An exposition of the basic mathematical methods used in calculating the probability of successful search for geological structures in a discrete set of regions is given. The argument is framed without the restrictive assumption of a specific distribution for the conditional probability of discovery but is subsequently illustrated by the specific case of a Poisoisson distribution. The optimal allocation of search effort to the various regions is determined. The important question of how the probabilities of occurrence of deposits should be adjusted after unsuccessful search is specifically answered by calculation of the posteriori probabilities.--Author's abstrac

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