This short paper discusses how to enhance success in minerals exploration by applying the discipline of geochemistry. Modern explorationists are working in an especially challenging time. Our industry is shrinking while technology expands more quickly than ever. Shareholder interest in mining companies is low when sustained investment is needed for exploration success. Exploration, associated research spending, and staffing are down. In the face of these trends, we need to work more efficiently. The minerals exploration industry is working today in more varied, complex, remote, and infrastructure-poor locations around the world. The increased variety of exploration terrains the industry now works in requires more shared knowledge of appropriate geochemical exploration applications. Discovery success has decreased in recent years. Five prominent reasons for this decreased success are stressed information integrity, poor application of known technology, fewer survey designs appropriately matched to the target deposit type and exploration setting, reduced research, innovation and applied technology, and less well-designed survey work. Professionally applied geochemistry can address a number of these factors, and thereby improve the discovery success rate. This paper provides some examples of how this can work.
- © 2003 AAG/The Geological Society of London