Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-336
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-336

  25 Nov 2020

25 Nov 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

The Rocklea Dome 3D Mineral Mapping Test Data Set

Carsten Laukamp1, Maarten Haest2, and Thomas Cudahy3 Carsten Laukamp et al.
  • 1CSIRO Mineral Resources, 26 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington, WA 6151, Australia
  • 2MineSense Technologies, Vancouver, Canada
  • 3C3DMM Pty Ltd, Perth, Australia

Abstract. The integration of surface and subsurface geoscience data is critical for efficient and effective mineral exploration and mining. Publicly accessible datasets to evaluate the various geoscience analytical tools and their effectiveness for characterisation of mineral assemblages and lithologies or discrimination of ore from waste are however scarce. The open access Rocklea Dome 3D Mineral Mapping Test Data Set (Laukamp, 2020; https://doi.org/10.25919/5ed83bf55be6a) provides an opportunity for evaluating proximal and remote sensing data, validated and calibrated by independent geochemical and mineralogical analyses, for exploration of channel-iron deposits (CID) through cover. We present hyperspectral airborne, surface and drill core reflectance spectra collected in the visible-near infrared and shortwave infrared wavelength ranges (VNIR-SWIR; 350 to 2500 nm), as well as whole rock geochemistry obtained by means of X-Ray fluorescence analysis and loss on ignition measurements of drill core samples.

The integration of surface with subsurface hyperspectral data collected in the frame of previously published Rocklea Dome 3D Mineral Mapping case studies demonstrated that about 30 % of exploration drill holes were sunk into barren ground and could have been of better use, located elsewhere, if airborne hyperspectral imagery had been consulted for drill hole planning. The remote mapping of transported Tertiary detritals (i.e. potential hosts of channel iron ore resources) versus weathered in situ Archaean geology (i.e. barren ground) has significant implications for other areas where cover (i.e. regolith and/or sediments covering bedrock hosting mineral deposits) hinders mineral exploration. Hyperspectral remote sensing represents a cost-effective method for regolith landform mapping required for planning drilling programs. In the Rocklea Dome area, vegetation unmixing methods applied to airborne hyperspectral data, integrated with subsurface data, resulted in seamless mapping of ore zones from the weathered surface to the base of the CID – a concept that can be applied to other mineral exploration and mineral deposit studies. Furthermore, the associated, independent calibration data allowed to quantify iron oxide phases and associated mineralogy from hyperspectral data. Using the Rocklea Dome data set, novel geostatistical clustering methods were applied to the drill core data sets for ore body domaining that introduced scientific rigour to a traditionally subjective procedure, resulting in reproducible objective domains that are critical for the mining process.

Beyond the already published case studies, the Rocklea Dome 3D Mineral Mapping Test Data Set has the potential to develop new methods for advanced resource characterisation and develop new applications that aid exploration for mineral deposits through cover. The here newly presented white mica and chlorite abundance maps derived from airborne hyperspectral highlight the additional applications of remote sensing for geological mapping and could help to evaluate newly launched hyper- and multispectral spaceborne systems for geoscience and mineral exploration.

Carsten Laukamp et al.

 
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Carsten Laukamp et al.

Data sets

Rocklea Dome C3DMM. v1. CSIRO. Data Collection Carsten Laukamp https://doi.org/10.25919/5ed83bf55be6a

Carsten Laukamp et al.

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Short summary
Integration of drill core and Earth observation data is critical for cost-effective mineral exploration and mining. Publicly accessible datasets to evaluate analytical tools and their effectiveness for characterisation of mineral assemblages and lithologies or discrimination of ore from waste are however scarce. The open access Rocklea Dome 3D Mineral Mapping Test Data Set allows an evaluation of sub-surface and surface information for exploration of mineral resources and their characterisation.