Geoenvironmental Models for Seafloor Base- and Precious-Metal Massive Sulfide Deposits

Seal, Robert R. II ; Hammarstrom, Jane M. ; Foley, Nora K. ; Alpers, Charles N.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Geoenvironmental models are compilations of geologic, geochemical, and hydrologic information that describe both the pre- and post-mining environmental signatures of mineral deposits. The environmental behavior of seafloor massive sulfide deposits varies according to deposit type. This study has divided massive sulfide deposits into six categories: (1) Noranda-type, (2) Kuroko-type, (3) Cyprus- type, (4) Bathurst-type, (5) Besshi-type, and (6) sedimentary-exhalative deposits. In addition to Fe and Al, the heavy metals most commonly associated with drainage from these deposits are Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, and As. Metal ratios of mine drainage and natural background waters tend to reflect the primary character of the ores. Variations in pyrite and pyrrhotite contents are reflected in lower pH values associated with pyrite-rich deposit types.
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