Publications : Papers

The Role of the Mining Geologist - A Codelco Vision
Published in: 2006
Author: P Carrasco
Volume Title: Sixth International Mining Geology Conference

The main asset of a mining company is the mineral resource; without resources there is no mining business and the infrastructure is useless. In this context the role of the mining geologist is to always keep the resource inventory to an optimum level for the mining business and to maximise the transformation of the resources into reserves in a multi- disciplinary work environment. In short, a ‘good mining geologist has to always provide the best ore to the mill’.

To do his/her work properly, several technical skills are needed:

  • to know how to observe and describe nature in order to optimise the data acquisition process, particularly when mapping;
  • to have a good understanding of natural variability in order to develop proper sampling strategies and sample preparation protocols to minimise all the errors generated by the sampling process;
  • to have a good understanding of assaying practices: their limitations as well as their assaying errors;
  • to carefully and properly store the geological data and information and to preserve the geological patrimony;
  • to fully understand ore forming processes to generate the best possible geoscientific models, which are fundamental for the mining business;
  • to fully understand the consequences of the geoscientific models along the value chain from rock to cathodes; and
  • to continuously validate and improve geological practices and models by continuous data collection and observation of geo- mining-metallurgy processes.

Some very important behavioural competencies are also needed: long-term vision,

  • passion for excellence and value generation, strategic influence,
  • systemic and innovative thinking, and
  • knowledge and experience transfer.

Last but not least, it is important to point out that a deep knowledge of the mining business is essential to add value by using geology best practices.

Carrasco, P, 2006. The role of the mining geologist – A Codelco vision, in Proceedings
Sixth International Mining Geology Conference, pp 3-6 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).

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