Exploration phase (can include any of the
following or all):
a. Reconnaissance mapping
In this stage aerial photo’s and/or satellite pictures are often
involved, together with existing ancillary data of the area e.g. geological
maps. Certain phenomena are identified and mapped out, defining sections
for fieldwork or more detailed exploration. In using these resources,
it is easier to identify ‘hot spots’ and make the exploration
phase more streamlined and faster.
b. EM Surveying
Electro-magnetic surveying is a specialized industry, using dedicated
equipment to detect geological anomalies of importance. It often precedes
soil sampling as it can be used to further refine areas of interest.
Through the use of electro-magnetic pulses, anomalies in the subsurface
layers can be detected, depending on the mineral’s conductivity/resistivity.
EM surveying operates on a larger scale than reconnaissance mapping
and is a useful follow-up tool. The typical end-product is maps showing
an area’s conductivity/resistivity for certain depths.
c. Soil sampling
Mineral elements of the underlying geology will often be present in
the overlying soil, making it possible to detect these elements through
analysis of soil samples. After analysis, a contour map of the values
is usually generated, delineating areas of higher priority. Together
with EM surveying, accuracy of possible targets can greatly be improved,
further refining the exploration phase.
d. Field mapping
No exploration project would be complete without proper field mapping,
done by professional geologists. Creo Design employs its own team
of registered geologists in this regard. Detailed geological maps
are constructed from information gathered in the field and, together
with soil sampling results and/or EM surveying results, a borehole
grid can be constructed.
e. Core and percussion drilling
Creo Design make use of reliable drilling contractors and all borehole
data is captured through core orientation & logging, photographs,
and constructing an electronic database.
The electronic database is used to construct a 3D block model of
the underlying ore body and accompanying layers. This process takes
place in Surpac, a dedicated mineral exploration and 3D construction
software package. Modelling is also done by a geologist, ensuring
sound geological principles and an accurate representation of the
g. Conceptual mine design
The final step involved is a conceptual pit design based on the
3D-model. The 3D-model can be used to calculate volumes and grade
of the ore body. Based on this information, an economic prediction
can be done. The client is then provided with the above information
and based hereon a well-informed decision can be made on what the
next step/s should be.