Kopy Goldfields’ operations consist of exploring for the presence of gold within areas for which the company holds licenses for gold exploration and production. The operations are conducted according to clearly defined methods. Through collecting samples and analyses, a clearer picture is gradually created of the presence of gold within a specific area. The goal is to identify the gold deposits with the highest potential for future development into mineral reserves – ultimately resulting in gold production.
Some of the licence areas controlled by Kopy Goldfields in Lena Goldfields were subject to some bedrock exploration by Soviet geologists in the 1960’s to 1980’s. Exploration work after acquiring a new licence typically starts by reviewing this data. The next step is to locate geological anomalies and get a first indication of mineralizations. Airborne surveys are suitable for covering large areas.
Once these have been located, the next step is soil sampling and electric-magnetic surveys.
These steps are relatively cheap as they do not require soil and rock movements. The next step is trenching to evaluate the anomaly at the surface. The topsoil is removed, a ditch is excavated and trench samples are taken along the line drawn along the floor of the ditch. Along this line, geologist use saws for cutting out mineral samples. These samples are then sent for analysis.
If surface samples indicate gold contents above common cut-off grades, the next step is drilling to evaluate the mineralization to depth. RC stands for Reverse Circulation and entails rock fragments – drill cuttings – being blown upwards, using compressed air in such a way that no contamination or mixing up of the samples can take place. The drill cuttings are chartered and sampled for chemical analysis.
Core drilling is a method where you collect a core from the drill hole in order to analyse the geology and structure of the mineralization.
As a rule of thumb, only one out of a hundred gold mineralizations identified ends up being a mine. The exploration process involves many phases, and costs increase as the project approaches a potential production start-up
Once the exploration work is completed, the deposit is evaluated to determine whether the technical and economical preconditions exist for starting a new mine.