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MIDAS project - Developing methods for gold exploration

A report on the "Multidataset analysis for the development of gold exploration models in Western Europe" (MIDAS) project has recently been published by the European Commission, DG XII, and the British Geological Survey. This project (MA2M-CT90-0009) was funded by the specific ...
A report on the "Multidataset analysis for the development of gold exploration models in Western Europe" (MIDAS) project has recently been published by the European Commission, DG XII, and the British Geological Survey. This project (MA2M-CT90-0009) was funded by the specific RTD programme in the fields of raw materials and recycling, under the Third Framework Programme.

The project, launched in March 1991 and completed in late 1994, aimed to extend the application of new developments in the field of mineral exploitation. Image Analysis Systems (IAS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been applied to integrate datasets to develop more reliable and objective methods for gold exploration. Following limited application of these techniques in France and Great Britain, the MIDAS project has extended this approach more widely in the Caledonian and Hercynian orogenic belts in Western Europe.

The project was conducted on a regional basis, divided between the Caledonian and Variscan orogenic belts. It brought together geoscience expertise and technology from the academic, commercial and governmental sectors in Great Britain, France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

The first phase of the project covered the assessment of the regional geochemical, geophysical and tectonic setting of the gold belts in the Caledonides and Variscides. Comprehensive detailed descriptive files were established for selected examples of gold mineralization. From these, the styles of gold mineralization present in the gold belts were classified and metallogenic models for each type were formulated, allowing the optimum exploration methodology for similar mineralization elsewhere to be defined. The final phase involved the application of these models, and recommendations for exploration methods in three areas with potential for new discoveries.

Source: European Commission, DG XII

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