Mineral drilling, one of the most lucrative industries, is the exploration and extraction of mineral deposits beneath the earth. Mineral deposits are located with the use of a specialized equipment, and then geologists will study the area and make sure that the mineral is indeed abundant and viable to drill. The mining company will then drill into the exact location to get to the mineral.
Minerals have their own particular area. For example, you will not find gold in a place where you find diamonds or oil, and so on. The rock and the entire formation varies. Some areas would look like mines, but are actually not. This is the reason why you should first find out the exact location of the deposit.
It takes a detailed geological study to do the actual mineral drilling. Specific instruments are used to discover the gravity, radioactivity, and the electromagnetism of the area. Flying airborne geophysics is the most effective method of collecting the data. These aerial magnetometers are quite efficient in finding magnetic variances in the earth’s magnetic field.
Different methods and equipment are utilized to explore different minerals. Ultra violet lamps help indicate the presence of tungsten. Gieger counters and scintillometers determines the presence of radioactivity, indicating that uranium is present in the area.
Ground based geophysical mineral prospecting uses electromagnetic geophysics, while aerial photography helps in remote sensing. If you want to find out the type of soil and the type of mineral in a particular place, you implement geochemical methods, as certain chemicals show certain types of minerals that exist in a specific area.
Drilling the mineral
One a mineral id detected in an area, a sample drilling is first conducted. Then, geologists would conduct a resource evaluation discover the grade and tonnage of the mineral that is present. A resource evaluation will help them know the size and quantity of the mineral present. They will then define the reserve to find out the economic viability of the project. The mineral resource will then be called an ore reserve.
A great deal of geological study and engineering efforts are carried out the make this discovery. Mining engineers are responsible for studying the area and coming up with the best and most efficient means of drilling and extracting the minerals. Drilling rigs that are specifically designed for mining are then set up in place. These machines go through the earth’s crust, boring holes deep enough to get the minerals. Mineral drilling is a costly, but a very profitable business.
Extracting minerals from mines can be done through either the Greenfields method or the Brownfields method. Greenfields method is mining in areas that have not been explored before. Thus, you wouldn’t really know what to expect. Sometimes mines might not be even found at all. Brownfields method, on the other hand, is mining in areas where there have been previous deposits. The risk of this method would be that the ores might have been exhausted already.