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Geochemical Constraints on the Origin of the Ni–Cu Sulfide Ores in the Tejadillas Prospect (Cortegana Igneous Complex, SW Spain)



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Piña García, Rubén and Gervilla, Fernando and Ortega Menor, Lorena and Lunar Hernández, Rosario (2012) Geochemical Constraints on the Origin of the Ni–Cu Sulfide Ores in the Tejadillas Prospect (Cortegana Igneous Complex, SW Spain). Resource geology (Tokyo. 1998), 62 (3). pp. 263-280. ISSN 1344-1698

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1751-3928


After the discovery of theAguablanca ore deposit (the unique Ni–Cu mine operating in SW Europe), a number of mafic-ultramafic intrusions bearing Ni–Cu magmatic sulfides have been found in the Ossa–Morena Zone of the Iberian Massif (SW Iberian Peninsula). The Tejadillas prospect is one of these intrusions, situated close to the border between the Ossa–Morena Zone and the South Portuguese Zone of the Iberian Massif. This prospect contains an average grade of 0.16 wt%Ni and 0.08 wt%Cu with peaks of 1.2 wt%Ni and 0.2 wt%Cu. It forms part of the Cortegana Igneous Complex, a group of small mafic-ultramafic igneous bodies located 65 km west of the Aguablanca deposit. In spite of good initial results, exploration work has revealed that sulfide mineralization is much less abundant than in Aguablanca. A comparative study using whole-rock geochemical data between Aguablanca aand Tejadillas shows that the Tejadillas igneous rocks present a lower degree of crustal contamination than those of Aguablanca. The low crustal contamination of the Tejadillas magmas inhibited the assimilation of significant amounts of crustal sulfur to the silicate magmas, resulting in the sparse formation of sulfides. In addition, Tejadillas sulfides are strongly depleted in PGE, with total PGE contents ranging from 14 to 81 ppb, the sum of Pd and Pt, since Os, Ir, Ru and Rh are usually below or close to the detection limit (2 ppb). High Cu/Pd ratios (9700–146,000) and depleted mantle-normalized PGE patterns suggest that the Tejadillas sulfides formed from PGE-depleted silicate magmas. Modeling has led us to establish that these sulfides segregated under R-factors between 1000 and 10,000 from a silicate melt that previously experienced 0.015% of sulfide extraction. All these results highlight the importance of contamination processes with S-rich crustal rocks and multiple episodes of sulfide segregations in the genesis of high-tenor Ni–Cu–PGE ore deposits in mafic-ultramafic intrusions of the region.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Aguablanca, Cortegana Igneous Complex, crustal contamination, Ni–Cu sulfides, platinum-group elements, Tejadillas
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Petrology
ID Code:44890
Deposited On:02 Oct 2017 11:55
Last Modified:11 Dec 2018 08:46

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