Economic Perspective on Development of Potential Gorda Ridge Sulfide Deposits
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The Turner-Albright massive sulfide deposit is a well-studied example of a polymetallic ore body formed at a site of seafloor spreading in the geologic past. Construction and evaluation of a hypothetical mining and processing scenario based on this deposit, including cost estimates and financial analyses, identified key economic parameters that provide an economic perspective for future development of potential massive sulfide deposits on Gorda Ridge. Sensitivity analyses of cost parameters indicate that profitability is most sensitive to increases in operating costs. Both capital and operating costs are expected to be substantially higher for seafloor mining operations, thus requiring increased revenues to reach economic viability. Consequently, near-term development of massive sulfide deposits on or beneath the seafloor appears unlikely. New developments in exploration and mining technology are needed to locate, delineate, and develop seafloor deposits before an accurate quantitative assessment of economic viability can be made.
KeywordsMassive Sulfide Sulfide Deposit Seafloor Spreading Massive Sulfide Deposit Gold Recovery
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