Chromites from two horizons of the Sukinda area (India) marked as ‘grey ore’ and ‘brown ore’ zones have been studied by 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy, which revealed that both chromite types are oxidised and have a type of disordered spinel structure in which octahedral sites are occupied by Fe2+ ions.
The spectra of the grey ore sample can be fitted to three doublets corresponding to Fe2+ (A), Fe3+ (A) and Fe2+ (B) sites. This sample is less oxidised than the brown ore, in which progressive oxidation in the magmatic (?) stage led to the complete conversion of Fe2+ in A sites to Fe3+. The spectra of the brown ore are characterised by two doublets correpsonding to two tetrahedral (A) sites of Fe3+ with different next-nearest neighbour configurations and a third doublet for Fe2+ at the B site. The brown ores have higher chromium and Fe3+ content and have lesser amounts of Ni and Al in comparison to the grey ores. Megascopically, the former shows larger crystal sizes. The high Fe3+ content in the brown ore suggests that this type of chromite was formed in a region of high ƒ
in the magmatic environment. This perhaps occurred at the part of the mantle where the temperature was higher and the rate of cooling was slower than that of the grey ores which crystallised in the magmatic melt.