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Open-File Report 2011–1259

Ni-Co Laterite Deposits—A Deposit Model

By Erin E. Marsh and Eric D. Anderson

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (858 kB)Abstract

Nickel-cobalt (Ni-Co) laterite deposits are an important source of nickel (Ni). Currently, there is a decline in magmatic Ni-bearing sulfide lode deposit resources. New efforts to develop an alternative source of Ni, particularly with improved metallurgy processes, make the Ni-Co laterites an important exploration target in anticipation of the future demand for Ni. This deposit model provides a general description of the geology and mineralogy of Ni-Co laterite deposits, and contains discussion of the influences of climate, geomorphology (relief), drainage, tectonism, structure, and protolith on the development of favorable weathering profiles. This model of Ni-Co laterite deposits represents part of the U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Resources Program’s effort to update the existing models to be used for an upcoming national mineral resource assessment.

First posted September 28, 2011

For additional information contact:
USGS Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Box 25046, MS-973
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225

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Suggested citation:

Marsh, E.E. and Anderson, E.D., 2011, Ni-Co laterite deposits: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1259, 9 p.




Profile Formation and Mineralogy

Secular Variation

Exploration and Geophysics


References Cited

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