Boosting Mineral Exploration | Surface Sampling Apps - Grid

Shariq Ansari
February 23, 2023
5 mins to read
With sampling data collection and management automated, geologists can completely focus on analysis.

Surface sampling is a prominent method geologists in the Mineral Exploration industry use to collect and analyze geological samples from the earth's surface. The primary purpose of surface sampling is to identify and isolate potential mineral deposits, by analyzing the chemical and mineralogical characteristics of rocks, soils, or vegetation on the surface. There are a variety of techniques used for sampling, including:

  1. Geological Mapping: This involves observing and recording the physical characteristics of rocks and soils on the surface, such as their texture, color, and structure. Geological Mapping provides clues to the underlying geology and helps identify specific areas for mineralization potential.
  2. Geochemical Analysis: Experts use this method to analyze the chemical composition of rocks and soils to identify the presence of minerals or metals. This can be done through a variety of techniques, including X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS).
  3. Geophysical Surveys: Here, instruments are used to measure the physical properties of the subsurface, such as magnetic or electrical properties, to finalize the viability of the drill site.

Overall, surface sampling is an essential technique in the mineral exploration industry as it provides valuable information for identifying and assessing potential mineral deposits.

Grid's Surface Sampling dashboard gives you detailed insights into your sampling operations in real-time.

How does Surface Sampling work on Grid?

On Grid, miners have access to our pre-built Surface Sampling template, which can be configured specifically for your organization with just a few clicks. Once set up, users can use digital checklists or forms on their Grid mobile app, to quickly and accurately collect information during and after any kind of sampling. All the data collected is stored in worksheets that contain a wide variety of criteria covering all the necessary steps that geologists have to take. To give you a better idea of what the worksheet contains, let's walk you through the different criteria or columns:

  1. Project Name: Mining companies handling multiple projects can easily categorize the samples into their respective projects.
  2. Mapping Type and Sub-Type: Users can make a list of the different mapping types in use, rock, soil, or any other material. They can also then add a list of subtypes that highlight the type of rock or soil, like outcrop, sub crop, basal till, mud, silt, MMI, or chip. When filling in the checklist, they can refer to the lists and select the types with one click.
  3. Sample Type and ID: A similar list can be created for Sample Type, whether it's a blank, original, duplicate, or standard sample, in the References sheet. At the time of collection, just select the option from the dropdown list.
  4. Location with Latitude and Longitude: This field automatically pinpoints the location where the sample was collected via GPS, with precise latitudinal and longitudinal values up to seven decimal places.
  5. Depth: Geologists can record the depth at which the soil was used for sampling, while they also have the open to specify depth intervals in case of multiple samples.
  6. Lithology: The lithology columns let users enter descriptive notes about the characteristics found during microscopy, along with the appropriate lithology code.
  7. Color: The template provides you with a list of sample colors to choose from as provided by our industry experts, along with a color modifier that lets you choose the shade of each color, ranging from light to medium to dark, and so on.
  8. Soil Quality: Geologists can fill in the soil quality after inspection, and select pre-entered grading for the same, like Bad, Poor, Average, Good, or Excellent.
  9. Horizon and Master Horizon: These columns let users enter descriptive notes about the characteristics of the soil master horizon and horizon, along with their respective codes.
  10. Grain Size: Users can enter the grain size here, whether it's a granule, a pebble, a cobble, or a boulder. Users can enter the soil grain size here, specifying the range of fineness or coarseness.
  11. Moisture: During the inspection, you can also enter the moisture content of the soil sample, ranging from dry to saturated.
  12. Texture: During the inspection of the rock composition, users can specify whether the texture is crystalline, fragmental, aphanitic, or glassy.
  13. Rock Alterations: You can also find dedicated columns for recording rock alterations, including the intensity and style of each of them.
  14. Rock Mineralization: After analysis, geologists can enter the mineralization percentage in the sample, with individual columns for different minerals present.
  15. Rock Structure: To records information about any joints, faults, or veins in the rock formations, users can enter the type and further details.
  16. Dip and Dip Direction: The dip angle and dip direction of the sampling area can also be recorded with a single click, with an option for users to upload supporting images.
  17. Infill and Infill Type: To accurately analyze the continuity of the mineralization, you have access to the infill and infill type columns as well.
  18. Photos and Remarks: Grid owners can build multiple photos and remarks columns in a single worksheet in order to validate or expand on their column-wise or overall findings.

Geologists no longer have to manually manage all this data, because Grid does all the heavy lifting once they input the data. Once entered, the data is also accessed by Grid's automated analytics dashboard and reporting system, for real-time insights. This way geologists stay on top of the details and the management knows the operations are heading in the right direction. With data collection, storage, management, analysis, and reporting, in one place, the time and effort required in managing different tools are completely erased. This way, all you have to do is have one master application that handles all of your needs, and you can devote as much time as possible to your mining operations.

If you�d like to speak with an expert to learn more about how to set up a digital Surface Sampling application to turn your exploration more efficient, don�t hesitate to reach out!

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Shariq Ansari
Digital Marketeer
“Using Grid to track drill program progress and day to day expenditures has allowed VR Resources to make better decisions more quickly. The highly customizable and elegant interface allows me to track and manage all aspects of our field work and it’s clear after just a few weeks that the possibilities are nearly endless. Cost tracking estimates were consistently within expected variance of invoices received giving me further confidence in managing agile drill programs. Further the development team and customer support have been top notch!”
Justin J. Daley
PGeo, MSc, Vice President Exploration
VR Resources
VR Resources
“Grid has been extremely helpful in changing the course of multiple operations, here at U-Solar. We started with one module for Materials Management, and have now adopted Grid for 3-4 more processes, all of which have been smooth and quick to implement.”
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