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Indicator Mineralogy


Indicator mineralogy is one of the most definitive exploration methods for detecting covered mineral deposits.

ODM has broad indicator mineral expertise and our methods can detect a wide variety of deposit types from a single survey.

  • Simultaneous recovery of gold grains and all other indicators saving time and money.

  • Indicator mineral logging by seasoned exploration geologists with full reporting of any unexpected indicators.

  • Resolution of questionable indicator minerals by SEM/EDX analysis, reducing downstream analytical costs.

  • Research-grade data at practical, exploration prices.

  • Comprehensive data reports with interpretive summary

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Gold Grains

ODM is a world leader in the recovery and classification of fine gold grains. ODM proposed the widely used industry-standard classification system used for variably transported grains.


The wear processes of gold grains in different sedimentary environments produce distinct end products. For example, the wear rate for gold grains in till is steady and can be used to estimate the distance gold grains have travelled from the source mineralization.


Bedrock sources can be fingerprinted by examining transported gold grains by scanning electron microscopy and using crystal morphology, gold fineness and diagnostic mineral inclusions. New deposits can be identified in the dispersal shadows of known deposits. Lode sources can be identified from active gold placers.

Metamorphosed Massive Sulphide Indicator Minerals (MMSIMs®)

ODMs trade-marked MMSIMs® technique was developed in the early 1990ʼs during Canada’s first diamond rush. Our exploration geologists, who exclusively perform the indicator mineral logging, used their knowledge of deposit models and mineral chemistry to associate key minerals to alteration systems.


This technique allows us to search for mineral deposits in under-explored terrains obscured by high-grade metamorphism.

We provide customized suites of indicator minerals for magmatic or metamorphically recrystallized mineral deposits of the following types:

•    Ni-Cu-PGE including mineral sub-suites indicating melt fertility, melt contamination and sulphide separation
•    Cu-Zn and Zn-Pb
•    Carbonatite

•    IOCG, skarn and greisen

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Porphyry Copper Indicator Minerals (PCIMs®)

Since 2002, our PCIM® technique has emerged as a significant exploration tool in arid, tropical and arctic regions, as well as the Cordillera of British Columbia.
PCIMs® derived from specific alteration zones can be used to focus in on the best-mineralized sectors of porphyry systems.
PCIMs® can also be used to explore for high-sulphidation epithermal Au deposits peripheral to porphyry Cu deposits and for porphyry Mo deposits. Our specialized processing reduces the need for large samples.

Kimberlite Indicator Minerals (KIMs)

Since the Canadian diamond rush of the 1990s, ODM contributed to many kimberlite discoveries by processing and logging more than 100,000 samples.


Li and REE Minerals

ODM continues to innovate!  We have tailored our specialized processing technique to assist our clients exploring for Li-bearing, REE and other critical minerals under cover.  Contact us to see how we can help you.

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