There are several evidences of hydrocarbon association to metal ores. Black shales, specially those of high carbon content, have long been known to be enriched with a variety of transition metals, especially Mo, Zn, Vi, Cu, Cr, V, Co, Pb, U and Ag. The Kupferschiefer is associated with black shales and near Zechstein Salt in Germany. Miners try to found the black leader to prospect gold deposits. Mississipi Valley Type - MVT deposits are frequently associated with hydrothermal dolomite HTD and bitumen. In Australia, Proterozoic shales hosted Pb-Zn-Ag deposits, such as Mt. Isa, Hilton, McArthur River and Lady Loretta According.
The scientist Thomas Gold, remind that in geology there's no understanding about the role of hydrocarbon compounds and their capacity to transport metals. This is due few people reasoning with the possibility that hydrocarbons come from great depths as oil and natural gas and that they are primordial materials. Then, most part of Economic geologists still reasoning that metals are syngenetic with shale deposition and diagenetic process would be responsible for metal concentration.
The understanding of real hydrocarbon origin and processes of hydrothermal salt formation maybe will be key to comprehension of certain metal ore accumulations in the Earth.
Metal Ores and Hydrocarbons