Ore Deposits and Mountain Building

Magmatic, metamorphic and groundwater fluids may interact in hydrothermal systems to different degrees
Magmatic, metamorphic and groundwater fluids may interact in hydrothermal systems to different degrees
Image Credit: MBG
Open pit mine of Los Pelambres porphyry copper deposit, Chile. The mine contains resources of more than 420 million tons of ore with grades of 0,78% Cu and 0,035 % Mo
Open pit mine of Los Pelambres porphyry copper deposit, Chile. The mine contains resources of more than 420 million tons of ore with grades of 0,78% Cu and 0,035 % Mo
Image Credit: MBG

Some of the processes responsible for mountain building can also lead to the formation of spectacular ore deposits. These deposits can be enormous in size, representing huge geochemical anomalies that contains hundreds of millions of ton of ore (e.g., Chuquicamata, Chile; Butte, U.S.A.) 

Most of these deposits are genetically linked to hydrothermal systems where the source of heat, water and/or elements is related to igneous and metamorphic processes, or to a combination of both.