Hydrothermal Mineral Deposits: Principles and Fundamental Concepts for the Exploration Geologist

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This book is intended primarily for exploration geologists and post- graduate students attending specialist courses in mineral exploration. Exploration geologists are engaged not only in the search for new mineral deposits, but also in the extension and re-assessment of existing ones. To succeed in these tasks, the exploration geologist is required to be a generalist of the Earth sciences rather than a specialist. The exploration geologist needs to be familiar with most aspects of the geology of ore deposits, and detailed knowledge as well as experience play an all important role in the successful exploration for mineral commodities. In order to achieve this, it is essential that the exploration geologist be up to date with the latest developments in the evolution of concepts and ideas in the Earth sciences. This is no easy task, as thousands of publications appear every year in an ever increasing number of journals, periodicals and books. For this reason it is also difficult, at times, to locate appropriate references on a particular mineral deposit type, although this problem is alleviated by the existence of large bibliographic data bases of geological records, abstracts and papers on computers. During my teaching to explorationists and, indeed, during my years of work as an explorationist, the necessity of having a text dealing with the fundamental aspects of hydrothermal mineral deposits has always been compelling. Metallic mineral deposits can be categorised into three great families, namely: (I) magmatic; (2) sedimentary and residual; (3) hydrothermal.