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Typology of mafic-ultramafic complexes in Hoggar, Algeria: Implications for PGE, chromite and base-metal sulphide mineralisation

Abstract : With the aims to bring new information about the typology and mineral potential of mafic-ultramafic complexes of the Hoggar, detailed petrological and chemical characterisation were performed on serpentinite bands and layered intrusions. The serpentinite bands locally contain pods, layers and disseminations of chromite showing all the characteristics (mode of occurrence, composition, nature and composition of silicate inclusions, etc.) of an "ophiolite" chromite. Some chromite concentrations in the serpentinite bands also contain inclusions of platinum-group minerals (described for the first time in the Hoggar) such as ruarsite (RuAsS), an Os, Ru, Ir alloy, and complex Os, Ir, Ru sulfarsenides and arsenides. The serpentinite probably corresponds to remnants of oceanic lithosphere-more specifically from the upper part of the mantle sequence, generally where chromitite pods are most abundant, and the basal part of the cumulate series with stratiform chromite concentrations and marks suture zones; the rest of the oceanic crust has not been preserved. Considering the typology of the serpentinites bands, their potential for precious- and base-metals is suspected to be low. Of the two layered mafic-ultramafic intrusions that were studied, the In Tedeini intrusion has a wehrlite core intruded by olivine gabbronorite and surrounded by an olivine gabbro aureole; three orthocumulate units, containing disseminated magmatic base-metal sulphides and with a plagioclase composition varying around An(58.1) and An(63.3), that could have been derived from a single magma. The East Laouni intrusion has a basal unit of olivine gabbronorite with specific silicate oxide intergrowths, and an upper unit of more differentiated gabbro, both units containing disseminated magmatic Ni-Cu sulphides indicative of early sulphide immiscibility; the mineral composition of these two cumulate units indicates that they also could have been derived from a single magmatic episode. The characteristic of the two intrusions appears very favourable for the presence of a significant Ni-Cu-(PGE) sulphide mineralisation.
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Soumis le : vendredi 19 juillet 2013 - 10:19:21
Dernière modification le : mercredi 3 août 2022 - 04:02:33




Thierry Augé, Marc Joubert, Laurent Bailly. Typology of mafic-ultramafic complexes in Hoggar, Algeria: Implications for PGE, chromite and base-metal sulphide mineralisation. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 2012, 63, pp.32-47. ⟨10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2011.10.002⟩. ⟨hal-00846419⟩



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