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Roadmap to Mineral Exploration Guide 101

Roadmap to Mineral Exploration Guide

Mineral exploration has grown significantly in recent years, acting as a pillar for both mining and economic activities. We, at Grid, have meticulously curated a guide on mineral exploration - Roadmap to Mineral Exploration. It is a guide that takes an interdisciplinary approach in explaining the fundamentals of mineral exploration. Download the free e-guide today and get the Mineral Exploration Guide!

Prospecting and the exploration process

What is exploration in mining?

Mineral exploration is a complete sequence of activities. It ranges between searching for a new mineral prospect (reconnaissance) and evaluation of the property for economic mining (feasibility study). In other words, geological information is collected and analysed to identify mineral deposits as well as to determine the economic feasibility of their extraction.

What does a mining and geological engineer do?

Geological engineers investigate things that are part of or are made to be part of the earth, including roads, mines and quarries, dams, petroleum production, railways, building projects, pipelines, and forestry operations. They engineer clean-up and environmental assessments where pollution occurs. Mining engineers work mostly in mining operations in remote locations, however some work in sand-and-gravel operations located near larger cities.

How is prospecting different from mining?

Generating new prospects is the critical first stage in the exploration process and is known as prospecting. Traditionally, prospecting was the search for simple visual surface indications of mineralization. It is the search for minerals, fossils, precious metals or mineral specimens, and is also known as fossicking. Mining is defined as extracting metals and minerals from the Earth, or the process of placing explosives where they will explode.

Importance of different stages of mineral exploration

The different stages of mineral exploration allow the investor to systematically evaluate the potential and marketability of having a mineral project. Exploration can be divided into a number of interlinked and sequential stages which involve increasing expenditure and decreasing risk. Early stages of exploration are planning and prospecting. The planning stage covers the selection of commodity, type of deposit, exploration methods, and the setting up of an exploration entity. Prospecting covers activities leading to the selection of an area for detailed ground work; this is the point at which land is acquired. The subsequent stages involve targeted prospecting and exploration in order to quantify and qualify the mineral resources. Pre-feasibility study is then performed for evaluating the commercial viability of the deposit.

Develop an environmental baseline for each stage

One of the first tasks that an exploration or mining company should undertake once a deposit has been identified, is to initiate a series of Environmental Baseline Studies (EBS). EBS includes analyzing and quantifying the relevant environmental parameters for the area containing the footprint of the future mine as a record of the environmental conditions before any project activities have taken place. This data can be used to monitor differences (impacts) of various environmental and socio-economic parameters during the subsequent development, operational and closure phases of a mine.

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We realised GRID replaces mining database and can achieve much more with the flexibility it offers. We have been able to build templates that range from geological data capturing and management to managerial budget handling.Sukhanjan Bose, Principal Consultant - Geology

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