3 thoughts on “Q: What really makes a mineral deposit so rich ? Set up? Association? Enrichment process?

  1. The most sensitive feature of a deposit is its GRADE. Other aspects like its total tonnage, mineability , location etc are important but the total economics revolves round the grade of the deposit which makes it more attractive. A slight variation impacts the deposit in a way that may render it cost prohibitive.In exploration the determination of cut-off grade, Average grade, Run-of-Mine grade and Mill feed grade are the most important considerations that must be guarded at all the time of operation of a deposit.The grade of the deposit is resultant of the ore genesis process,its occurrence in a suitable receptacle along with the favorable environment of deposition. The association of other minerals which may be possible by-products and will off set the cost of operation, is the other important parameter worth considering.For example at Witwatersrand deposit of S. Africa it is the gold as primary mineral but the Uranium as co-product compensate the investment.The third parameter is the size of the deposit on which depends the production and the life of mine. More the production per day and per annum , less the cost.


  2. Actually all are related and interlinked. Without any one of these, there won’t be any potential zones of mineralization identifiable. As we have seen earlier for any minerals, the favourable geological set up and the expected mineral association should have been identified. Even such mineral associations are recorded, the zones of enrichment of required minerals/ ores, highly concentrated ores/minerals have to be brought out. Even if you have brought out the favourable potentials in different zones, the economic feasibility and economic viability factors of mining and beneficiation processes will determine that the mineral deposit is a rich deposit or not, wherein the quality and rarity of mineral/ores fix the market rate. Not only that, it fixes the Country’s Economy. Nevertheless, one should bearing in mind that all rich minerals/ores should be in the exploitable grade and from which the desired metal should be extractable by innovative technology through varying beneficiation techniques. Or else the richer deposit may be kept as reserve for future generation (for example PGE and REE deposits status in India).


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