Abstract

The source bed concept of ore genesis is the outcome of an attempt over the past several years to find answers to some of the outstanding problems of ore genesis--answers that would be of practical assistance in the difficult task of finding new orebodies.The popular epigenetic theory, which postulates that ore fluids derive from a magma, and the variants of this theory, which postulate an ore magma or a block of granitized sediments as the source of the sulfides, are of no practical use as an approach to ore finding. The syngenetic theory also cannot be applied to exploration, and offers no explanation for the numerous orebodies that are undoubtedly controlled by structure and which must surely have the same origin as the bedded deposits for which the theory was advanced.The author's method of approach was to search for some phenomenon of ore habit common to several major orebodies or fields. One such phenomenon emerged from a study of many mining fields, namely, the strict correlation between stratigraphy and ore in several important fields; the orebodies in these fields are restricted to one particular sedimentary horizon. Moreover this principle of stratigraphic control could be used as an approach to finding new orebodies in a field.The source bed concept postulates that all sulfide orebodies of the majority of fields are derived from sulfides that were deposited syngenetically at one particular horizon of the sedimentary basin constituting the field, and that the sulfides subsequently migrated in varying degree under the influence of rise in temperature of the rock environment.

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