The Appraisal of Mineral Resources
The past decade has been a time of increased awareness of the importance of mineral resources to economic growth and well being, which has resulted in demands for resource appraisals. One result has been the involvement of more geologists in the activity of appraisal. It is time to examine carefully and critically the use of geoscience in the appraisal of mineral endowment. We must consider some fundamental questions: How well can a geologist estimate undiscovered mineral endowment? How good an estimator can the geologist become, given improvements in science, appropriate methodology, and resource data? Significant improvements in the appraisal of mineral endowment and resources will be severely impeded, if not made impossible, without advances in three major areas: geology-mineral endowment theory, geological and resource data, and analytical methods. Of these three, the first two may need the greatest improvement. The accuracy by which we can relate geology to mineral endowment, whether by quantification of judgment or by mathematical models, is strongly reflective of how well our data and experience describe relevant geologic processes and endowment. In our opinion, geomathematics is a wide and challenging new field in the earth sciences. Relatively little use has been made of this opportunity because the application of geomathematics is fraught with educational, organizational, and technical difficulties. However, as the usefulness of the statistical methods is demonstrated through successful case history studies, it is likely that increasingly large numbers of geologists will be convinced of the value of this approach and a more widespread usage can be expected.
Figures & Tables
The first notions of a new journal came to J. E. Spurr during the closing days of 1904. When he shared his thoughts with friends in Washington, D. C., they were so enthusiastic about the suggestion that they formed themselves into an ad-hoc committee to seek ways to implement the idea. The ad-hoc group met informally for several months and by May of the following year was ready to announce the birth of an unusual new publishing company and the journal the company would produce. The first formal meeting of the Economic Geology Publishing Company took place on May 16, 1905. The first issue of the new journal appeared in October of the same year, and the first volume was completed in December 1906. The birthing was not easy, but it was successful because the founders provided much of the financing as well as the first papers. The story of those earliest days and the many struggles of the fledgling journal is engagingly recounted by Alan M. Bateman in an article published in the Fiftieth Anniversary volume.
From inception, management of the journal has differed from the management of most scientific journals. There was no sponsoring society, so the founders raised capital by incorporating and selling shares in the venture. The journal has been owned and published by the Economic Geology Publishing Company ever since. There is no record that the founders experienced difficulties in selling shares in the Company, but they must have had some because the Publishing Company had a goal that other corporations(and presumably many of the investors) would have found difficulty in understanding: the new corporation was committed to keeping the books balanced but not to making a profit.
Initially incorporated in the District of Columbia, the Publishing Company was reincorporated in 1970 as a nonprofit membership corporation in Delaware. The modification in corporate status came in response to a suggestion made by the Internal Revenue Service.
The affairs of the Publishing Company are controlled by a Board of Directors, and the journal is sold to the public by direct subscription. Day-to-day operations of paper selection, review, and printing are in the hands of the Editor, while business matters, such as subscriptions and advertising, are in the hands of the Business Editor.
The one tie the Publishing Company has with a society was instituted many years after the journal. was founded—with the Society of Economic Geologists. When the Society was founded in 1920 it first considered publishing its own bulletin. Because the venture seemed financially questionable, and the coffers of the new society were bare, an arrangement was reached whereby members of the Society first received offPrints of papers written by its members and eventually Economic Geology as