Seismic is often inferred to be synonymous with high cost. In a mineral environment, it is typically assumed to be viable only for mining operations or brownfield exploration. For greenfield exploration, other geophysical and geochemical/lithogeochemical methods are usually preferred, due in part to their affordability. We show results of a low-cost seismic survey over the Escondida porphyry copper deposit. The results show that low-cost 3D acquisition can improve structural understanding of established porphyry deposits and that there is potential for 3D seismic to be applied in brownfield and perhaps even greenfield exploration. The sparse 3D seismic reflection survey acquired at Escondida illuminates the structural setting and images stock genetically related to the Escondida intrusive complex at depth. The seismic results are compared to a magnetization vector inversion calculated from a regional airborne survey. This illustrates the potential for jointly utilizing the two methods to identify and prioritize anomalies for targeted drilling-based follow-up in exploration settings.

You do not currently have access to this article.