Several chromite deposits located in the in the South and Southeast Arms of Sulawesi, Indonesia, have been investigated by electron microprobe. According to the variation of the Cr# = Cr/(Cr + Fe3+
), the chromite composition varies from Cr-rich to Al-rich. Small platinum-group minerals (PGM), 1–10 μm in size, occur in the chromitites. The most abundant PGM is laurite, which has been found included in fresh chromite or in contact with chlorite along cracks in the chromite. Laurite forms polygonal crystals, and it occurs as a single phase or in association with amphibole, chlorite, Co-pentlandite and apatite. Small blebs of irarsite (less than 2 μm across) have been found associated with grains of awaruite and Co-pentlandite in the chlorite gangue of the chromitites. Grains of olivine, occurring in the silicate matrix or included in fresh chromite, have been analyzed. They show a composition typical of mantle-hosted olivine. The bimodal composition and the slight enrichment in TiO2
observed in some chromitites suggest a vertical zonation due to the fractionation of a single batch magma with an initial boninitic composition during its ascent, in a supra-subduction zone. This observation implies the accumulation of Cr-rich chromitites at deep mantle levels and the formation of the Al-rich chromitites close or above the Moho-transition zone. All of the laurites are considered to be magmatic in origin, i.e.
, entrapped as solid phases during the crystallization of chromite at temperature of around 1200 °C and a sulfur fugacity below the sulfur saturation. Irarsite possibly represents a low temperature, less than 400 °C, exsolution product.
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