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Petrogenesis and metallogenesis of layered intrusions

Overview and objectives

Mafic layered intrusions result from impressive mantle-derived magmatic activity and may hold huge reserves of platinum-group elements (PGE) and other mineralization, however the petrogenesis of magmatic layering and associated mineralization is still a matter of debate.

Our research addresses some fundamental questions as: 1) How do the various primary magmatic, late-magmatic, and post-magmatic processes contribute to the layer formation? 2) How is PGE mineralization related to the various processes of layer formation? 3) How can new approaches like 3D textural characterization of PGE phases and their host minerals contribute to improve PGE beneficiation in industry?

The Bushveld Complex (South Africa)

The BMBF funded research group AMREP is investigating chromitite seams and their host rocks of the so-called Critical Zone of the Rustenburg suite. The basic aim is to improve the beneficiation of PGE ore minerals. The sub-project at the MfN Berlin is focused on the mineralogical, chemical and textural characterization of the primary (unaltered and unweathered) ores mainly using micro-analytical techniques including the 3D textural characterization with µCT.

The Rum Layered Intrusion (Scotland)

The intrusion is a classic example of a layered intrusion and due to its relatively young age (60 Ma) and small size a particularly suitable example to study the processes involved in chromitite formation. Our study specifically addresses the lateral extent of chromitite seams on the Rum Layered Intrusion, NW Scotland. 


  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam – Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ)
  • Leibniz University Hannover
  • Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) Hannover
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Freiberg
  • MINTEK Randburg (SA)
  • Cronimet Chrome Mining (SA) 
  • Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum für Informationstechnik Berlin
  • University of Manchester


  • BMBF pilot projects from 2012
  • AMREP project 01.12.2015 - 30.04.2018


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (AMREP)

Selected publications

  • Kaufmann, F.E.D., Hoffmann, M.C., Bachmann, K., Veksler, I.V., Trumbull, R.B. and Hecht, L. (2019): Variations in Composition, Texture, and Platinum Group Element Mineralization in the Lower Group and Middle Group Chromitites of the Northwestern Bushveld Complex, South Africa. Economic Geology, 114 (3), 569–590. doi:
  • Kaufmann, F., Vukmanovic, Z., Holness, M.B., Hecht, L. (2018): Orthopyroxene oikocrysts in the MG1 chromitite layer of the Bushveld Complex: Implications for cumulate formation and recrystallisation. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 173: 17,
  • Schannor, M., Veksler. I.V., Hecht, L., Harris, C., Romer, R.L., Manyeruke, T.D. (2018) Small-scale Sr and O isotope variations through the UG2 in the eastern Bushveld Complex: the role of crustal fluids. Chemical Geology, 485, 100-112,