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Cr-Ni-PGE in the Mafic-Ultramafic Enclaves Around ArsikereTavarkere Lineament, Karnataka

P V Sunder Raju1, S Madoom Hussain2, R K W Merkle3 and T Yellappa4


ABSTRACT
Cr-Ni-CuPGE deposits are known to occur in early Archaean mafic-ultramafic rocks. Early Archaean mafic-ultramafic (MUMF) rocks occur in the western Dharwar craton and range in size from small pods to schist belts.These MUMF pods consist mainly of meta-peridotites, tremolite-actinolite schists, serpentinites, amphibolites and metabasalts. Spinifex, nodular and ocelli textures are also present. The rocks have been subjected to greenschist and amphibolite facies metamorphism. Geochemical studies were undertaken to evaluate the possible occurrence of economically important elements in the mafic-ultramafic enclaves around the major Arsikere-Tavarkere lineament and surrounding gneissic terrain adjoining local shear zones that occur as discontinuous pods between Arsikere and Chennagiri. Talc-serpentine and tremoliteactinolite schists contain chromite which is rimmed by ferrit-chromite. A notable feature of these MUMF rocks is that they exhibit high MgO (22 - 40 per cent), total iron (8.34 - 10.01 per cent), Ni and Cr (~3000, 2800 ppm) contents,with some samples showing komatiitic affinity. The rare earth elements (REE) data show slightly fractionated patterns with enriched LREE (LREE/HREE ~5.0) and negative europium anomalies. The Pt and Pd values reach 6500 and 191 ppb. The MUMF rocks, especially those exhibiting high chromium contents and occurring near shear zones, are potential hosts for economic platinum group element (PGE) deposits.

INTRODUCTION
Platinum-group elements (PGE: Os, Ir, Ru, Rh, Pt, and Pd,) are useful geochemical indicators for understanding differentiation processes such as core-mantle segregation in the early stage of the Earths formation and core-mantle interactions during the Earths evolution (eg Morgan, 1986; Becker et al, 2006). An important prerequisite for understanding the differentiation processes in the Earths interior using PGE is to identify the phases that control the distribution of PGEs in the mantle. Recent studies have revealed that PGE in mafic-ultramafic rocks are highly concentrated in base-metal sulfides (ie Fe-Ni-Cu sulfides), thereby suggesting that the base-metal sulfides dominate and control the whole-rock PGE budget in the mantle. On the other hand, discrete platinum-group minerals, such as Pt-Ir-Os alloys and Ru-Os sulfides, have been detected in mafic and ultramafic rocks by scanning electron microprobe (SEM) analysis (Keays, Sewell and Mitchell, 1981; Lorand, Pattou and Gros, 1999; Lorand et al, in press; Luguet, Lorand and Syeler, 2003; Luguet et al, 2007) and by laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) analysis (Alard et al, 2000; Lorand
1. Scientist, Geological Studies Division, National Geophysical Research Institute, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500 606, India. Email: perumala.raju@gmail.com Retired Scientist, Geological Studies Division, National Geophysical Research Institute, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500 606, India. Email: madoomhussain@yahoo.com Professor, Bushveld Intelligence Centre, Department of Geology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa. Email: roland.merkle@up.ac.za Scientist, Geological Studies Division, National Geophysical Research Institute, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500 606, India. Email: yellappa_thoti@yahoo.co.uk

and Alard, 2001; Luguet et al, 2001, 2004). Platinum group minerals are thought to play only a minor role in controlling the PGE budget in the mantle because their modal abundance is extremely low (Luguet et al, 2007). Platinum (Pt) is thought to be an exception because this element is often strongly depleted in base-metal sulfides, but is concentrated in discrete platinumgroup minerals (eg Alard et al, 2000; Lorand et al, in press). Ni, PGE and Au are siderophile, while Cu and Ag are chalcophile (Mason, 1996). PGE have higher partitioning coefficient into Fe alloy than Ni and Cu, which suggests that the mantle and crust will be depleted in these metals relative to C1 chondrite. Normalising metal values to primitive mantle would eliminate the effects of core segregation (Barnes and Maier, 1999). The PGE together with chromium and nickel are widely used in the electronic, auto catalyst and jewellery industries because of their unique physical and chemical properties. The global platinum demand (including India) rose by 8.6 per cent to 7.03 million ounces (Johnson Matthey, 2008), and an urgent need therefore exists to identify geologically favourable environments in which PGE mineralisation might occur. Although PGE are reported to occur in a variety of geological settings and associations,they are mostly concentrated in mafic-ultramafic intrusions, layered complexes and flows of intra-plate magmas associated with continental rift systems. Similar tectonic environments, ideal for the development of PGE are expected to occur in the Precambrian greenstone belts of South India that host ultramafic rocks. Devaraju, Alapieti and Kaukonen (2004), GSI (2004) have reported occurrences of PGE in ultramafic lenses in the granitoids along the south-eastern flanks of the Shimoga supracrustal belt. The geochemistry of some of the schist belts, including Holenarasipur, Nuggihalli and Krishnarajpet, have been studied in detail (Hussain and Naqvi, 1982, 1983), but studies with an emphasis on PGE have yet to be carried out in the MUMF enclaves and pods in the gneisses surrounding the major greenstone belts. The study was undertaken:

to determine the possible occurrence of PGE; to characterise their chemical compositions; to understand PGE mineralisation; and on the recognition of major lineaments/shear zones, faults, litho-contacts, major structural trends/fabrics, etc.

Representative samples collected from the MUMF bodies include metaperidotites, serpentine-talc rocks, tremolite- actinolite chlorite schists, biotitite (glimmerite) veins, amphibolite, metabasalts and gabbros were studied.

GEOLOGICAL SETTING
Mafic-ultramafic (MUMF) enclaves of different sizes and shapes occur to the east of the Bababudan-Nallur lineament adjacent to the Arsikere-Tavarkere shear zone. They also occur as lenses in the surrounding gneissic terrain. These suites of Archaean age rocks occur as discontinuous pods around Arsikere up to Antargatta north of the Vedavathi river (Figures 1 and 4). The enclaves vary in size from tens of metres up to 4 km. They are aligned in a general NNW trend and exhibit steep dips in the Antarghatta belt north-west of Arsikere up to the southern part of the Shimoga supracrustal belt. Both intrusive and extrusive ultramafic bodies have been reported in the Peninsular Gneissic

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Ninth International Congress for Applied Mineralogy

Brisbane, QLD, 8 - 10 September 2008

CR-NI-PGE IN THE MAFIC-ULTRAMAFIC ENCLAVES AROUND ARSIKERE-TAVARKERE LINEAMENT, KARNATAKA

FIG 2b - Structural interpretation of LANDSAT imagery with compilation of published maps.

FIG 3a - SRTM image around Bababudan and Chitradurga schist belts.

Detailed petrography was undertaken on samples from Donkarnahalli, Ranghapura, Gajjekatte and Bairgondanahalli. Their mineral assemblages consist of tremolite, actinolite, talc, antigorite, serpentine, magnetite and ilmenite. Their sulfide assemblages consist of chalcopyrite, pyrite and pentlandite. The

presence of chromite along the grain boundaries of amphiboles was observed in samples from Bairgondanahalli and Ranghapura. The martitisation of rims on ferrit-chromite is observed in few sections. The modal ilmenite content exceeds 65 per cent. The presence of sulfides (pentlandite and millerite) as small

Ninth International Congress for Applied Mineralogy

Brisbane, QLD, 8 - 10 September 2008

P V SUNDER RAJU et al

FIG 3b - Structural interpretation of SRTM image.

FIG 5a - Field photograph showing deformed ultramafic bodies by NW-SE shear zone.

FIG 4 - Regional geology around the ultramafic bodies.

minute grains (0.13 - 5.23 m) dispersed in silicates is also a characteristic feature of the Ranghapura and Bairgondanahalli samples. Serpentinisation is predominant and the fractures are often filled with serpentine and chlorite, resulting in mesh-like secondary textural features.

GEOCHEMISTRY
Samples were chosen for PGE, major, trace and REE analyses on the basis of their critical location with respect to the shear zones

and their opaque mineral content. Gold, palladium and platinum were determined by lead-sulfide fire assay method (Table 1). High values of up to 191 ppb Pd and 6500 ppb Pt were found in certain samples adjacent to the shear zones. The samples exhibiting high PGE contents are derived from a lithological unit consisting of talc-actinolite-chlorite mineral assemblages. The texture of this unit ranges from massive to pseudo-porphyritic (with elongated crystals of actinolite) occurring in layers. The magnesium number (Mg#) is also high and ranges from 0.74 to 0.94 with an average of 0.87. A few samples show komatiitic affinity with high MgO and CaO/Al2O3. These ultramafic rocks also contain relatively large amounts of chromium (8000 ppm) and nickel (3000 ppm). The REE content of the studied mafic-ultramafic rocks varies from 2.63 to 84.71 ppm with 9.44 times chondrite (average) with LREE 1.73 - 60.00 and HREE 0.8 - 10. The REE patterns show slightly fractionated

Brisbane, QLD, 8 - 10 September 2008

Ninth International Congress for Applied Mineralogy

CR-NI-PGE IN THE MAFIC-ULTRAMAFIC ENCLAVES AROUND ARSIKERE-TAVARKERE LINEAMENT, KARNATAKA

FIG 5b - Microphotographs showing ocelli and clusters of iron oxide.

TABLE 1
PGE analysis in mafic-ultramafic around Arsikere.
PGE analysis in ppb Sample No UM25 UM28 UM29 UM49 UM54 UM56 UM60 UM68 UM71 UM87 UM89 UM93 UM94 UM95 UM96 UM97 UM98 UM110 UM120 UM154 UM159 UM203 Max Au 10 20 30 1000 2250 1000 30 20 2220 2320 1250 3200 210 1220 980 780 560 650 7 10.7 5 0.01 3210 Pd 1 7 6 1 7 6 1 1 25 1 191 56 6 2 1 2 3 5 78 12 6 1 191 Pt 1000 1500 2200 3600 4500 220 556 1523 1800 6500 2500 5800 1520 1620 880 852 782 689 76 120 56 122 6500 Pt+Pd Pt/Pt+Pd Au/Pt+Pd 1001 1507 2206 3601 4507 226 557 1524 1825 6501 2691 5856 1526 1622 881 854 785 694 154 132 62 123 1 1 1 1 1 0.97 1 1 0.99 1 0.93 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 0.99 0.49 0.91 0.9 0.99 0.01 0.013 0.014 0.278 0.499 4.425 0.054 0.013 1.216 0.357 0.465 0.546 0.138 0.752 1.112 0.913 0.713 0.937 0.045 0.081 0.081 0 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 PVS-5 Serpentine + Py PVS-6 STPK KCS-2 Metacherts + Py ALD-2 Ultramafic rock with chromite ALD-8 Seprpentine + chromite ALD 7/10 Copper ore ALD-6 TTS +Cr 3 4 PVS-3 Norite PVS-4 Serpentinite 1 2 PVS-1 Metaperidotite PVS-2 MetaNorite FIG 5c - REE pattern of mafic-ultramafic rocks.

TABLE 2
Showing the concentrations of Pt+Pd in mafic-ultramafic rocks of Kalyadi/Aladahalli schist belts.
S No Sample No GPS data N13.14'.288' E 76.09.952 N13.14.040' E 76.11.062" --do-N13.13.326" E76.11.131" N13.13.503" E76.11.046" Kadihalli Kalyadi mines N13.08.285" E 76.21.48" N13.08.973" E 76.21.287" N13.08.468 E 76 22.347' ---do--Pt+Pd (ppb) 150 60 120 150 90 180 140 150 140 260 220 Pt/Pd ratio 7 5 11 4 8 8 13 7 13 8 21

patterns with enriched LREE (LREE/HREE ~5). (Figure 5c). Hornblende in felsic liquids may account for LREE enrichment (Rollinson, 1993).The Pt contents of these rocks are all higher than Pd. The gabbro-norite intrusives of Kalyadi contain lower PGE contents than the norites occurring within layered igneous complexes such as in the Bushveld, South Africa and the Stillwater Complex, Montana (Cawthorn, 1999). It was also noted that the cobalt-bearing cupriferous metacherts and siliceous schists at Kalyadi and Aladahalli show slightly elevated

contents of Pt + Pd (140 ppb) and (260 ppb) respectively and low gold contents (10 ppb) (Table 2).

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P V SUNDER RAJU et al

Becker, H, Horan, M F, Walker, R J, Gao, S, Lorand, J P and Rudnick, R L, 2006. Highly siderophile element composition of the Earths primitive upper mantle: Constraints from new data on peridotite All magmatic Ni, Cu and PGE sulfide deposits, whether massifs and xenoliths, Geochim Cosmochim Acta, 70:4528-4550. associated with chromitite or not, are spatially and genetically Bouhallier, H, Chardon, D and Choukroune, P, 1995. Strain patterns in related to bodies of mafic or ultramafic rocks (Naldrett and Archaean dome-and-basin structures: The Dharwar craton (Karnataka, Cabri. , 1976), Such deposits form when mantle derived mafic and South India), Earth Planet Sci Lett, 135:57-75 ultramafic magmas become saturated in sulfide and segregate Bouhallier, H, Choukroune, P and Ballerve, M, 1993. Dapirism, bulk immiscible sulfide liquid, triggered by magma mixing or homogeneous shortening and transcurrent shearing in the Archaean interaction with crustal rocks (Arndt, Lesher, Czamanske, 2005). Dharwar craton: The Holenarsipur area, Southern India, Precambrian The sulfides generally represent a very low volume of their host Res, 63:43-58. rocks and are dominated by pyrrhotite, pentlandite and Campbell, I H, Naldrett, A J and Barnes, S J, 1983. A model for the chalcopyrite. Although geochemical studies were carried by origin of the platinum-rich sulfide horizons in the Bushveld and Devaraju, Alapieti and Kaukonen (2004) and Paranthaman and Stillwater Complexes, Journal of Petrology, 24:133-165. Vidyadharan (2005), the available data are scanty and provide Cawthorn, R G, 1999. The platinum and palladium resources of the little information on trace elements and REE. The ratio of Cu:Ni Bushveld complex, South African Journal of Science, 95:481-489. in magmatic sulfide ores relates to the composition of the magma Chardon, D, Choukroune, P and Jayananda, M 1998. Sinking of Dharwar from which it has separated with Cu increasing and Ni basin (South India): Implications for Archaean tectonics, Precambrian decreasing concomitantly with decreasing MgO content, ie Res, 91:15-39. fractionation (Naldrett and Lehmann, 1988; Merkle , 1992). The scarcity of T C, Alapieti, T T and Kaukonen, R J, 2004. Geochemistry of Devaraju, pyrrhotite in relation to pentlandite and chalcopyrite is common ultramafic lenses in the granitoids of south eastern flanks of Shimoga and usually reflects the loss of Fe and S during post-magmatic Supracrustal belt (Karnataka) with a note on the distribution of events, thus increasing base metal sulfides (eg Ni and Cu) Platinum Group Elements and Mineralogy, Journal of Geological Society of India, 63:371-386. relative to Fe-sulfide. The present study has provided an insight into the presumed presence of minute grains of PGMs in these GSI Newsletter, 2004. Archaean komatiite and layered ultramafic complex from an older Schist belt, special issue of GSI, SR News, rocks. The limited data on the trace element and REE data are 209(2), 21(1):95-96. insufficient to draw authentic conclusions concerning the PGEs. Hussain, S M and Naqvi, S M, 1982. Geological, geophysical and However, the study has shown the following: geochemical studies over the Holenarsipur Schist Belt, Dharwar Presence of chromite inclusions in hornblende laths and in Craton, India, Journal of Geological Society of India, 23:19-31. tremolite actinolite schists. Hussain, S M and Naqvi, S M, 1983. Geological, geophysical and The BMS assemblage consists of pentlandite,millerite, chalcopyrite geochemical studies over the Holenarsipur Schist Belt, Dharwar Craton, India, Memoir Geological Society of India, 4:73-95. and pyrrhotite. In addition, grains of marcasite, ilmenite, Jayananda, M, Chardon, D, Peucat, J J and Capdevila, R, 2006. 2.61 Ga magnetite and millerite are also present. potassic granites and crustal reworking in the Western Dharwar The presence of spinifex texture peridotitic komatiites Craton (India): Tectonic, geochronologic and geochemical (STPK), nodular, ocelli and pillows are identified and signify constraints, Precambrian Res, 150:1-26. early magmatic processes. Johnson and Matthey, 2008. Platinum 2008, 57 p. Keays, R R, Sewell, D K B and Mitchell, R H, 1981. Platinum and Globally the majority of PGE deposits are confined to the palladium minerals in upper mantle-derived lherzolites, Nature, presence of chromite and this might have acted as principal 294:646-648. PGE collector in the mineralised zones of the study area. In Li, C, Maier, W D and De Waal, S A, 2001. Magmatic Ni-Cu versus PGE the surrounding areas sulfides are regarded as the primary deposits: Contrasting genetic controls and exploration implications, collector of PGE and sulfide precipitation is the key South African Journal of Geology, 104:309-318. controlling factor for their development (Devaraju, Alapieti Lorand, J P and Alard, O, 2001. Platinum-group element abundances in and Kaukonen, 2004). At this stage, it is not possible to the uppermantle: New constraints from in situ and whole-rock explain the PGE content in the study area. analyses of Massif Central xenoliths (France), Geochim Cosmochim Systematic studies into the occurrence of PGE in the Acta, 65:2789-2806. mafic-ultramafic enclaves around Arsikere-Tavarkere Lorand, J P, Luguet, A, Alard, O, Bezos, A and Meisel, T, in press. 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DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS

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CR-NI-PGE IN THE MAFIC-ULTRAMAFIC ENCLAVES AROUND ARSIKERE-TAVARKERE LINEAMENT, KARNATAKA

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