Sunday, October 10, 2010

Turning rocks into money

Have you wondered what is involved in finding a new mineral discovery and turning it into a mine? Professional prospectors, geologists, mining engineers, financiers, investors and other professionals think about that process on a daily basis.  The process often starts with a prospector and involves many other people and companies over the course of time.   

The Prospector

We are a stubborn group - us prospectors, we keep walking the hills, the ridges and the valleys seeking out signs of minerals and looking for the next new discovery. Today was a good day and tomorrow will be a better day, is the thought that guides us in our quest and helps to keep us intrigued and searching both the known and unknown areas of terra firma for something new and hopefully valuable. 

Stubborn willpower is the fuel keeps the prospector working and motivated when the challenges continue to pile up and results for efforts are often slim at best. Professional prospecting is demanding and difficult work. It calls for many days or months of hard effort with minimum results, however once we make a discovery the pain of the past is removed and replaced with renewed optimism. A sense of accomplishment and achievement takes over filling us with energy and determination to grow our new found discovery into a mine.

The Exploration Work

Once that new discovery has been made, the next step is to get down to further exploration work designed to gain a better understanding of the nature, size and value of the mineral discovery. This is the first stage of advanced work generally requiring financial and technical support from outside people and companies, unless you happen to be a very wealthy prospector. To truly gain wealth from a mineral discovery requires that it be mined at a profit.

In order to turn the rocks of a discovery into money and wealth also requires that a great deal of time, study and expenditures are necessary before the decision can be made to start mining. This delineation process could take years and depends upon many circumstances including economic conditions such as price, supply and demand for the mineral, the amount of minerals present and the cost of liberating the mineral from the rock.

To help us better understand the process of turning Rocks into Money, I link to a 3 part video series from Brent Cook, taped on site at a gold property in the Yukon Canada. In these videos he quite accurately describes important work activities and the evaluation process required to begin to understand a mineral deposit.  

Brent Cook is an independent exploration analyst with over 25 years of experience in both property economics and geology evaluations. As a seasoned geologist, Brent's knowledge spans all areas of the mining business from the conceptual stage through to detailed technical and financial modeling related to mine development and production. More on Brent Cook

The videos are found on YouTube  

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 

There above provides a good introduction to the “turning rocks into money” process. From this we can certainly understand that the process is complicated and that one good assay result is not enough to create a mine. It takes much more than a single outcrop  to create a mine and it often takes much more than press releases to turn a discovery into a profitable mine.

Happy Prospecting.


Anna Ashmore said...

Nice Reading. Thanks.
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Unknown said...

mining is cumbersome process. I do accept that prospector do play one of the most important role but i feel the unknown miners play even bigger roles but silently. No talk no gimmick no show. just work that to bone breaking.