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   Skip Navigation LinksHOME › REFERENCE ITEMS › Understanding Mining     › ~ Area Selection & Target Definition

   Note: Quick MINERAL EXPLORATION facts for readers with no prior exposure to mineral engineering..

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Area selection...
    Ore genesis...

Mineral exploration is the process undertaken by companies, partnerships or corporations in the endeavor of finding commercially viable concentrations of ore to mine. Mineral exploration is a much more intensive, organized and professional form of mineral prospecting and, though it may at times use the methods of hobby prospecting, the process of mineral exploration is much more involved.

Area selection is a crucial step in professional mineral exploration. Selection of the best, most prospective area in a mineral field, geological region or terrain will assist in making it not only possible to find ore deposits, but to find them easily, cheaply and quickly.

Area selection is based on applying the theories behind ore genesis, the knowledge of known ore occurrences and the method of their formation, to known geological regions via the study of geological maps, to determine potential areas where the particular class of ore deposit being sought may exist.

This process applies the disciplines of basin modeling, structural geology, petrology and a host of geophysical and geochemical disciplines to make predictions and draw parallels between the known ore deposits and their physical form and the unknown potential of finding a 'look-alike' within the area selected.

It is also influenced by the commodity being sought; exploring for gold occurs in a different manner and within different rocks and areas to exploration for oil or natural gas or iron ore. Areas which are prospective for gold may not be prospective for other metals and commodities.

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