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During the 1960s and 1970s the great importance of massive sulfide deposits in volcanic rocks finally came to be realized. Commonly referred to as VMSDs; for volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits, they were, during two decades of increasingly intensive research, found to range in age from the Archean to the present and to be encased in volcanic rocks that almost always displayed some evidence of submarine extrusion. Exploration geologists reclassified many previously known deposits as members of the class, and then, using successful combinations of geological, geophysical, and geochemical tools, discovered large numbers of new ones. By 1983, more than a thousand volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits have been recognized. They are now major suppliers of Cu, Pb, Zn, Ag, and Au around the world and rank second only to porphyry coppers in economic importance among nonferrous metallic mineral deposits (Rose et al., 1977).

Despite the obvious importance of volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits, an unusually large number of questions concerning their origins and formative processes remain. Unresolved questions led, during 1976, to the idea of a multidisciplinary, cooperative research project on these deposits. The idea arose during discussions between Japanese and U. S. scientists and, appropriately, the specific deposits suggested for attention, the Kuroko, have been the longest studied type of volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits and the first ones recognized as being of submarine, exhalative origin (Ohashi, 1920).

The U.S.-Japan-Canada Cooperative Research Project on the Genesis of Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Deposits commenced in 1978. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation in the

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