Mineral exploration in regolith-dominated terrains: Global considerations and challenges.
González-Álvarez I., Boni M., Anand R.R.
Introduction to a Special Issue.
Ore Geology Reviews 73 (2016) 375–379.
Mineral exploration through transported cover is becoming one of the fundamental challenges for the exploration industry in this century. The sharp increase in demand for commodities driven by a growing population and technology-based society is coupled with the decrease in world-class ore deposit discoveries in the last three decades. This is setting the stage for an unprecedented scenario, that is, ensuring that the market supply for critical metals (Ni, Co, Au, PGE, etc.) is satisfied. This situation is becoming the driving force for a restructuring of mineral exploration paradigms. New technologies and methodologies are being developed; and, as a consequence, regions that were considered to be unfavourable for ore deposit exploration are now being reconsidered. Among these areas are vast regions of Regolith-Dominated Terrains (RTD), with basement rock suites buried under thick transported cover and/or deeply weathered profiles.
This Special Issue presents several studies on mineral exploration in RTDs in Brazil, China and Australia, and addresses some of the issues that hinder exploration in these problematic terrains, in the hope of reaching a broad audience, and encouraging researchers from a wide spectrum of disciplines to contribute to this exciting and inspiring exercise.