Prospecting and Drilling Exploration

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Prospecting and Drilling Exploration


the search for and analysis of deposits of solid minerals by drilling boreholes and making excavations. It is usually done in mountainous regions where mineral deposits crop out or are covered under a shallow stratum of loose deposits.

Exploratory excavations (ditches and exploratory shafts, such as bore pits, adits, drifts, and crosscuts) usually have small cross sections. If the deposit being explored has industrial significance, exploratory excavations with larger cross sections are made, and they are used later in working the mine. Exploratory excavations produce reliable information (more accurate than data derived from boreholes) on the geological structure of the terrain, the thickness of the mineral deposit, the elements of its occurrence, the physical properties of the rocks, and the content of useful components and their reserves. Exploratory excavations are 100–250 m deep, and exploratory boreholes are drilled to 2,000–3,000 m.

At most deposits of solid minerals the exploration is done only by means of boreholes, that is, by taking a core sample.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.