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CLASSIFICATION OF ORE DPOSITS

a) Basing on the nature and morphology


b) Basing on the origin/ Genesis
c) Basing on the temperature of formation
(PT Conditions)
d) Basing on the mineral composition
CLASSIFICATION BASING ON THE
MORPHOLOGY/SHAPE
Regular Discordant Ore-bodies
Tubular mineral deposits, these are ore bodies which
are extensive in two dimensions, but have restricted
development in their third dimension, e.g. veins.
Tubular mineral deposits, these are ore bodies which
are relatively short in two dimensions but extensive in
third dimension, e.g pipes.
Irregular Discordant Orebodies
Disseminated deposits, in these deposits, ore
minerals are peppered through out the body of
host rock in the same way as the accessory
minerals are disseminated in the igneous rocks.
The ore minerals makes the closely spaced veins
called stockworkprospecting, e.g diamonds in
kimberlites.
Concordant Orebodies
Parallel to bedding and limited development
perpendicular to it, thus strataform.
Not to be confused with stratabound, which
refers to type of orebody, concordant or
discordant, which is restricted to a particular
part of the stratigraphic colomn.
Stratiform Deposits
Classification basing on the
temperature of formation
Hydrothermal ore deposit can be classified
based on approximate temperatures of
formation as;
Hypothermal mineral deposits; this is formed at
depth of 3 to 15km with temperature ranging
from 300-600C.
Classification basing on the
temperature of formation
Mesothermal mineral deposits; this is formed
at depth of 1 to 4.5km with temperature
ranging from 200-300C
Epithermal mineral deposits; this is formed at
near surface depth 1.5 km with temperature
ranging from 50-200C.
Classification basing on Origin/Genesis
Hydrothermal mineral deposits formed in
association with magma and hot waters.
Magmatic mineral deposits concentrated in igneous
rocks (crystallization verses segregation)
Sedimentary mineral deposits precipitated from a
solution, typically sea water
Classification basing on Origin/Genesis
Placer deposits sorted and distributed by flow of
water (or ice) and concentrated by gravity
Residual mineral deposits formed by weathering
reactions at the earth's surface
Metamorphic mineral deposits, formed by
metamorphic processes, both contact and regional
Classification basing on Origin/Genesis
Secondary or supergene enrichment where
leaching of materials occurs and precipitation
at depth produces higher concentrations.
Other classification
The ore deposit can also be classified basing
on the formation time relationship with the
host rock into;
a) Epigenetic mineral deposit
b) Syngenetic mineral deposit
Epigenetic mineral deposit
Formed much later than the rocks which enclose it.
If a mineral deposit formed much later than the rocks
which enclose it, it is said to be epigenetic.
An example is a vein. The first step in the formation of
a vein is the fracturing or breaking of rock along a fault
zone, at a depth ranging from surface to several
kilometers below surface.
Epigenetic mineral deposit
The rock must be solid (lithified) and brittle,
creating open spaces when it breaks.
Hydrothermal solutions pass along the fault zone
and deposit or precipitate the ore and gangue
minerals within the open spaces.
Thus, the vein is necessarily younger than the
rocks that contain it.
Syngenetic mineral deposit
A syngenetic mineral deposit is a deposit which
formed at the same time as the rocks that enclose
it.
Magmatic deposits are syngenetic in that the ore
minerals crystallize from the same liquid that
produces the silicate minerals which form the bulk
of the intrusive - they crystallize more or less
simultaneously as the melt cools.
Syngenetic mineral deposit
Deposits which form on the earth's surface in the form
of a sedimentary layer are also syngenetic.
The rocks which they lie upon were deposited just prior
to the mineralizing event, while the overlying rocks were
deposited just after - all three layers being deposited at
essentially the same time in terms of the geological time
frame.