annual meeting of Ussher Society event in UK

    06/01/2015 - 09:00

    The 54th conference of the USSHER society meeting took place from 2 to 5 of January 2015 Devon, UK. The meeting covers research area focused on geological assessment, extraction and processing of raw materials from the geological deposits from South-West England.  Founded in 1962, Ussher Society promotes research into all aspects of the geology and geomorphology of South-West England, primarily through an annual conference and journal. To present STOICISM findings two contributions were presented at the event by the University of Exeter who is a STOICISM partner:

    1.     Luke Palmer & Hylke Glass presented the contribution “Comparison between implicit and explicit modelling at Blackpool china clay pit in St. Austell”.

    Implicit modelling of ore deposits is increasingly accepted by the mining industry in parallel or as alternative to conventional explicit modelling. In this STOICISM project, both types of modelling are applied to a dataset from Blackpool pit in Cornwall to assess the china clay resource. Implicit modelling is performed with Leapfrog software while explicit modelling using Ordinary Kriging is performed with Isatis software. Comparison of results from either approach reveal different spatial distributions of clay resource, with differences being the most prominent near the edges of the model. The comparison is also found to be sensitive to the drilling methods used (rotary air blast, reverse circulation, and diamond coring). It is concluded that both approaches are useful in managing the uncertainty associated with a resource.

    2.     Rachel Tierney, Hylke Glass and Richard Scrivener presented “Targeting kaolin deposits with discrete fracture networks” in St Austell granite in Cornwall.

    Their presentation investigates the geological formation of china clay in the St Austell granite in Cornwall. Following a review of existing theories for clay formation, a hypothesis was developed which assumed that alteration of granite has occurred preferentially along pre-existing vein structures which, in turn, have formed along initial fractures within the rock mass. Data collected from the Higher Moor pit in Cornwall was used to calculate strain rates and to delineate a Discrete Fracture Network, in which areas of high strain were aligned with more intense fracturing and thus higher hydrothermal circulation.  Further analyses of fracture connectivity, permeability and porosity were reconciled with subsurface data, revealing that higher values matched with areas of more advanced china clay formation. It is concluded that this approach holds promise for the identification of potential exploratory drilling target locations.

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