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research program 2

mineral exploration in areas of cover

Objective Logging

Project Leader : Tim Munday, CSIRO Exploration and Mining

Start date and duration: July 2003-June 2008

Participants : CSIRO Exploration and Mining, Geoscience Australia, Primary Industries and Resources SA

Brief project description :

The project aims to develop practical automatic interpretation tools for logging regolith materials returned as core, drill chips, or pulps. It also aims to better define the regolith mapping and predictive modelling capabilities of spectral data acquired from imaging spectrometers such as HyMap. The intent is to provide the exploration geologist, mining engineer, geomorphologist or environmental scientist with meaningful, objective information of regolith materials to aid geological, geophysical, geotechnical and geochemical interpretation. The goal is not to replace the experienced geological interpretation of materials in their spatial and temporal context, but to complement and refine this knowledge through the rapid analysis and presentation of mineralogical (spectral), geochemical (hand held XRF). The project technology will aid the definition of 3D and 4D models of regolith and landscape with exploration and environmental applications. P roject activities will develop and support interactions with other LEME studies in SA, WA, NT and NSW, as resources permit.

In this, the final year of this project, particular emphasis will be placed on the documentation of spectral logging procedures and protocols relevant to regolith materials/settings, and the implementation of regolith logging methods/algorithms into an operational software framework, specifically TSG Core (An analytical framework for processing and analysing spectra developed by CSIRO). The project will also further explore the application of the HyChips technology in the exploration workflow. Finally we propose to develop and conduct a training workshop with AUSSpec for the mining and exploration industry and their service providers, to promote understanding and awareness of the developed technologies.


Specific Objectives for 2007-8 include:

  1. Conduct of workshop on Spectral indices for use in regolith settings (Nov07) .
  2. Production of a workshop report on procedures and protocols for using spectra in the exploration workflow, with particular emphasis on regolith materials
  3. Complete the development of regolith unmixing alogorithms and the implementation of this code in TSG.


Deliverables (outputs) and expected impacts of research (outcomes):


•  Software implementation of algorithms for the rapid, objective interpretation of multi-parameter logs and presentation of interpreted results, including new spectral matching techniques specific to regolith materials. Specifically this will entail an implementation on TSG on automated unmixing algorithms and will involve:

•  Incorporation of low frequency” spectral feature matching appropriate to unmixing algorithms

•  Implementation of data compression techniques for processing and analysis

•  Incorporation of regolith interpretation algorithms in TSG and commercial deployment.

•  Technology transfer workshop with industry (including analytical labs) – to raise awareness and broaden industry acceptance and adoption of techniques developed.

•  Report on a workshop to define regolith “Spectral indices” which can be incorporated into commercial software (TSG). Development of strategy for the commercial application and communication of this IP collaborative with CEM and other LEME partners eg PIRSA and GA.


•  Routine acquisition of mineralogical (spectral) data with geochemical data in exploration through the regolith, resulting in more effective exploration, targeting and priority setting.

•  Better value from drillhole data, through the provision of regolith material and mineralogical information.

•  Take up of auto-interpretation procedures by the exploration sector (through analytical labs?) to aid geological and geochemical interpretation in regolith settings

•  More efficient and effective exploration in areas of cover, through ready identification of significant regolith boundaries, and better discrimination of bedrock/alteration variations in the regolith.


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