Economic Geology

About Economic Geology

Mineral exploration is expensive and high risk because of limited geologic knowledge – particularly at depth – and because of incomplete understanding of the ore-forming processes that control the distribution of minerals over geologic space and across hundreds of millions of years of geologic time. Ongoing research at the University of Arizona builds on more than a century of applied geological studies. We are conducting geochemical, geological and mineralogical studies on the origin, character, distribution and dispersion of mineralizing systems – which are larger and more numerous than the deposits themselves.

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Economic Geology

Researching Complex Deposits in Africa

The Tenke-Fungurume copper/cobalt deposits in the Democratic Republic of the Congo produce 40 percent of the world’s cobalt, yet even the most basic geologic questions  have never been precisely answered. Isabel Barton, doctoral candidate at the time, studied a group of these deposits, hosted in 800-million-year-old sedimentary rocks.

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Tackling Paradox Basin Fluid-Rock System

Peter Reiners inspects slickensides

UArizona geoscientists and scientists from the New Mexico Institute of Technology begin to unpack the vast and ancient Paradox Basin that straddles primarily the Utah and Colorado border. The group aims to understand the feature’s formation and mysteries - with real-world impact.

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Gold is Where You Find It – But Why?

Caleb King and Simone Runyon

Nevada is the fourth largest producer of gold in the world – after China, Australia and South Africa. Yet there’s more gold hidden in the twisted geology shaped by magmas and 50 million years of extensional faulting. Great challenges remain in understanding the geology and applying that knowledge to mineral exploration and development.

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Lowell Program in Economic Geology

Economic geology is the study and analysis of geologic bodies and materials that can be utilized profitably by man. The Lowell Program in Economic Geology provides additional education and training for geologists who want to further their careers in the exploration and mining industry.