Ore and mineral deposits
Hagner, A. F. Formerly, Department of Geology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
Barton, Paul B., Jr. U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, Reston, Virginia.
Roedder, Edwin U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, Reston, Virginia.
Last reviewed:December 2019
- Forms of deposits
- Metasomatism, or replacement
- Oxidation and supergene enrichment
- Sequence of deposition
- Mineralogenetic provinces and epochs
- Localization of mineral deposits
- Source and nature of ore fluids
- Mineral and chemical composition
- Source of metals
- Environment of ore deposition
- Mechanisms of ore transport and deposition
- Oxidation and secondary enrichment
- Trends in investigation
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Ore deposits are naturally occurring geologic bodies that may be worked for one or more metals. The metals may be present as native elements, or, more commonly, as oxides, sulfides, sulfates, silicates, or other compounds. The term ore is often used loosely to include such nonmetallic minerals as fluorite and gypsum. The broader term, mineral deposits, includes, in addition to metalliferous minerals, any other useful minerals or rocks. Minerals of little or no value which occur with ore minerals are called gangue. Some gangue minerals may not be worthless in that they are used as by-products; for instance, limestone for fertilizer or flux, pyrite for making sulfuric acid and rock for road material.
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