The mineral deposit targets available in the interactive maps represent a new means of interrogating geoscience data. The process of using MineMatch® to incorporate geology, tectonic setting, age, stream sediment geochemistry, and nearby mineral occurrences mimics the traditional process that exploration geologists use to generate new targets. The core difference is that MineMatch® very efficiently matches dozens of deposit types with thousands of analyses for individual geochemical elements and thousands of map units, occurrences, and other types of data. However, the same care and caution should be taken to interpret the target results that would be taken during traditional mineral exploration programmes.
Machine Intelligence Enhances Human Knowledge
The targets on this website provide a head start for any explorer by combining human expertise related to mineral deposit models with regional geoscience datasets. They do not replace the need for an exploration geologist, but rather provide another tool to make sound exploration decisions.
Most locations on the map have matches for many deposit types due to geochemical and/or geological similarities among mineral deposit models. For example, deposit types with high Cu can often also have high Pb and Zn values. The crucial role of the geologist is evaluating the high ranking targets, reading the MineMatch® reports to see which attributes matched, and weighing those against their own exploration interests.
Surprising Matches between Targets and Deposit Models
It's important to note that not all matches appear to be great at first glance. This can reflect targets with limited geoscience information generating strong matches, or potentially interesting matches using more subtle information to make the best "pick". For example, there are matches for Porphyry Cu-Mo that don't have enhanced Cu or Mo, or maybe even porphyritic rocks. This is because a mineral deposit consists of many zones, alteration assemblages, mineralization assemblages, host rocks, and elemental associations. MineMatch® doesn't only look at the economic parts of the deposit, it looks at other aspects as well . This means that you could have a combination of rocks, elemental enhancements, and minerals associated with an important alteration halo of a deposit type being selected as a match. In order to allow for this flexibility, there will be targets that have an unlucky combination of matching characteristics that may not appear to relate to a mineral deposit. The beauty of explainable AI is that it can request feedback, in the form of additional information, that makes the system even more accurate. When viewing a match, click on the “Advice” button to see how the match can be improved or worsened with different information. Read more about advice by following this link.
The advice function tells you to see whether or not Cu and/or the mineral Molybdenite are present at enhanced to ore levels, since it knows they are “usually” present in Cu-Mo porphyry deposits. It has highlighted these since their presence will significantly change the score.
Inclusion of Unusual Deposit Models
MineMatch® has the power to run all deposit models at once. Therefore, Minerva can provide information for models that are not often considered for the Yukon. For example, you can view the interactive map for Kimberlite-hosted Diamonds and Columbia type emerald veins and see how even the "best" matches are missing crucial elements, namely "diamonds" and "emeralds." This is because the input data for the Yukon Mineral Targets only receives mineral data from the Mineral Occurrences database. The value in this system is that you can see exactly how a match is scored and see how it ranks against other deposit types and see whether or not it provides value to you and your exploration interests.
Sources of Input Data
Knowledge about how stream sediment data is collected and interpreted is critical to interpreting the targets on this site. Resources on stream sediment geochemistry and graphics showcasing how element populations change within different rock types are available on the Geochemistry page.
Exploration geologists are acutely aware of the relationship between tectonic terranes and associated deposit types. Terranes and geologic age are very strong predictors for likelihood of some deposit types, but can be less important for others. Information about the tectonic terranes used in the analysis can be found on the Terranes page.
Mineral occurrences are excellent aids to exploration geologists. However they vary significantly in information quality and quantity. Some occurrences are merely descriptive, while others represent a previous drilling campaign. As a result, caution should be taken when interpreting the importance of a nearby occurrence. Visit the Mineral Occurrences page to learn more.
Structural elements play a critical role in many deposit types and YGS fault maps are available on all interactive web maps. More information on how structure is incorporated into the matches is found on the Structures page.
The underlying geologic data is only as good as the geologist who mapped and entered it. This is why Minerva has standardized rock terms from the YGS data according to CGI's GeoSCIML international standard, which you can read about on the Geology page.