By Team IOS, Friday, October 18, 2019

An talk and a workshop at Xplor 2019.
Montréal, Queen Elizabeth Hotel, October 21st and 23th 2019


Ten years ago, when we started to talk about geometallurgy in exploration, we were considered as heretics and geologists watched us with curiosity. So, let put back some question marks in your mind, because we are 10 years ahead, once more, and let talk Geoenvironement!


We estimate that the costs incurred by the companies for the discovery and preliminary economic assessment of a new mineralized deposit are in the order of $10 million. Another 10 million is then needed for the feasibility study followed by another 20 to 40 million to make the project acceptable and obtains permits for construction. May we do some optimization of the process? Can we begin to de-risk the project upstream of its development, right during the exploration stage, in ourera of "not-on-our-poor-little-planet"?


The concept of geoenvironmental characterization is not in itself a new technology. It's a holistic management concept that enables to optimize data acquisition right at exploration. This management approach aims to anticipate environmental problems in the early stages of project development and thus optimize the future costs of its social acceptability by implementing sounded exploration decision. For example, it consists to optimize drilling with the purpose to use the holes for subsequent studies in metallurgy, engineering, hydrogeology and tailings management planning. It consists to choose the methods of rock or soil analysis so that the information and the results obtained can be used both for exploration and subsequent environmental purposes. It is choosing and managing contractors to facilitate the subsequent acceptance of the project by the community. It's is getting geologists, engineers, and environmental scientists out of their silos, and speaking a common language. It is to understand that the observations, interpretations and decisions of today's exploration geologist can have a decisive impact on the acceptability of future projects. And it consists to accept to rethink our ways of doing ...


overall development cost for a project, to facilitate its social acceptability and to anticipate future environmental issues. As example, it is to optimize drilling pattern so holes can be useful for exploration, bulk sampling, hydrological studies, engineering, planning of tailings management, etc. It is to select the proper analytical methods so results can be used in subsequent environmental impact studies. It is to select contractor that will facilitate local acceptance. It is to make sure that geologists, engineers and environment specialist steps out of their silos and understand each-others. It's to understand that today's decision by the exploration geologist may have drastic impacts on subsequent acceptability of tomorrow's project. And it is to accept that we may have to tweak our ways of doing things.


Geoenvironmental approach will be presented as a premiere in a workshop organized by the University of Québec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue at Xplor 2019, on Monday October 21st at 1:00 pm. (Geoenvironmental characterization in the first stages of exploration: boosting mining projects' acceptability). Part of the workshop will be presented by Denys Vermette, a geologist who has been instrumental in the concept's development. Denys will also offer a talk in the ‘'Geometallurgy'' session, entitled "Protocol for geo environmental assessment in mining exploration, based on the use of geometallurgical concepts), Wednesday, October 23th at 2:00 pm.


Comes and refresh your ideas at the annual Québec Mineral Exploration Association congress, Xplor 2019. See you at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montréal, 21st to 24th October.


« There are those who follow the rules... and those who define them! »


Drilling large diameter core, PQ as example, in the course of resource definition allows to extract sufficient material for subsequent metallurgical or geometallurgical testing, even for sag mill testing. An exploration decision that may have a decisive impact in subsequent developments of the project.



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