With the costs of mineral exploration ever increasing so do needs for robust approaches to evaluating regional prospectivity and improved target refinement. Pathfinder and indicator minerals provide a means to evaluate large areas for their mineral potential and eliminate likely barren areas from consideration before expending further on drilling.
Bruker is actively working with industry leaders to develop new approaches for analysis that allow improved mineral identification and compositional characterization workflows. Understanding that accurate data allows upscaling to metallogeny models at the district-scale and beyond, Bruker is committed to building instrumentation and software that produces the right data outputs for any program. Bruker systems allow any company to eliminate impediments presented by a lack of analytical expertise, with solutions designed for in-house laboratories and regional exploration offices. Bruker’s worldwide geology team can help find the appropriate solution for all regional exploration needs.
Magmatic and hydrothermal minerals that are resistant to weathering and so end up in soil, till or stream sediments are increasingly targeted in mineral exploration as tests for overall district or regional prospectivity or vectors to mineralization. Key trace element contents of dateable minerals such as zircon, apatite, titanite and rutile provide windows into source magma chemistry, including crystallization temperatures, degree of fractionation, water content, and oxidation state, with geochemical data that ties directly to the age of sources rocks and their associated magmatic events. Resistant minerals formed during mineralizing events provide direct evidence for the exposure of hydrothermally altered zones within a water shed or upstream of glacial deposits, with their chemistries pointing toward mineralized versus barren environments or even discriminating between deposit types.
Bruker provides solutions to the different analytical needs of resistant indicator mineral (RIMS) exploration programs:
Alteration vectoring and fertility screening represent early-stage exploration techniques that have application where exposures are limited or where exploration is dealing with partial or extensive cover. Designed to access low-level geochemical anomalies preserved in alteration minerals, the technique aims to detect alteration even at significant distance from a mineralized center, to vector toward and assess distance to the target, and evaluate potential fertility or endowment. Common target minerals include epidote and chlorite in the "greenrock" environment, alunite or clay minerals to aid vectoring in lithocap environments, or white micas, which may occur in the distal reaches of alteration zones but give clues to deposit type, alteration zone, proximity, and fertility.
Bruker analytical solutions allow our customers to focus on their exploration needs and refine their targeting and vectoring strategies.
The needs of greenfields exploration commonly requires a rapid, low-cost solution to screen bulk samples. Screening methods that target pathfinder elements as proxies to make decisions in the field, or guide funneling of samples toward the appropriate mineralogical or compositional analysis technique. For rapid screening of bulk samples for the possible presence of pathfinder minerals solutions include: