The Use Of Computers In Modern Mineral Exploration Programs

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
In the early 1950's, it was forecast that there would be, worldwide, a need for approximately sixty computers! Included in that estimate was provision for a considerable amount of geoscience modelling. Since 1950, the role and concept of the computer has changed. With that change has come alteration and adaptation within industry in order to better utilise the services and tools that computers can provide. For example the science of statistics prior to the computer was regarded as an intractible speciality. Computers have allowed the exploitation and further generation of statistical theory. In turn, as the science of statistics has become practical and relevant, the mineral geologist has moved from being essentially "a-numeric" to "non-numeric" to highly skilled in the application and use of very sophisticated statistical concepts. The modern computer provides the opportunity to perform many of the old practices more conveniently and/or economically and, perhaps more importantly, for exploration it provides- an enormous range of activities which previously would have been impossible. Such new activities allow for imaginative and creative application and extension of basic theory into practical situations, which when used by well trained, able people can open up new avenues of exploration. However, the use of such tools by poorly trained or incompetent people can lead to errors potentially as great as any success derived from the same tools. This paper reviews some applications of the computer to exploration, and attempts to discuss likely future developments.
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