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Underground and Pit Mapping Course

Tools and skills required to produce effective underground geological maps

Instructor: Rod Holcombe or Tim Coughlin or Nick Oliver

Underground mine and pit maps serve two purposes: immediate mining by delineation of grade and geotechnical problems; and deposit-scale exploration/mine expansion. For expedience, many underground mapping programs tend to concentrate on grade delineation alone, and by the time future reserves become an issue, appropriate data is no longer available. Effective underground mapping adds sufficient stratigraphic and structural information into the map as to allow exploration models to be developed that are based on a true understanding of the structural control of mineralisation. Too often we have seen situations where grade maps, interpreted as stratigraphic maps, have lead to entirely erroneous exploration models.

Mines and pits provide the greatest and most direct opportunity to understand the detailed structural control of an orebody, and the pay-off can be immediate in grade control, mine planning and production scheduling. However, for this to occur the mapping program needs to be predictive and accurate, and by informed geological staff rather than by grade control technicians.
As with many of the introductory modules, the course can be slanted towards different types of deposits or terranes, and can emphasise either structural mapping (Rod Holcombe; Tim Coughlin) or alteration
mapping and sampling

Underground Mapping topics

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