Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Heavy Mineral Exploration

  • UAE (DUBAI): 12-15/2/24
  • BULGARIA (SOFIA): 11-14/3/24
  • SWEDEN (STOCKHOLM): 27-30/5/24
  • TURKIYE (ANKARA): 7-10/10/24
  • EUROPE (TBA): 25-28/11/24

Course Brief

This course provides an introduction to the theoretical concepts underlying the standard field techniques and common practices that are an essential part of the exploration for heavy minerals.  Heavy minerals, in this context, includes alluvial concentrations of gold, silver, platinum and diamonds, as well as the more common economic minerals such as ilmenite, rutile, zircon and magnetite. The course will cover the following topics:

  • Theory of Basic Sedimentation Processes and the Accumulation of Valuable Heavy Minerals (VHMs)
  • Practical field-based procedures for the identification and sampling of Heavy Mineral Accumulations.

The course will provide a solid but easily understood grounding in the exploration for and evaluation of, VHM resources. It will also present some insights into the management of sediment sampling programmes, with the aim of producing valid and reproducible sampling results that can be used as a basis for resource evaluation.

The course will be concluded with a final ‘Open Session’ utilizing an informal “question and answer” format designed to answer queries raised during the course presentation, and to permit the facilitator to assess each individual delegate’s grasp and understanding of the critical issues presented during the course.

Operational safety and attention to environmental issues will form an important part of the course. The emphasis throughout the course will be on effective techniques that are designed to ensure that the final results of the exploration programme provide the best representation of both the physical and quality attributes of the VHM resource.


Planning the Exploration Programme:

  • Preliminary Desk-Top Studies:
  • Review of historic data
  • Identification of target heavy minerals
  • Preliminary sampling layout planning
  • Choice of appropriate sampling methods
  • Choice of sample preparation procedures

Management of the Sampling Programme:

  • Accurate placement of planned sampling points on the ground
  • Site accessibility
  • Road and sampling site bush clearance
  • Managing deployment of sampling teams
  • Planning of the sampling sequence
  • Flexibility of planning during an active sampling programme
  • Sample site checklist – safety, environmental, sample collection and sample handling
  • Field-based documentation – recording and reporting of sample attributes and daily progress
  • Office-based documentation – weekly and monthly progress reports, and project updates