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This paper reviews and analyzes the role played by changes in mineral exploration practice on the discovery record worldwide, over a timeframe of roughly the last 50 years. Geologic field methods have remained relatively unchanged, although general geologic theory as well as some empirical and genetic ore deposit models and related concepts have undergone major revisions that have had significant but unquantifiable effects on the exploration process. The principal geochemical and geophysical methods employed in the 1950s and 1960s remain preeminent, notwithstanding the burgeoning sophistication of analytical techniques and geophysical instrumentation, and the exponential increases in data-processing capacity. Remote...

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