From my understanding, the formation of ores can be reduced to a simple three-step process of the removal of minerals from a source via some mechanism, the transportation of these minerals, and finally, the deposition of the mineral into some concentrated form (ore) that is able to be extracted.

My question is (and I know this sounds ridiculous) but is it currently or theoretically possible to recreate the conditions under which ores are formed naturally, catalyze these reactions in some way (i.e. reduce the time span from potentially hundreds of millions of years), and extract a usable product? To me, the only barrier (other than the potential physical impossibilities of which I am sure I will be informed of briefly) is some engineering.

Is this done in some computational or experimental way by researchers who observe ore genesis? Or in other disciplines in geology who observe processes that occur over large intervals of time?

I know that this (speeding up natural reactions) is sort of similar to the principle that salt brines operate under to create Lithium. Another example I suppose is carbon sequestration technology, but I am not too familiar with that.


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