Abstract

—Infrared (Visible-Near Infrared-Shortwave Infrared (VNIR-SWIR)) spectroscopy is a cost-effective technique for mineral identification in the field. Modern hand-held spectrometers are equipped with on-board spectral libraries that enable rapid, qualitative analysis of most minerals and facilitate recognition of key alteration minerals for exploration. Spectral libraries can be general or customized for specific mineral deposit environments. To this end, careful collection of spectra in a controlled environment on pure specimens of key minerals was completed using the National Mineral Reference Collection (NMC) of the Geological Survey of Canada. The spectra collected from specimens in the ‘Kodama Clay Collection’ were processed using spectral plotting software and each new example was validated before being added to a group of spectra considered for incorporation into the on-board library of the handheld ASD-TerraSpec Halo near-infrared (NIR) mineral identification instrument. Spectra from an additional suite of mineral samples of the NMC containing REE, U, Th, and/or Nb are being prepared for a new, publicly available spectral library. These minerals commonly occur in carbonatite or alkali intrusive deposits, and as such will assist in the exploration for critical metals.

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