The Museum ores collection of more than 15,000 specimens is a valuable resource for the field of economic geology.
The collection contains a wide range of material, from metalliferous soil and alluvial samples to mineralised bulk rock and drill core. Both individual and groups of samples are held.
Samples in the collection:
- highlight the occurrence of economic minerals
- demonstrate the style of mineralisation
- characterise specific deposit types
The main purpose of the collection is to support ongoing research in the Museum and the wider academic community. Specimens come from fieldwork and donations.
Systems and deposit types represented include:
- porphyry systems
- epithermal systems
- submarine exhalative base and precious metals systems
- magmatic systems
- placer deposits
- laterite deposits
The collection houses particularly fine examples of:
- mineralisation in south west England
- magmatic platinum-group element samples from Africa and the USA
- carbonate-hosted, Irish-type lead-zinc mineralisation
- epithermal gold deposits in south east Asia and the Americas
- massive sulphide deposits in the Urals
- nickeliferous material from Canada, Australia, Colombia and the USA
Countries of origin
Looking for a specimen?
The ores collection is being digitised
Any questions ?
If you would like to use any specimens for research
We have set out on an ambitious programme to develop a new science and digitisation centre at Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire by 2026. As we prepare for the move, access to some collections will be affected.
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