CSA Global Manager-Eastern Australia and Pac Rim, Patrick Maher and Principal Geologist, Dr Andrew Scogings recently collaborated on producing an extended abstract; “Drilling for Industrial Minerals – Quality Procedures and the End User” which featured in the July edition of the Australian Institute of Geology Bulletin No. 64.
Industrial minerals are normally classified and specified according to their end uses. Common examples are gypsum in wallboard and talc in body powder where properties such as colour and chemical purity are important. It is essential to understand the mineral quality and mineral distribution of a deposit in order to meet the specifications as defined by a manufacturer or end user.
Classification of industrial mineral deposits requires an understanding of exploration drilling procedures, given that drilling methods could affect intrinsic properties of minerals. For example, percussion drilling is very likely to reduce the size of mineral flakes such as vermiculite or graphite, compared with core drilling.
Good control on the quality of data generated during the exploration drilling and project evaluation phase is vital. It is the data produced during a drilling campaign that forms the basis for all subsequent decision making on the specific end uses of an industrial mineral.
Work carried out on African graphite and vermiculite drilling projects detail the fact that a good QA/QC programme is one that is active and regularly reviewed throughout the data collection process. This ensures quality information flow for end use study.
Procedures used in a high purity quartz project in Northern Queensland shows the importance of selecting the right drilling method to classify the deposit considering the highly specialist end user requirements.
Industrial mineral resource estimations rely on three main inputs: i) grade, ii) volume and iii) bulk density, of which the latter is often relatively neglected during industrial mineral exploration. A study of exploration drilling work on a sodium bentonite mine in Queensland, demonstrates the importance of selecting the correct drilling and sampling technique for the estimation of bulk density.
The aforementioned industrial mineral case studies have also highlighted the importance of reporting the resources in terms of product specifications.
BSc (Hons) Geology, MAIG, MAusIMM
Patrick is a geologist with over 15 years’ experience in geological disciplines ranging from mapping and exploration to working as a project leader for community development and sustainability groups in Ireland and Australia. Patrick is responsible for the management of our eastern Australian offices in Brisbane and Darwin. He is also strongly involved with our PacRim customers and maintains close contacts with the Indonesian and Singapore offices to service our Asian and American clients.
Dr Andrew Scogings
PhD (Geology), MAIG, MAusIMM, RPGeo (Industrial Minerals)
Dr Scogings is a geologist with more than 25 years’ experience in industrial minerals exploration, product development and sales management. Andrew has published several papers on the requirements of the JORC Code 2012, with specific reference to Clause 49. He is a regular contributor to Industrial Minerals Magazine and has written articles about QA/QC, bulk density methods and petrography for industrial minerals exploration, in addition to co-authoring several papers that ranked global graphite exploration projects. He was recently senior author of two significant reviews: Natural Graphite Report – strategic outlook to 2020 and Drilling grade barite – Supply, Demand & Markets published in 2015 by Industrial Minerals Research (UK). Andrew is a Registered Professional Geoscientist (RP Geo. Industrial Minerals) with the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.