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Which mining process, open pit or underground would be prefferred? What useful elements could be found in the rocks that are strewn on the martian plains? T.Neo 12:58, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

These are good questions. I can't answer them right now. We should start collecting the appropriate data from the rovers and make them available in Marspedia systematically. Then we shall be able to answer those high level questions. -- Rfc 19:54, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

But the NASA rovers were designed to look out for evidence of water, hardly the kind of exploration needed to prospect for the mines. T.Neo 07:17, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes and no. Ore deposits such as gold, silver, copper sulfides, and a variety of non-metallic mineral concentrations result from the precipitation of ions from water. The water may be ground water moving down, resulting in calcite (CaCO3), dolomite (CaMgCO3) and other deposits like bauxite (aluminum ore) which becomes available as other sustances are leached away. The water may also be migrating up and out from intrusive igneous deposits, moving through rock fractures and bedding planes and depositing useful mineral concentrations in veins as it cools. Water that runs down from surrounding surface terrain and then evaporates may result in concentrations (Salt Flats) of the chemical precipitates Halite (NaCl) and Silvite (KCl). Water will also serve to move samples of minerals from one location to another (such as gold in a river bed) meaning that the samples found in present or ancient river beds can be traced up stream to their parent formations. While water itself might not be of much value as far as mining is concerned, the geologic processes that result from watery environments can provide extremenly valuable concentrations of useful materials. - Jarogers2001 08:12, 11 October 2008 (UTC)