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   Skip Navigation LinksHOME › REFERENCE ITEMS › Understanding Mining     › ~ Mineral Prospecting Concepts

   NOTE: Quick MINERAL PROSPECTING facts for readers with no prior exposure to mineral engineering.

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Prospecting is synonymous in some ways with mineral exploration which is an organized, large scale and scientific effort undertaken by mineral resource companies to find commercially viable ore deposits.

Prospecting is quite intensive physical labor, involving a considerable amount of traversing (traditionally on foot or on horseback), panning, sifting and outcrop investigation, looking for tell-tale signs of mineralisation

The traditional methods of prospecting involves carefully and intense combing through the countryside, often through creek beds and along ridgelines and hilltops looking for signs of mineralisation in the outcrop.

Once a small occurrence or show was found, it is then necessary to intensively work the area often via the addition of some complex machinery. In some instances and for most base metal, the rock would have been mined by hand and crushed on site and the ore separated from the gangue by hand.

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