14 June 2022
by Alex Brinded

Critical minerals from ancient ocean floors

Tracking how mineralisation occurs from sea floors could pave the way to finding future minerals.

© Yannis Papanastasopoulos / unsplash

Researchers at the The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, led a study that examined remnants of ocean floors in eastern Australia and central Asia and dated the calcite trapped inside.

Dr Renjie Zhou from UQ says, 'Calcite and other hydrothermal minerals are often observed in critical mineral deposits and form under mineralising fluid activities.

'Our work shows that we can trace the history of fluids in the Earth’s crust and see when and what mineral resources they might generate.'

Dr Zhou highlights the importance of future deposits, 'Electric vehicles need up to four times more copper than conventional cars and a single wind turbine uses several tonnes of permanent magnets made of rare earth metals.'

Authors

Alex Brinded

Staff Writer