Process Mineralogy of Samples from the Wellgreen Cu-Ni-Pt-Pd Deposit, Yukon

Abstract The mineralogy of samples from the Wellgreen Cu-Ni-Pt-Pd deposit, Yukon Territory, is complex and the metals of interest are contained within fine-grained minerals which vary in size and mineral associations from sample to sample.
The major Ni carriers are pentlandite and violarite; the major Cu carrier is chalcopyrite. About 70% of the major Ni carriers and 78% of the major Cu carrier will be liberated at a grind of 80% -26.7 /on (-500 mesh) for typical low-grade gabbro (West zone, sample No. 1). For typical "clinopyroxenite" (West zone, sample No. 2) and typical "clinopyroxene-rich peridotite" (East zone, sample No. 3) the liberation would be 71% and 65% for Ni, 74% and 60% for Cu, respectively. Fine grinding, however, cannot liberate the Ni contained in silicates and pyrrhotite, estimated to total 24.5% for typical low-grade gabbro (West zone, sample No. 1), 15% for typical "clinopyroxenite" (West zone, sample No. 2), and 12% for typical "clinopyroxene-rich peridotite" (East zone, sample No. 3).
The principal Pt carrier (sperrylite) varies considerably in grain-size between samples and fine grinding, required to liberate the major Ni and Cu carriers, may be counterproductive in samples where sperrylite is relatively coarse-grained, as some would then be unrecovered (e.g. sample No. 1). In addition, sperrylite in samples No. 2 and No. 3 is closely associated with magnetite.
Palladium occurs in diverse ways. It occurs in the form of several Pd minerals (e.g. sudburyite, testibiopalladite, merenskyite), as a replacement for Ni in several tellurides, antimonides and tel-lurantimonides (e.g. melonite), or as very low concentrations in pentlandite (up to 34 ppm), chalcopyrite (up to 9 ppm), and pyrrhotite (up to 5.6 ppm). Palladium minerals and Pd-bearing minerals are strongly associated with chalcopyrite in sample No. 1 and will thus report to a Cu concentrate. However, 22% of the total Pd is in solid solution in pentlandite in this sample and will thus report to the Ni concentrate. In samples No. 2 and No. 3, less Pd occurs in solid solution in pentlandite, and the PGM are distributed mainly among pentlandite, chalcopyrite, and magnetite in sample No. 2, and among pentlandite, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, and magnetite in sample No. 3. Therefore, the feasibility of magnetic concentration should be investigated for samples like No. 2 and No. 3, in order to improve Pt and Pd recoveries.
Rhodium was found to occur as rare hoUingworthite, in sparse cobaltite (up to 2.7%) and, as low concentrations in chalcopyrite (to 10 ppm) and pentlandite (to 12 ppm) by proton microprobe. . Ruthenium was determined by proton microprobe analyses to occur in pentlandite (up to 13 ppm) and chalcopyrite (up to 10 ppm), in addition to rare laurite and Re alloy.
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Summary: The Geological Society has its own quarterly journal called Exploration
and Mining Geology, for the publication of Canadian and international papers on
applied aspects of mineral exploration and exploitation, including mineral
deposit geology, geochemistry, and geophysics, mining geology, mineral resource
appraisal and estimation methods, environmental geology, and case histories. The
editor of the journal is Jeremy P. Richards
Publication: Exploration & Mining Geology
Issue: 2
Volume: 2
Year: 1993
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Summary: The Mobrun VMS deposit in northwestern Quebec does not fit the classic Noranda-type model, but exhibits characteristics more consistent with a Mattabi-type deposit. The orebodies are underlain by fragmental volcanic rocks indicative of explosive volcanism in shallow water. Felsic volcanic rocks are more abundant than mafic rocks. Alteration assemblages comprise chlorite, carbonate, sericite, and quartz. Broad semi-conformable alteration occurs high in the footwall to the 1100 lens. Mobrun...
Publication: Exploration & Mining Geology
Author(s): ADRIENNE C.L. LAROCQUE, C. JAY HODGSON
Issue: 2
Volume: 2
Year: 1993
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Summary: The Stewart mining camp has a long history of precious and base metal mining. The camp is abundantly mineralized, with more than 200 widespread, varied, vein prospects, deposits and orebodies. These show wide variations in the mineralogy of ore, gangue and alteration assemblages, and wide variations in textures and structural settings. This report establishes the timing of the different metallogenic epochs and suggests a specific exploration application for systematic lead isotope analyses.
G...
Publication: Exploration & Mining Geology
Author(s): DANI J. ALLDRICK, COLIN I. GODWIN, ALASTAIR J. SINCLAIR
Issue: 2
Volume: 2
Year: 1993
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Summary: Borate minerals, such as colemanite, ulexite and borax, have been reported in Tertiary continental basins of West Anatolia, Turkey, and Samos Island, Greece.
Tuffaceous rocks interbedded with the berates are rich in authigenic silicate minerals such as zeolites, potassium feldspar and opal-CT, all of which have a genetic association with the borates. Chemical analyses of the tuffaceous rocks show variation in major elements due to the varying percentage of carbonaceous, detrital, and volcanic...
Publication: Exploration & Mining Geology
Author(s): C. HELVACI, M.G. STAMATAKIS, C. ZAGOUROGLOU, J. KANARIS
Issue: 2
Volume: 2
Year: 1993
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Summary: Buried, possibly mineralized granite cupolas at the Silsilah tin deposit in Saudi Arabia (lat. 26°06' N, long. 42°40' E) have been successfully located using a closely spaced electric-field-ratio profiling technique. In this study, electrical fields at 27 and 270 Hz across grounded electrodes spaced 50 m apart were measured along six traverses. This method is in-terpretable by inspection, unlike the dipole-dipole technique, which requires mathematical modeling for interpretation.
In the study...
Publication: Exploration & Mining Geology
Author(s): ROBERT J. KAMILLI, CHARLES J. ZABLOCKI
Issue: 2
Volume: 2
Year: 1993
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Summary: The NERCO Con Mine is situated in the amphibolite fades aureole of the Western Plutonic Complex overprinting the Yellowknife Greenstone Belt. Metamorphic grade of the upright monoclinal basaltic succession decreases from hornblende-amphibolite facies along the border of the batholith to greenschist facies. Metamorphic isograds, subparalleling the faulted margin of the batholith, transect volcanic stratigraphy and coincide with major gold-bearing shears.
Gold mineralization is confined to...
Publication: Exploration & Mining Geology
Author(s): D.W. McDONALD, R.L. HAUSER
Issue: 2
Volume: 2
Year: 1993
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Summary: Many water inflows in Saskatchewan potash mines are linked to salt anomalies. Potash ore and three anomalies in the PCS Cory potash mine in the Patience Lake Member of the Prairie Evaporite Formation were studied to understand the processes involved in their formation. Another goal was to find geological indicators of the proximity of anomalies. A geological model that relates the potash to the salt anomalies has been developed.
Up to five post-burial fades may be recognized. These range from...
Publication: Exploration & Mining Geology
Author(s): CHRISTOPHER BOYS
Issue: 2
Volume: 2
Year: 1993
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