W.L. Pohl:
Economic Geology, Principles and Practice: Metals, Minerals, Coal and Hydrocarbons
— an Introduction to Formation and Sustainable Exploitation of Mineral Deposits

Second edition published 2020 ( EG2 2020)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY and REVIEW December 12, 2022

Economic Geology is the application of Earth Science to provide human societies with metals, minerals and energy. It has a central role in the discovery, the development and extraction of metals and minerals that satisfy some of the basic needs of humanity, such as housing, energy, a dignified life, the increase of material prosperity, the maintenance of a sustainable and vital social and natural environment, and peace.

This Economic Geology book evolved from an earlier edition (EG1) that appeared in 2011. Its structure is similar to the precursor, but the contents are profoundly updated. The second edition of the book (EG2) reflects the great advancement of science and practice in the years since.

With 32 Colour Plates, 305 Figures, 32 Tables, 25 Boxes, and 81 Equations, the new edition is only a little more voluminous than EG1. An abundance of new and a reduced number of older references fill 80 pages. The List of Boxes appears on page 727. The printed General Index spreads across 16 pages of small print; the author intends to make more entries in the future and to provide the extended version on his website. The Location Index is a new feature of the book that fills 12 pages of small print. Apart from numerous long-known type deposits such orthomagmatic magnetite at Kiruna in Sweden or the orogenic hydrothermal gold deposit Golden Mile in Australia, the reader may expect many new entries such as the new lacustrine-evaporative class of lithium ore deposits at Jadar, Serbia (EG2 page 291).

In his REVIEW of the book in the Economic Geology Bulletin (USA), McNulty, B.A. (2021) Economic Geology (2021) 116 (6): 1485-1486. ISSN 0361-0128; doi:10.5382/econgeo.116.6.br02 wrote:

"I thoroughly enjoyed the applied aspect of this textbook, specifically Part III: The Practice of Economic Geology. We all have our own origin story and, for some of us, this geology adventure has led us to lifelong careers as explorers, resource modelers, engineers, or environmental scientists. The life cycle of natural resources from discovery, mining beneficiation, closure and through to remediation is wonderfully presented in this section and highlights the numerous areas of expertise that encompass the multidisciplinary field of economic geology. Pohl captures the essence of economic geology so eloquently with the following text: "

" Never forget that exploration is not only a scientific and technical enterprise but foremost an investment (EG2 page 447) ."

Brian recommends my EG2:

"The format of the book, which includes informative yet condensed chapters with ample suggested readings, makes for a great choice of textbook for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as an excellent addition to the libraries of professional geoscientists interested in understanding and applying aspects of economic geology to their field of interest."

"Overall, I appreciate the different ways this book could be utilized by students, various academic researchers, and industry professionals. The book is a valuable resource in introducing the geologic processes involved in metal, nonmetal, and fossil fuel formation, including explanatory petrogenetic and tectonic deposit models, as well as how to apply this knowledge to exploration. The book also summarizes the current understanding of metals, elements, and minerals on an individual basis and does not shy away from the fact that society, industry, and academia need to work together to provide solutions toward sustainable natural resource management."

As the author of the book I would like to add that most professionals in the Exploration and Mining Sector should profit from this holistic resource. When writing the text, I often thought of Junior Companies , the bold pioneers. Yet, EG2's usefulness should extend to professionals in Government Organisations, and in Banks, Stockmarkets and Finance Providers where it may include the cloud of Advisors and Consultants . CEOs will find that communicating with Investors (and Staff) is enriched and facilitated by a quick perusal of this comprehensive resource with its extensive Indexes.

For students and teachers , the Publishers promised a companion page with supporting matter on their website (similar to the one that Wiley had on their web pages for EG1), but this was not realized -- due to Covid? For EG2, the Table of Contents, a flyer and Sample Pages can be accessed and the book can be ordered at URL

An e-book version (PDF) of EG2 appeared in 2021. Schweizerbart, however, only sells the paper books. They leased the sale of the ebook version of EG2 (2020) to at least one international dealer ( https://www.ebooks.com/en/book/210402244 ). Ebooks.com has outlets in Australia, UK, USA and probably sells globally.

From ebooks.com, I bought my copy of EG2. After the common procedure, they link to the free reader Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), which on my laptop provides wonderfully readable text and coloured images, and apart from many other functions, a handy search facility that is essential for fully exploiting the contents of the book. Be aware that most of the 305 images and photographs in the EG2 e-book are wholly or partially coloured. Coulors are also used in line drawings in order to highlight important or essential features, such as ore bodies (marked by flamboyant red). Although this would be included in the license, I will not download EG2 onto my i-phone.

Take care, however; several websites (among them Amazon) offer e-books of the 1st (EG1 edited by Wiley 2011), not the second edition of Economic Geology. The cover image of EG2 is El Laco volcano Chile; do not choose (except intentionally) the talc deposit Trimouns in France of EG1.

Amazon as yet only sells the print versions of the 2nd edition (for the 1st edition published by Wiley they offer a Kindle version of the e-book, but as author and Kindle reader for leisure, I suggest not to wait until the e-version of 2nd ed. will be available, but to buy at ebooks.com).

WALTER L. POHL is Emeritus Professor, a science writer, blogger and consulting geologist in economic geology. For more information visit: https://walterpohl.com/


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