Stream sediment surveys support early-stage reconnaissance mineral exploration and regional assessment programs, enhanced by recent improvements in analytical method detection limits, continuously improving mineral chemistry, and new approaches to the interpretation of geochemical data. Sediment surveys may be used to predict catchment basin lithology, mineralization type based on pathfinder geochemistry, and geological features based on indicator mineral chemistry. Sediment surveys that target a finer fraction sediment sample led to discovery of the La Colosa gold deposit, Colombia. The Batu Hijau porphyry Cu-Au deposit in Indonesia was discovered based on an anomalous clay-sized fraction sample 12 km downstream. In an arid region with poorly developed drainages and minor topographic relief, the Ag-base-metal Navidad District in Argentina was discovered with clay-fraction sediment geochemistry. Heavy mineral concentrate sediment surveys (HMC) that include mineral chemistry determinations have led to global diamond discoveries. HMC surveys contributed to discovery of the Ring of Fire Ni-Cu-PGE and chromite district, Ontario Canada. Discoveries and geochemical mapping can assist advancement of the application of stream sediment geochemistry in those global areas for which lithologies and deposits are exposed. Stream sediment surveys continue to be one of the most cost-effective geochemical methods for covering large areas for mineral exploration.

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