LATERITE / SAPROLITE EXPLORATION
XPM geologists participated in extensive systematic research that started in 1992, based on the analytical results and geologic data from several hundred thousand samples. The research examined the effects of sampling techniques, ion mobility, leaching, secondary enrichment among other factors, and compared various common analytical methods to determine the most effective in each case. The result is a robust and proven effective methodology optimized for humid tropical environments.
We optimize our proven approach for each project to quickly explore and evaluate large areas, usually for a fraction of the cost and time required for the traditional generic approach. The optimized approach accurately identifies and then constrains anomalies, and does so with significantly fewer samples, leading to sharply reduced lab costs, eliminates wasted resources chasing false anomalies, and dramatically reduces the risk of missing a significant mineral deposit.
HARD EARNED LESSONS LOST
Many of the lessons learned during the 1990’s were lost during the downturn after 2000 when industry abandoned tropical exploration, and all too often we still see examples of exploration projects applying generic, dogmatic sampling and analytical methods developed for temperate climates that were proven ineffective by 1995, invariably wasting huge amounts of money, and months / years chasing false anomalies.
Don’t reinvent the wheel: XPM geologists and project managers are available to transfer the lessons learned and knowledge base to your technical and operations staff. Contact us to arrange an evaluation of your project, and how we can help improve results.
EXPERTS IN LATERITE / SAPROLITE EXPLORATION
To us, being experts means that we recognize that there are no cookie cutter methods, and that the most effective approach is to bring the lessons learned over the past 30 years of dedicated work to each new project, undertake the necessary (brief) orientation studies that quickly develops, tests, proves and then establishes the most appropriate methodologies. Leveraging industry best practices, we implement appropriate metrics along with a comprehensive QA/QC program to track and report results, that permits real time refinement without having to wait for analytical results.
We learn from each project and are constantly adding to our knowledge base through systematic continual improvement processes, that has helped XPM deliver high quality results faster, and usually achieve significant cost savings.
TRADO POWER SAMPLER: INTRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
In 1993 we introduced the man portable Trado drills to mineral exploration in Venezuela, later expanding to 5 other countries. The Trado drills quickly obtain high quality samples to 10m depth (can go deeper but slower), usually without the need for permits, and with almost zero environmental impact. Suitable for local as well as regional programs, Trado sampling operates from walking trails, offering a low cost option to quickly identify and define anomalies, map lithologies and structures, and provide accurate information on which to plan subsequent phases of work.
We have continued to develop the Trado technology and applications to rapidly and accurately identify protolith, alteration, mineralization, lithologic contacts, structures, textures and most importantly the leaching / secondary enrichment conditions in the laterite / saprolite profile that are key to interpreting the analytical results, and also to establish what type of analysis would be most effective in each location.
OPTIMIZED SAMPLING AND ANALYSIS METHODS: SAVE MONEY AND TIME
We have seen too many examples where failing to optimize sampling and analytical methods to the project has wasted up to tens of millions of dollars chasing false anomalies, while in others kilometer scale high grade (multi-ounce) mineralized structures were missed.
XPM has the experience and body of knowledge acquired over the past 20 years of gold exploration in laterite / saprolite, and can assist in developing a program that will accurately and reliably identify targets, get the project onto the the next phase often weeks / months faster, and consistently deliver significant cost savings in the process.
We were a core participant of the systematic research by various major mining companies and well funded juniors that developed robust and consistent criteria for sampling, and also what analytical techniques to use in each situation.
By 1993 it had been clearly demonstrated that unless both sampling and analytical methods were optimized, the results would be invalid.
The good news was that optimization can be simple, fast and inexpensive, and can often reduce the costs of regional geochem programs by up to 1/3.