Questions tagged [economic-geology]

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4
votes
2answers
244 views

Interpreting Prospecting Ore Test Result

I need help in explaining the commercial viability of this potential Tantalum lab test result from Africa.
4
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1answer
38 views

Why were Fe-oxides not usually used for finding skarn Fe ore deposits in geochemical exploration?

I found that Fe-oxides were usually not used for vectoring Fe mineral deposits of skarn type in geochemical exploration. As an indicator element, the common practice told us Fe-oxides should be the ...
1
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0answers
23 views

Ore prospecting and the low-hanging fruit effect

I'm trying to acquire an understanding of how the difficulty of prospecting for useful ore has increased over historical timescales. Intuitively, I would expect that centuries or millennia ago, you ...
1
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1answer
50 views

Ore Deposit Identification

What type of ore deposit does this rock best represent? A rock with a porphyritic texture is cross cut by a stockwork of quartz veins. Bordering the veins is extensive alteration of the host rock. ...
19
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3answers
4k views

Are metals and other elements in every continent?

I originally thought that you can only find certain things like iron, copper, and other things in certain places in the world and deep in mines but I saw in a few YouTube videos that you can find iron ...
0
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3answers
184 views

Can garbage be sent into the (near-)center of the world?

I've been thinking about how difficult it is to eliminate toxic chemical waste -- it usually needs high temperatures and pressures. So: would it be feasible (and maybe cheaper) to send it into the ...
1
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0answers
61 views

What is the most expensive project related to Earth's geology and/or to engineering geology on the Earth? [closed]

Costs related to space exploration are well documented. However, what about the costs of Earth projects like dam/mines/tunnels? What has been the most expensive projects? I know that nuclear power ...
4
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1answer
107 views

Are the precious metals (silver, gold, platinum) present everywhere throughout the Earth's crust at least in the trace quantities?

Do some rocks, soils, sands or waters exist that contain fewer than one atom of gold per cubic meter or tonne of their mass?
7
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2answers
579 views

Non-invasive techniques to find rock composition

If we had access to a totally new kind of rock (maybe a new meteorite), is it possible to tell what the rock is composed of without touching it / drilling into it? I'm thinking of something like ...
4
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1answer
322 views

Why does Morocco have so much phosphate?

I read that Morocco/Western Sahara has 75% of the world's known phosphate reserves, but I couldn't find an explanation of what mineral is responsible for it and how it all ended up there.
0
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0answers
42 views

What are the favourable conditions for the formation of porphyry copper deposits?

Favourable condition for the formation of porphyry copper deposits is : 1. Extremely low oxygen fugacity in initial magma 2. High water content in initial magma 3. Crystallization of magama at deep ...
3
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1answer
58 views

Is it feasible to 'harvest' the clathrates from the permafrost before they evaporate?

We can see that there are large buildups of methane clathrates in permafrost regions. Climate scientist James Hansen has predicted that the release of the permafrost methane clathrates could cause ...
1
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1answer
84 views

What is the Carbon Footprint of not changing car oil?

I am on my second vehicle that I have stopped changing my oil after the car has been broke in or around 90k. The first car I made it 400k miles before the rear end went out. The second car I'm at 130k ...
0
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1answer
74 views

How many mines are there on Earth, and what is their output in tonnes?

I am writing a space colonization game, and I need some guidance on default values for mine productivity. If you also know an estimate of how much people work on them, that's a bonus. Thanks in ...
5
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2answers
337 views

Why is lithium so unevenly distributed?

According to the US Geological Survey, nearly all of the world's lithium reserves are in Chile/Argentina, China, and Australia. Why is this? Lithium seems to be mostly harvested from brine pools, so ...
4
votes
2answers
872 views

Can I use diamonds as fossil fuel?

Aside from cultural implications (correct me if I'm wrong but artificial diamonds are not so hard to obtain, right?) diamonds are pure carbon and are more unstable than graphite. So, why not use ...
6
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5answers
221 views

Which Earth minerals would Moon colonists miss the most?

In my science-based novel, Moon colonists need to return to Earth to collect some rare or absent mineral(s) Ideally, something they could derive from seawater. Which minerals might they be...?
7
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4answers
862 views

Why is helium only found in wells mixed with natural gas?

Does all commercially available helium come from natural gas wells? Is it theoretically possible to have a pure helium well? Helium is produced by the radioactive decay of primordial uranium and ...
1
vote
1answer
905 views

How gold deposits can be formed in Himalayas?

I have heard that gold is found in the water coming out of glaciers in Skardu region of Pakistan. Given that this area is part of Himalaya, what processes could result into ores of gold in this area?...
1
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2answers
818 views

Specific Chemical Composition of Nero Marquina Marble

I'm looking to understand the chemical composition of the Spanish Nero Marquina Stone. Specifically, are the white veins of different composition than the black? We are design studio pursuing work in ...
2
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1answer
640 views

What does it take to make a diamond?

I have constantly been told through my K-12 Education that diamonds are a product of carbon, time, pressure, and temperature. If this is true, what is stopping someone from building a high-pressure, ...
3
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4answers
1k views

Importance of meteorite impact craters in geology?

What is the economic importance of large meteorite impact craters with a diameter over 100 m? Can they form diamonds or produce other economic deposits?
3
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1answer
53 views

Is there an estimation how much organic matter there is still in the ground?

Oil, gas and coal are produced from organic matter. But is there an estimation how much is there still under the Earth's surface?
3
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1answer
48 views

How should I start studying about 'successful transitions in post-drought economies'?

Accept my apologies for weak formulation of my question. I do not have any background in environmental sciences, but since recently a lot of coverage in the media has been devoted to future droughts ...
16
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3answers
28k views

How do geologists find ore deposits?

From my research, there is lots of information on how to extract ore, but I can't find any information on how these ore deposits are found in the first place, apart from 'looking for surface ...
11
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1answer
754 views

The youngest and oldest source rock for hydrocarbons in economic quantities

Most famous and productive source rocks for hydrocarbons are Paleozoic or Mesozoic, but there are also examples from the Neogene. Time is needed for the rock to reach the right depth and temperature ...
9
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1answer
775 views

Why does Australia have extensive uranium ore deposits?

According to the World Nuclear Energy page about Australia's uranium deposits, the continent's known uranium resources are the world's largest – 31% of the world total. Of which In 2013 ...
13
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2answers
838 views

Are there known ore deposits under cities?

Occasionally there are news about a major ore deposit for a specific commodity being found. Some of these recent discoveries are underground, and the "geophysics" aspect of their exploration is more ...
10
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2answers
919 views

Where does the lithium in Salar de Uyuni comes from?

Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia holds a large percentage of the world's lithium reserves. Since the lithium is dissolved as LiCl in the brine, it makes extraction much easier than the alternative: Li ...
11
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1answer
205 views

When did/will peak conventional oil happen?

Global oil reserves are, for practical purposes, limited. We're using them at a rate far exceeding the rate of deposition. At some point, we will have to spend more energy to extract remaining ...
9
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3answers
8k views

Why is there so much oil in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Canada, but almost none in Europe?

Why do some countries have a lot of oil reserves, while some others don't?
8
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2answers
269 views

What are the tectonic implications of the Quaternary Igwisi Hills, Tanzania, kimberlite volcanics?

The Igwisi Hills Kimberlite volcanic features in Tanzania are described in the article Mapping the Igwisi Hills kimberlite volcanoes, Tanzania: understanding how deep-sourced mantle magmas behave at ...
12
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1answer
107 views

viable geothermal energy supply from exhausted fracked gas wells?

The UK legislator with primary responsibility for energy has claimed that exhausted fracked natural-gas wells will be suitable for re-use as a geothermal energy supply (not necessarily geothermal for ...
18
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2answers
1k views

Why are minerals found in "large" quantities and not scattered throughout the earth as individual atoms?

Heavier elements are created in stars. After stars die they scatter these heavier elements throughout the universe. These elements eventually gather to form planets. But why do we find "chunks" of ...
12
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1answer
127 views

How much methane clathrates are buried in continental deposits?

Methane clathrates are solid clathrate compound (more specifically, a clathrate hydrate) in which a large amount of methane is trapped within a crystal structure of water, forming a solid similar ...
13
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1answer
4k views

What is it about ancient craton geology that results in associated kimberlite pipes containing economic diamond deposits?

According to the Australian Geological Survey Organisation paper Kimberlite and lamproite diamond pipes (Jaques, 1998), economic deposits of volcanically-formed diamonds are restricted to ancient ...
12
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1answer
258 views

How many joules are required to mine a unit of coal?

Coal is still a major source of energy for generation of electricity. So how much energy is used to extract a unit (tonne/kilogram etc) of coal? And thus what is the efficiency of coal as a source of ...
17
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5answers
30k views

Why do gold deposits form only in certain areas of the earth?

In the map above you can find that most elements are spread evenly throughout Earth's crust and that they are available all around the Earth. However, gold can only be found in certain areas of the ...
21
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2answers
3k views

In what geological situations can I find gold?

I've heard that gold ore is often associated with quartz veins. What geological processes enable gold particles to naturally cluster together like this? What characteristics/properties should I look ...
20
votes
2answers
995 views

How are the banded-iron-formation iron-ores formed?

Many of the richest and purest iron ores are found in so called banded iron formations, cm thick magnetite or hematite layers intermixed with iron poor rock layers. Since these are usually of pre-...
20
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3answers
1k views

What are rare earths and why do they cluster near alkaline magmatism?

'Rare earths' play a vital role in the modern economy, and they are becoming more of a point of focus in geopolitical realms. What are 'rare earths' and why do they appear to cluster in association ...