good new mineral exploration targets is a
difficult task, requiring the consideration of
This website presents exploration targets, many
of them new, which have been derived from the
extensive geochemical sampling programs
conducted in the Yukon by the
of Canada .
A special feature of these targets is that each
one has been evaluated using the
system, which compares them with their
best-matching mineral deposit models, and
provides guidance, available on the site, as to
what information should be sought when
conducting follow-up work on each target.
This study was funded by the
Survey as part of its ongoing commitment to
assisting with the discovery of new mineral
deposits in the territory. The study was
GeoReference Online Ltd.
for 80 different deposit-types are
published on this site, each showing from 20 to
250 locations in which there is evidence for the
existence of a mineral deposit.
Clicking on any target produces links to three
reports on the target:
- A ranking of the target against approximately
100 different deposit-types
- A comparison of the target with the deposit-type
it matches best
- A comparison of the target with the deposit-type
it matches second-best.
These reports, which include lists of additional
information which should be sought at the target
location to improve the value of the target,
greatly assist the prospector or geologist in
deciding whether the target if of interest or
Reports are colour-coded to facilitate quick
recognition of important attributes of the
target, as shown on the right. They include
hyperlinks to the scientific documents from
which the deposit-type descriptions were
A total of 1939 exploration targets have been
identified in this study, from an input set of
31,104 silt samples.
The term "Anomaly Cluster" has been used for
these targets, as each target may consist of
more than one sample, so long as all samples
characterising the target fall within 2.5
kilometres of each other. Single sample targets
have been reported only if they are anomalous in
at least two elements.
In addition to the target maps described above,
an "Anomaly Clusters" map has been published,
which shows all 1939 targets together on the
same map, independent of deposit-type
affinities. This map will be most useful to
explorers who are interested in, or already have
specialist knowledge of, particular parts of the
Local geology is a crucial part of the
characterisation of any exploration target.
Use was made of the territorially-consistent,
1:250 000 scale-based,
geological map of the
Yukon to segment the geochemical samples before thresholding, and to characterise the geology of
sample sites and their surrounds.
To enable optimal cross-referencing to the
rock-type terminology used in the MineMatch
mineral deposit models, the Yukon geological
legend was translated to match the terminology
British Geological Survey, against which
MineMatch is standardised. This is
discussed in detail on the
Geology page of this site.
samples contributing to this study
have been analysed for 15 to 39 elements,
depending on when they were collected. Up to 51
measurements are available per sample, when
different analytical techniques for the same
element have been used.
data have been analysed statistically,
as a function of the lithology over which the
sample was collected, and all
graphics have been published on this site.
The 99th percentile was used as the threshold
above which any analysis was considered
"enhanced" or "anomalous", and therefore
indicative of a potential exploration target.
Samples above the threshold in more than one
element, or multiple samples within 2.5km of
each other that are anomalous in single
elements, were identified as Anomaly Clusters.
As evident in the report extract on the right
(click to enlarge),
this website provides comprehensive reports of the
geochemistry of all samples in each Anomaly
Cluster, with anomalous values colour-coded
according to the threshold they exceed,
together with listings of all thresholds, and
sample population sizes.
A powerful search facility is available for
locating Anomaly Clusters by their composition,
or number of anomalous elements. This offers an
important alternative to searching out targets
by their location on the map, or by their
All these geochemical aspects to this study
are discussed in detail on the
Geochemisty page of this website.
The Yukon extends across a number of different
terranes, each of which is
associated with its own unique genetic setting.
These different geological settings have been
included in the characterisation of each target,
and assist MineMatch to more accurately rank
targets according to their mineral deposit-type
affinities. (Click the terranes image on the
right to enlarge it.)
The incorporation of
terrane information into the MineMatch
descriptions of anomalies is discussed in detail
Terranes page of this site.
High quality maps of
faulting and folding in the
Yukon are available, and faults and folds are
known to play an important role in the location
of certain deposit-types.
Consequently, if any faulting or folding was
found to occur within 2.5 kilometres of any
sample in an Anomaly Cluster, that structure was
included in the MineMatch description of the
Anomaly Cluster, enabling potentially more
accurate characterisation of deposit-type
affinities. (Click the structures image above to enlarge
The incorporation of structural
information into the MineMatch descriptions of
anomalies is discussed in detail on the
Structure page of this site.
The Yukon Geological Survey has compiled a
database of mineral occurrences in
the territory. If any of these occurrences occur
near geochemical targets, their descriptions can
provide the explorer with information very
important to the target assessment.
All the MineMatch descriptions of targets
identified in this project include references to
all mineral occurrences falling within 2.5
kilometres of the Anomaly Cluster sample
positions. All these references are hyperlinked
to the online YGS Mineral Occurrences Database -
greatly improving the speed with which targets
close to known mineral occurrences may be
evaluated. (Click the mineral occurrence
description image to enlarge it.)