The many uses of the valuable materials in Mansfeld copper slate
The geological data of the copper slate ore in the Mansfeld/Sangerhausen copper slate deposits which are of decisive importance for its processing in the metallurgical works have been described in detail by Gerhard Knitzschke and Martin Spilker. Roughly 50 % of the elements listed in the Periodic Table are contained in copper slate. Apart from copper and silver, which commercially important, copper slate contains a large number of elements which related to their Clarke value (= average content of the relevant elements in the earth's crust) are present in a concentration of 100 to 10,000 times. The amount of metal calculated for the start of copper plate mining for an area of approx. 190 km² and mining conditions of 8 kg/m2 to 10 kg/m2 of copper was 5,336,000 t, including 3,752,000 t of copper and 20,300 t of silver.
These metal contents and the polymetallic nature of the deposit make it virtually unique in the world. The above-mentioned contents are only approximations which may vary depending on the formation of the deposit and the ore content. The article describes the recovery of a large number of elements from Mansfeld copper slate over the ages.