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Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5070–M

Sediment-Hosted Stratabound Copper Deposit Model

Chapter M of
Mineral Deposit Models for Resource Assessment

By Timothy S. Hayes, Dennis P. Cox, Nadine M. Piatak, and Robert R. Seal, II

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (110 MB)Abstract

This report contains a descriptive model of sediment-hosted stratabound copper (SSC) deposits that supersedes the model of Cox and others (2003). This model is for use in assessments of mineral resource potential. SSC deposits are the second most important sources of copper in the world behind porphyry copper deposits. Around 20 percent of the copper in the world is produced from this class of deposits. They are also the most important sources of cobalt in the world, and they are fourth among classes of ore deposits in production of silver. SSC deposits are the basis of the economies of three countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, Poland, and Zambia. This report provides a description of the key features of SSC deposits; it identifies their tectonic-sedimentary environments; it illustrates geochemical, geophysical, and geoenvironmental characteristics of SSC deposits; it reviews and evaluates hypotheses on how these deposits formed; it presents exploration and assessment guides; and it lists some gaps in our knowledge about the SSC deposits. A summary follows that provides overviews of many subjects concerning SSC deposits.

First posted June 17, 2015

For additional information contact:
Director, Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Box 25046, Mail Stop 973
Denver, CO 80225

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Suggested citation:

Hayes, T.S., Cox, D.P., Piatak, N.M., and Seal, R.R., II, 2015, Sediment-hosted stratabound copper deposit model: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5070–M, 147 p.,

ISSN 2328-0328 (online)



Summary of Sediment-Hosted Stratabound Copper Deposit Model


Deposit Type and Associated Commodities

History of Exploitation of Sediment-Hosted Stratabound Copper Deposits and History of Genetic Concepts

Regional Environment

Physical Description of Deposits

Geophysical Characteristics

Hypogene Ore Characteristics

Hypogene Gangue Characteristics and Alteration

Weathering and Supergene Ore and Gangue Characteristics

Geochemical Characteristics

Petrology of Associated Sedimentary Rocks

Petrology of Associated Metamorphic Rocks

Theory of Ore Deposit Formation

Geoenvironmental Features and Anthropogenic Mining Effects

Knowledge Gaps and Future Research Directions



Appendix 1. Summary of Representative Sediment-Hosted Stratabound Copper Deposits

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