Mineral exploration is the first stage of wealth creation from mining (Fig. 3.1; Agricola, 1556 [Box 4.2]; Porter, 1985).

Figure 3.1
Mining Value Chain (modified from Camus, 2011).
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Mining Value Chain (modified from Camus, 2011).

Figure 3.1
Mining Value Chain (modified from Camus, 2011).
View largeDownload slide

Mining Value Chain (modified from Camus, 2011).

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Exploration and mining started in the Neolithic, preceding herding and agriculture. At first, native metals such as gold and copper were mined but the discovery of how to recover metals by smelting metal oxides that probably occurred at least 7,000 years ago (Section 4) increased ancient exploration targets....

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