Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Mining, Faculty of Engineering, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Faculty of Mining Engineering, Amirkabir university of Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 Faculty of Engineering, Malayer University, Malayer, Iran



Mineral prospectivity mapping (MPM) is a multi-staged process aiming at delimiting exploration targets. Experts’ knowledge is an indispensable component of MPM, and might be required (i) while translating signature features of ore-forming processes into a suite of maps, namely evidence layers, (ii) while assigning weights to evidence layers, and (iii) while interpreting maps of mineral prospectivity. The latter is important as MPM integrates weighted evidence layers into a continuous map of mineral prospectivity. Although high values in prospectivity maps pertain to prospective zones, maps of mineral prospectivity are devoid of interpretation. One, therefore, should adopt a classification scheme to categorize or prioritize exploration targets from a map of mineral prospectivity. In addition to previous frameworks applied for interpreting maps of mineral prospectivity, this paper introduces an optimization-based framework, the Gray Wolf Optimizer (GWO) algorithm, for addressing this problem. In addition to GWO, we also used percentile maps of 85, 90, and 95% for interpreting the results of our prospectivity model. These methods were applied to a fuzzy-based map of mineral prospectivity derived for the Alut area, NW Iran. Overall, the map derived by the GWO has involved more Au occurrences, 66% of explored Au occurrences by GWO versus 33% by percentile maps; also introduces more targets as high-potential zones of Au mineralization that may be neglected by traditional methods like percentile maps.


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