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New method to integrate remotely sensed hydrothermal alteration mapping into quantitative mineral resource assessments

December 4, 2017
Hydrothermal alteration data mapped using the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) were compiled into hydrothermal alteration polygons for use in an assessment of porphyry copper mineral resource potential in the southwestern United States. Hydrothermal alteration polygons along with geochemistry, gravity and magnetic, lithologic, and deposit and prospects data were compiled in a GIS to produce a quantitative set of physical properties for each polygon that were effectively used in making estimates of undiscovered deposits for each permissive tract. Results show a higher estimate of potential undiscovered deposits (17 vs 14) for permissive tracts when ASTER alteration data were used in the assessment.