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A.F. Wilson

The mineral potential of granulite terranes and other highly metamorphosed segments of the earth's crust

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Physical and chemical adjustments of sulphide and oxide base metal deposits during high grade metamorphism are sufficiently restricted in magnitude to encourage vigorous exploration for economic ore bodies in granulite and other highly metamorphosed terranes. Many of these terranes are relics of highly mineralized Archaean basement and cover rocks, and other granulites are within Precambrian mobile belts which cut Archaean cratons and have been modified considerably from mantle-derived emanations.

The relationship between the tectonic and metamorphic setting of these terranes and irregularities of the mantle-crust interface appear to favour development of a range of ores, such as Ni and Cu. The economic significance of zones of retrogression within these terranes is postulated. A wide range of gems, ornamental and industrial minerals is a feature of these terranes. Gold mineralization is uncommon.

A review of the mineral potential of the deep zones of the earth must be limited to those portions of the deep crust which are likely to come within economic reach of mankind within the foreseeable future.

Most of the rocks discussed in this review have suffered one or more phases of granulite facies metamorphism or are igneous bodies emplaced within the deep crust.

To cite this article

A.F. Wilson, «The mineral potential of granulite terranes and other highly metamorphosed segments of the earth's crust», Annales de la Société géologique de Belgique [En ligne], Publications spéciales = special publications, Géologie des domaines cristallins - Centenaire de la Société géologique de Belgique, 1974, 301-321 URL :

About: A.F. Wilson

Department of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland 4067, Australia.