Geological description of ore deposit

Teemu Karlsson, Geological Survey of Finland, P.O. BOX 1237, FI-70211 Kuopio, FINLAND, e-mail: teemu.karlsson(at)

According to the Finnish Government Decree on waste from extractive industries (190/2013), the starting point for the specification of mining waste is collecting background data on the geology of the ore deposit and general description of the mining operation. The geological description of the ore deposit includes information about the following:

  • Nature of the deposit and host rock/rock types in the ore
  • Size and geometry of the deposit
  • Ore mineralogy and chemistry of the deposit
  • Hydrothermal alteration
  • Weathering and supergene alteration
  • Nature of the rock types surrounding the ore deposit, i.e. country rock

Based on the background information (what kind of materials has been processed and how), a preliminary assessment of the properties and quantitites of the mine waste can be made. For instance, mineralogical data provides information whether waste materials are prone to contain buffering or acid producing minerals and chemical composition of the potential elements posing environmental risks. Furhermore, preliminary estimates of the amount of waste rock can be made based on the size and geometry of the deposit combined with data from the tentative excavation plan.

In Finland, background information of the ore deposits is available, for example, in the following sources:


Finnish Government Decree 190/2013. Government Decree on Mining Wastes 14.3.2013.