Abstract

Comparison of the distribution of sulphide ores in the Troodos ophiolite with the rate and manner of formation of ocean crust suggests that almost all sulphide ore bodies will only be exposed for a few thousand years in the active crestal zone of a ridge before being covered by lava, and that a few hundred such bodies, about 1 every 100 km of ridge crest, are currently exposed. Their rate of formation will be much less than potential mining rates, and sophisticated exploration techniques will be necessary to find them. Artificial generation of ores by controlled circulation may be a better approach eventually.

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