Pathfinder Exploration Pty Ltd commenced
in 1986 with the aim to provide consulting geochemical and
petrographic/ mineragraphic services to the mining industry.
The Company specialises in geochemical exploration ranging
from conducting orientation surveys through to the implementation
of contract geochemical surveys using data loggers and differential
global positioning (DGPS) equipment for accurate sample locations.
Geological and regolith mapping is also carried out where
required. The principal of the consultancy - Dr Craig Rugless
has over thirty years' experience in the application and interpretation
of geochemical surveys in a variety of regolith regimes in
Australia and Oceania.
Particular emphasis is placed on researching
methodologies that are capable of gaining maximum geochemical
results in the difficult terrain of the East Yilgarn Craton
in Western Australia. An example of this is provided by a
geochemical survey conducted in the Yamarna - Minnie Hill
area, east of Laverton where sampling and analytical methods
proposed by Pathfinder Exploration located hitherto unknown
gold mineralisation beneath transported aeolian sands (~2m)
and Permian glacial sediments (~30m) overlying the mineralised
An additional geochemical sampling method
involves sampling the magnetic LAG or MAGLAG fraction using
the proprietary Pathfinder Exploration MAGSAM 2000® magnetic
sampling tool. The MAGLAG samples are subjected to various
partial digests, followed by ICP/MS-OES analyses to provide
low, parts per billion (ppb) levels, for a multi-element geochemical
suite including gold and the platinum group elements (PGE).
This method offers the advantage of providing an Fe - rich
concentrate in most regolith terrains, and enhancing the target
elements including Au, Ag, As, Ba, W, Sb, Te as well as the
chalcophile elements Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni and Co. More recent work
has involved using the MAGSAM 2000® sampler for PGE exploration
where the full suite of PGEs (Pt, Pd, Ru, Rh, Os, Ir) are
analysed using a very cost effective mini Aqua Regia digest
developed by Ultra Trace Laboratories, Canning Vale, Western
Salt lake sampling can be efficiently undertaken
using the Predator salt lake auger and sited using DGPS surveying
equipment. The auger is also capable of shallow core drilling
in the salt lake environment. The auger/core method of sampling
is quick and free of contamination. The resulting sample can
be analysed by various partial techniques including Enzyme
Leach® that has outlined mineralisation at Lake Lefroy,
Kambalda, in the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia based
on oxidation "Rabbit Ears" rare earth element and
halide anomalies occurring peripherally to a reduced (mineralised)
body occurring beneath the salt lake. The water sample in
the auger hole can be used for hydrogeochemistry by analysing
for Au and selected trace elements at parts per trillion (ppt)
levels using the ICP - graphite furnace (ETV) technique.
Pathfinder can provide field assistants
that are familiar with the necessary strict procedures and
quality controls required for a good geochemical sampling
programme. Ongoing guidance is provided by the principal geochemist
to ensure that the sampling programme is efficient and is
of high quality. The field teams are provided with a vehicle,
communications and DGPS equipment capable of sub-metre positioning.
Pathfinder can provide field teams equipped with a Toyota
Landcruiser King Cab, 4WD quad bike, a Predator auger, DGPS
surveying equipment, laptop computers, mobile telephones,
SSB radio and full camping gear.
Perth Base: 11 Dennison Drive,
Ocean Reef, WA 6027.
Phone - 08 9300 6689. Fax - 08 9300 4429.
Mobiles - 042 790 0061 & 041 9926785.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
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|Pathfinder Exploration equipment
that can be used to obtain unique "Rabbit Ears"
oxidation anomalies using the Enzyme Leach® digest
developed by Actlabs. The "Rabbit Ears" anomalies,
typically developed by the halide elements, define reduced
bodies at depth that possibly represent blind ore deposits.
|3-D geochemical plan showing the
distribution of anomalous total PGE values that effectively
define the upper PGM mineralised chromitite horizons occurring
within the folded Panton Sill layered mafic/ultramafic
complex, East Kimberley region, Western Australia. The
grid - based MAGLAG samples were collected using Pathfinder
Exploration's MAGSAM 2000® rare earth magnetic sampler.
True North is towards the left hand corner and the N -
S dimension is 8 km.
|Geochemical image of
a grid - based soil auger geochemical programme at Mt
Kasi, Vanua Levu, Fiji showing gold values draped over
a DEM image of the topography. The 2 by 3 km soil auger
program confirms that anomalous values (red) provide strong
evidence for a southerly extension to the epithermal gold
mineralisation at Mt Kasi (top of the central hill).