archaean gold hydrothermal systems.",
    author = "Bill Stone and Mehrdad Heydari and Zoran Seat",
    year = "2004",
    doi = "10.1007/s00710-004-0045-5",
    language = "English",
    volume = "82",
    pages = "295--316",
    journal = "Mineralogy and Petrology",
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    }

    Nickel tenor variations between Archaean komatiite-associated nickel sulphide deposits, Kambalda ore field, Western Australia: the metamorphic modification model revisited. / Stone, Bill; Heydari, Mehrdad; Seat, Zoran.

    In: Mineralogy and Petrology, Vol. 82, 2004, p. 295-316.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Nickel tenor variations between Archaean komatiite-associated nickel sulphide deposits, Kambalda ore field, Western Australia: the metamorphic modification model revisited

    AU - Stone, Bill

    AU - Heydari, Mehrdad

    AU - Seat, Zoran

    PY - 2004

    Y1 - 2004

    N2 - Geochemical data for 870 ore samples of 14 nickel sulphide (NiS) deposits from throughout the major Archaean Kambalda ore field, Western Australia, reveal highly heterogeneous Ni tenor (wt% Ni in 100 wt% sulphide) variation that is difficult to explain solely by magmatic processes. The Ni tenor values for the deposits range from 6.2 wt% Ni (Helmut deposit) to 19.7 wt% Ni (Carnilya Hill deposit), close to the range for within single deposits (9.7-19.3 ewt% Ni). Contents of Ni and platinum-group elements (PGE) broadly increase with decreasing Fe and with increasing abundance of metamorphic pyrite+magnetite+silicates. In turn, the abundance of the metamorphic phases appears to be complexly related to structural setting, metamorphic grade, alteration type, and proximity to felsic intrusion. Chondrite-normalised multi-element plots of deposit compositions reveal relative depletions in Au, As, Bi, and Te.The relationship of increasing Ni content with secondary phase abundance indicates a strong role for metamorphic modification in the tenor variation. Replacement of pyrrhotite by pyrite+magnetite+chlorite during oxidation reduced the abundance of Fe sulphide relative to Ni sulphide and increased the Ni tenor of the residual sulphide. The extent of the oxidation reflects the extent of alteration fluid ingress along deformation structures and fabrics during talc-carbonate alteration, regional metamorphism, and felsic intrusion related to D3. The relative depletions of Au, As, Bi and Te combined with relative enrichments of these metals in nearby orogenic gold deposits mean that NiS deposits could represent metal reservoirs for Archaean gold hydrothermal systems.

    AB - Geochemical data for 870 ore samples of 14 nickel sulphide (NiS) deposits from throughout the major Archaean Kambalda ore field, Western Australia, reveal highly heterogeneous Ni tenor (wt% Ni in 100 wt% sulphide) variation that is difficult to explain solely by magmatic processes. The Ni tenor values for the deposits range from 6.2 wt% Ni (Helmut deposit) to 19.7 wt% Ni (Carnilya Hill deposit), close to the range for within single deposits (9.7-19.3 ewt% Ni). Contents of Ni and platinum-group elements (PGE) broadly increase with decreasing Fe and with increasing abundance of metamorphic pyrite+magnetite+silicates. In turn, the abundance of the metamorphic phases appears to be complexly related to structural setting, metamorphic grade, alteration type, and proximity to felsic intrusion. Chondrite-normalised multi-element plots of deposit compositions reveal relative depletions in Au, As, Bi, and Te.The relationship of increasing Ni content with secondary phase abundance indicates a strong role for metamorphic modification in the tenor variation. Replacement of pyrrhotite by pyrite+magnetite+chlorite during oxidation reduced the abundance of Fe sulphide relative to Ni sulphide and increased the Ni tenor of the residual sulphide. The extent of the oxidation reflects the extent of alteration fluid ingress along deformation structures and fabrics during talc-carbonate alteration, regional metamorphism, and felsic intrusion related to D3. The relative depletions of Au, As, Bi and Te combined with relative enrichments of these metals in nearby orogenic gold deposits mean that NiS deposits could represent metal reservoirs for Archaean gold hydrothermal systems.

    U2 - 10.1007/s00710-004-0045-5

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    M3 - Article

    VL - 82

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    EP - 316

    JO - Mineralogy and Petrology

    JF - Mineralogy and Petrology

    SN - 0930-0708

    ER -