Mineral exploration is the main focus of Creo Design and, consequently, our expertise is geared towards such ventures. A well qualified team covering the fields of geology, mine engineering, 3D-modelling, geographic information systems and remote sensing all contribute towards the exploration phase. Specialist services are often called upon to assist in the exploration, e.g. electro-magnetic surveying and analysis of soil samples taken over the area of interest. Creo Design facilitates all activities necessary in the initial stages of exploration and keeps our clients constantly informed on progress. Workflow is clearly defined and all processes involved are discussed with the involved parties. Typically, the following stages are executed:
  1. Identification of mineral exploration targets
    Many factors are involved in this stage and can include information from old geological maps, inside and market related information, and trustworthy sources.
  2. Application for prospecting license/s
    Acquiring a prospecting license is of critical importance and no further exploration can be done without it. The application should be in a pre-defined format and signed off by a qualified surveyor, both of which Creo Design is familiar with.
  3. 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.

    f. 3D-modelling
    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 mineral layers.

    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.