Accurate resource estimates depend on the collection of reliable samples during exploration. Sampling programmes must therefore be carefully designed to minimise the chances of gathering biased, unrepresentative, or contaminated material. Whether for grab samples, trenches, or diamond cores, sampling programmes must be tailored to the target mineralisation, ground conditions, and interpretation requirements and consider implementation practicalities.  

Fitting quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) processes can increase the effectiveness of sampling programmes by defining appropriate drilling, recording, sampling, and assaying/testwork protocols and procedures. Inserting blind control materials, for example, can improve precision. When conducting a QA/QC assessment of your sampling programme, we will address key factors such as whether your sample volume is suitable and whether your drill hole and sample layout will provide the level of confidence needed for subsequent resource estimates. 

Our exploration consultants are experienced in designing, managing, and auditing sample collection and preparation procedures for mineral exploration and mining clients. We also design sampling programmes for baseline environmental and geochemical studies and for assessing contaminated mine sites. Using our statistical and geostatistical skills, we carry out in-depth studies of assay information and produce detailed conclusions and recommendations. 


  • Optimisation of sample methodologies and collection procedures  
  • Optimisation of sample lengths, volumes, weights, and compositing strategies in relation to physical mineralisation characteristics  
  • On-site supervision of drilling and sampling programmes  
  • Development of sample homogenisation and splitting procedures  
  • Duplication of sampling at each reduction and splitting stage to determine error magnitudes  
  • Development of QA/QC procedures to monitor sample recovery, preparation, and analysis at mines and commercial laboratories  
  • Replication of sampling and analyses to increase sample grade precision 
  • Comparison of assay laboratory studies and assessment of accuracy  
  • Assessment of compatibility of assay databases from different sampling campaigns and integration into exploration procedures 

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