How to search for minerals?

We already know how a young mineralogist should collect minerals, but we did not say anything how to search for minerals. Meanwhile, it is the search and discovery of minerals that is the main goal of mineralogical work.

We already know how a young mineralogist should collect minerals, but we did not say anything how to search for minerals

But to search and find minerals is not so easy, and one must be very careful and thoughtful mineralogist to be useful in this matter. A good search engine should, first of all, understand the geology and mineralogy of the area. Then he will be able to say what can be expected in this region and what minerals should be paid attention to. A young mineralogist will only find minerals when, having studied the region in advance (at least from books), he knows what he needs to pay attention to and sharpen his eye.

But "mineral" was found: the blue-green streaks on the rock tell us about the presence of copper, and a fresh piece of rock chipped with a hammer immediately reveals the golden sparkles of copper pyrite. But how much of this copper ore is there - maybe only separate pieces for the collection, or maybe there is so much copper here that you can lay a whole mine?

Therefore, it is necessary to perform the second stage of research - mineral exploration. Mineralogists, geologists, geochemists, drillers come in and have just begun exploring the newly discovered field. A geologist draws up a general geological map to know where which rock is; a mineralogist studies ore, looks at which rocks it is associated with, and where it is greater; a geochemist collects material for analysis, takes, as they say, an "average sample" and tries to understand how copper was formed here, where it came from, where to find its reserves.

At this time, scouts draw ditches, remove the top cover of the earth, clean the hard stone, scratch the grooves. Where there is a lot of sediment, they dig pits (pits), drill hard stones with drill bits, put explosive cartridges into the holes connected to a long cord, and, igniting the cord, produce an explosion - "burn off" the rock. Little by little the field is being cleared, small spangles are drawn into a whole vein, scouts go further along it, penetrating deeper and deeper, studying its structure, width and changes as they deepen.

Then the fight against water begins, which floods pits and mines, drainage systems, pumps are put in, engines are brought. A road is being paved to the field. Warehouses and garages are growing. Drilling rigs are already being prepared at the field. Strong motors force a crown with diamond, defeated or steel shot to cut into the rock. The crown cuts deeper and deeper, and inside the long pipe from the depths cut rock cylinders - cores.

Little by little, small finds turn into real "minerals". The geochemist determined its composition and origin, the geologist calculated the form and reserves, the economist calculated both together and...

The conclusion sounds so brief, and over the years, a small sparkling chalcopyrite crystalline under a blue-green drip gives rise to a good copper mine.

But do not think that every discovery of minerals always ends like this; much more often, exploration leads to negative results: there was very little ore, the vein quickly goes down and disappears. Mineral exploration is a difficult, but interesting and useful business.