Orefind's approach to structural geology analysis - our point of difference

Structural geology controls virtually all mineral deposits. The key to obtaining exploration and mining benefits is to find out the structural geological controls of those deposits.

Consider the questions below. If you answer 'yes' to any of these, we believe the information that follows will interest you.

  • Do you know the structural controls of your deposit at all scales, and have you used this information to explore for more extensions, or model your resource more accurately?
  • Have you ever wondered whether your mining exploration company is obtaining maximum benefit from your expensive drillhole data?
  • Are you tired of time-consuming work done by consultants that results in subjective theoretical interpretations that do not influence your bottom line?
  • Are you looking for high quality advice concerning brownfields exploration that makes full use of your dense datasets that only takes weeks, not months, to deliver?
  • Is your company interested in implementing efficient geological structural analysis methods that are tailored to meet your needs?
Structural Analysis 

The problem with traditional deposit analyses

Many mining and exploration companies spend a lot of money on data acquisition, but spend little time on extracting the maximum benefit from that data.

This is because traditionally the geological analysis of drillhole data, through 3D modelling, has been time-consuming, and therefore expensive.  In theory the geological analysis of drillhole data is the right approach, but in practice, it is impractical and results in very subjective outcomes.

Traditional geological mapping as well as structural investigations involved a lot of field time and therefore was expensive.  This work was also conducted quite separately from the 3D modelling, and integration of the two methods of analysis was not possible.

Field geologists conduct mapping and this geological analysis and mapping was a completely separate process from the 3D modelling that was being conducted by resource geologists.  The two methods never really interacted with each other.

Mapping was done in a lot of detail and larger scale controls on ore systems were inferred from field analysis.  This traditional field investigation approach can be called the 'inside-out' approach to geological investigation because first-order controls are inferred from smaller-scale observations.

"This traditional workflow does not make economic sense.  It is too time-consuming, and is an economically unattractive methodology that results in questionable and subjective outcomes that do not integrate all scales of observation."

Mining Exploration

Orefind’s solution: rapid integrated structural analysis at all scales

A more intelligent and logical approach to geological investigation is to integrate the two geological analysis methods – 3D modelling and traditional structural field analyses.

Tectonic processes are responsible for the formation of nearly all mineral deposits, and if it is accepted that structural deformation is responsible for the emplacement of mineral deposits, then it follows that the geometries of mineral deposits reflect structural permeability resulting from deformation.

The evidence for this structural control should occur at all scales, including at the outcrop scale as well as the ore deposit scale. Therefore, it makes little sense to separate 3D modelling from field investigations in order to work out the structural controls of mineral deposits.

As the traditional method of modelling was so inefficient, a new 3D modelling method was required before this integrated methodology could be practically implemented.

Because of this necessity, a fast interpolation-based method (Leapfrog software) was conceived by structural geologist and Orefind Director Dr Jun Cowan in 2001 to answer this issue of rapid 3D geological modelling.

"Now, with more than a decade of practical experience at designing and using Leapfrog software, Jun Cowan has modelled more than 500 deposits of all commodities world-wide. This represents approximately one deposit modelled every week since 2001."

Structural Geology

Orefind’s 'outside-in' approach to deposit analysis

Orefind models and interprets the structural geology of mineral deposits initially by examining the assay and lithological data, then selects areas for detailed structural investigation.

Orefind works out the structural controls at the first-order deposit scale using drillhole and map data, and then formulates a structural model before predicting what structural details are expected in the field. Despite common assumptions, there is no need for actual structural data for this process, and the analysis is conducted by examining the assay data and if available, the lithological logged data.

This field work component of the workflow is completed by Dr Brett Davis who has more than 25 years of field experience in structural analysis, and is a well-known consultant in the minerals industry. Expert geochemical analyses to classify lithologies and define alteration patterns is provided by Associate Principal Geochemist Dr Scott Halley.

This 'outside-in' analysis results in more focused field work (and thus less field time), as the structural controls are broadly determined during the modelling stage by the application of fundamental structural geological concepts.

A full 3D model is available before field work is conducted, often in about a week, so the resulting modelling and interpretation is used as a framework for field analysis.  If more detail is obtained from the field, this information is fed back into the modelling, thus the analysis becomes an iterative process that integrates structural geology at all scales.

"A full 3D model of a deposit is built in about a week, then follow-up field work is implemented, which takes another two to three weeks. The entire investigation takes a month, at the most, so that mining and exploration benefits can be realised within a few weeks."

Geology Consulting

Benefits of Orefind’s approach to structural analysis and geological modelling

  • Assessment of the structural controls on mineralisation and how this manifests at the outcrop and mine-scale.
  • Combined integrated structural geological 3D modelling and field work that produces high quality and beneficial results in weeks, not months, which allows for much faster implementation of strategies.
  • Up-to-date predictive 3D model that promotes the best locations for discovering additional economic mineralisation based on all datasets.
  • Combined modelling and field investigation that produces faster results than previously possible using conventional methods of modelling and separate field work.
  • Complete 3D geological model that honours geometric relationships is established from on-site data collection and iterative modelling.
  • Ongoing mentoring of geologists in the systematic collection of quality data and its interpretation.
  • Modular structural geological training course that can be tailored to suit the participants at all skill levels and that relate to the deposit and terrane types they are working in.
  • Courses are delivered on-site, where possible, so that geologists can relate topics and concepts to the rocks they are working on.
  • Introductory through to advanced techniques on 3D modelling using Leapfrog, the world's first rapid 3D geological modelling software. Clients learn how to quickly and effectively model features such as lithology, alteration, spectral data, structural data, geophysical information, and grade.

If you are interested in finding out how we can help you, email us at info@orefind.com.  Leapfrog Modelling

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Orefind's mission is to make a material difference to mining operations and exploration companies through the investigation of structural geology at all scales in the quickest possible time. Contact us to discuss how our approach can benefit your mining and exploration needs.
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