Interpreting drill results isn’t easy. After months of waiting patiently most junior miners release their results looking something like this:

We get a table of distances, intercepts and grades. Somewhere there may be some maps posted and from all of this we are supposed to make sense of what is actually going on. Add in that a drill program may be spread out over numerous news releases and keeping track of what’s gone on is difficult at the best of times. Most investors develop a sense for what good assay grades may be, more sophisticated investors may use the size of area and some average grades to produce a rough estimate of the resources potential.

The problem is that this analysis falls short. Estimating what may be in the ground is difficult work even at the best of times. The deposit lies in a highly variable 3D space and what is going on down below is never simple. As well it can be difficult to get a sense of where a projects drills are running and it would be hard to tell whether those intercepts are unique or multiple hits through the same zone just generating hype.

This is where we try and share what we are seeing.

How We Do It

Before anything happens there is a region of interest. This may be due to historical mine workings, past exploration or anomalies found during other activities such as logging. A company will raise funding to do some initial scouting of the area.

If the company is lucky they may hit upon some potential as they scour the area. Maybe a soil sample turns up an unusually high concentration of copper, geophysics reveals a magnetic anomaly, or promising vein work is found on the surface.

If there is enough veinwork the company will invest in drilling to find out what is going on beneath the surface

Ideally as they drill they will encounter an intercept through a promising formation. At this stage the geologist would have noted mineralization or maybe just a formation of note.

The sample will be assayed to assess what mineral content it contains. If it is sufficiently rich enough to be of interest it will be reported as a intercept in a news release for investors to try and interpret.

This is where we try and take it a step further. The release alone does not tell us much about how much may be in the ground.

Looking around the intercept we can step out set distances and categorize what may be nearby.

If we are lucky that intercept is part of a larger ore body! But we cant know yet what the ore body really looks like. Is it flat? Is it vertical? The answer to any of these questions could make a big difference!

In our example, we have an ore body dipping at roughly 45 degrees. In red we can see where the model would have overestimated and in green underestimated. Our models are a best guess and assume that these errors should mostly balance one another out, but that is why they are a guess! Our best guess, but still a guess.

If the results are promising enough the company will continue to drill off the area hoping to continue hitting an ore body.

As further results come in we can further add to our guess of how big the deposit may be!

To interpret this better we can take these intercepts and start to look at them by elevation.

When the results are compiled we can create a heatmap which gives us a 2D interpretation of the deposit to understand and capture the 3D complexity of reality.

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The end result looks something like this! You can picture it like a looking down on the deposit and seeing the ore that has been found so far with the earth stripped away! The richer the intercept or the more intercepts lie on top of one another, the richer the map shows the ground to be. In short the deeper the red the more ore that has been found at that coordinate! With this same model and some guesses as to what ground conditions, should be we can estimate what the impact of each drillhole is and make our guess as to what has been found so far!