Why Economic Geology?
Economic Geology combines all aspects of the Earth Sciences as they apply to the understanding, discovery, and responsible utilization of Earth materials. Use of Earth materials continues to increase steadily providing many ongoing and novel challenges.
Economic geology is a specialty within geology--not within economics--that is concerned with earth materials that are, or can be potentially, economically utilized by society. This includes metals, nonmetallic minerals, rocks, fuels, and water. In the current usage, it most commonly refers to metallic mineral deposits and mineral resources. Although it is a specialty within geology, by its nature it spans and includes most of the traditional geologic specialties. For instance, geochemistry, paleontology, and structural geology might all be used to understand a mineral deposit.
There are many opportunities in industry (mining, enviornmental, . . . ), education (universities, secondary schools), government (surveys, management agencies, . . .), and other organizations to apply the principles and concepts to everyday problems.
In the early part of the 20th Century, Economic Geology included fossil fuels and water resources. Today, the field focuses on mineral resources including metals (gold to iron to beryllium) and industrial materials (as diverse as fertilizers to construction aggregate to diamonds).