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An epithermal ore deposit is defined as a relatively near-surface deposit formed in a hydrothermal system under low to moderate pressure and a temperature range below about 300°C (Barrett, 1985). This concise definition is a restatement of Lindgren's characteristics of hydrothermal systems of “epithermal” character. A modification of Lindgren's characteristics is tabulated in Table 9.1. These characteristics are both physical and chemical, and we will, in this and the following paper (Berger and Silberman, 1985, this volume), attempt to relate them.

Epithermal lode deposits in the Circum-Pacific region produce approximately 30 million grams of gold annually (Giles and Nelson,...

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