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Gold is either the only economically important metal or a major by-product in 11 well-characterized deposit types—paleoplacer, orogenic, porphyry, epithermal, Carlin, placer, reduced intrusion related, volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS), skarn, carbonate replacement, and iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG), arguably more than for those of any other metal; it also dominates a number of deposits of uncertain or unknown origin. Major gold concentrations formed worldwide from the Mesoarchean to the Pleistocene, from Earth’s surface to midcrustal paleodepths, alone or in association with silver, base metals, and/or uranium, and from hydrothermal fluids of predominantly metamorphic, magmatic, meteoric, seawater, or, uncommonly, basinal origins, as...

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