Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Mining 101: Ep 12. How Do You Find a Vein?
Chairman of Exeter Resource Corp. Yale Simpson explains how you find a vein that is worth mining.
The difference between 19th century and modern mining techniques and the type of ore sought is based on the grade of material being mined and the methods of mining which are used. Historically, hand-mining of gold ores permitted the miners to pick out the lode quartz or reef quartz, allowing the highest-grade portions of the lodes to be worked, without dilution from the unmineralised wall rocks.
Modern mining using larger machinery and equipment forces the miners to take low-grade waste rock in with the ore material, resulting in dilution of the grade.
However, modern mining and assaying allows the delineation of lower-grade bulk tonnage mineralisation, within which the gold is invisible to the naked eye. In these cases, veining is the subordinate host to mineralisation and may only be an indicator of the presence of metasomatism of the wall-rocks which contains the low-grade mineralisation.
For this reason, veins within hydrothermal gold deposits are no longer the exclusive target of mining, and in some cases gold mineralization is restricted entirely to the altered wall rocks within which entirely barren quartz veins are hosted.
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