Abstract

Multinational mining corporations produce about 27 billion dollars of mined products annually. Approximately 17 billion dollars is produced by mining corporations with annual mineral sales above 100 million dollars. Their ore deposits are, in most cases, either discovered or acquired as raw prospects by economic geologists within the corporate exploration department. An additional 5 billion dollars of annual mined products in the Western World are controlled by national government organizations. Approximately 3.5 billion dollars of governmental mined products were previously mined by multinational corporations. Therefore, the multinational corporation is the primary producer of the Western World's raw mineral materials, and the fundamental discoverer and/or acquirer of the ore deposits is the economic geologist within the mining corporation.The structure of mining corporations varies from a group system with a parent house to complete ownership of mines by one corporation. The lack of a stereotype operational system for mining corporations indicates that we are within a period of growth, still searching for the best type of vehicle for mineral discovery.Mining corporations explore by (1) territorial or (2) specialist group systems. The specialist approach to specific classes of deposits is proving more effective as evidenced by the recent ore discoveries at Thompson, Mattagami Lake, Kidd Creek, Lee Creek, and Rustler Hills.There are about twenty classes of ore deposits searched for by specialist groups. These deposits represented 37 billion dollars in gross sales in 1973. Base metals account for 34 percent of the total, and it is within the copper-lead-zinc-nickel fields that most of the new specialization has occurred.Since 1948, major ore discoveries within new districts have been placed in production within every genetic class of deposit except Witwatersrand gold, red-bed copper, and tin. These ore discoveries range from raw subsurface ore deposits using geological and geophysical methods through raw discoveries outcropping in remote areas. In the purest form of discovery, the explorationist appears to "peak out" at a particular knowledge level at the moment of discovery. Thereafter, a period of "expert senility" occurs as to the specific class of mineral deposit. The time has arrived for the explorationist to switch to another class of deposit for discovery.The successful explorationist is intelligent and creative with an above-average capability for rationalizing numerous variables within a mappable framework. As a rule, compilation of data followed by field observation leads to new concepts for ore discovery.The successful explorationist, as a rule, receives little credit for an ore discovery, due to dilution within the corporate management system and, therefore, he changes corporations. Since the value and life of a major discovery is so great, corporations have not suffered financially on a short-term basis. However, the graveyard of mining corporations is growing, and this is due to the loss of their unique explorationists.It is suggested that the Society of Economic Geologists establish an Ore Discovery Committee to publish detailed accounts of major ore discoveries. The value of such reports is both for the benefit of the successful explorationists and for the education of members of our Society on techniques of ore discovery.The mining corporations must realize that to maintain continued growth, successful explorationists must be financially rewarded. The rewards should be significant stock awards, high salaries, and increased freedom to explore. With the proper credit and sufficient reward to the explorationist. a multinational corporation will have continued growth, limited only by the excellence of competitive corporations.

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