Use of LiDAR in Platinum-Group Element Mining at the Stillwater Complex, Montana
In 2016, Woolpert contracted with the USGS to acquire QL2 lidar over the Stillwater Mining Complex for a 420 km2 area-of-interest along the northern flank of the Beartooth Mountains in south-central Montana. The area of interest is underlain by the Stillwater Complex, an igneous intrusion that hosts the only know US deposit of platinum-group elements which are of great importance to many industrial applications as well as fine jewelry production. Lidar data is being utilized to identify discrete features in the terrain and to better understand cross-cutting stratigraphic features representative of platinum-group mining locations. The presenter will provide an overview of current research performed by the USGS Minerals Program using the newly acquired lidar data, provide an overview of the lidar acquisition, and discuss the role of lidar data in mining and mineral exploration.