Nearology in Mining: Debunking the Myth and Unveiling the Potential

Mining exploration has always been a fascinating and dynamic industry, constantly evolving with advancements in technology and geological understanding. Among the many terms and concepts that have emerged, “nearology” has gained popularity and sparked considerable debate in the mining community. In this blog, we will explore the concept of nearology, its significance, and whether it holds true value for the mining industry.

Understanding Nearology

Nearology, a portmanteau of “near” and “geology,” refers to the belief that if a mineral deposit is found in close proximity to a known mining operation or significant mineral discovery, there is a higher likelihood of discovering more deposits nearby. Essentially, it suggests that good things come in clusters, and geological riches are not confined to isolated occurrences.

Proponents of nearology argue that geological processes responsible for deposit formation often extend over a larger area, making the search for additional deposits more likely in nearby regions. They assert that past mining operations or discoveries serve as indicators of potential mineralisation and should be used as valuable guides for future exploration activities.

Examining the Evidence

While the idea of nearology may sound appealing, the evidence supporting its validity is somewhat mixed. Some successful mining operations have indeed discovered additional deposits in close proximity to existing ones. However, this can be attributed to several factors beyond mere nearology.

Geological Controls: The formation of mineral deposits depends on various geological factors, including the presence of specific rocks, structures, and tectonic processes. These controls may extend over considerable distances and are not limited to the immediate vicinity of existing deposits.

Sampling Bias: Often, exploration activities tend to concentrate around known mineral deposits, leading to a sampling bias in favour of these areas. Consequently, the discovery of nearby deposits may be more a result of increased exploration efforts in such regions rather than a direct consequence of nearology.

Serendipity: Successful discoveries of nearby deposits might be due to sheer serendipity rather than any scientific basis. Mining exploration is a challenging endeavour, and sometimes, fortuitous circumstances lead to new findings.

Pros and Cons of Nearology


Cost-Effective Exploration: Nearology can potentially reduce exploration costs by focusing efforts on regions with known mineralisation. This approach may increase the chances of finding economically viable deposits within a shorter timeframe.

Improved Infrastructure: Proximity to existing mining operations means access to established infrastructure, such as roads, power, and water supply. This can significantly reduce the costs and challenges associated with building new infrastructure for remote locations.


Limited Geological Scope: Relying solely on nearology might lead to tunnel vision, limiting exploration efforts to areas close to existing deposits. This could cause potential exploration targets to be overlooked in more distant or unconventional locations.

Disregard for Geological Variability: Geological processes are complex and diverse. Assuming that mineralisation patterns are strictly bound by nearology may ignore the wide range of geological conditions that could result in valuable deposits elsewhere.


While the concept of nearology in mining holds some merit, it is essential to approach it with a balanced perspective. Success in mining exploration comes from a comprehensive understanding of geological processes, advanced technologies, and a willingness to explore beyond conventional boundaries.

Interestingly, when applied to a stock market, your individual perception of the effectiveness of nearology may not be shared by other participants. There are plenty of examples in history where a company will announce drilling results to the market, and the share price of companies with near by tenements will increase on the day as well. However, it is important to note that this is often short lived and true increases in fair value of a company come from their own drilling success.

Nearology can be a useful tool when combined with rigorous geological analysis and unbiased exploration strategies. Mining companies should not solely rely on nearology but consider it as one aspect of their overall exploration approach.

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