A new app has been released to simplify the process of prospecting for minerals.
Ground-based prospecting for indicator minerals is largely based on the colour of the minerals. Available for the iPad, the new prospecting app, findbycolour is based on colour separation, and works by isolating the colour of the target mineral, while ‘greying out’ the rest of the image at the same time.
Some mineral colours stand out particularly well against the red/brown terrain in large parts of Australia. The colour of the mineral is selected in the app with the remainder of the image greyed out, making the target easy to spot. Indicator minerals can be visually inspected for clues into the distance and direction to their source. By adjusting the colours on the app and viewing the terrain in different parts of the colour spectrum, indicator mineral pathways may be determined.
Certain minerals stand out very clearly at night. Using a medium strength lamp with filters and panning the iPad across the prospecting area, one can see flashes on the dark screen in real time when passing the target mineral.
The app has a range of applications in the prospecting and mining industry including scanning tailings, and tracing indicator minerals in mines. Aerial applications may be possible using drones. The app will also be a useful tool for fields such as archaeology and palaeontology.
A 10x zoom lens and a digital microscope are available for the iPad to enhance prospecting possibilities. An LED display screen can be connected to the iPad for processing tailings.
The app will soon be available for the iPhone.