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Platinum Metals Rev., 1983, 27, (2), 80

Studies of Some Platinum Mineral Deposits

  • I.E.C.

A special issue of the journal Economic Geology devoted to the platinum-group elements has recently been published; it contains twenty-one of the thirty-nine papers presented at the Third International Platinum Symposium held in Pretoria, South Africa during July 1981 sponsored jointly by the Society of Economic Geologists and the Geological Society of South Africa. Two additional papers not read at the symposium are also incorporated in the issue (Econ. Geol., 1982, 77, (6)).

The most important platinum deposits occur in the Bushveld Igneous Complex of Southern Africa and are located in the Merensky Reef, the UG-2 chromitite layer and the Platreef. Many of the papers in the first half of this journal deal specifically with these deposits, the majority of them being based upon information obtained from drill cores or underground samples released by the mining companies for detailed investigation which have generated significant amounts of quantitative mineralogical and analytical data.

Recent work on compositional variations within and between five Sudbury ore deposits is presented but regrettably there is no contribution on the third great platinum producing area of the world, namely the Noril’sk-Talnakh combine in Siberia, U.S.S.R. However, a number of the smaller scientifically interesting areas of the world are featured including the important Stillwater Complex and the Thetford Ophiolites of North America, the Italian Ivrea-Verbano Basic Complex, the New Caledonian chromitites, and the platinum-group elements in the Polish Zechstein copper deposits.

This journal is not the sole source of the information on the mineralogy of the platinum-group elements and their behaviour during geological time that has accumulated since a previous issue was devoted to the subject, following an earlier symposium at Denver, Colorado in October 1975 (see Econ. Geol., 1976, 71, (7)). The reader is specifically referred to The Canadian Mineralogist, 1979, 17, (2) for information on the magmatic nickel, copper and platinum-group sulphide deposits, and to the book “Platinum-Group Elements: Mineralogy, Geology, Recovery” reviewed here last year (Platinum Metals Rev., 1982, 26, (2), 57). However all the papers are amply supported by references making this issue of Economic Geology a most important publication for all students of the platinum deposits.

Copies of the journal can be obtained from The Economic Geology Publishing Company, University of Texas-El Paso, 202 Quinn Hall, El Paso, Texas 79968, U.S.A. Price including postage is $16.00 (U.S.) or $17.00 (outside North America.)

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