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Exploration programme design and implementation: more than just geology

A4   |   Letter

SRK News | Issue 57Exploration Geology: Keys to success

Steven Bateman, Senior Exploration Geologist  
Joe Fifield, Principal Safety & Security Manager 

Running an effective and efficient exploration programme, be it in a well established jurisdiction or a remote location, not only requires a firm grasp of the geological and metallogenic processes and a competent geological team, but also robust field management and logistics. Where technical teams are not tailored or correctly selected and not adequately targeted or supported, exploration programmes can quickly go off schedule with spiralling costs. Full programme practicalities and minimum requirements must be understood including social and environmental responsibilities and risks. Regular technical decision points should be set with corresponding budgets, aims, and a clear process of measuring and reporting exploration success.

If companies do not have the resources to manage this in-house or want to concentrate limited resources elsewhere, SRK can provide tailored contract services. These field services range from the provision of personnel to supplement onsite teams through to full turnkey solutions involving technical staffing, contractor and drill programme management, camp management, official and internal reporting, logistics and health, safety and security (HSS).

Recent commissions have included drill contract tendering assistance and management services across the Balkans region, exploration management providing technical staff during summer field seasons on project locations across Greenland and full turnkey operations including camp design, construction and management on remote sites in Gabon.

Among growing requirements for all exploration companies is meeting their corporate social responsibilities and accurately assessing and providing health, safety and security training for all staff both expatriate and local. This is particularly true for remote sites and regions with high or fluctuating political risk. SRK employs HSS specialists to make these assessments, advise of requirements, and conduct a series of training programmes tailored to the mining and exploration industry. SRK manages their service provision sector through a team of experienced field explorationists. They are well versed in the practical aspects of designing, budgeting and managing field programmes from short reconnaissance projects to full multi-year phased exploration programmes. This team can be supplemented by specific skilled geologists, geophysicists, and geochemists from across the SRK group, as well as by associate field geologists and logistics experts. In this way successful exploration programmes can be delivered on time and on budget in a safe and responsible manner, all with the confidence that comes with continual SRK quality control and oversight. The results of these programmes have the advantage of being filtered directly to multiple discipline teams across the SRK group to feed directly into exploration, resource estimation, geotechnical and mining technical studies in a seamless manner, providing a true one-stop shop.


SRK North America