The begging of any mining project is prospecting and exploration, which consists of discovering and acquiring mineral deposits. The objective of this activity is the discovery and acquisition of new mineral deposit amenable to economic extractive operations.
As a first step, you must locate the area where the deposit is, first a visual recognition is made looking for some geological anomalies on the surface, which may indicate the presence of mineral deposits, and this procedure is known as prospection.
Based on the results obtained from prospection, you can choose an area to conduct a more detailed study, to check if minerals exist, at the same time you must carry out some legal procedures to obtain the rights over an area determined where a mineral deposit is presumed.
Then with the indication of possible deposits, companies proceed to prospecting with more tools, such as aerial photographs, satellite data, physical and chemical analysis of samples to evaluate their composition, as well as their abundance in the field, then the geologists can discern if it is viable to continue with the exploration, and the possible development of the project.
Exploration as part of the mining process is one of the stages that have the greatest economic risk the risk of failure is great and the cost is high, many of the exploration projects will not become a mine.
This process does not end with the start of the mining operation, it continues to explore in search of new mineral resources that can be exploited to give continuity to the mining operation, future ore bodies will probably be more costly to find, mine, and process than those in operation and production, because most of them will either be of lower grade or found at greater depths, and so it may require more sophisticated exploration techniques.
The key to successful exploration programme is to know, when and where to drill, when to “hold the properties” and when to “walkout.”
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