The ore deposits are the product of a series, more or less complex, of geological events that led to the formation of useful mineral substances in a certain portion of the crust. To know the processes that give rise to the various types of ore deposits is essential to suggest the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources. The main purpose of the course is to provide a better understanding of the geochemical, petrological, structural and sedimentological features which cause the formation of different types of ore deposits
Course contents summary
Basic definition and concepts used in ore geology and classification of ore deposits.
2. Igneous ore-forming processes and magmatic ore deposits
Processes of magma evolution, partitioning of elements between phases, crystal fractionation, partial melting, liquid immiscibility. Deposits formed from small-fraction partial melts, deposits formed during differentiation, deposits formed from immiscible melts, deposits former through extreme fractionation of magma, deposits formed through incorporation of a mineral from depth.
3. Magmatic-hydrothermal ore-forming processes and magmatic-hydrothermal ore deposits
Some physical and chemical properties of water, compositions and characteristics of magmatic-hydrothermal solutions, fluid-melt element partitioning. Porphyry deposits, Greisen and related ore deposits, skarn and carbonate-replacement deposits epithermal deposits.
4. Hydrothermal ore-forming processes and hydrothermal ore deposits
Fluids in the Earth’s crust and their origin, movement of hydrothermal fluids in the Erth’s crust, metal solubility and precipitation mechanisms for metals in solution, hydrothermal alteration. Hydrothermal deposits formed around magmatic centers (VMS), syn-orogenic hydrothermal deposits without close spatial or temporal relations to magmatism, hydrothermal deposits in sedimentary basins.
5. Sedimentary ore-forming processes and ore deposits formed in sedimentary environments
Sorting and transport processes, clastic sedimentation and chemical sedimentation. Ore deposits in clastic sedimentary environments, chemical precipitation from surface waters. Coal deposits.
6. Superficial and supergene ore-forming processes and supergene ores
Principles of chemical weathering. Lateritic deposits, calcrete-hosted deposits, supergene enrichment formed by overprinting of hypogene ores
Robb L. (2010) Introduction to ore-forming processes. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, p.373
Ridley J. (2013) Ore deposit geology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 398
Evans A. (2009) Ore geology and industrial minerals. An introduction. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, p.389
lectures on basic theoretical topics and field lessons aimed to the identification and recognition of the ore deposits
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral exam with verification of the theoretical knowledge learned, their application to real cases and verification of the logical-deductive skills