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The study doesn't actually provide exact targets. It uses statistics and "probability" to define areas that have undiscovered deposits. If a given area has a high probability of 10 deposits and five have been discovered, then there remains the probability of five undiscovered deposits.

 

Exploration involves probability. Successful exploration companies would consider working in areas having the highest probability of the most targets. :)

 

- Geowizard

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My experience with these type of reports is that they have a whole lot of guess and by golly in them. They will take an area half the size of Nevada and say there ought to be several more  gold deposits here which is something that is about as obvious as the nose on your face. The problem is that in the statistics they include anything that's buried by up to half a kilometer of debris, so the easiest deposits to find have for the most part
already been found. The ones that remain are covered or otherwise hidden. If they are covered by less than 100 feet of debris they have at least a chance to be found. But if they are buried by hundreds of meters of sand and clay and other erosional debris, their chances of ever being found are pretty darn low given the science that we have now.

 

Various forms of remote testing can help us see a bit of the ways into the ground but once it's buried really deep we don't have any technology right now that will see down that deep as a practical matter and at a reasonable price for exploration purposes.


 

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The question of probability and weighing the greatest chance of having the largest amount of undiscovered gold is important in deciding where to explore. 

 

Which region has the highest chances of containing the largest amount of undiscovered gold?

 

- Geowizard

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These "estimates" vary a lot depending on intent and methodology. Part of analyzing the relevance of any one of these studies is to determine the value, if any, to your mining or prospecting plans. A lot of these are done to promote natural resources growth and subsequent government revenue. In itself not necessarily of immediate value to the miner unless they are selling shares or marketing surplus claims.

 

One of my favorite studies lasted so long and had so many different driving factors that it actually produced some useful results for mining. It is the USBM Tech Progress Report Gold Resources in the Tertiary Gravels of California.

 

It is a bit of a disjointed read but it has some very relevant history, maps and geological reports. I find new interest in some areas of the California gravel deposits every time I read it, even 48 something years after it's publication.

 

Some of the periodic geological reports that are required by law for each proposed or existing wilderness can be very instructive. One of our favorites are the historical series done on one of the oldest (and most mineralized) wilderness, the Gila.

 

These can be particularly informative when a proposed wilderness is denied. The Merced River Wilderness Study Area reports might well help the dozens of claim owners inside that area. It will probably benefit those seeking market financing for their operation and will certainly help those selling or leasing their claims.

 

The value, as always, is in the eye of the beholder.  :)

 

 

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For some reason, it is assumed that statistics have a motive or a bias is intentionally applied to the data to satisfy some social or political agenda.

 

From what I can see it is an unbiased statistical analysis. The same analysis could be made on areas that are prospective for deer hunting. Prospecting for minerals and the entire process of exploration involves looking in the right places. Having statistical data and applying what is known and what is "most probable" is the smartest way to proceed. Without any reckoning of where the best probabilities exist, we proceed with random probability of success. 

 

- Geowizard

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