Opinion- by Sri Pramod Kumar, fmr Addl Director, AMD: on “Mineral System” based classification of deposits

The most challenging question in exploration is “why an element is there where it is?” Hence to synthesize the whole gamut of concept of  mineral deposits, its possible origin, type, classification and association with other minerals is a good idea over the routine space and time concept. All deposits are unique in nature and the processes of the formation differ from each other but still a commonality may be found. This may help in locating more potential blocks.

I have gone through the USGS report and the new method of deposit classification sent in your email.I feel it is a good and practical novel idea to relook the whole system of mineral business. As such the science of mineral exploration is complex and finding a deposit is riddled with many challenges, stake, risk and money. In such a scenario the need of the hour is to locate the mineral deposits in a rapid, reliable and cost effective manner. The most challenging question in exploration is “why an element is there where it is?” Hence to synthesize the whole gamut of concept of  mineral deposits, its possible origin, type, classification and association with other minerals is a good idea over the routine space and time concept. All deposits are unique in nature and the processes of the formation differ from each other but still a commonality may be found. This may help in locating more potential blocks. With more and more sensitive analytical techniques, more selectivity also is the future mantra for exploration of minerals. That is to say that along with one mineral, more mineral and elements may be associated. The Table here in question gives fairly good idea of the mineral association and its classification. The emphasis here is to explore and exploit all the mineral wealth that has been introduced by the geological process. The classification of mineral system, is therefore a better idea.
Regarding introducing this new concept to the students, my submission is that in addition to the conventional classifications of the deposits, ore formation and tectonic setting, an exposure to this mineral system classification should also be given. The ultimate aim of any exploration geoscientist is to locate the deposit that are economically viable and also to exploit all the mineral wealth available in the geological domain– that is, from Discovery to Recovery, a complete picture is clear to  him and he can function accordingly. This will definitely equip the geologist to act with  better  understanding. The time of finding  surface deposits with conventional methods is pass and we need to reorient surveys and prospecting to find deeply buried deposits which require application of multiple techniques and new conceptualization. As such it is always a challenging and demanding field.
Thanking for your interaction and hope to take it forward.

One thought on “Opinion- by Sri Pramod Kumar, fmr Addl Director, AMD: on “Mineral System” based classification of deposits

  1. On behalf of Atul Bhatia, Geologist, GSI
    “…I have gone through the tables you referred. In my personal opinion and through my field experience as a geologist I would suggest to you that the classification tabulated in USGS is quite an intuitive idea where you have been provided with the direct catch up on the principle commodities , Deposit types, Critical minerals based on different environments of deposition. It is very apparent that it may however differ in the field base studies.
    The piece of paper with composed information is always a better source to refer to. You should definitely incorporate this system of classification to have an encyclopedic idea of the depositional environments clamped with enormous deets in the teachings for the benefits of everyone…”

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