Mineral prospecting: borehole and downhole elemental analysis

Mineral prospecting, the purpose of which is to analyse the chemical and mineralogical composition of an ore body to determine whether extraction of the minerals is economically favourable, typically consists of drilling a borehole in the rock and extraction of borehole cores for chemical analysis.

Knowledge of the grades (concentration) of various elements in an ore body allows for more efficient extraction, as areas with high concentrations of the desired elements are prioritisable. However, laboratory chemical analysis of the drilling debris and borehole cores is time-consuming and expensive, and the development of an in-situ, automated solution could substantially decrease prospecting costs.

Our probes for borehole elemental analysis

IBERIA

A fast and precise alternative to laboratory analysis is our borehole probe IBERIA, based on XRF (X-ray fluorescence). The probe winches up and down the borehole as the XRF sensor detects the chemical elements present in the borehole wall and measures their concentrations.

Our analysis software can create a profile of the borehole with precise information about the composition in real-time. These borehole logs are stored in a database and can be used in combination with a GPS receiver to produce maps of the ore deposit.

INDIANA

If an in-hole measurement is not required, INDIANA applies the same XRF measurement principle to drilling debris. Debris which is extracted at the ground level is fed through INDIANA by a screw conveyor.

The analyser determines the elemental composition and correlates the measured concentration to the depth of the drill head. Consequently, INDIANA can produce a borehole elemental concentration profile similar to the one produced by IBERIA.

Experience shows that customers often require a detailed site investigation, but don’t employ in-house specialists who can conduct such an investigation. Furthermore, the costs of purchasing instruments like IBERIA or INDIANA cannot be justified for a time-limited prospecting campaign.

We would like you to get in touch with us or contact our partners, in case you need more information on our products and services.

Our contractual partners GECCOTEC and DEA can help in such situations by providing the following services based on our IBERIA products:

  • Rental of IBERIA CPT and other CPT probes including CPT trucks
  • Service personnel experienced with IBERIA/CPT
  • Data evaluation and modelling
  • Extended custom services

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