Wealth Creation in the Minerals Industry: Integrating Science, Business, and Education
Global political and economic developments shape both the demand for minerals and primary metals and their supply. Overall, demand has moved broadly in step with economic activity over the past 30 years. Notwithstanding the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries, demand grew more rapidly in the second half of the period than the first. The performance of individual products within this general trend largely reflects the specific nature of their main end uses. The geographic center of demand has shifted away from the mature industrial economies of North America, Western Europe, and Japan toward the newly industrializing countries of the Pacific Rim, China, and India. Mine production rose with demand, but not always in precise step. New capacity was required not just to meet demand, even where that was static, but also to offset the continuing effects of ore depletion. There were also changes in the location of production in response to geopolitical forces, the depletion of ore reserves, and the changing economics of extraction and processing. The number of mines contracted, especially during the 1990s, and the scale of mining operations was increased in order to achieve the requisite cost savings. Prices fluctuated in response to changing balances between supply and demand, trending downward from the early 1970s until the early 2000s. Most products witnessed at least one sharp price spike during the period, usually with continuing repercussions. Prices picked up from 2003, but generally not back to their earlier peak in real terms. Profitability varied according to the products concerned. In many years the average rates of return on capital employed have been insufficient to cover the risks involved.
The Role of Geologic Mapping in Mineral Exploration
Published:January 01, 2005
George H Brimhall, John H. Dilles, John M. Proffett, 2005. "The Role of Geologic Mapping in Mineral Exploration", Wealth Creation in the Minerals Industry: Integrating Science, Business, and Education, Michael D. Doggett, John R. Parry
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Geologic mapping provides many types of information essential both in exploration for new mineral deposits and during subsequent mining. Geologic mapping of outcrops is used to describe the primary lithology and morphology of rock bodies as well as age relationships between rock units. This information allows delineation of ore-bearing host rocks and postore rocks that obscure or truncate ores. Mapping gathers structural information, including attitudes of veins and postore faults that can be used to predict the geology in the subsurface or laterally under postore rocks, and improves the utility of geophysical data for refinement of subsurface targets. Mapping...