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To make better exploration tools, we first need to better understand ore deposits

Ireland, T, Sievwright, R, Bath, A, Stefanova, E, Godfroid, J and Hoschke, T 2019 , 'To make better exploration tools, we first need to better understand ore deposits', in Proceedings of the 15th SGA Biennial Meeting: Life with Ore Deposits on Earth, volume 3 , pp. 1306-1309 .

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Abstract

In an era of industry-funded research, there is an imperative that research yields outcomes that can be applied directly, at the expense of improving fundamental understanding. Reality often proves more complex than our simplistic experiments anticipated. A summary of common experimental behaviour might be framed thus:observe something of possible usecollect limited orientation samplesbecome enthused by early resultsroll out the tool to genuine unknownsgenerate abundant data with ambiguous resultsanalyse using a machine learning algorithm hoping for a miracle.This paper documents some of our recent trials and errors, mostly through application of SEM-based Tescan Integrated Mineral Analyser (TIMA) quantitative mineralogy and rock mapping, and attempts to apply mineral chemistry and chronology analysis to detrital sediment samples. We've learned that to improve our new tools we must:expand or customise our characterisation of natural backgroundobserve mineral appearance, assemblage and morphology before microanalysisaccept that detailed observation may demand revisions to existing models of hydrothermal mineral stabilities, and hence provoke more fundamental researchaccept that machine learning classifications tend to be successful only when trained against local or specifically relevant orientation data.

Item Type: Conference Publication
Authors/Creators:Ireland, T and Sievwright, R and Bath, A and Stefanova, E and Godfroid, J and Hoschke, T
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the 15th SGA Biennial Meeting: Life with Ore Deposits on Earth, volume 3
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA)

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