Original paper

Arborescent palladiferous gold and empirical Au2Pd and Au3Pd in alluvium from southern Serra do Espinhaco, Brazil

Cabral, Alexandre Raphael; Tupinambá, Miguel; Lehmann, Bernd; Kwitko-Ribeiro, Rogerio; Vymazalová, Anna

Abstract

Arborescent crystals of palladiferous gold are identified for the first time in platiniferous alluvium from Córrego Bom Sucesso, Serro region, in southern Serra do Espinhaço, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Córrego Bom Sucesso alluvium is regarded as the type locality of Pd, being also famous for dendritic Pt-Pd-Hg nuggets. Gold composition ranges from 66.5 to 95.4 at % Au (77.6-97.9 wt % Au) and from 4.4 to 29.8 at % Pd (2.4-18.8 wt % Pd), with trace amounts of Ag. Two near-stoichiometric alloys, Au2Pd and Au3Pd, determined by electron-microprobe analysis, may correspond to unnamed mineral phases. The arborescent crystals of palladiferous gold are well preserved and as delicate as the arborescent Pt-Pd-Hg alloys in the alluvium, thereby suggesting that they all formed under the same oxidising low-temperature conditions. The recognition of arborescent palladiferous gold represents a critical mineralogical link with the Serra Pelada Au-Pd-Pt deposit in northern Brazil and the unconformity-related Au-Pd-Pt occurrences in southern Devon, England.

Keywords

palladiferous goldau-pd-pt mineralisationsouthern serra do espinhacocorrego bom sucessominas geraisbrazil