By Team IOS, Friday May 22, 2020

Developing a mine is an obstacle race, and jumping over the fences requires looking ahead of you!


Exploration geologists tend to put their nose on the outcrops or core in order to use all their skills at adding tons. The rest is someone else problem... So we spend millions to get thousands of metres of core that we described... and store. Why invest during the exploration phase in complementary geochemistry and mineralogy work since it is easier to pass the ball to metallurgist, engineers or environment specialists? And then one wonders why so many projects do not comes to fruition.


If we look at the operation of large and successful mining companies, a common denominator is that these other essential components of mine development such as geochemistry, mineralogy, environment and metallurgy are considered very early in the evaluation process of a project. Experience teaches us that failure to integrate a mulitidisciplinary at the onset of a project usually results in duplication of work, redundant studies, conception errors leading to certificate denial, cost overruns as well as months or years of delays which can lead a company to miss the opportunity window. This is so the case, that this approach will be embedded in the new version of the national instrument 43-101 as well as new rules for environmental impact studies in Quebec. Companies will have to identify early the environmental and technico-economic issues associated with their deposit. Multidisciplinarity is the key to efficiency in the development of a mining project and helps to promote the reconciliation of economic and environmental interests. And this is the basic concept behind the geo-environmental approach!


Geometallurgy aims to disrupt silos between mining geology and metallurgical considerations, and IOS has been pioneer at using the concept early in exploration. Similarly, geo-environmental approach integrates the requirements of the impact assessment studies early in the exploration process, another concept that we are pioneering! It is not a matter of how to conduct the work with minimal impacts; this is intrinsic to any exploration program! It is a matter of adapting the exploration efforts so that results can be recycled in the impact assessment study! And this requires experience in both fields... or in three of them if we add geometallurgical aspects!


IOS will offer a webinar on geometallurgy and geo-environment at Explo-Abitibi Virtual convention, next Wednesday, May 27th 1 pm ( However, it you prefer to read quietly about it, download Mr Vermette last article in Ressources Mines et Industrie magazine (volume 5, numéro 1, pp 23 à 29), available at



Hey, in the mean time, do not forget to visit our Explo-Abitibi virtual booth next Tuesday May 26th, and enjoy a chat on geo-environment with our experts at


''There are those who follow the rules... and those who define them''


Acid mine drainage! Still, solution was to neutralized with dolimite available next to the deposit, as pointed out by the exploration geologist!







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