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Geology/Minerals and ores


Can you please explain minerals and ores with its uses and where are they found?

Dear Sara,

Thanks for sending your question.

Ore Mineral: A naturally occurring mineral that contains a high substantial quantity of a useful element or compound that  can be extracted profitably. The branch geology that deals with minerals and ores are also known as economic geology.

Most common Iron ores are Magnetite and Haematite, for gold; native gold, for silver, for Copper; Chalcopyrite, Chalcocite etc, for aluminium; Bauxite and there are tens of hundreds of ore found in nature.

Almost all ores are found in nature with  some other metals or present as byproducts. For example, silver is found in native form very rarely as nuggets, but more usually combined with sulfur, arsenic, antimony, or chlorine and in various ores such as argentite (Ag2S) and chlorargyrite ("horn silver," AgCl).

Followings are excerpts from,art

Ores and minerals are found in all three type of rocks, i.e, Sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. Those mountain belts which are composed primarily of metamorphic and sedimentary rocks with igneous rocks intrusion or extrusion metallic ores such as Iron, silver, copper and silver are found. Native silver and gold are also found in sedimentary environments as well.

Metallic ores may be found  in every kind of rock and soil. The metallic minerals are usually concentrated of rich masses by igneous, hydrothermal, or erosional/weathering processes. Metals such as chromium, platinum, nickel, copper, and iron can precipitate as sulfide minerals in a cooling body of magma.

Magmatic deposits result when the minerals settle to the bottom of the intrusive body and form thin, high-grade layers. Hydrothermal deposits rich in copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver, molybdenum, tin, mercury, and cobalt form from hot solutions that circulate through fractured country rock. The solutions come from nearby intrusions or heated meteoric water. Much of the dissolved metal in the solutions is leached from the surrounding rocks through which the solutions migrate. Changing pressures and temperatures precipitate the metals as sulfides or pure metal, such as gold, silver, and copper. This process is usually repeated many times until the heat source has cooled or the fracture systems have become filled with mineral deposits.

Common types of hydrothermal deposits are contact metamorphic, hydrothermal, disseminated, and hot springs deposits. Contact metamorphic deposits result from hot solutions that migrate from a cooling intrusion and deposit minerals in cracks in the surrounding country rock. Hydrothermal veins are also mineral deposits in faults and cracks but are not necessarily related to an intrusive body. The fluid can be meteoric water that has moved downward toward a heat source, been heated, and ascended, leaching metals along its path. The sulfides are later deposited a considerable distance from the heat source. Some of the richest gold and silver deposits in the world are hydrothermal veins.

Disseminated deposits are those in which the metal is evenly distributed in generally low concentrations throughout large masses of rock. An important type of disseminated deposit is the porphyry copper deposit, in which copper and molybdenum are found in porphyritic intrusive rocks. Huge, low-grade, multimillionounce disseminated gold deposits have been found in sedimentary rocks in Nevada. Hot springs deposits are minerals that formed in response to hot spring activity at the surface of the earth. These can be rich in gold, silver, antimony, arsenic, and mercury.


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Syed Tariq Hasany


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