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Applying Scientific Sampling Methods into Mineral Exploration - CSIRO

Coffee with Samso Episode 48 with Dr. Ryan Noble, Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO who works in the Discovery Program that brings value and applied sciences to industries to discover more resources for Australia

Why understanding the weathering profile or regolith is key to mineral exploration?

Exploration geologists are often faced with a situation where they are asked to find the Holy Grail with a small budget. In the past, potential deposits are often missed due to a lack of funding or poor targeting techniques.

CSIRO has been providing solutions to the mineral exploration industry for many decades. The whole concept of understanding the weathering profile or regolith is the key to many discoveries.

In this episode of Coffee with Samso, I speak to Dr. Ryan Noble who is the Principal Research Scientist for CSIRO. He works for the mineral resource business unit.

Ryan shares with us the concept of using bore water to vector into potential mineralisation geology. This technique is being used with Moho Resources Limited (ASX: MOH). Ryan is working with Moho Resources on the Emperor Springs Gold Project in Queensland, Australia.


Ryan is a Principal Research Scientist and the Group Leader of Predictive Mineral Systems Science with CSIRO. He has a BSc and MSc in Soil Science from the University of Tennessee and a PhD in Applied Geology from Curtin University. Following his PhD, Ryan joined CSIRO 15 years ago and has worked on numerous regolith and groundwater geochemistry projects related to gold, base metal, Ni and U mineral exploration. Ryan is the Past-President and a Fellow of the Association of Applied Geochemists. He is a Board member of the Australian Geoscience Council and Earth Science Western Australia.

Current project:

Commercialised UltraFine+ soil analysis and integrated interpretation of results. Adding critical parameters and algorithms to UltraFine+ to compute regolith setting, slope/weathering influence, uncertainty and more; all based on cloud computing.

Current management: Group Leader - Predictive Mineral Systems Science. Four teams and ~25 researchers.

Ongoing activities:

Use of ultrafine fractions for Au, Cu, Zn and critical metal exploration, integrating machine learning for exploration, rapid field sampling and analysis, gas geochemistry for exploration through cover, hydrogeochemistry, chemical and microbial monitoring for CCS, manage CSIRO wet chemistry laboratories and other related equipment.

Other activities:

Past President of the Association of Applied Geochemists, Executive and Board member of Earth Science Western Australia (ESWA)/Australian Earth Science Education (AusEarthEd), Board member of the Australian Geoscience Council, Executive Committee for journal "Elements", Editorial Board member for the journal "Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis" Member of Geoconferences WA subcommittee. Fellow of the Association of Applied Geochemists. Member of AIG, GCA, IAGC.



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