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Pend Oreille

Blind test successfully imaging a MVT deposit at ~500 m depth


This blind test of muon geotomography demonstrated the effectiveness of the technique to image a Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) deposit. It also showed that a compact ore shell model could only be produced with a combination of muon tomography and 5% of the drill data.


Teck’s MX700 deposit is an MVT lead/zinc ore body deep underground in Washington state, USA. It had been well-drilled and its wealth of geological data would provide a good blind test for muon geotomography. Afterwards it could be used to study how few drill holes would be required to produce a good ore shell model.


Placing four muon detectors at depths of ~490 m provided good views for 3D imaging. First a blind test was performed; then the geological model was refined using a combination of muon geotomography and 5% of the available drill data.


Successful blind test with muon geotomography, followed by a refined ore shell model combining muon tomography and 5% of the drill data.

Deposit: Multi-metal lead/zinc (MVT-type)

Location: Metaline Falls, Washington

Overview of project site showing the ore shell, slices of the 3D inversion and detector locations.

Closeup of ore shell model. Detectors are shown as cubes.