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Writing Mineral Assessment Reports: The Basics

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

As the leaves start to change and the majority of field exploration programs ramp down in Canada, there comes a time where all the work needs to be organized and published. Whether the data and interpretations are for claim maintenance (mineral assessment) or documenting a material change (NI 43-101) there are two basic principles to follow: summarize and be honest.


Unless you are writing a scientific or technical piece requiring detail, the objective of a mineral assessment report is to provide a summary of the scientific and technical information of the activities performed on the project area. This is the who, what, when, where, why and how of your exploration season. The report should be written in basic, easy-to-understand terms briefly describing:

  • Who owns the claims and who did the work

  • What you found

  • When did the work take place

  • Where are the claims located

  • Why did you start or continue exploring

  • How did you collect data

Any scientific and technical work should be described briefly in the main report with the full information placed in the appendix. Promotional pieces on the prospectivity of the area should be kept to a minimum and briefly summarized under 'the why' of exploring your claims (and not inserted into the appendix to beef-up your report). Keep in mind your audience may range from geologists to potential investors so keep the report brief, to-the-point and in straightforward terms.

Be Honest

Although you may get caught-up in the excitement of a new discovery, do your best to keep your report within the parameters of your exploration season you are describing. Speculating that mineralization is 'open in all directions' may indicate to some readers that there is little work done in the area or that there is a lack of understanding of the potential deposit model. Choosing mineralized intervals to report for trench, channel, RC and core samples is also a tricky situation. There doesn't appear to be any hard and fast rules for choosing intervals, just a general consensus that the intervals represent known mineralization and that the best intervals are noted as included. In addition, keep the units of measurement consistent with the stage of exploration: %, ppm, ppb, ppt are for early exploration whereas gold equivalent and copper equivalent are only used in late stage resource modeling. Lastly, although your report is not likely for an academic institution, the rules of properly documenting your references still apply. When work is copied from another writer, without referencing, you take on any mistakes and mis-information that the author may have inadvertently documented. In addition, your indiscretion will be uncovered during historical reviews or due-diligence and your credibility will be marred.

In summary, documenting the work on your claims and interpreting the results can be a satisfying experience. Just remember, keep it simple and keep it honest.

About the Author:

Diana has over 20 years of experience working in the mineral exploration industry searching for diamonds and metals in a range of roles: from heavy minerals lab technician to till sampler, rig geologist, project manager and business owner. Following a Master of Science degree in diamond indicator mineral geochemistry, Diana has conducted field work in BC, NWT, YT, ON (Canada) and in Greenland. She has also been involved, remotely through a BC-based office, on mineral exploration projects located in South America, Africa, Eurasia, and the Middle East. Diana finished a Ph.D. at UNBC in 2017 researching geochemical multivariate statistical analysis and interpretation. Currently, Diana is the owner of Takom Exploration Ltd., a small geological and environmental consulting firm focused on metal exploration in BC and the Yukon.

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