Bernhard Hochwimmer is the Executive Director and Manager of Geology for Dart Mining NL based in Melbourne, Australia. Dart Mining NL is a base metal and gold exploration development company with many projects located in the northeastern section of the Victoria province.
One such project of great interest is The Unicorn Project. Hochwimmer uses Surfer mapping software to create 2D and 3D geochemical maps of the region to be mined. These maps for the Unicorn Project are compiled utilizing some 1,312 soil, float and rock chip samples taken on 100 x100m grid intervals. By overlaying maps of different elemental geochemistry, Hochwimmer can estimate the mining potential within Mt. Unicorn (Figure 1).
Initial samples from the Mt. Unicorn site showed mineable grade minerals of copper, silver and molybdenum. Molybdenum is a metal used in the manufacturing of steel and has a wide range of chemical uses as well. It sells for around $36,000 USD per ton which means the Unicorn Project could be a major find for the company. One interesting feature of the molybdenum geochemistry map is the shape.
The 220 parts per million outline (top image in Figure 1) of the molybdenum deposits noticeably associated with the shape of Mt. Unicorn’s topographic feature (Figure 2).
Initial estimates stated the mining operation would last 10 to 15 years. Now, estimates are over half a century. With Surfer’s help, Hochwimmer is able to determine the viability of future projects, like the Unicorn Project which has become a major success for the company.
To find out more about Dart Mining NL, visit their website.
Figure 2: An overhead view of the Mo contour map of Mt. Unicorn.