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TitleCurrent techniques and applications of mineral chemistry to mineral exploration; Examples from Glaciated Terrain: A Review
AuthorLayton-Matthews, D; McClenaghan, BORCID logo
SourceMinerals vol. 12, issue 59, 2022 p. 1-27, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210555
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories
NTS86H/01; 86H/02; 86H/07; 86H/08
Lat/Long WENS-113.0000 -112.0000 65.5000 65.0000
Subjectsmineralogy; indicator elements; minerals; mineral exploration; mineral deposits
Illustrationstables; photographs; schematic models; photomicrographs; location maps; ternary diagrams; plots
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-6) Ore systems
Released2021 12 31
AbstractThis paper provides a summary of traditional, current, and developing exploration techniques using indicator minerals derived from glacial sediments, with a focus on Canadian case studies. The 0.25 to 2.0 mm fraction of heavy mineral concentrates (HMC) from surficial sediments is typically used for indicator mineral surveys, with the finer (0.25-0.50 mm) fraction used as the default grain size for heavy mineral concentrate studies due to the ease of concentration and separation and subsequent mineralogical identification. Similarly, commonly used indicator minerals (e.g., Kimberlite Indicator Minerals-KIMs) are well known because of ease of optical identification and their ability to survive glacial transport. Herein, we review the last 15 years of the rapidly growing application of Automated Mineralogy (e.g., MLA, QEMSCAN, TIMA, etc) to indicator mineral studies of several ore deposit types, including Ni-Cu-PGE, Volcanogenic Massive Sulfides, and a variety of porphyry systems and glacial sediments down ice of these deposits. These studies have expanded the indicator mineral species that can be applied to mineral exploration and decreased the size of the grains examined down to ~10 microns. Chemical and isotopic fertility indexes developed for bedrock can now be applied to indicator mineral grains in glacial sediments and these methods will influence the next generation of indicator mineral studies.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Overview of indicator mineral methods for critical mineral exploration

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