Careers in Geoscience: Mineral Exploration
Exploration geologists are employed by organisations working within the minerals extraction industry. They are responsible for identifying and assessing the location, quantity and quality of mineral deposits. Their work can be part office based, although fieldwork is necessary to collect and test site/drillhole samples.
Mineral exploration aims to locate various mineral commodities such as gold, copper, iron ore, tungsten etc.
Typical duties include:
- Investigating the structure and evolution of the earth and its natural resources
- Planning programmes for exploration of sites for minerals, gold, copper uranium etc
- Surveying and mapping geologically promising sites
- Collecting and recording samples and data from test sites, in particular drill samples
- Analysing geological data using specialist computer applications
- Ascertaining extraction risks
- Preparing reports
- Advising managerial, technical and engineering staff/departments on the development of reserves.
The job carries a high level of responsibility, as the employee must ensure the accuracy of forecasts - initiating extraction processes is often very expensive and mistakes can be costly. Consequently, training is an important feature of the job.
- Knowledge of a range of sciences and their applications
- Ability to work within a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers
- Good organisational skills
- Computer literacy and ability to analyse numerical and graphical data
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Geological mapping, rock recognition, structural geology, knowledge of geochemistry and geophysics, GIS,