An Overview On Copper Exploration

Copper is our future metal. Most copper quantities produced are used to obtain a variety of products that drive our modern lives. For the global economic growth and demands, copper production has increased after decades. To obtain usable copper metal, a series of processes from mining to purification are involved. The process begins with copper exploration. Historically, the largest, valuable, and profitable mines are large-scale porphyry deposits. The other types of deposits include volcanogenic massive sulfide ore deposits, iron oxide copper gold ore deposits, and copper skarn deposits. To meet the heightened demands of copper, it is important to improve the chances of finding and developing the quantity of copper. The miners would be needed to develop strategies on how they would approach copper exploration. Expansion of copper reserves and resources would assist in increasing future production capacity. It would involve the acquisition of miners and projects to improve the permitting process. 

Copper Exploration Strategy

You should know that various mineral-rich states like Queensland, California, Ontario, and Rajasthan obtain over 10% of revenue from the mineral sector. Mineral exploration aims to find mineral deposits and rocks which can be used for extraction purposes. It’s a complete sequence of activities that includes searching for new mineral prospects for the feasibility study. The exploration techniques vary from country to country. It may involve a single or combination of multiple techniques depending upon demands, size, and complexity of deposit, funds, price of the end product, infrastructure, government policy, and royalty structure. To find a maximum number of economic mineral deposits with minimum cost and time, various companies are improving exploration services. In addition to more investments and sustained cash inflow, the processes are associated with high risk. Various companies including Solaris Resources and Codelco, are continuously involved in improving exploration and mining services. Solaris Resources Inc has recently made a significant new discovery within its Warintza project in southeastern Ecuador.

Research and studies of geological sciences, geophysical and geochemical methods, and drilling technologies would improve the effectiveness of mineral exploration productively. We’ve listed below the significant steps involved in successful exploration:

  • Target Generation
  • Field Mapping and Analysis
  • Remote Sensing
  • Mineral System Modeling
  • Audits and Valuation

The whole exploration process may take two to eight years and cost up to $500,000-$15 million total. It depends on the ownership of land, a mineral rights lease, whether the holder can explore the area or not. Metallurgists would then collect samples by drilling to determine the richness and extent of the mineral. The experts label a deposit as a “mineral resource” or “ore reserve” with technical and economic evaluation.

Conclusion

The process of copper extraction is complicated and costly. Searching, sampling, analysis, and generating a feasibility report are done for successful prospecting and exploration. The process is followed by the development, extraction, and closure or reclamation of the ore deposit. 

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Sudarsan Chakraborty
Articles: 62

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