Abstract Partition coefficients for the elements Ta, Nb, Hf, Zr, Sc, V, Ga, Zn and Co have been determined by laser ablation ICP-MS and/or electron microprobe between spinel and melt using an alkali olivine basalt at 1 atm. The D sp lq for high field strength elements (HFSE) are uniform ( D sp lq Nb = 0.08 , D sp lq Ta = 0.06 , D sp lq Hf = 0.05 , D sp lq Zr = 0.06 ), negating the possibility of intra-HFSE fractionation during partial melting or fractional crystallization processes. Results for D sp lq V continue an approximately linear trend of decreasing D sp lq V with increasing f O2 from D sp lq V = 68 at IW from previous studies to values of D sp lq V = 0.09 at f O2 = air. D sp lq Sc is also f O2 dependent (0.24–0.56 with increasing f O2), whereas D sp lq Ga is constant at 3.2. A compositional dependence of partitioning behaviour was found for the Ti-poor solid-solution series between chromite-and magnetite-rich spinels in the log f O2 range from air to FMQ − 1 for Co, Zn and Sc. Zn and Co showed deviation from Henry's law behaviour. An approximate value for D sp lq Zn of 4.5 agrees well with the observed partitioning in natural peridotites, but is much larger at lower temperatures. Cobalt partitioning shows a strong negative correlation with temperature and is complicated by f O2 effects.