The CHIM electrogeochemical exploration technique was developed in the former Soviet Union about 20 years ago and is claimed to be effective in exploration for concealed mineral deposits that are not detectable by other geochemical or geophysical techniques. The method involves providing a high-voltage direct current to an anode and an array of special collector cathodes. Cations mobile in the electric field are collected at the cathodes and their concentrations determined. The U.S. Geological Survey started a study of the CHIM method by conducting tests over a precious- and base-metal-bearing quartz vein covered with 3 m of colluvial soil and weathered bedrock near the Kokomo Mine, Colorado. The tests show that the CHIM method gives better definition of the vein than conventional soil geochemistry based on a total-dissolution technique. The CHIM technique gives reproducible geochemical anomaly patterns, but the absolute concentrations depend on local site variability as well as temporal variations. Weak partial dissolutions of soils at the Kokomo Mine by an enzyme leach, a dilute acetic acid leach, and a dilute hydrochloric acid leach show results comparable to those from the CHIM method. This supports the idea that the CHIM technique is essentially a weak in-situ partial extraction involving only ions able to move in a weak electric field. ?? 1993.
Additional publication details
Preliminary studies of the CHIM electrogeochemical method at the Kokomo Mine, Russell Gulch, Colorado