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Objectives of Mineral Exploration

Question:

Discuss about the Geological Methods in Mineral Exploration.

Prospecting is the first stage of the analysis of geology of the territory and involves searching of the fossils, minerals mineral specimens and precious metals physically. It is a small scale form of exploration of minerals that is organized, large-scale efforts performed by the mineral companies to get the commercial deposit of the viable ore. The process of prospecting involves the traversing, sifting, panning, outcrop investigation and the looking for the mineralization signs (Council, 2013).

Exploration is the sequential process of gathering the information that evaluates the mineral potential in a given region. The first step is to have the idea or the model of geology that identify lands that are worthy of the exploration (Kucera, 2012)

There are many objectives of the exploration and some of the main ones are stated below

  • To create jobs that can improve the resident’s economy and the entire community.
  • To compensate properly the impacts the operation may bring to the livelihood and properties of the residents affected.
  • When the operation of mining is set to start, the company of exploration should provide the medical facilities for the residents affected.
  • Training for the residents affected for them to qualify for the jobs in the company and schools for the children in the affected community(Kumar, 2011)

Outline the prospecting and then exploration strategies which need to be undertaken in the acquisition of the mineral deposit

Planning: The process of exploration begins with the analysis and gathering of the data on the probable areas of exploration. The objective is to find the regions of the exploration interest and to strategize about the stages. The information includes the maps, company filed reports, and geological survey reports for the assessment (Marjoribanks, 2013).

Reconnaissance; its purpose is to find out the inconsistencies that shows the existence of mineralization in the highlighted regions during planning. The actions include geochemical survey and geophysical surveys, rock sampling, geological mapping, and prospecting.

Advanced exploration; after the identification of the anomalies, exploration can be in more rigorous phase to evaluate the presence of the economic mineral deposits. The activities involved include drilling, trenching, and stripping (Reedman, 2010).

Sampling and assaying; this is the collection of the parts of the representation of the mineral deposits. Assays are the chemical test that defines the metal content of the rock sample.

Economic evaluation; after the determination of the quality and size of the ore deposit to the high probability degree, economic evaluation is determined to estimate the operation cost and the capital of mine (Ungemach, 2013).

The table below illustrated the name and geographical locality of the current operating mine sites of each of the states namely South Australia, West Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. The name of each shareholding companies that owns every mining suites is also stated in the table. The geographical setting, major ore-bearing rock type and the commercial uses of the deposits in every mine sites are also explained in the table.

States

Name and geographical locality

Name of the principle shareholding company

Geographical setting

Major ore-bearing rock type

Commercial uses of the economic deposit

Victoria

Bendigo and Ballarat

Victoria paradise

Located on the narrowed river in the central highland of Victoria

Igneous

Create job opportunities

Queensway

mount Morgan and Mary Kathleen uranium

Mount Morgan gold mining company limited

It is located in the Rockhampton region, Queensland, Australia (Kumar, 2011)

Sedimentary and igneous rock

Contained fireclay caverns excavated to provide clay for the mine of brickwork

New south wales

Peabody

Peabody energy corporation

It is located in the Salem country club

sedentary

They, market their coal to the electricity generating companies (Kumar, 2011)

Western Australia

Pilbara

Multinational Rio tinto group

Located in the west of Australia extending south from the De Grey River

Greenstone-Archean granite

Enhance trade

South Australia

Adelaide Hills

Hill grove resource-limited company (Kumar, 2011)

Is the part of the ranges of mount lofty, east of the Adelaide city in the state of South Australia

Igneous

Earns the state foreign exchange

Processes of Mineral Prospecting and Exploration

Before performing any activity on the minerals, the proponent must solve the issues relating to the native title rights and the protection of the cultural heritage of the Greenfield people. The native title rights and the interest possessed by the Torres Strait and aboriginal islander people in the underlying land, regulated and protected under the native title act. The native title partied have the rights to negotiate with the mineral title applicants about how the operation of the minerals are likely to affect the native title right of the parties and the interests. In the relation to the exploration, the resolution of the native titles matters can be the simple and short process. Resolution of the native title for the mining grant lease can take around 18 months and may need the paying the important compensation (Reedman, 2010).

Separately to the native title mining proponent have the duty of the care by the legislation state to take all the important steps not to damage the aboriginal cultural heritage. This is normally remedied by having the cultural management agreement with the relevant parties of the aboriginals. The requirement of the cultural heritage management agreement may be essential to entry to the land under the mining title. an applicant for the lease of mining can also enter into the agreement of the land use with the native title parties to comply with the native title act for the mining lease grant and any project inputs like the water, power and the rail corridor access, Also the applicant should be registered under the native title act to ensure they satisfy the requirement (Ungemach, 2013).

Understanding the culture and the heritage values of the proposed area of exploration both the aboriginal and non-aboriginal is needed to make sure that the program for the exploration does not interfere or damage the site or the object of importance. The awareness of the items of the potential heritage in the exploration area should allow the activities to be planned to minimize or avoid the adverse impacts. According to the act of national parks and wildlife, section 86(1) it is not right to harm the object that the person is known as the indigenous object. Also under the section 86(4) or 86(2) it is the offence to harm an Aboriginal object. under the heritage act, section 57 stated that a person may not demolish destroy, damage, any object, building or a place that is the subject of heritage interim order or listed in the register of the state heritage without the suitable approval or permit (Kumar, 2011).

Compliance with Native Title and Cultural Heritage Laws

According to the national parks and wildlife act, section 118A states that a person should not pick or harm, any animal or plant that is threatened species, endangered ecological communities, or endangered population, or the critical habitat.

Discussion of the statement that the results of the exploration program are JORC compliant and are undertaken by the competent person.

The JORC is the professional coded of the practice that states the minimum standards of the public mineral reporting the mineral resources, ore reserves, and exploration results. It gives the important systems for the classification of the mineral resources, ore reserves, and mineral exploration results according to the levels of the confidence in the knowledge of geology. Economic and technical consideration in the public reports. The public reports prepared ion the accordance of the JORC codes are the reports made for the reason of informing the potential investors and their advisors. They are not limited but include to quaternary and annual reports of the company, memoranda information, press release, website posting, technical papers, and the public presentation of the results of exploration, approximates of ore reserves and mineral resources (Marjoribanks, 2013).

  • The results of exploration are the information and data generated by the mineral exploration program to be used by the investors but do not form the part of the declaration of the ore reserves or mineral resources. The report of the information is common in some starting stages of the mining when the data quantity is not enough to allow relevant estimates of the mineral resources, such as sampling results, results of geochemical and geophysical results. For the exploration report to comply with the JORC codes, the following should be considered(Council, 2013).
  • Transparency; the public report reader should be issued with the appropriate data, clear appearance, and unambiguous to understand and should not mislead any information.
  • Materiality; this requires that the public reports should have all the required information that the professional advisor and the investors would need and expect to find in the report reasonably to make a relevant and balanced judgement concerning the exploration results.
  • Competence; it obliges that the public report depend on the work which is the duty of an experienced, suitable, and qualified person who is the subject of professional codes of the enforceable ethics(Kucera, 2012).

The competent person is the mineral industry professional who is a member of the Australasian Institute of metallurgy and mining, geoscientist or recognized the professional organization. This individual must have at least five years of appropriate experience in the mineralization style or the deposit type under the deliberation and in the field being undertaken by the individual. The person must have the relevant experience in the activity being undertaken (Reedman, 2010).

The engineering geologists should provide some of the information to the technical service division about the whole mine plan. They must disclose the clarification of the targets based on the exploration results of the program undertaken. They must include the description of the process used to get the tonnage and grades ranges used in the description of the exploration target. They should provide the information on how they managed to use the knowledge of ore occurrence and genesis to locate the prospective deposit. Environment associated with the type of deposit off mineral also should be explained. They should give the report about the JORC to confirm if the project complies with the requirements, also they should make sure that they follow the regulation of mining like ensuring that there is no interference with the biodiversity, environment, other natural resource and the cultural heritage of the people (Kumar, 2011).

About planning they should illustrate on how they started with analysis and gathering of the data on the prospective areas of exploration. The reason is to find the areas of interest for exploration and to strategize about the phases. The data includes the maps, company filed reports, and geological survey reports for the assessment (Kucera, 2012).

Conclusion

Mining is very risky business and in order to minimize the risks, it is very important to have a wide and well-defined knowledge and understanding of the regions of geology when targeting and developing the prospective sites. The exploration is time-consuming when performed by the traditional laboratory, methods hence the modern methods should be used like the reflectance spectroscopy which is the consistency, cheap and has been used for many years in the analysis of worldwide resources.

Council, N., 2013. Assessment of Mars Science and Mission Priorities. Sydney: National Academies Press.

Kucera, B., 2012. Prospecting and Exploration of Mineral Deposits. Melbourne: Elsevier.

Kumar, S., 2011. Mineral Exploration: Principles and Applications. Perth: Newnes.

Marjoribanks, R., 2013. Geological Methods in Mineral Exploration and Mining. Colorado: Springer Science & Business Media.

Reedman, H., 2010. Techniques in Mineral Exploration. Toledo: Springer Science & Business Media.

Ungemach, S., 2013. Advances in European Geothermal Research: Proceedings of the Second International Seminar on the Results of EC Geothermal Energy Research. Perth: Springer Science & Business Media.

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