Sunday, February 17, 2013

Some Real Mineral Magic from Opaline

MobyT | 3:06 AM One comment so far. Add a comment

Buried Treasure: Finding the World's Largest Known Uranium Deposit

Guest post by Opaline, a semi-retired geologist

"The Olympic Dam Story" is a self publication by science writer, David Upton. It is a chronology of one of the last century's most extraordinary applications of the scientific method to exploration geology. I bought my copy when I was in Roxby Downs a few years ago but you can go to http://theolympicdamstory.com/. and buy online.

I found the book a really fascinating read. It's a real inside story of how Western Mining chose to drill at Olympic Dam. It gives a picture of the dogged persistence the company showed in their search.

The first drill core at Olympic Dam was called "RD1". It was completed at 411m on July 30 1975. The bottom 76m were in a dark coloured rock that was wrongly identified at the time as altered basalt. When the core from this drill hole was logged and assayed, there was a 38m intersection grading 1.05% copper. This was an uneconomic grade at the time but very encouraging all the same.

The next three holes were barren but RD5 intersected 92m@1.01% copper. It was not until RD10 was drilled several million $$$ later that high copper ore grade mineralisation was discovered. The uranium, gold and silver in the ore are all sub economic by themselves but the ore deposit is so huge it has multiplied the tiny concentrations of uranium into the World's largest known deposit.

Author's Note:
Any of my material may be reposted on that other site provided this acknowledgement is included:
"Reposted with permission from Opaline, a geologist indefinitely suspended from HotCopyrighted name for acknowledging the reality of Climate Change."

1 comment:

  1. This article is the first of many (hopefully) from Opaline, an expert in geology and mining.

    Stay tuned!


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