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Mineral exploration

Geophysics is one of the main non-invasive methods that is used to delineate mineral deposits. Integration of geophysical methods allow to perform mineral deposits exploration, study deposits’ shapes and attitude positions, alignment conditions, structures and technological properties of rocks. Methods that are used in mineral exploration and prospecting include very wide range of geophysical surveying techniques:

  • Magnetic surveying is useful in defining magnetic anomalies which represent ores (direct detection) or minerals associated with ore deposits (indirect detection).

  • Gravity surveying is used in detecting dense bodies within less dense host formation. This can be used to detect f.e. ore deposits, skarn deposits, salt diapirs which can form oil and gas traps.

  • Electromagnetic surveying (EM) – wide range of deposits are possible to detect using EM methods f.e.

-Sulfides are easy to detect due to conductivity anomalies around ore bodies.

-Diamonds are explored because kimberlite pipes have lower resistivity values compared to host rocks.

-Graphite exploration.

-Uranium deposits in paleochannel host rocks.

-Nickel ore bodies.

  • Electrical resistivity methods (in particular IP) can be used for sulfide bodies detection and coal, salt, carbonates and resistive rocks.

  • Seismic methods on refracted and reflected waves are used to study structures in miner bearing areas.