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METHODS OF DEPOSITS EXPLORATION



      Exploration methods are characterized by sets of proper technical means, which secure obtaining of the most complete information on a deposit. Exploratory workings include drillholes and mine workings. As a rule, hole drilling in the main kind of operations: core boring with core recovery and non-core cable drilling during exploration of placer deposits. Generally, mine workings are cut to confirm exploratory drilling data, obtaining more detailed information on geological structure of the most complicated areas within deposits and taking bulk samples; the most commonly driven are exploration pits, shallow shafts and/or adits.
       To obtain maximum amount of information on geological structure of deposits and pattern of minerals distribution at minimum expenses, exploratory workings shall be placed in accordance with such a grid, that they will intersect the entire thickness of a promising zone (horizon, structure) and exploration profiles (groups of exploratory intersections) will be directed mainly perpendicular (transverse) to their strike. Density of an exploratory grid is specified by appropriate instructions of the State Commission on Mineral Reserves: it depends upon complexity of deposits geological structure and degree of reserves (reserve categories) calculation reliability. In the course of transfer from prospecting to exploration (including the operational one), density of an exploratory workings grid shall be intensified. For reliable reserve calculation at coal and iron deposits of the simplest geological structure, the exploratory grid density of 500 х 500 m will be enough, but it shall be of several tenths of meters at the deposits having complicated geological structures. Substantiation of an exploratory grid density is of great importance: its excessive intensification will result in sharp rise of works cost and unreasonably sparse grid may lead to mistakes during deposit reserves determination and calculation, ending in extra expenditures during commercial development of deposits.
       Geophysical and geochemical methods shall be used at all stages of deposits studying. Main purpose of geophysical surveys is determining of geological structures by obtaining of more detailed information on and tracing of ore controls (lithological contacts, faults, etc.), as well as of exploratory intersections tie. Geochemical surveys are applied for contouring of rock horizons, zones and blocks (with anomalous distribution of indicator elements), promising for covered mineral deposits.
       Office studies of the obtained materials are the compulsory integral part of all geological exploration stages. Based on primary geological documentation and sampling, composite sections and level maps are compiled (a foundation for mineral reserves calculation). The same data are used for plotting detailed maps of geological structure. Based on them, the prognostic maps are constructed, which, in turn, make a foundation for drawing up plans of further operations.

“Regulation on Stages of Geological Exploration Operations for Solid Minerals”.


 
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