MOSCOW, Idaho – May 11, 2015 – About 75 percent of the world’s copper comes from porphyry copper deposits. A new study from the University of Idaho and the University of Michigan unearths how these economically valuable deposits are distributed around the world.
The research, published today in Nature Geosciences online, indicates that climate helps drive the erosion process that exposes porphyry copper deposits, as well as helps determine where on Earth the deposits form.
The study was conducted by Brian Yanites, an assistant professor in the UI Department of Geological Sciences, and Stephen Kesler, an emeritus professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Michigan. Yanites is a geomorphologist, studying the Earth’s topography. Kesler is an economic geologist, studying the formation of deposits that can be mined for raw materials.