Textures and compositions of cobalt pentlandite and cobaltian mackinawite from the Madan-Kudan copper deposit, Khetri Copper Belt, Rajasthan, India

Abu Saeed Baidya, Atlanta Sen, Dipak C. Pal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The Khetri Copper Belt (KCB), a part of the Proterozoic Delhi–Aravalli fold belt in western India, hosts several Cu deposits, which are known to contain considerable Au, Ag, Co and Ni. Although many Co-bearing phases have been reported from the KCB and adjacent areas, detailed textural and geochemical data are either unavailable or scant except for mackinawite. In this study, we describe the textures and compositions (determined by EPMA) of two very rare Co-rich phases, namely cobaltian mackinawite (containing up to 12.68 wt.% Co, 1.90 wt.% Ni and 2.52 wt.% Cu) and cobalt-pentlandite (containing up to 49.30 wt.% Co and 10.19 wt.% Ni), identified based on composition, from the Madan-Kudan deposit. To the best of our knowledge, neither cobalt-pentlandite nor such highly Co-rich mackinawite have previously been reported from this area. The common sulphide minerals viz. chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite and rare pyrite occur in chalcopyrite-pyrrhotite ± pyrite-magnetite-chlorite-blue amphibole (Cl-rich hastingsite-pargasite-sadanagaite) ± marialitic scapolite ± allanite ± uraninite veins in amphibole-bearing feldspathic quartzite and garnetiferous chlorite schist. Cobaltian mackinawite is invariably associated with chalcopyrite and occurs as exsolution and inclusion within chalcopyrite or outside, but at the contact of chalcopyrite. On the other hand, cobalt-pentlandite is invariably associated with pyrrhotite and shows similar textural relation with pyrrhotite as that of mackinawite with chalcopyrite. Mineralogically diverse undeformed sulphide veins comprising Cl-rich amphibole and locally Cl-rich marialitic scapolite suggests epigenetic hydrothermal mineralization involving Cl-rich saline fluid in the Madan-Kudan deposit. Transport of metals, derived from a mafic source rock with high intrinsic Ni:Co ratio, by Cl-rich fluid can suitably explain the high Co:Ni ratio of the studied ore minerals. Presence of such highly Co-rich phases and other circumstantial evidences, enumerated in this work, are consistent with variants of Fe oxide (–Cu–Au) (IOCG) style mineralization, at least for some stages of mineralization in the Madan-Kudan deposit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Earth System Science
Issue number4
Early online date23 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Cobalt pentlandite
  • Cobaltian mackinawite
  • Copper deposit
  • Hydrothermal
  • India
  • Khetri
  • Madan-Kudan
  • Rajasthan


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