any one of various chemical elements of sulfide ores according to the classification of the Norwegian geochemist V. M. Goldschmidt. Chalcophile elements constitute side groups in the periodic system of elements and include 19 elements: S, Cu, Zn, Ga, Ge, As, Se, Ag, Cd, Ln, Sn, Sb, Te, Au, Hg, Tl, Pb, Bi, and Po. Their metals have a specific affinity for S, Se, and Te.
Chalcophile elements make up 0.046 percent of the mass of the earth’s crust; however, because of their ability to accumulate under certain conditions, they form ore deposits, primarily hydro-thermal vein deposits. Sulfides of copper, lead, zinc, and silver in sedimentary rocks form stratiform (blanket) deposits.