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Finding the copper mine of the 21st century

- By: John P Sykes
Posted in: Blog, Conferences, Exploration, Mining, PhD, Publications


In September, I was proud to present a plenary presentation for the Society of Economic Geologists conference, based on my PhD research, entitled “Finding the Copper Mine of the 21st Century: Conceptual exploration targeting for hypothetical copper reserves”. The presentation considers the various views of the future of the copper mining industry which seem to assume that it will be ever larger, lower grade mines, with higher costs and increasing environmental and socio-political problems. I challenge this view, suggesting that exploration can unveil higher quality copper deposits, which in concert with radical technological change and innovation can stop the commonly envisaged bleak future for the industry. To bring around this future however we will have to dramatically improve our conceptual exploration targeting capabilities, being able to factor in economic and social licence factors from the early stages of exploration and being comfortable operating in an uncertain environment, preparing for multiple potential futures.

A copy of the presentation is below, whilst a copy of the paper is available in a Society of Economic Geologists Special Publication 18.

Finding the copper mine of the 21st century – Sykes & Trench – Sep 2014 – Society of Economic Geologists from John Sykes