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New techniques are required to bolster the declining levels of greenfields exploration in Australia if we are to assure exploration success.

In the MRIWA sponsored Project M464, co-sponsored by GSWA and industry, an exciting new soil sampling methodology has been developed using the ultrafine fractions of soil samples.

The new technique shows very positive results and fundamentally changes the way soil sampling has been carried out over the last 30 years.

Advantages of the new technique are:

  • A defined new method that works with much smaller sample sizes
  • A workflow that has been commercialised (UltraFine+) providing reproducible, reliable results – 100-250% increased concentrations and removal of nugget effect.
  • Demonstrated success in Au exploration

Further studies will expand this work to other commodities.

Dr Ryan Noble is a Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO with 14 years’ research experience in regolith and groundwater studies related to exploration for multiple commodities.

Ryan is the Past-President and a Fellow of the Association of Applied Geochemists and an Executive Board member of Earth Science Western Australia.

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Page was last reviewed 27 October 2020

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