Portable XRF in Minerals Exploration Research & Development - CSIRO and Olympus Innov-X working together for industry - Case Study


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Portable X-Ray Fluorescence in Mineral Exploration Science
Portable XRF has been integrated into a wide range of R&D projects within the minerals exploration science theme of the CSIRO’s Minerals Down Under Research Flagship. We are committed to understanding how this new technology can be implemented more readily into the exploration workflow. CSIRO has been working closely with Olympus Innov-X to look at the practical exploration workflow applications as well as deliver new improved ways of processing the data.

Portable XRF and 3D mineral systems understanding
One critical use of pXRF technology has been to rapidly collect multi-element data from drilling to quickly asses the 3D distribution of chemical signals in mineral systems. With the ability to get rapid results we can quickly focus on the key areas for further sampling and more complete laboratory analysis. PXRF has also helped to define anomalism that we hadn't expected before because of the range of elements that can be measured.

Portable XRF and Deep Exploration Technologies CRC
The new DET CRC is developing workflows and methodologies to better integrate technologies such as pXRF into exploration drilling especially through and under thick transported cover. Testing of behind-the-rig methods will be conducted at the DET CRC Brukunga drill testing facility near Adelaide.

Portable XRF at high spatial resolution
Portable XRF collects data from a small area on the core which allows us to target very precisely the analysis location. This has been used to great effect when understanding alteration at the cm-scale as in a) sedimentary –hosted U systems where the facies boundaries are important (Fig 2) and b) integrating structure and geochemistry and understanding veins and vein selvages (Fig 3).

Portable XRF geochemistry as a fundamental tool in mineral systems understanding
The CSIRO conducts R&D into understanding the fundamental controls on mineral systems to deliver enhanced targeting success. Portable XRF is a critical tool that is becoming more widely used in the exploration and mining workflow but it is important to understand how this data is delivered, processed and constrained. By integration of this data in 3D and coupled structural and mineralogical characterisation a new era of mineral system understanding in 3D is emerging that will inform the next period of discovery.

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