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Customized spectral libraries for effective mineral exploration: Mining national mineral collections

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Infrared (Visible-Near Infrared-Shortwave Infrared (VNIR-SWIR)) spectroscopy is a cost-effective technique for mineral identification in the field. Modern hand-held spectrometers are equipped with on-board spectral libraries that enable rapid, qualitative analysis of most minerals and facilitate recognition of key alteration minerals for exploration. Spectral libraries can be general or customized for specific mineral deposit environments. To this end, careful collection of spectra in a controlled environment on pure specimens of key minerals was completed using the National Mineral Reference Collection (NMC) of the Geological Survey of Canada. The spectra collected from specimens in the 'Kodama Clay Collection' were processed using spectral plotting software and each new example was validated before being added to a group of spectra considered for incorporation into the on-board library of the handheld ASD-TerraSpec Halo near-infrared (NIR) mineral identification instrument. Spectra from an additional suite of mineral samples of the NMC containing REE, U, Th, and/or Nb are being prepared for a new, publicly available spectral library. These minerals commonly occur in carbonatite or alkali intrusive deposits, and as such will assist in the exploration for critical metals.
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Keywords: ASD-TERRASPEC; CLAY MINERALS; INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY; NATIONAL MINERAL REFERENCE COLLECTION; NEAR INFRARED; OPTICAL REFLECTANCE SPECTROSCOPY; REE-BEARING MINERALS; SHORTWAVE INFRARED

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2018

This article was made available online on 22 May 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "PREPUBLICATION: CUSTOMIZED SPECTRAL LIBRARIES FOR EFFECTIVE MINERAL EXPLORATION: MINING NATIONAL MINERAL COLLECTIONS".

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  • The JOURNAL publishes articles of interest to the international community of clay scientists, including but not limited to areas in mineralogy, crystallography, geology, geochemistry, sedimentology, soil science, agronomy, physical chemistry, colloid chemistry, ceramics, petroleum engineering, foundry engineering, and soil mechanics. Clays and Clay Minerals exists to disseminate to its worldwide readership the most recent developments in all of these aspects of clay materials. Manuscripts are welcome from all countries.

    Clays and Clay Minerals is the official publication of The Clay Minerals Society.

    The Editor-in-Chief is Professor Joseph W. Stucki [email protected]

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