Scientific discipline concerned with the distribution of mineral deposits, the economic considerations involved in their recovery, and assessment of the reserves available. Economic geology deals with metal ores, fossil fuels, and other materials of commercial value, such as salt, gypsum, and building stone. It applies the principles and methods of various other fields, especially geophysics, structural geology, and stratigraphy.
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Economic geology is studied and practiced by geologists; however it is of prime interest to investment bankers, stock analysts and other professions such as engineers, environmental scientists and conservationists because of the far-reaching impact which extractive industries have upon society, the economy and the environment.
Mineral resources are concentrations of minerals which are of note for current and future societal needs. Ore is classified as mineralization economically and technically feasible for extraction. Not all mineralization meets these criteria for various reasons. The specific categories of mineralization in an economic sense are:
Study of metallic ore deposits involves the use of structural geology, geochemistry, the study of metamorphism and its processes, as well as understanding metasomatism and other processes related to ore genesis.
Ore deposits are delineated by mineral exploration, which utilizes geochemical prospecting, drilling and resource estimation via geostatistics to quantify economic ore bodies. The ultimate aim of this process is mining.