Ironformation Metallogeny - Part (1)
CIM Montreal 2003
Gordon A. Gross , Gordon A. Gross ,
During the last half century major steel industries of the world have become dependent on iron and manganese resources derived from siliceous ironformation sediments. More than two billion years ago vast amounts of iron and manganese were deposited in ironformation sediments on all continents and until recent years their genesis was considered to be a uniquely Precambrian phenomenon. Research work has demonstrated that the origin of the banded ironformations was related to major tectonic features and associated volcanogenic processes that were active at various times throughout the geological record. Similar sedimentary-tectonic environments are being explored on the seafloor where metalliferous sediments ore forming today.
Ironformations are now considered to be a major part of the stratafer group of stratiform metalliferous deposits. They developed in sedimentary basins in areas where deep tectonic fracturing intersected high thermal gradients in the earth's crust and gave rise to profuse volcanism and the hydrothermal effusive discharge of metals in the vicinity of the volcanic centres.
Concepts for the genesis and metamorphism of stratafer deposits as revised in the last half century have had a profound impact in the development of iron ore resources and have had a dramatic impact in the use of metallogenetic concepts for guiding exploration for other mineral resources. They are based on the tectonic history and stratigraphy in the sedimentary basins, the role of hydrothermal volcanogenic processes , as well as environmental and sedimentation factors which influence the deposition of silica, iron , and other metals that were emphasized in the past.
Topics of special interest in the genesis of stratafer - ironformation deposits and for guiding mineral exploration are — Biomediation in their sedimentation and genesis,
The significance of metamorphism in the processing and beneficiation of iron ore and
in the genesis of iron ore by natural enrichment processes,
Syngenetic concentrations of Mn, Cu. Zn, Pb, Ni, Co, REE, F, Ba, B, As, Hg, and Au in ironformations and stratafer lithofacies, and
Mobilization of gold and other elements by alkaline solutions during diagenesis of ironfomration and other stratafer metalliferous sediments.
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