Soil sampling refers to the process of taking a small soil sample. It is then sent to a lab that carries out the study to determine its nutrient content. Soil sampling is crucial to the mineral exploration process. It helps uncover essential information about the soil’s chemical and physical conditions gathered from a specific location. Thus, with the information at hand, the stakeholders can establish the existence and extent of mineralization.
The geological soil sample reflects the specific feature or variation of the concerned area when you intend to explore the mineral. The simple rationale for sampling is that it provides a specimen for classification purposes and special-purpose analysis, assay, or testing. The subsurface explorations and sampling are considered the first crucial step in geotechnical engineering investigations. The investigation cycle consists of a series of procedures and applications of geologic data, principles, and interpretation to improve core decision-making and increase the chances of success in the prospecting pipeline.
Sampling is a crucial stage in any research project. The advancement and understanding of element mobility in the soil profile plays an essential role in mineralization surveys by providing the required vectors toward deeply buried targets. If you want to conduct soil sampling in Canada, you can outsource it to a third-party service provider with access to a professional team of experts and resources. The multi-disciplinary team can effectively perform the systemic sampling and exploration of soil to explore the possibilities of mineralization.
Importance of Soil Sampling
Geochemical surveys form the backbone of any mineral exploration process. The soil sampling program helps in developing drill targets from discovery holes. It is extracting a small volume of soil for subsequent analysis at an assay lab. The analysis yields the results that indicate the concentration of certain metals in the soil. It enables geologists to understand the areas where the rock may not naturally outcrop at the surface, as it helps to deduce the geology beneath the soil. Performing soil analysis helps with the following:
- Quickly identify drill targets.
- Enable mineral exploration operations to increase discovery success rates
- Make enhanced on-site decisions on when to stop or continue drilling
- Take effective data-driven planning and decisions to better focus on the grid.
Taking soil samples and analyzing them for the presence of minerals is a popular survey technique that has been widely deployed for decades. However, adequate planning is required to ensure that soil geochemical surveys will provide the crucial information to make optimal exploration management decisions.
The stakeholders must understand the material they need to sample, be it surficial material, rock samples, or drill core. The goal is to deploy rapid analysis, reliability, and suitability for testing soils. With the relevant, informative, and cost-effective program, the team can:
- Gain necessary insights to evaluate large prospective areas
- Prioritize exploration objectives
- Discard sterile areas using reliable methods
Thus, the stakeholders can streamline their efforts to distinguish anomalous areas at a reasonable cost. They can make timely, confident decisions. The planning stage encompasses the compilation of all relevant information. It incorporates specialist expertise in surficial geology or remote sensing and helps in reducing the financial risk of exploration.
X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF)
XRF analysis is a quick method that helps determine the total elemental composition of soil samples. A hand-held XRF spectrometer on each sample while collecting it can help expose necessary information and understand the soil sample. It is thus a useful screening tool that makes it possible to perform efficient quantitative element analysis of soils with minimum sample preparation. The portable XRF in mineral exploration is a rapid, mobile, high throughput, and potentially cost-effective equipment. It quickly gives geologists an idea if they are detecting geochemical anomalies during the program.
How to choose a Soil Sampling Company?
Outsourcing soil sampling processes to a team of experts helps ensure that you can unlock enhanced reliability, efficiency, and compliance during the project. The experts will ensure the accuracy of the estimates when procuring the samples and making judgments. Hence, they can effectively use data-driven techniques to decide on sampling intervals, accuracy in assaying, and proper weighting of the individual assays.
When selecting a third-party team for the soil sampling endeavor in mineral exploration, you need to ensure that they have the necessary experience and expertise in conducting projects of similar kinds. It will enable them to leverage the best practices and avoid the mistakes that often plague these projects. You can research the company, review their work portfolio, and assess customers’ testimonials to understand the pros and cons of working with them.
The team must develop a good working relationship with you, and build a communicative and transparent work relationship. They must thoroughly keep you in the loop. They should prepare a good and effective soil sampling program that is customized for your project. Moreover, ensure that they have access to state-of-the-art tools to enhance sampling efficiency.
These are a few things to know about soil sampling processes in mineral exploration. It helps uncover the necessary information upon which you can effectively base estimates of a mineral’s quantity and grade.