Ore Body

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Ore Body


the general name for an accumulation of ore in any shape. An ore body may correspond to an ore deposit, but more often the deposit includes several ore bodies. The boundary between an ore body and the enclosing rocks may be distinct and discernible to the eye. On the other hand, it may be indistinct, with a gradual transition from the ore body through a zone of impregnated low-grade ores and weakly mineralized rocks to the enclosing rocks. When indistinct, the boundary of the ore body is established during the sampling process, based on the minimum allowable content of metal or mineral in the ore.

Three groups of ore bodies are distinguished by shape: isometric, flat, and elongated in one direction. Isometric ore bodies are accumulations of mineral substance that are approximately equal in all measurements. They include stocks, stockworks, and pockets, relatively small accumulations of ore that are isometric in shape and usually not more than 1–3 m in cross section.

Flat ore bodies—sheets, veins, and lenses—have two long dimensions and one short dimension. The sheet, the most common shape in which sedimentary deposits occur, is a tabular body separated from other rocks by bedding planes. A distinction is made between simple sheets and complex sheets, which have rock interlayers. Sheetlike deposits differ from sheets in their smaller dimensions, discontinuity, and lesser stability of thickness. They are typical of weathering deposits.

Veins are ore bodies formed when a mineral substance fills fracture cavities or when there is metasomatic substitution of mineral substances for rocks along cracks. The plane of contact between the vein and the enclosing rocks is called the selvage. The zones of mineralized lateral rocks of veins create a contact metamorphic aureole that sometimes contains industrial concentrations of valuable components. Where the minerals that fill the veins are unevenly distributed, there is an alternation of sections rich and poor in valuable components; the rich sections in the body of the vein are called ore shoots. Ore shoots may be morphological or concentrated. The former are formed by bulges in the vein, whereas the latter are zones having an increased concentration of valuable components unrelated to change in the morphology of the ore body but rather caused by local alterations of the physicochemical parameters of ore deposition. The latter are sometimes related to the ability of the ore-enclosing rocks to react chemically with solutions. Sometimes they result from a sharp change in the temperature and pressure of solutions, the change leading to a large-scale accumulation of ore minerals.

A lens is a lenticular geological body that tapers out markedly in all directions; its thickness is slight compared to its length. In terms of morphology, lenses and lenticular beds are transitional formations between isometric and flat ore bodies.

Ore bodies elongated in one direction are called ore pipes or pipes. Ore pipes are oval in cross section. They form when an ore substance from magmatic melts or hydrothermal solutions is concentrated; the melts or solutions penetrate from the abyssal parts of the earth’s crust along the line where tectonic fractures intersect or along fractures that intersect easily penetrated rock strata. Sometimes, when melts or hot vapors and gases break through a bed of rock, diatremes are formed; examples are the diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes of Siberia and South Africa. There are ore pipes composed of copper, lead-zinc, and tin; they are up to several kilometers long, and their width in cross section varies from a few meters to several hundred.


Smirnov, V. I. Geologiia poleznykh iskopaemykh, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1969.


References in periodicals archive ?
The Perseverance North ore body can be easily accessed with only 75 metres of horizontal development required from the existing 205 level at Perseverance.
For a deep ore body, the production and ventilation shafts are sunk simultaneously and positioned within 100 m or so of each other.
Even a steeply dipping ore body may not be drawn clean of ore by gravity alone.
Consequently, they could be re-rated if their ore body assets were redefined, packaged, presented and promoted to the same extent as other gold deposits in the world.
Globex has reviewed the existing geological and structural data including Joutel VMS Camp 3D models generated by the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources and has come to the conclusion that rather than abutting against a batholith, the Joutel ore body has been cut by a late, cross cutting, shallowly dipping dyke of undetermined thickness.
Drillers on the southern end of the Copper Cliff South Mine identified a major new nickel, copper and platinum group element (PGE) deposit 500 metres south of the 865 ore body.
A core drilling campaign is an important part of the overall geological exploration survey of any mineral deposit which assists one to gain a better insight to the geological structure and deposit type of an ore body.
About K400 billion were invested by the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) towards the new Nchanga Underground Mine s upper ore body mining site that is scheduled to enter into operations early next year.
Now imagine sitting in the centre of it, and all around is a graphic, multi-dimensional visualization of an ore body.
The potential is an ore body that is tens of millions of tons in size.
The real focus, as far as I'm concerned, has got to be promoting economic development, not only spending money on exploration, but in areas that have the best chance of finding another ore body that we can turn into a mine and ultimately create spinoffs in direct employment and in the service sector," Gignac says.
a large, disseminated copper-nickel-precious metals ore body, and