Copper Exploration and Mineral Identification

The largest, most valuable and profitable copper mines are historically large scale porphyry deposits. Other types of deposits can include volcanogenic massive sulfide ore deposits (VMS), iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) ore deposits, and copper skarn deposits. NIR spectroscopy is an excellent tool for mineral identification in copper exploration.

The oreXpress field geological spectrometer, and EZ-ID mineral identification software, are well-suited for exploration geologists looking for minable copper deposits. They allow exploration geologists to map alteration zone mineralogy and identify diagnostic minerals. These can include:

  • Porphyry copper – with alteration minerals including tourmaline, muscovite, alunite, kaolinite, jarosite, goethite, hematite, chalcanthite
  • Oxidized BXA (leach cap) – with mica, jarosite, alunite, kaolinite
  • Oxidized phyllic – with alunite, kaolinite, jarosite, copper sulfate overprinting muscovite
  • Potassic – with muscovite, tourmaline, some alunite

Every oreXpress includes our DARWin SP Data Acquisition software and is available with EZ-ID and the Custom Library Builder Module. EZ-ID allows you to compare your target sample with a known library of mineral spectra. EZ-ID comes with the USGS spectral library and is available with the SpecMIN library from Spectral International.

EZ-ID features:

  • Fast and accurate identification of an unknown mineral to a known spectral library sample
  • Ease-of-use: take your scan using an oreXpress or oreXpress platinum and see results in real-time
  • Simple, consistent user interface
  • USGS and SpecMIN libraries available
  • Weighted score for best matches
  • Include or exclude spectral regions of interest for optimal results

Using an oreXpress with EZ-ID delivers the following benefits for exploration geologists exploring for copper:

  • Quickly take a lot of samples
  • Cover more ground in less time
  • More accurate data provides a more complete picture of what you are looking at
  • Less time and expense than waiting for samples to come back from the lab
  • Less drilling – better results quickly delivers a return-on- investment

oreXpress field portable spectrometer for mineral identification

SPECTRAL EVOLUTION’S EZ-ID software has identified our target sample as kaolinite using the USGS spectral library for reference. The shaded areas shown in the scan allow a geologist to concentrate on regions in the spectra of particular interest.