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Origin of placer laurite from Borneo: Se and As contents, and S isotopic compositions

  • K. H. Hattori (a1), L. J. Cabri (a2), B. Johanson (a3) and M. L. Zientek (a4)

Abstract

We examined grains of the platinum-group mineral, laurite (RuS2), from the type locality, Pontyn River, Tanah Laut, Borneo, and from the Tambanio River, southeast Borneo. The grains show a variety of morphologies, including euhedral grains with conchoidal fractures and pits, and spherical grains with no crystal faces, probably because of abrasion. Inclusions are rare, but one grain contains Ca-Al amphibole inclusions, and another contains an inclusion of chalcopyrite+bornite+pentlandite+heazlewoodite (Ni3S2) that is considered to have formed by a two-stage process of exsolution and crystallization from a once homogeneous Fe-Cu-Ni sulphide melt.

All grains examined are solid solutions of Ru and Os with Ir (2.71 –11.76 wt.%) and Pd (0.31–0.66 wt.%). Their compositions are similar to laurite from ophiolitic rocks. The compositions show broad negative correlations between Os and Ir, between As and Ir, and between As (0.4 –0.74 wt.%) and Se (140 to 240 ppm). Laurite with higher Os contains more Se and less Ir and As. The negative correlations between Se and As may be attributed to their occupancy of the S site, but the compositional variations of Os, Ir and As probably reflect the compositional variation of rocks where the crystals grew.

Ratios of S/Se in laurite show a narrow spread from 1380 to 2300, which are similar to ratios for sulphides from the refractory sub-arc mantle. Sulphur isotopic compositions of laurite are independent of chemical compositions and morphologies and are similar to the chondritic value of 0%. The data suggest that S in laurite has not undergone redox changes and originated from the refractory mantle. The data support the formation of laurite in the residual mantle or in a magma generated from such a refractory mantle, followed by erosion after the obduction of the host ultramafic rocks.

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Origin of placer laurite from Borneo: Se and As contents, and S isotopic compositions

  • K. H. Hattori (a1), L. J. Cabri (a2), B. Johanson (a3) and M. L. Zientek (a4)

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