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Ore Deposits

Valuable minerals and metals may make up an ore deposit.

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Geo-Careers: Prospector

Geo-Careers: Prospector

Credit: State Library of South Australia
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/state_library_south_australia/3254149123/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

The photo shows a group of old-time prospectors. A modern prospector is more likely to be called an exploration geologist. He or she carries a laptop rather than a rifle.

Amazing But True!

  • Data are collected in the field. That data must be analyzed.
  • Software is needed that can analyze data; for example, to create 3-d models.
  • Credit: KVDP
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Simplified_world_mining_map_2.png
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Mining map showing locations of specific ores deposits (2009) [Figure2]

  • Ore bodies are not pure. They are locations where the concentration of the desired material is high enough to make mining the area profitable.
  • The video below about prospectors was made in Canada so may not apply to all English speaking countries.

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With the link below, learn more about careers in prospecting. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What are the modern prospector’s two most important tools?
  2. What are three high-tech geophysical methods that modern prospectors must be familiar with?
  3. What do the three geophysical methods mentioned above reveal?
  4. What would a 3-d model of a site explored for a potential ore body show?
  5. What is the environmental impact of modern mining techniques compared with past techniques?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: State Library of South Australia; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/state_library_south_australia/3254149123/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: KVDP; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Simplified_world_mining_map_2.png; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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