Archive for the ‘Philosophy of Mineral Exploration’ Category

Five rules for use of alpha-beta measurements in drill core

Five rules for use of alpha-beta measurements in drill core

Measurement of planar structure such as a bedding plane a vein or a cleavage in oriented diamond drill core can be done in two ways. The simplest way is to set up the core in its original orientation by means of a core frame and then measure […]

Read more

Ore bodies are created, not found

Ore bodies are created, not found

Ore bodies are created, not found There is a widespread belief amongst people outside our profession that all ore bodies that have yet to be found already exist. They are imagined as out there, ready-made by nature, waiting for some lucky prospector or mining company to stumble […]

Read more

Fact, Truth and the Scientific Method

Fact, Truth and the Scientific Method

  Is there a sense in which a geological map can be described as a representation of fact? Can a map define “ground truth?” A map is a virtual reality representation of the world in two dimensions. A geological map is a human artefact constructed according to […]

Read more

The Finder and the Minder

The Finder and the Minder

The metals mining industry offers geologists two distinct career paths – the exploration geologist and the mining geologist.  Between these roles there is an overlap of required knowledge and skills, but the job requirements are different and the personality which makes a good exploration geologist seldom makes […]

Read more

What is an Anomaly and How do you Recognise It?

What is an Anomaly and How do you Recognise It?

The concept of the anomaly is one of the most basic ideas in exploration geology. It is understood in these terms -  it is a truism to say that significant metal ore bodies are unusual: another word for unusual is anomalous.: therefore, if mineral explorers (explorationists) identify anomalous […]

Read more

The Camera and the Interrogator

The Camera and the Interrogator

Speak to exploration geologists and you will find two views about what a geologist should do when observing outcrop or drill core in the field.  Some seek to be unbiased objective recorders of what they see.  Others constantly theorise about what they might expect, construct many possible […]

Read more

Empirical and Conceptual Exploration – how to improve your exploration success rate

Empirical and Conceptual Exploration – how to improve your exploration success rate

Exploration for a mineral deposit begins with generating prospects which can then be tested with a staged series of exploration programs that hopefully will lead to ore discovery and eventually a mine. Obviously not all prospects that are generated will make it through to a mine. In […]

Read more

We didn’t find an ore body – are we just unlucky, or crap explorers?

We didn’t find an ore body – are we just unlucky, or crap explorers?

There are many, many times more prospectors and geologists exploring for mineral deposits than there are ore bodies to be found. It is entirely feasible for a competent explorationist to go through a career and never be able to claim sole credit for an economic mineral discovery.  It […]

Read more

Breaking Occams Razor

Breaking Occams Razor

William of Occam (or Ockham) was a  14th century English Franciscan  monk and philosopher who gave his name to the principal now known as Occam’s razor. This is a well known philosophical principle that has universal application in all fields of problem solving. It states that, given […]

Read more