Trends in borehole geophysics for mineral exploration: assaying and remote detection

Daniels, J. J.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Advances in borehole geophysical research for mineral assaying and remote detection of mineralization away from the borehole are cited. Nuclear activation measurement research has provided accurate in situ assays of economic metals with neutron-gamma activation, using a high resolution intrinsic-germanium detector. Although nuclear activation analysis is the present "best hope" for obtaining in situ assays for some elements, gamma-gamma and magnetic susceptibility measurements can provide accurate assays for lead-zinc and magnetite, respectively. Borehole optical spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence are being investigated as possible in situ assaying techniques for some minerals. More laboratory and field calibration research is needed before non-linear complex resistivity (NLCR) can be routinely used as a quantitative assaying tool. Field tests have shown that variations in the local geologic environment can affect the quantitative accuracy of assay values from downhole NLCR measurements. Deeply penetrating borehole geophysical methods are increasingly being used for mineral exploration as drilling costs and exploration have increased. Borehole electrical measurements have been shown to be useful for detecting conductive ore bodies that are not intersected by a drill hole. Hole-to-surface resistivity and surface-to-hole time-domain electromagnetics are demonstrated to be particularly effective for defining mineralized zones in a massive sulfide environment. Borehole gravity meters and three-component magnetometers have been developed and should prove useful for defining geologic anomalies away from the drill hole.
Full Article Download:
(575 kb)