- GeoRef, Copyright 2004, American Geological Institute.
Many years ago, stream sediment and soil geochemistry were the principal tools of mineral exploration. Since then, mineral deposit models, regional tectonics, and metallogenic modelling have provided a sound basis for mineral exploration. These are aided by continuing advances in global geotectonic mapping and supercontinent reconstructions, largely based on precise geochronology, palaeomagnetism, tectonostratigraphic analysis, and field observations. Major discoveries of intrusion-centred mineralized systems (Henderson-Urad, Namosi porphyry deposits, Olympic Dam-style deposits), epithermal and mesothermal precious and base metal deposits in regions of the world, such as Europe, Asia, Pacific rim, have relied on sound modelling of geological settings and ore environments. This has led to the realization that typically most mineral deposits are part of large-scale mineralizing systems that are linked to global geological processes in the Earth's crust and mantle. An understanding of these processes provides a sound platform for modern mineral exploration. This trend is continually evolving by incorporating larger data sets in GIS formats, in which integrated models of regional tectonic and metallogenic systems can be used as prime exploration tools.