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
- 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
- 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-
Some very important behavioural competencies are also needed:
- passion for excellence and value generation,
- 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
International Mining Geology Conference,
Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).