Primary geochemical characteristics of mineral deposits: implications for exploration

Carranza, Emmanuel John M. (2012) Primary geochemical characteristics of mineral deposits: implications for exploration. Ore Geology Reviews, 45. pp. 1-4.

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[Extract] The old adage 'mineral exploration is like finding a needle in a haystack' recaps the difficulty of finding economic mineral deposits near or beneath the surface. In general, two main approaches can be used to detect the presence of mineral deposits near or beneath the ground surface. One employs a mineral deposit model and the other aims at the identification of a primary halo about a mineral deposit. A mineral deposit model provides systematic empirical (descriptive) and/or theoretical (genetic) descriptions of the essential geological, geochemical and geophysical features of a type of mineral deposits (cf. Cox and Singer, 1986 and Roberts et al., 1988). The primary halo of a mineral deposit, as defined originally by Safronov (1936), is ‘an area including rock, surrounding mineral deposit (ore bodies) and enriched elements that make up that deposit’. Thus, descriptions of primary haloes may form part of a mineral deposit model, but both deposit model and primary halo approaches to mineral exploration are based on studies of primary geochemical characteristics of mineral deposits because chemical processes during mineralization are the ones that ultimately bring about metal precipitation or mineral formation. However, a deposit model approach to mineral exploration is apt for identifying 'which haystacks contain a needle' whereas a primary halo approach to mineral exploration is proper for deducing 'where in a needle-bearing haystack is the needle located'.

Item ID: 27329
Item Type: Article (Editorial)
ISSN: 1872-7360
Date Deposited: 30 May 2013 23:34
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040299 Geochemistry not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840199 Mineral Exploration not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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