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Economic deposits associated with terrestrial impact structures range from world-class to relatively localized occurrences. The more significant deposits are introduced under the classification: progenetic, syngenetic or epigenetic, with respect to the impact event. However, there is increasing evidence that post-impact hydrothermal systems at large impact structures have remobilized some progenetic deposits, such as some of the Witwatersrand gold deposits at the Vredefort impact structure. Impact-related hydrothermal activity may also have had a significant role in the formation of ores at such syngenetic ‘magmatic’ deposits as the Cu-Ni-platinum-group elements ores associated with the Sudbury impact structure. Although Vredefort and Sudbury contain world-class mineral deposits, in economic terms hydrocarbon production dominates natural resource deposits found at impact structures. The total value of impact-related resources in North America is estimated at US$18 billion per year. Many impact structures remain to be discovered and, as targets for resource exploration, their relatively invariant, but scale-dependent properties, may provide an aid to exploration strategies.

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