In situ leaching of disseminated gold deposits - geological factors - by J.G. Wargo Technical Papers, MINING ENGINEERING, Vol. 40, No. 10 October 1988, pp. 973-975

Megeath, J. D.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 1
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
In the October 1988 issue of MINING ENGINEERING, J.G. Wargo's paper discusses the problem of measuring and analyzing permeability, porosity, and fracturing in its relation to in situ leaching of disseminated gold deposits. This paper made me suspect that a good deal of information and analysis may have been done on this in reverse in the petroleum industry. Some years ago, I was involved with the US Geological Survey in a project studying the Devonian shale of the eastern United States. The Devonian shale contains gas deposits that have the characteristic of slowly seeping gas over a very long time period. To understand the rate of seepage, considerable study and analysis was done on the interrelationship of porosity, permeability, and fracturing. The purpose was to find out how and why the gas could escape in the varying rates found in wells throughout the formation. It strikes me that this is the mirror image of the problem faced in attempting to understand how a cyanide solution will travel into a deposit. To possibly invent our own personal wheel a little faster, I would suggest a look at the work done on the Devonian shale. Some of it is contained in "Estimates of Unconventional Natural-Gas Resources of the Devonian Shale," US Geological Survey Open-file Report 82-474, 1982, and "Additional Data for the Estimates of Unconventional Natural-Gas Resources of the Devonian Shale," Open-file Report 83-676, 1983. It is entirely possible that some of this previous work could shorten the time required to make in situ leaching of disseminated gold deposits a profitable technique.
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