Discussion - Mineral resource objectives of the Continental Scientific Drilling Committee's dedicated drill holes and add-on science to solve mineral deposit problems
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1988
I wish to register strong disagreement with the choices of drilling sites chosen by the Continental Scientific Drilling Committee, while endorsing the stated objectives. Of special significance is the lack of any site involving the metals most needed today in the US, while 9 to 13 km of drilling are allocated to gold and silver districts and 11 to 17 km to base metal (mainly copper) districts. Why is nothing proposed for platinum group or chromite? Is this because the committee did not know of such a site? If so, I offer such a site in California (see Fig. 1). The mineralization shown in Table 1 occurs in a large peridotite body in western Tehama County, CA. Petrography has demonstrated unequivocal evidence of migrated PGE deposited in peridotite and chromite of hypabyssal nature. Active diapirism (due probably to serpentine buoyancy) above a reactivated mantle to surface conduit marks the position of the conduit. Young explosion breccia cemented loosely by volcanic glass and tuff demonstrates the significance of the conduit as the prime source of the various emissions. Deep drilling could result in major metals discoveries as well as shedding light on the grand questions of platinum group mineralization. What role water has played in this occurrence is not yet certain; but chlorine and asphaltite have been detected in and adjacent to native PGM, suggesting a major role for water. The explosion breccia suggests that this excellent site could overlie entrapped geothermal steam.