Geophysics plays an important role in the exploration and characterization of mineral deposits. Various geophysical techniques are used to obtain information on subsurface properties and mineral distribution. Some of the geophysical techniques applied to mineral deposits are described below:
- Magnetometry: Magnetometry is based on the measurement of the earth's magnetic field or magnetic fields generated by the presence of magnetic minerals in the subsurface. This technique is useful for detecting and mapping magnetic anomalies associated with mineralized bodies, such as magnetite deposits or metal sulfide mineralization.
- Gravimetry: Gravimetry is based on the measurement of the earth's gravity. Mineral deposits often have a different density than the surrounding rocks, resulting in gravity anomalies. Gravimetry is used to detect and map these anomalies, which can indicate the presence of mineral deposits.
- Induced Polarization: Induced Polarization (IP) is a geophysical technique used to detect and characterize mineralization in the subsurface. It consists of applying low frequency electric current to the subsurface and measuring the polarization response of the minerals present. IP can provide information on the spatial distribution of minerals and help identify areas with high concentrations of metallic minerals..
- Electrical methods: Electrical methods, such as electrical resistivity and electrical tomography, are used in mineral deposit exploration to characterize the electrical properties of the subsurface. These methods can help identify zones with high electrical conductivity associated with the presence of metallic minerals.
- Electromagnetic methods: Electromagnetic methods, such as electromagnetic induction (EM) and electromagnetic polarization (EMP), are used to investigate the electrical conductivity of the subsurface. These techniques can detect anomalous conductivity associated with mineralization and provide information on the depth and extent of mineral deposits.
These geophysical techniques are just some of the tools used in the exploration and characterization of mineral deposits. The combination of several geophysical techniques can provide a more complete and detailed image of the deposits, which facilitates decision making in exploration and mining.