Identify Ore Deposits Using Lineament Analysis

By combining his knowledge of multiple factors such as geophysics, geology, and geochemistry, Ricardo Valls, President and owner of Valls Geoconsultant, can identify potential ore body deposits for clients with great accuracy. This integrated approach has proven useful in a variety of geological consulting projects Mr. Valls and his team have conducted for private companies and government agencies throughout the world.

In one such project for Fura Emeralds, Mr. Valls applied lineament analysis and satellite imagery interpretation to search for emeralds in Colombia, South America.

The location of most Colombian emerald ore deposits can be directly connected to main tectonic structures. The mineralization is contained within hydrothermal breccias. On a regional scale, typical structures include anticlines and synclines, representing thrust planes. During the thrusting process, folding and veining occur when hydrothermal fluids circulate in the thrust zones. These folds and faults can be identified on a large scale map.

As such, Mr. Valls and his partner Dr. Vadim Galkine analyzed aerial photography, satellite photography, and topographic maps to identify structures and lineaments to pinpoint potential ore deposits. The number of structures in each area and their intersections were digitized on the aerial map. These digitized values were processed and classified. By mapping these values in Surfer with other pre-existing information they created a new numeric value, the range correlation coefficient (RCC). The location of all prospective zones are displayed by mapping the RCC.

Map overview of Colombian emerald deposits created with Surfer
Overview of the search area for Colombian emerald deposits
Variogram modeling in Surfer for lineament analysis
Using Surfer’s Variogram modelling features, the study area was isolated.

Mr. Valls then used geochemical sampling and interpretation to further reduce the area of interest. With Surfer’s powerful Variogram modelling feature he was able to isolate the areas where mineralization was likely to occur.

By defining compact areas conducive to the formation of emeralds, Mr. Valls and his partner were able to reduce the initial area of interest by 60%. The integrated analysis of geophysics, geochemistry, lineaments, and satellite interpretation clearly defined two prospective areas that are currently being explored.

Lineament analysis map created in Surfer
Lineament analysis of all fractures and deformations combined vector maps and contour maps.
Proposed mining area map created with Surfer
The study reduced the initial area of interest by 60% by combining geophysics, geochemistry, lineament analysis, and satellite interpretation.

Exploration work continues by Fura Emeralds. Additional samples, elaboration of the detailed geological map, and further geochemical analysis will be obtained in the much reduced study areas. The plan is to identify the most favorable areas to test for emerald mineralization utilizing a diamond drilling campaign.

Mr. Valls uses all Golden Software programs on a regular basis and finds them indispensable to his work. When asked why he first used any of the Golden Software programs, Mr. Valls commented, “What impacted me was the ease of use. In less than two days, I was able to make Surfer work and understand the program with no help at all!” Over the years, Mr. Valls has been a dedicated Golden Software customer. When asked why, he said, “because of the level of help, the videos on the site, and the quality of the customer service which makes the learning process a breeze. There is nothing in the market that comes close to the quality of Golden Software programs. They are easy to use, well priced and you have, hands down, the best customer service.

In addition to searching for emerald ore deposits, Mr. Valls’ projects range from local mapping to regional reconnaissance and encompass many facets, including diamond drilling, mapping and sampling for open pit and underground mines, and ore deposit exploration. Mr. Valls is an active member of the Geological Association of Canada, Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario, and other geologic associations.

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