Mapping alteration minerals at prospect, outcrop and drill core scales using imaging spectrometry

Int J Remote Sens. 2012 Mar 20;33(6):1780-1798. doi: 10.1080/01431161.2011.600350. Epub 2011 Sep 6.


Imaging spectrometer data (also known as 'hyperspectral imagery' or HSI) are well established for detailed mineral mapping from airborne and satellite systems. Overhead data, however, have substantial additional potential when used together with ground-based measurements. An imaging spectrometer system was used to acquire airborne measurements and to image in-place outcrops (mine walls) and boxed drill core and rock chips using modified sensor-mounting configurations. Data were acquired at 5 nm nominal spectral resolution in 360 channels from 0.4 to 2.45 μm. Analysis results using standardized hyperspectral methodologies demonstrate rapid extraction of representative mineral spectra and mapping of mineral distributions and abundances in map-plan, with core depth, and on the mine walls. The examples shown highlight the capabilities of these data for mineral mapping. Integration of these approaches promotes improved understanding of relations between geology, alteration and spectral signatures in three dimensions and should lead to improved efficiency of mine development, operations and ultimately effective mine closure.