Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2019) 36:579–588, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-019-0052-z
Mineral exploration is a key factor for success in the mining industry. However, exploration best practices are often ignored in small-scale mining. This works presents the Tichauer-DeTomi Matrix, a methodology that measures the level of compliance of exploration programs in small-scale mining with the industry best practices. The matrix has been applied to three projects in Brazil: an artisanal gold mine in the state of Pará, a small-scale manganese project in the state of Bahia, and a small-scale manganese project in the state of São Paulo. The application of the matrix resulted in indexes that represent the level of maturity of the exploration program in each project and indicate priority actions for reduction of the geological uncertainty. Therefore, the Tichauer-DeTomi Matrix has shown potential to be a useful tool for assessment of geological uncertainty in small-scale mining. As a risk indicator, it may contribute to promoting investment in small-scale mining and development for communities that depend on this activity around the world.