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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: August 2013

30 - Metalliferous mineral deposits

from Part V - Applied mineralogy



Applied mineralogy deals with the practical applications of mineralogical knowledge, and the chapters in this section illustrate some of the main employment opportunities for mineralogists. Mineralogy is not merely an academic pursuit, but is of considerable economic significance. At one time mineralogy was applied largely to the field of mineral prospecting, but today the range of applications is much broader. Technological mineralogy and mineralogical materials science are growing fields, and developing needs constantly produce new branches of applied mineralogy, many of them making use of sophisticated instrumentation (Chapter 12). Mineralogical expertise is, of course, indispensable in geology and petrology. Other mineralogists work in gemology (see Chapter 31), in mineral extraction technology, in chemical plants, in the cement industry (see Chapter 32), and in ceramics and the manufacturing of refractory materials. Some mineralogists are also engaged in the fabrication of synthetic crystals, paints, enamels, and glazes, while others work in museums or become mineral dealers. Even in medicine there is a need for mineralogists. Environmental mineralogy, dealing with hazardous minerals, has recently become an important new application. An example is the study and remediation of asbestos contamination (see Chapter 33).

Prospecting mineralogy

Prospecting mineralogy deals with investigations that advance our knowledge of the occurrence of mineral deposits. Conventionally, the mineralogical features of ores have been the primary criteria for prospecting, and much has relied on the skills and accumulated wisdom of longtime miners.

Further reading
Chang, L. L. Y. (2002). Industrial Mineralogy. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 472pp
Craig, J. R., Vaughan, D. J. and Skinner, B. J. (2001). Resources of the Earth, Origin, Use and Environmental Impact, 3rd edn. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 520pp
David, M. (1977). Geostatistical Ore Reserve Estimation. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 364pp
Evans, A. M. (1993). Ore Geology and Industrial Minerals. An Introduction, 3rd edn. Blackwell, Oxford, 390pp
Hutchinson, C. S. (1983). Economic Deposits and their Tectonic Setting. Wiley, New York, 365pp
Lindgren, W. (1933) Mineral Deposits, 4th edn. McGraw Hill, New York, 930pp
Park, C. F. and MacDiarmid, R. A. (1975). Ore Deposits, 3rd edn. W. H. Freeman, San Francisco, 529pp
Sawkins, F. J. (1990). Metal Deposits in Relation to Plate Tectonics, 2nd edn. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 461pp
Strong, D. F. (ed.) (1976). Metallogeny and Plate Tectonics. Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper no. 14, 660pp
Vanacek, M. (ed.) (1994). Mineral Deposits of the World. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 519pp
Wellmer, F. -H. (1989). Economic Evaluations in Exploration. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 163pp
See also Kesler, 1994