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Ore is natural
rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compound, chemical composition and the way in w ...
or
sediment Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering Weathering is the deterioration of rocks A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is cate ...

sediment
that contains one or more valuable
mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure form.John P. Rafferty, ed. (2 ...

mineral
s, typically containing
metal A metal (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

metal
s, that can be mined, treated and sold at a profit.Encyclopædia Britannica. "Ore". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 7 April 2021Neuendorf, K.K.E., Mehl, J.P., Jr., and Jackson, J.A., eds., 2011, Glossary of Geology: American Geological Institute, 799 p. Ore is extracted from the earth through
mining Mining is the extraction of valuable mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occu ...

mining
and treated or refined, often via
smelting Smelting is a process of applying heat to ore ore – psilomelane (size: 6.7 × 5.8 × 5.1 cm) ore – galena and anglesite (size: 4.8 × 4.0 × 3.0 cm) ore (size: 7.5 × 6.1 × 4.1 cm) File:OreCartPachuca.JPG, upMinecart on ...
, to extract the valuable metals or minerals. The ''grade'' of ore refers to the concentration of the desired material it contains. The value of the metals or minerals a rock contains must be weighed against the cost of extraction to determine whether it is of sufficiently high grade to be worth mining, and is therefore considered an ore. Minerals of interest are generally
oxides An oxide () is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having vol ...
,
sulfides Sulfide (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, whi ...
,
silicates In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they unde ...
, or
native metal A native metal is any metal that is found pure in its metallic form in nature. Metals that can be found as native element mineral, native deposits singly or in alloys include aluminium, antimony, arsenic, bismuth, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, indiu ...
s such as
copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...

copper
or
gold Gold is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numb ...

gold
. Ores must be processed to extract the elements of interest from the waste rock. Ore bodies are formed by a variety of
geological Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which th ...

geological
processes generally referred to as
ore genesis Various theories of ore genesis explain how the various types of mineral deposit ore – psilomelane (size: 6.7 × 5.8 × 5.1 cm) ore – galena and anglesite (size: 4.8 × 4.0 × 3.0 cm) ore (size: 7.5 × 6.1 × 4.1 cm) File ...
.


Ore, gangue, ore minerals, gangue minerals

In most cases, an ore does not consist entirely of a single ore mineral but it is mixed with other valuable minerals and with unwanted or valueless rocks and minerals. The part of an ore that is not economically desirable and that can not be avoided in mining is known as
gangue In mining, gangue () is the commercially worthless material that surrounds, or is closely mixed with, a wanted mineral in an ore deposit. It is thus distinct from overburden, which is the waste rock or materials overlying an ore or mineral body t ...
. The valuable ore minerals are separated from the gangue minerals by
froth flotation Froth flotation is a process for selectively separating of materials from . This is used in mineral processing, and waste-water treatment industries. Historically this was first used in the mining industry, where it was one of the great enabling ...
, gravity concentration, and other operations known collectively as
mineral processing In the field of extractive metallurgy Extractive metallurgy is a branch of metallurgical engineering Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metal A metal (from Anc ...
or
ore dressing In the field of extractive metallurgy Extractive metallurgy is a branch of metallurgical engineering Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metal A metal (from An ...
.


Ore deposits

An ore deposit is an economically significant accumulation of minerals within a host rock. This is distinct from a mineral resource as defined by the mineral resource classification criteria. An ore deposit is one occurrence of a particular ore type. Most ore deposits are named according to their location, or after a discoverer (e.g. the
Kambalda Kambalda is a small mining town about from the mining city of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, within the Goldfields-Esperance, Goldfields. It is split into two townsites apart, Kambalda East and Kambalda West; and is located on the western edge ...
nickel shoots are named after drillers), or after some whimsy, a historical figure, a prominent person, a city or town from which the owner came, something from mythology (such as the name of a god or goddess) or the code name of the resource company which found it (e.g. MKD-5 was the in-house name for the Mount Keith nickel sulphide deposit).


Classification

Ore deposits are classified according to various criteria developed via the study of economic geology, or
ore genesis Various theories of ore genesis explain how the various types of mineral deposit ore – psilomelane (size: 6.7 × 5.8 × 5.1 cm) ore – galena and anglesite (size: 4.8 × 4.0 × 3.0 cm) ore (size: 7.5 × 6.1 × 4.1 cm) File ...
. The classifications below are typical.


Hydrothermal epigenetic deposits

* ''Mesothermal''
lode In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the proces ...
gold deposits, typified by the Golden Mile,
Kalgoorlie Kalgoorlie is a city in the Goldfields–Esperance The Goldfields–Esperance region is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is located in the south eastern corner of Western Australia, and comprises the local government are ...

Kalgoorlie
*
conglomerate Conglomerate or conglomeration may refer to: * Conglomerate (company) * Conglomerate (geology) * Conglomerate (mathematics) In popular culture: * The Conglomerate (American group), a production crew and musical group founded by Busta Rhymes ** Con ...
hosted gold-uranium deposits, typified by those at
Elliot Lake Elliot Lake is a city in Algoma District Algoma District is a Census divisions of Ontario, district and Census divisions of Canada, census division in Northeastern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario. The name was created by an America ...

Elliot Lake
, Ontario, Canada and
Witwatersrand The Witwatersrand () (locally the Rand or, less commonly, the Reef) is a , north-facing scarp in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of So ...

Witwatersrand
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
*
Carlin–type gold deposit Goldstrike mine, Goldstrike (Post–Betze) Mine, Carlin Trend, Nevada, the largest Carlin-type deposit in the world, containing more than 35,000,000 ounces of gold. Carlin–type gold deposits are sediment-hosted disseminated gold deposits. Th ...
s, including; * ''Epithermal'' stockwork vein deposits


Granite related hydrothermal

* IOCG or iron oxide copper gold deposits, typified by the supergiant Olympic Dam Cu-Au-U deposit *
Porphyry copper Bingham Canyon mine in 2005. The gray rocks visible in the pit are almost all in the primary-sulfide ore zone. Porphyry copper deposits are copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and at ...
+/- gold +/- molybdenum +/- silver deposits * Intrusive-related copper-gold +/- (tin-tungsten), typified by the
Tombstone, Arizona Tombstone is a historic city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1877 by prospector Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona, Pima County, Arizona Territory. It became one of the last boomtowns in the American f ...

Tombstone, Arizona
deposits * Hydromagmatic
magnetite Magnetite is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure for ...

magnetite
iron ore deposits and skarns *
Skarn Skarns or tactites are hard, coarse-grained metamorphic rocks that form by a process called metasomatism Metasomatism (from the Greek μετά (change) and σῶμα (body)) is the chemical alteration of a rock by hydrothermal and other fluids. ...

Skarn
ore deposits of copper, lead, zinc, tungsten, etcetera


Magmatic deposits

* Magmatic nickel-copper-iron-PGE deposits including **
Cumulate Cumulate rocks are igneous rocks formed by the accumulation of crystals from a magma either by settling or floating. Cumulate rocks are named according to their rock microstructure, texture; cumulate texture is diagnostic of the conditions of forma ...
or platinum-bearing
magnetite Magnetite is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure for ...

magnetite
or
chromite Chromite is a crystalline mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of ...

chromite
** Cumulate hard-rock titanium (
ilmenite Ilmenite is a titanium-iron oxide mineral The oxide mineral class includes those mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composi ...
) deposits ** Komatiite hosted Ni-Cu-PGE deposits ** Subvolcanic feeder subtype, typified by and the Thompson Belt, Canada ** Intrusive-related Ni-Cu-PGE, typified by
Voisey's Bay Voisey's Bay is a bay of the Atlantic Ocean in Labrador, Canada. The bay is located south of the community of Nain, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nain. The bay is heavily indented with numerous inlets and islands and is extremely rocky. It is the s ...
, Canada and Jinchuan, China * Lateritic nickel ore deposits, examples include Goro and Acoje, (
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
) and Ravensthorpe,
Western Australia Western Australia (abbreviated as WA) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Western Australia
.


Volcanic-related deposits

* Volcanic hosted massive sulfide (VHMS) Cu–Pb–Zn including; ** Examples include Teutonic Bore and Golden Grove, Western Australia *** Besshi type *** Kuroko type


Metamorphically reworked deposits

* Podiform serpentinite-hosted paramagmatic
iron oxide Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen Group (periodic table), group in the periodic table, ...

iron oxide
-
chromite Chromite is a crystalline mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of ...

chromite
deposits, typified by
Savage River, Tasmania Savage River is a small Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerou ...
iron ore, Coobina chromite deposit * Broken Hill Type Pb–Zn–Ag, considered to be a class of reworked SEDEX deposits


Carbonatite-alkaline igneous related

* Phosphorus-
tantalite The mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, a ...

tantalite
-
vermiculite Vermiculite is a hydrous In chemistry, a hydrate is a substance that contains water or its constituent elements. The chemical state of the water varies widely between different classes of hydrates, some of which were so labeled before their chemi ...
(
Phalaborwa Phalaborwa (translated to English as ''better than the south; phala'' means ''better than and borwa'' means ''south'') is a town in the Mopani District Municipality Mopani is one of the 5 Districts of South Africa, districts of Limpopo province of ...

Phalaborwa
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
) *
Rare-earth elements The rare-earth elements, also called the rare-earth metals or (in context) rare-earth oxides, or the lanthanide The lanthanide () or lanthanoid () series of chemical elements comprises the 15 metallic chemical element Image:Simple Period ...
 – Mount Weld,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
and
Bayan Obo Bayan'obo Mining District, ( Mongolian: ''Bayan Oboɣ-a Aɣurqai-yin toɣoriɣ'', Баян-Овоо Уурхайн тойрог ( mn, italic=yes, "rich" + ovoo); ), or Baiyun-Obo or Baiyun'ebo, is a mining town in the west of Inner Mongolia ...

Bayan Obo
,
Mongolia Mongolia (, mn, Монгол Улс, Mongol Uls, Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: '; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia") is a landlocked country in East Asia. It is bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia ...

Mongolia
*
Diatreme A diatreme, sometimes known as a maar-diatreme volcano, is a volcanic pipe Volcanic pipes or volcanic conduits are subterranean geological Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "d ...
hosted diamond in
kimberlite Cross-section of kimberlite from South Africa. The kimberlite matrix is made up of clay minerals and carbonates, presented in blue, purple and buff colours. Kimberlite is an igneous rock, which sometimes contains diamonds. It is named after the ...

kimberlite
,
lamproite Lamproite is an ultrapotassicUltrapotassic igneous rocks are a class of rare, volumetrically minor and generally ultramafic Ultramafic rocks (also referred to as ultrabasic rocks, although the terms are not wholly equivalent) are igneous Igneo ...
or
lamprophyre Lamprophyres (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million a ...


Sedimentary deposits

*
Banded iron formation Banded iron formations (also known as banded ironstone formations or BIFs) are distinctive units of sedimentary rock consisting of alternating layers of iron oxides and iron-poor chert. They can be up to several hundred meters in thickness a ...

Banded iron formation
iron ore Iron ores are rocks In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it i ...
deposits, including **
Channel-iron depositsChannel iron deposits (CID) are iron-rich fluvial sedimentary deposits of possible Miocene age occupying meandering palaeochannels in the Early to Mid-Cenozoic Hamerlsey palaeosurface of Western Australia. Examples are also known from Kazakhstan. Th ...
or
pisolite A pisolite is a sedimentary rock Sedimentary rocks are types of rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the mi ...
type iron ore *
Heavy mineral sands ore deposits Heavy may refer to: Measures * Heavy (aeronautics), a term used by pilots and air traffic controllers to refer to aircraft capable of 300,000 lbs or more takeoff weight * Heavy, a characterization of objects with substantial weight In scien ...
and other
sand dune A dune is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body. Landforms together make up a given terrain, and their arrangement in the landscape is known as topography. Land ...

sand dune
hosted deposits *
Alluvial Alluvium (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power ...
gold, diamond, tin, platinum or
black sand Black sand is sand Sand is a granular Granularity (also called graininess), the condition of existing in granules or grains A grain is a small, hard, dry seed A seed is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer coverin ...
deposits * Alluvial oxide zinc deposit type: sole example Skorpion Zinc


Hydrothermal deposits formed largely from basinal brines

Hydrothermal deposits formed by basinal saline fluids, include the following main groups: Arndt, N. and others (2017) Future mineral resources, Chap. 2, Formation of mineral resources,
Geochemical Perspectives, v6-1, p. 18-51
* Clastic hosted or SEDEX
Lead Lead is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elements ...

Lead
-
zinc Zinc is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical element ...

zinc
-
silver Silver is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical ele ...

silver
deposits. They are typified, among others, by Red Dog,
McArthur River The McArthur River is a river in the Northern Territory of Australia which flows into the Gulf of Carpentaria at Port McArthur, opposite the Sir Edward Pellew Group of Islands. The river was named by Ludwig Leichhardt while he explored the area ...
,
Mount Isa Mount Isa ( ) is a city in the Gulf Country region of Queensland, Australia. It came into existence because of the vast mineral deposits found in the area. Mount Isa Mines (MIM) is one of the most productive single mines in world history, based ...
,
Rammelsberg The Rammelsberg is a mountain, high, on the northern edge of the Harz The Harz () is a Mittelgebirge, highland area in northern Germany. It has the highest elevations for that region, and its rugged terrain extends across parts of Lower Saxony, ...

Rammelsberg
.Leach, D. and others (2010) Sediment-hosted lead-zinc deposits in Earth history. Economic Geology, v. 105, p. 593-625. * Mississippi valley type (MVT) zinc-lead deposits * Sediment-hosted stratiform Cu-Co-(Ag) deposit, typified by the
Copperbelt The Copperbelt is a natural region in Central Africa which sits on the border region between northern Zambia and the southern Democratic Republic of Congo. It is known for copper mining. Traditionally, the term ''Copperbelt'' includes the mining ...

Copperbelt
of
Zambia Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia ( Bemba:'' Icalo ca Zambia''; Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" ...

Zambia
and
DRC The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (french ...

DRC
.Sillitoe, R.H., Perello, J., Creaser, R.A., Wilton, J., Wilson, A.J., and Dawborn, T., 2017, Reply to discussions of “Age of the Zambian Copperbelt” by Hitzman and Broughton and Muchez et al.:, p. 1–5, doi: 10.1007/s00126-017-0769-x.


Astrobleme-related ores

*
Sudbury Basin The Sudbury Basin (), also known as Sudbury Structure or the Sudbury Nickel Irruptive, is a major geological Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science ...
nickel and copper, Ontario, Canada


Extraction

The basic extraction of ore deposits follows these steps: #
Prospecting Prospecting is the first stage of the geological analysis (followed by exploration Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery is the act of detecting s ...
or
exploration Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery is the act of detecting something new, or something previously unrecognized as meaningful. With reference to scien ...
to find and then define the extent and value of ore where it is located ("ore body"). # Conduct resource estimation to mathematically estimate the size and grade of the deposit. # Conduct a pre-feasibility study to determine the theoretical economics of the ore deposit. This identifies, early on, whether further investment in estimation and engineering studies is warranted and identifies key risks and areas for further work. # Conduct a
feasibility study #REDIRECT Feasibility study A feasibility study is an assessment of the practicality of a proposed project or system. A feasibility study aims to objectively and rationally uncover the strengths and weaknesses of an existing business or proposed ve ...
to evaluate the financial viability, technical and financial risks and robustness of the project and make a decision as whether to develop or walk away from a proposed mine project. This includes mine planning to evaluate the economically recoverable portion of the deposit, the
metallurgy Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering ''Materials Science and Engineering'' may refer to several journals in the field of materials science and engineering: * '' Materials Science and Engineering A'' * '' Materials Science ...
and ore recoverability, marketability and payability of the ore concentrates, engineering, milling and infrastructure costs, finance and equity requirements and a cradle to grave analysis of the possible mine, from the initial excavation all the way through to reclamation. # Development of access to an ore body and building of mine plant and equipment. # The operation of the mine in an active sense. # Reclamation to make land where a mine had been suitable for future use.


Trade

Ores (metals) are traded internationally and comprise a sizeable portion of international trade in
raw materials A raw material, also known as a feedstock, unprocessed material, or primary commodity, is a basic material that is used to produce goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in pa ...
both in value and volume. This is because the worldwide distribution of ores is unequal and dislocated from locations of peak demand and from smelting infrastructure. Most base metals (copper, lead, zinc, nickel) are traded internationally on the
London Metal Exchange The London Metal Exchange (LME) is the futures exchange with the world's largest market in options and futures contract In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial sy ...
, with smaller stockpiles and metals exchanges monitored by the and
NYMEX The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is a commodity In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, al ...
exchanges in the United States and the Shanghai Futures Exchange in China. Iron ore is traded between customer and producer, though various benchmark prices are set quarterly between the major mining conglomerates and the major consumers, and this sets the stage for smaller participants. Other, lesser, commodities do not have international clearing houses and benchmark prices, with most prices negotiated between suppliers and customers one-on-one. This generally makes determining the price of ores of this nature opaque and difficult. Such metals include
lithium Lithium (from el, λίθος, lithos, lit=stone) is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: the ...

lithium
,
niobium Niobium, also known as columbium, is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Nb (formerly Cb) and atomic number 41. Niobium is a light grey, crystalline, and ductile transition metal. Pure niobium has a Mohs scale of mineral har ...

niobium
-
tantalum Tantalum is a chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that ...

tantalum
,
bismuth Bismuth is a chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that c ...

bismuth
,
antimony Antimony is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, be ...

antimony
and rare earths. Most of these commodities are also dominated by one or two major suppliers with >60% of the world's reserves. The London Metal Exchange aims to add uranium to its list of metals on warrant. The World Bank reports that China was the top importer of ores and metals in 2005 followed by the US and Japan.


Important ore minerals

* Acanthite (cooled polymorph of Argentite): Ag2S for production of
silver Silver is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical ele ...

silver
* Barite: BaSO4 * Bauxite Al(OH)3 and AlOOH, dried to Al2O3 for production of aluminium * Beryl: Be3Al2(SiO3)6 * Bornite: Cu5FeS4 * Cassiterite: SnO2 * Chalcocite: Cu2S for production of copper * Chalcopyrite: CuFeS2 * Chromite: (Fe, Mg)Cr2O4 for production of chromium * Cinnabar: HgS for production of mercury (element), mercury * Cobaltite: (Co, Fe)AsS * Columbite-Tantalite or Coltan: (Fe, Mn)(Nb, Ta)2O6 * Galena: PbS * Native gold: Au, typically associated with quartz or as placer mining, placer deposits * Hematite: Fe2O3 * Ilmenite: FeTiO3 * Magnetite: Fe3O4 * Malachite: Cu2CO3(OH)2 * Molybdenite: MoS2 * Pentlandite: (Fe, Ni)9S8 * Pyrolusite: MnO2 * Scheelite: CaWO4 * Sperrylite: PtAs2 for production of platinum * Sphalerite: ZnS * Uraninite (pitchblende): UO2 for production of metallic uranium * Wolframite: (Fe, Mn)WO4


See also

* Economic geology * Extractive metallurgy (ore processing) * Froth flotation#Science of flotation, Froth Flotation * Mineral resource classification * Ore genesis * Petrology


References


Further reading


DILL, H.G. (2010) ''The “chessboard” classification scheme of mineral deposits: Mineralogy and geology from aluminum to zirconium,'' Earth-Science Reviews, Volume 100, Issue 1-4, June 2010, Pages 1-420


External links

{{Authority control Economic geology Mining