Introduction to Ore Forming Processes

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INTRODUCTION TO ORE-FORMING PROCESSES

Introduction to
Ore-Forming
Processes
LAURENCE ROBB

© 2005 by Blackwell Science Ltd
a Blackwell Publishing company
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148-50120 USA
108 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JF, UK
550 Swanston Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia
The right of Laurence Robb to be identified as the Author of this Work has been asserted inaccordance
with the UK Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or
otherwise, except as permitted by the UK Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1988, without the prior
permission of the publisher.
Firstpublished 2005 by Blackwell Publishing
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Robb, L.J.
Introduction to ore-forming processes / Laurence Robb.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-632-06378-5 (pbk. : alk. paper)
1. Ores. I. Title.
QE390.R32 2004
553′.1—dc22
2003014049
A catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library.
1
Set in9/11– pt Trump Mediaeval
2
by Graphicraft Limited, Hong Kong
Printed and bound in the United Kingdom
by TJ International, Padstow, Cornwall

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Contents
Preface

vii

INTRODUCTION: MINERAL RESOURCES
Introduction and aims
A classification scheme for ore deposits
What makes aviable mineral deposit?
Some useful definitions and compilations
Natural resources, sustainability, and
environmental responsibility
Summary and further reading

1
1
2
4
6
11
15

PART 1 IGNEOUS PROCESSES
1 IGNEOUS ORE-FORMING PROCESSES
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Magmas and metallogeny
1.3 Why are some magmas more fertile
than others? The “inheritance
factor”
1.4 Partial melting andcrystal
fractionation as ore-forming
processes
1.5 Liquid immiscibility as an
ore-forming process
1.6 A more detailed consideration
of mineralization processes in
mafic magmas
1.7 A model for mineralization in
layered mafic intrusions
Summary and further reading

19
19
20

28

37
54

57

2.3

Formation of a magmatic
aqueous phase
2.4 The composition and
characteristics ofmagmatichydrothermal solutions
2.5 A note on pegmatites and their
significance to granite-related
ore-forming processes
2.6 Fluid–melt trace element
partitioning
2.7 Water content and depth of
emplacement of granites –
relationships to ore-forming
processes
2.8 Models for the formation of
porphyry-type Cu, Mo, and
W deposits
2.9 Fluid flow in and around granite
plutons
2.10 Skarn deposits2.11 Near-surface magmatichydrothermal processes – the
“epithermal” family of
Au–Ag–(Cu) deposits
2.12 The role of hydrothermal fluids
in mineralized mafic rocks
Summary and further reading

71
74

3 HYDROTHERMAL ORE-FORMING PROCESSES
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Other fluids in the Earth’s crust
and their origins

85

93
96

101

106
108
113

117
122
125

PART 2 HYDROTHERMALPROCESSES

75
75

79

2 MAGMATIC-HYDROTHERMAL ORE-FORMING
PROCESSES

2.1
2.2

Introduction
Some physical and chemical
properties of water

76

129
129
130

vi

CONTENTS

3.3

The movement of hydrothermal
fluids in the Earth’s crust
3.4 Further factors affecting metal
solubility
3.5 Precipitation mechanisms for
metals in solution
3.6 More on fluid/rock interaction–
an introduction to hydrothermal
alteration
3.7 Metal zoning and paragenetic
sequence
3.8 Modern analogues of ore-forming
processes – the VMS–SEDEX
continuum
3.9 Mineral deposits associated
with aqueo-carbonic metamorphic
fluids
3.10 Ore deposits associated with
connate fluids
3.11 Ore deposits associated with
near surface meteoric fluids
(groundwater)
Summary and further reading...
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