Mining and Exploration

Analysis of metals in drill cores are vital to characterize ores. The usually long time from drilling to analytical results is often a drawback. The Itrax Drillcore scanner can many times contribute to a solution to this dilemma by reducing the time from drilling to core data.

In metal exploration, quick delivery of drill core data during a drill campaign can have strong impact on the drilling process, provided that that data are accurate enough. In this situation, the Itrax Drillcore scanner can give great feedback to geologists, since data can be available only a few minutes after the drill core is out of the drill. This quick data access can change the course of a drilling project and in some cases perhaps even make the difference between loss or success. Since core average data are available as standard format tables, these can be exported to many software formats.

For startup and operational mines, when quantitative data accuracy in combination with quick data access is of importance, the Itrax Drillcore scanner excels. In this context too, the Itrax Drillcore scanner can play a role by cutting the delay between drilling and subsequent steps, based on accurate data. Even though the XRF analysis is performed on the surface of cores only, our tests have shown good correspondance with standard technique already at the level of one to a few meters of core.

When mineralogy is in focus, the Itrax Drillcore scanner can contribute not only with information about average content per core section, but also about the distribution of each element.

Itrax-rare-earth-analysis

This image shows data from a drill core taken at the Norra Kärr mineralization, one of the world’s largest REE (Rare Earth Elements) deposit. The displayed profiles show the distribution of Hf, Zr and Y, present in average concentrations of 0,05%, 1,2% and 0,2%, respectively. This core was scanned with 1 millimeter steps, measuring one second per point. Please note how the different elements have similar, but not identical profiles. The core photo below indicates the distribution of Endialyt mineral (green) and REE rich mineral Catapleiite (pink).

The core XRF data can also be used as a proxy for mineral phases. By studying element correlation based on the many XRF analyses from a scan along a core, information on element correlation and phases becomes available.

Zr-Hf-diagramThis diagram shows the correlation between two elements Zirconium (Zr) and Hafnium (Hf), as determined by scanning a one meter core from Norra Kärr REE mineralization in Sweden. Each data point in the diagram corresponds to a measurement of one millimeter in the core direction. Since all data points from this scan fall close to the line, it can be concluded that the two elements have good correlation and therefore are in the same mineral phase. The average concentrations in this core were Zr 1.2% and Hf 0,5%, and the measuring time was one second per point. The diagram also shows that even at such short time of measurement, data quality is good, while taking the average for all the points adds further accuracy. Correlation data from these scans can also be used to display the distribution of mineral phases along a core in a fast and efficient way. There is more to read about this in the file Mineral analysis that you can find on the Downloads page.

There are Appplication notes available for download under Downloads in the main menu.