Case study: Mine the core
In times past cost constraints prevented many companies from analysing drill core samples beyond a restricted suite of metals when conducting their exploration programs. For example, a copper explorer might typically have analysed core only for base metals (copper, lead, zinc) and possibly precious metals (gold and silver). Cobalt, which may be associated with copper, was not commonly included in those examinations. However those “overlooked” minerals are now fundamental to the global energy transition.
The Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ) has re-analysed large volumes of core samples obtained from known deposits, from representative drill core and surface samples held in its drill core libraries (Exploration Data Centre, Brisbane, and the John Campbell Miles facility at Mount Isa), and also via collaborative relationships with key Queensland explorers. This information is being digitised and will be released to the public via the GSQ Open Data Portal.