Mineral Exploration

Winter 2020

Mineral Exploration is the official publication of the Association of Mineral Exploration British Columbia.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1319479

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Page 44 of 47

W inte r 2020 45 PHOTOS: COURTESY DAVID SACCO development. We then talked about the fundamental differences between anomalies that are displaced due to clastic transport and those that occur directly over mineralization. It was the same old story – the soil sampling program simply followed the classic exploration model, which yielded unreliable targets. Our subsequent work provided a foundation to distinguish samples that underwent clastic dispersal from those with direct-detection potential. It also filtered out samples for which a source could never be accurately identified. A re-evaluation of the data using this surficial context revealed several of the previous targets as false anomalies. Lastly, a parable about surficial geology and exploration. An established company with talented geologists was running a remote till sampling program following up several anomalous reconnaissance surface sediment samples. While crews were out filling hundreds of sample bags, our team headed toward the three anomalous sites that spurred the follow-up survey and our project involvement. En route to the survey area, we could see that glacial meltwater had significantly altered the landscape. The first anomalous site was a lag deposit within a large meltwater corridor. The second anomalous site was a paleoshoreline from a glacial lake that had long-since drained, and the third was an esker fragment. This complex terrain was full of materials that had similar characteristics to till, and the geology students hired to conduct the reconnaissance sampling did not have the experience to differentiate these materials. In the end, the expensive program was based on misleading data and culminated in no exploration targets. A preliminary investigation of the surficial geology could have identified that the reconnaissance samples only appeared anomalous because they were assumed to be till. It seems obvious in this neatly laid out op-ed that overburden may not be the burdensome villain its common name suggests, and that it is deserving of more consideration in mineral exploration. But the implications of surficial geology for mineral exploration simply aren't taught in sufficient detail as part of the standard geology curriculum for this consideration to be part of the normal procedure. In two of the three experiences we presented, unravelling this complexity saved our client time and money by leading the exploration program in a more successful direction. The third story is an unfortunate reminder that, without the proper context, the story of your surficial exploration data may belong in the fiction aisle. ■ Meltwater scoured bedrock surface Untitled-2 1 11/9/20 New Age Drilling Solutions Inc. provides professional, extremely seasoned, leading-edge diamond drilling services to mining projects. We have created a network of equipment, transportation, technology and financial management experts we can always rely on. 67 Levich Drive, Whitehorse, Yukon | 867-333-0078 newagedrilling.com

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