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Metals occur on every continent . The issue is whether or not they occur in sufficiently large deposits for them to be mined economically. The difference between a mineral deposit and an ore body is economics: can it be mined for a profit? One of the issues with mineral resources is that once they've been mined, they're gone. Cornwall and Devon, in the UK, ...


16

All stable elements (and the radioactive U and Th) exist everywhere on Earth. They're in the sand underneath your feet, they're in your bones, they're in the dust in the air, they're in the ocean. The question is how much. There are some estimates on the concentration of each element, and there's a nice table that lists all of them in Wikipedia article ...


6

No. In fact, I don't know why David Hammen didn't say that instead of commenting. The deepest hole that mankind ever dug was barely a scratch on the Earth's surface when you look at its size. They didn't even reach the mantle. The hole is only 12km deep, took about 20 years to create, and is still only 1/3 of the way to the mantle! Also, the hole is nothing ...


4

Part of the problem is in the question itself. In the title, you ask about "in every continent" while in the text, you imply that you are talking about smaller areas. One premise we can safely assume is that most elements are distributed unevenly. That is a far more relaxed question than you are asking, though. For an example, look at hydrogen. You ...


2

This is the classic description of a porphyry copper-molybdenum deposit. What happens is that there is a magmatic intrusion (the porphyry), which then solidifies. When it solidifies, it expels acidic hydrothermal fluids which carry metals in them - most often copper (represented by chalcopyrite) but also sometimes molybdenum (represented by molybdenite). ...


2

One of the flaws with using subduction zones as dumps for toxic chemicals so they can be broken down by heat and pressure at depth is the rate of sinking of the subducting plate. Subduction is a very slow process, generally between 2 and 8 centimeters per year. Any toxic material is going to hang around the interface for a very long time, with the potential ...


1

Quite a few cities were built overtop of ore deposits. They often started out as a series of small workings and larger, deeper deposits were found as the cities grew up to support the mining. An example is Bendigo Australia where there were mines under the centre of town Mining has continued off and on with the most recent activity using a decline for ...


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