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Spock Global ( Macro Matrix) — 6 Comments

  1. The following comment, possibly relevant for the AZS drill results, is derived largely from ancient memories of my 8th grade geology class and my own readings at the time. I am not an expert and I did not get 100s in my exams. It pertains to certain types of PM and other metal deposits, not all. I hope I am corrected in any errors, and I hope anyone is not offended if I write something that everyone knows. However it occurred to me that people may not appreciate these concepts.

    When magma cools some substances solidify or precipitate out earlier than others. Relatively late in the process there among the fluid material is water. Many metallic compounds are within this liquid. The liquid may stay put, or it may extend up through faults or other discontinuities in the rock, or possibly filter through porous rock. It carries with it some things that then precipitate out. These could be pure (“native”) gold, silver, platinum, but such is rare. Minerals containing silver, copper, lead, etc. can then precipitate. Gold and silver often are present as impurities in minerals mainly composed of a metal such as copper and an anion like sulfide.

    Also relatively late in the process (I forget how late and I’m not going to look it up) silica AKA silicon dioxide AKA quartz and its variants precipitate. I do not remember the degree to which they are dissolved in heated water. However faults or other discontinuities may contain lots of silica with some other stuff (=> veins; pegmatite dykes also are formed this sort of way–an slightly different topic).

    So if you have reason to believe that there might be a big metal deposit formed in this fashion, you might expect to see gross appearance of a huge amount of quartz/silica with some metallic sulfides. If you drill part of this deposit and it contains mainly silica and other nonmetallic components, it does not rule out metallic components elsewhere. If you do find metallic components w/o much gold or silver, it does not rule out lots of gold and silver elsewhere. The different components of the cooling watery residual magma will solidify or precipitate in different places to different degrees because the solution will be heterogeneous.

    Therefore seeing a lot of quartz in drill samples with metallic sulfides or other metallic minerals is in keeping with a huge deposit of quartz etc w/o precious metals. It is also in keeping w/ a huge deposit *with* a huge amount of precious metals, but not just in the tiny portion of the huge deposit (assuming it is huge) that you have happened to have drilled with those few holes. It is in keeping with anything in between these two extremes. (People write about ‘elephant’ deposits. Consider the story of the blind men and the elephant–and sampling error.)

    So from my vague memory of 8th grade geology seeing lots of silica is one thing you might want to see (depending on the local geology) and not getting a lot of PM values in a few holes is not necessarily of a huge meaning other than, to be sure, for raising funds from the impatient in a competitive environment. In order to have much of any sense you want many samples from what would be a large deposit or a large set of associated fairly large deposits (residua from magma coming up in cracks in different places in the area).

    Please correct errors.

    • There’s something to that. What might look like a “bad” result in the sense of not hitting any ore may be a good result in that it helps prove the geological model of the site. The worst would be not hitting ore and finding something you totally didn’t expect. That would be a show-stopper for the drill program because all the assumptions it was based on have to be tossed. Finding a bunch of silica and some metal sulfides is like the optimistic little girl opening a box on Christmas morning and finding a pile of horse manure and shouting, “I know there’s a pony in here somewhere!”

      Given that this was an RC drill, I wonder how much deviation there was from the target. They’re going pretty deep for RC and those like to wander. The drill contractor broke the hardware on one out of two holes so far, too, so that doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies about the other holes being spot-on.

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