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Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Berhampur

Earth and Environmental Sciences

EES 403 : Economic Geology  (3)

Prerequisites:All 100 and 200 level EES courses

Learning Objectives:

This course deals with the fundamental principles of the genesis of ore minerals and discusses the classic examples of the world-class ore mineral deposits covering all the important metals. The objectives of this course are to familiarize the student with common terminologies in economic geology and mineral exploration, understand why and how minerals are concentrated in certain parts of the Earth. On completion of this course, students will be able to comprehend ore forming processes and would have developed skills in interpreting the genesis of ore deposits, besides obtaining insights into mineral economics.

Course Contents:

Unit-1: Introduction
The importance of ores to our society; Ore and gangue, tenor and grade, ore bodies and lodes; Resources and reserves.

Unit-2: Processes of Formation of Economic Mineral Deposits
Endogenous Processes – Magmatic, contact metasomatism, skarn, greisen, pegmatitic and hydrothermal processes, metamorphic enrichment. Exogenous Processes – Sedimentation, chemical and bacterial precipitation, colloidal deposition and evaporation. Weathering Processes – Oxidation and supergene enrichment.

Unit-3: Metallic Ores
Oxides of Fe, Mn, Cr, W; Sulphides of Cu, Pb, Zn; Metallogenic provinces and epochs.

Unit-4: Ore Minerals:
  Their texture and structure, development in open space and polycrystalline aggregates.

Unit-5: Field and Laboratory Studies of Ores
Remote sensing, sampling methods; Distribution, morphology and deposition of ore bodies; Physical characteristics; Optical characteristics; Ore microscopy; Experimental ore petrology; Fluid inclusions; Trace element and isotopic studies of ores. 2312

Unit-6: Ore Associations and Classical Examples

  • Ores associated with ultramafic and related mafic plutions – Sudbury type Fe-Ni-Cu sulphides, apatite rich and Ti-V bearing magmatites, Fe-Ti oxides and anorthosites.
  • Ores associated with felsic plutonic rocks – porphyry deposits of Cu-Mo, griesen and skarn deposits of W and Sn, pegmatite bodies.
  • Ore association with acidic and mafic volcanic rocks, including those in greenstone belts – Kabalda type, Kuroko type, and Cypruss type.
  • Strata bound ore deposits associated with non-volcanic meta-sedimentary rocks – Bog iron and ironstone deposits, Banded Iron Formations (BIFs), laterite and karst deposits of Fe, Mn, Al and Ni, placer depostis of Au, Sn, W, oxidation and supergene enrichment, sulphide enrichment, ocean floor deposits of Mn-Ni-Cu-Co.
  • Rare Earth deposits
  • Unit-7: National and International Mineral Economies
    Environments of ore formation; Importance of minerals in national economy; Basic pattern of mineral economy and changing mineral requirements; Strategic minerals and their supplies in time of peace and war; Problems related to the marketing of minerals; Developing substitutes to take care of shortages and production costs of minerals; Internal controls and trade restrictions; World resources and production of important minerals; Importance of steel fuels in modern economy; Impact of atomic energy over conventional fuels; Conservation of resources.

    Suggested Readings :

    1. Evans, A. M., 2015, Ore Geology and Industrial Minerals –An Introduction (3 rd  Edition), Blackwell Science.
    2. Guilbert, J. M. and Park, Jr. C.F., 2007, The Geology of Ore Deposits, Waveland Press, Inc.
    3. Stanton, R. L., 1972, Ore Petrology, McGraw Hill.
    4. Mookherjee, A., 2000. Ore Genesis – A Holistic Approach, Allied Publishier.
    5. Robb, L., 2004 Introduction to Ore-Forming Processes, Wiley – Blackwell.
    6. Swakins, F. J., 1984, Metal Deposits in Relation to Plate Tectonics, Springer – Verlag.
    7. Misra, K. C., 2000 Understanding Mineral Deposits, Springer – Netherlands.

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