Describe the principal feature that allows a mineral deposit to be classed as an ore. 

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lavincen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The principal feature is profitability.  The mineral needs to be in sufficient quantities in the material being mined, that after processing, there is profit in operating the mine.

For example, if a mineral, such as copper, costs $1.00 to produce 1 pound and can be sold for $3.00 per pound, the concentration of copper in the mine would be considered anore. 

If a mineral in the ground to be mined does not have sufficient mineral in it in order to be mined for profit, the classification is mineral deposit.

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