Alexander Parshin


Scientific Director, Siberian School of Geosciences
Irkutsk National Research Technical University

Ph.D., founding professor and scientific director of the Siberian School of Geosciences, Irkutsk Techical University. Scientific interests: geoinformation technologies in geological prospecting; geoecology of complex geosystems; new economic and organizational models for the development of the solid mineral resource base. Author of more than 100 scientific publications, more than 20 patents, co-author of more than 50 geological reports.

Session 7 (MINEX Kazakhstan’24)
18 April 2024 / 14:00 - 15:30 | Sary Arka 2

Accelerated geological prospecting with zero damage to the environment - key technologies and case study

The current situation on the market for precious and non-ferrous metals is very favorable, which contributes to the launch of new mining projects, including geological prospecting and exploration projects. However, due to the unstable economic and geopolitical situation, the traditional multi-year approach to geological exploration is very risky. It is much better to carry out a comprehensive geological study of the licensed area with a reliable assessment of its resources at the P2-P1 level within 3-6 months, after which, without unnecessary investments, either reject the area as unpromising, or, already being confident in the feasibility of significant investments, plan exploration. To implement this approach, it is necessary to create appropriate new express methods and technologies for geological exploration, as well as specialists who master them, which is fully consistent with the mission of universities.

It is important to note that the prospects for discovering new ore deposits in the eastern part of Eurasia are often associated with the need to explore remote and inaccessible areas, which implies the need to reduce the number of people and the amount of equipment involved in the project. Another significant risk for new projects is environmental risks, which are especially high for objects with poorly known background environmental parameters, and therefore it is desirable to conduct geological exploration with minimal damage to the environment.

The report examines key technologies developed in recent years by the Siberian School of Geosciences and the i.GeoDesign consortium organizations, aimed at quickly carrying out complex geological exploration projects, including in small groups and in areas extremely remote from infrastructure. These are (in the order of application in the new project) the original implementation of mineral prospectivity mapping technologies; integrated UAV-geophysics with various types of carriers (aircraft/multicopter, magnetic/gamma survey/electrical prospecting); methods of detailed 3D electrical prospecting; means of increasing the efficiency and reliability of complex inversion of geophysical data; alternative options for geochemical surveys and methods for rapid chemical analysis of geosystem objects; mobile drilling rigs providing SSC drilling with a diameter of up to HQ at depths of up to 200 meters. Integration of RnD tasks for the creation and testing of these technologies into the educational process at the level of a five-year specialty allows already by the third year to prepare performers who are able to competently perform several types of work within the framework of one project, which allows reducing mobilization costs and spending less time in developing technologies, saving on “user-friendly” interfaces and completeness of technical documentation.

The implementation of the methodology is demonstrated by the example of several prospecting projects in various geological and landscape-morphological conditions. It is shown that this methodology, technologies and techniques really make it possible to quickly and without harm to the environment discover and evaluate the resources of an object, or “close” a prospecting project and quickly start a new one.