Semi-quantitative mineral abundance estimation on drill-core samples

Due to the extensive drilling performed every year in exploration campaigns for the discovery and evaluation of ore deposits, drill-core mapping is becoming an essential step. While valuable mineralogical information is extracted during core logging by on-site geologists, the process is time-consuming and dependent on the observer and individual background. Hyperspectral short-wave infrared data is used in the mining industry as a tool to complement traditional logging techniques and to provide a rapid and non-invasive analytical method for mineralogical characterization. Additionally, Scanning Electron Microscopy-based image analyses using a Mineral Liberation Analyser (SEM-MLA) provide exhaustive high-resolution mineralogical maps, but can only be performed on small areas of the drill-cores. We use machine learning algorithms to combine the two data types and upscale the quantitative SEM-MLA mineralogical data to drill-core scale.


Our upscaling approach increases result transparency and reproducibility by employing physical-based data acquisition (hyperspectral imaging) combined with mathematical models (machine learning). The obtained mineral abundance maps are further used for the extraction of mineralogical parameters such as mineral association.




More details can be found here: https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12071218




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