Ore

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An ore is a type of rock that contains minerals with important elements including metals. The ores are extracted through mining; these are then refined to extract the valuable element(s). An economic definition is: Ore is a mineral that can be mined at a profit.

The grade or concentration of an ore mineral, or metal, as well as its form of occurrence, will directly affect the costs associated with mining the ore. The cost of extraction must thus be weighted against the contained metal value of the rock to determine what ore can be profitably extracted and what ore is of too low a grade to be worth mining. Metal ores are generally oxides, sulfides, silicates, or "native" metals (such as native copper) that are not commonly concentrated in the Earth's crust or "noble" metals (not usually forming compounds) such as gold. The ores must be processed to extract the metals of interest from the waste rock and from the ore minerals. Ore bodies are formed by a variety of geological processes. The process of ore formation is called ore genesis.

Contents

Ore deposits

An ore deposit is an accumulation of ore. This is distinct from a mineral resource as defined by the mineral resource classification criteria. An ore deposit is one occurrence of the particular ore type. Most ore deposits are named according to either their location (for example, the Witswatersrand, South Africa), or after a discoverer (e.g. the kambalda nickel shoots are named after drillers), or after some whimsy, an historical figure, a prominent person, something from mythology (phoenix, kraken, serepentleopard, etc.) or the code name of the resource company which found it (e.g. MKD-5 is the in-house name for the Mount Keith nickel ).

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