Minerva's approach to creating prospectivity maps for mineral exploration was designed to mimic the traditional methodology of an exploration geologist. Normally, an exploration geologist is tasked with scouring the available data for prospective indicators for a specific mineral deposit type, as shown below:
This task can be very labor intensive, time-consuming, and requires the geologist to switch between the GIS layers and various maps at their disposal. It is also critical for the geologist to already know which coinciding attributes are prospective for a specific deposit type. This means that if the geologist wants to search the same dataset for a different deposit type, they must review the same data again with their mind tuned to a different combination of attributes.
Our maps are created using the same input layers, and produce exploration targets that are explained in a way that is similar to what a geologic consultant may produce. The difference, however, is that we produce maps for dozens of mineral deposit types simultaneously and our dynamic maps provide advice about what type of information can make individual targets more or less prospective for a selected deposit type.
Once a region has been selected for analysis, it is evaluated for data coverage and data types. The extent of the final study area is determined to ensure that data coverage is similar across the entire area of interest to avoid artificial bias in the results. A large regional study area may be dozens to hundreds of kilometers long and contain a variety of data types, as shown below:
The process begins with geochemical samples from study area. The Yukon Geological Survey has tens of thousands of geochemical samples that were used in this analysis. Other regions in the world may not have reliable geochemical sample data, in which case a different workflow is used for regional targeting in those jurisdictions.
The next step involves attributing each sample point with the geoscience information from the relevant layers below it.
The final GIS processing step searches around the sample point for structural data and mineral occurrences.
Click to learn more about interpreting the maps