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2017 Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer for the Society of Economic Geologists

Posted on 2017-10-04 in Events
Oct 6, 2017

Please join us for a special seminar next Friday October 6 at 3:30 pm in rm 155 Geology presented by Dan Wood, 2017 Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer for the Society of Economic Geologists:

Future Exploration

The role of mineral exploration is to create wealth by discovering ore deposits for mining. Unfortunately, the 11-fold increase in exploration expenditure between 2002 and 2012 seems to have resulted in wealth being destroyed, with flow-on effect to investor confidence. Historically, exploration has mostly targeted deposits for mining by open pit; but the falling discovery rate in recent years suggests that many, if not most, of the “more obvious” near-surface deposits have been discovered, and those remaining will be much more difficult to find.

As a result, future exploration will need to target either near-surface deposits for open pit mining where evidence of their presence is much “less obvious”, or deposits that are located below open-pit mining depth which will have to be mined using an underground method. Where the deeper deposit is large and of lower grade, such as in a porphyry Cu deposit, for example, mining using a caving method is the only presently available way of recovering ore; but most exploration geologists have a limited understanding of how to explore for deposits suited to this form of mining.

Whereas this may seem a hurdle to discovery, the knowledge limitation is easily overcome and is far outweighed by the opening up of a new ‘Greenfield’ exploration terrane, below 300 m depth in the Earth’s crust, down to 2,000 m.

Biography: Dan Wood AO

Dan Wood retired as an exploration geologist in 2008 after 24 years with BHP and 18 years with Newcrest Mining where he was Executive General Manager Exploration. Newcrest was judged by Metals Economics Group of Canada ¬¬to have been the World’s most successful gold explorer, 1992-2005.

He has received several international exploration awards and is the 2017 Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer for the Society of Economic Geologists. In 2015, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) by the Australian Government for his service to the mining industry.

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