Regional mineralogical forecasting
General: principles and methods of research
Forecast-mineragenic (metallogenic) regional studies are performed on a scale of 1: 1,000,000, 1: 500,000 and 1: 200,000. In the regional complex geological forecasting, mineralization provinces and zones, ore areas, ore sites are search facilities. The main tasks of such regional works are:
1) identification of first order ore control structures and ore-bearing sedimentary, magmatic, metamorphic, metasomatic and other complexes and formations associated with them;2) determination of local ore-bearing geological structures (folded-block, discontinuous, dike belts and rods of magmatites, volcanoplutonic centers, metasomatite zones, tectono-magmatic activation), their relationships with each other and with age-varying levels of erosion of individual blocks of the study area;
3) elucidation of the nature of the geological, geophysical, geochemical, mineralogical anomalies identified in the studied region.The solution of the first problem promotes the identification of promising ore-bearing areas - mineragenic zones, ore sites, ore regions, and the second and third - the identification of points of mineralization and ore manifestations.
Regional forecasting relies not only on the study of opened formations and complexes using geological maps of scales
1: 1000000 ... 1: 200000 (1: 100000), but also takes into account the data on the deep structure of the earth's crust. When distinguishing ore-prospecting structural-formation zones, such studies are used:
1) a comparison of the identified zones among themselves; determination of their evolutionary development in the main stages of ore formation;
2) study of the sequence of structural-tectonic, magmatic, metamorphic, metasomatic stages;
3) Mineralogical analysis of the studied areas;
4) identification of ore-conducting, ore-controlling, ore-concentrating structures.
Regional forecasting at the first stage serves for the design of geological and geophysical studies of territories. As a result, we get forecast resources of category P3. These forecast resources are estimated at geological survey and geophysical works of scales 1: 1000000 ... 1: 200000. Their quantification is performed without reference to specific objects [Classification of reserves ..., 2006]. The forecast resources of the category P s take into account only the potential for the discovery of mineral deposits of a particular species on the basis of favorable geological and paleogeographic preconditions, revealed in aerospace and ground geological, geophysical and geological surveys.
With the sectoral mineralogical analysis and forecasting, the structure of the balance of this type of mineral raw materials is based. There are types of deposits that meet the requirements of the industry for the scale and quality of raw materials. Then a special analysis of the territory of the country, of individual regions is carried out in order to identify the places of their most probable detection. The types of deposits are studied, ore and ore-bearing formations are distinguished, the regularities of their location are analyzed, and the factors controlling mineralization are established. On this basis, a bank of criteria for the future assessment of territories is formed in relation to various formational or geological-industrial types. Regional complex and sectoral prognostic-metallogenic research complement each other.
The methodology for analyzing geological data in complex and sectoral forecasting differs. Complex multi-stage forecasted analysis of territories with sequential detailing of prospective areas includes survey forecasting, small-, medium-scale (1: 1000000 ... 1: 200000) and selective large-scale (1: 50000) forecasting. A peculiarity of the methodology for such forecasting is the consistent involvement in the analysis of increasingly large-scale geological maps; use of forecast criteria from regional geological, formational to more detailed mineralogical and geochemical. In some cases, such a multistage analysis ends with the allocation and assessment of the scale of the predicted mineralization within the mineragenic belts and provinces, zones, regions. In other cases, it ends at the level of ore zones, nodes, ore areas.
With sectoral geological forecasting, the main thing is to identify possible specific types of deposits. Then, for each intended formation type and for a related group of types of deposits similar in geological conditions of localization, the surveyed territory is classified according to its prospects. As a result, prospective areas are established with an estimate of the forecast resources for the category P3.
However, subordination from small-scale regional to large-scale and detailed research should always be observed: a mineralogenic province - a mineralogenetic region - a mineralogenous region or a mineralogenous belt - a structural-formational (mineralogenetic) zone - an ore site - an ore field.
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