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Wyoming's general economy is dependent on its exploration geologists and the half-billion-dollar productivity of its minerals industry. Extraordinary uranium discoveries in sedimentary rocks, broad-scale leasing for coal, and an abnormally high, record-setting, wildcat success ratio of 10:1 in the petroleum industry have been contributing factors.
Integration of mining and petroleum activities in Wyoming have prompted modifications in exploration programs and resulted in improved evaluation techniques. Increased intercompany communication and improved industrial-related services have helped to broaden the economic perspective.
Although economics continues to influence the ebb and flow of exploration at the individual company level, it plays only a subordinate role in the overall statewide picture. Geologic prospects rejected by 1 company as not economic are quickly absorbed by another. Marginal prospects have become successful ventures
because of flexibility and concessions on the part of management. Companies with stereotyped exploration policies regarding fixed ROI formulas, minimum size of land holdings, exploration procedures, and partnership arrangements, find it difficult to compete.
Examples of exploration geologists' influence on corporate decisions show how the merits of a prospect can change. They illustrate the disadvantages of restricting the geologist prematurely with economic limitations and suggest that the premonitions and innermost thoughts of the explorer should be included in geologic reports. There seems to be no substitute for exploration experience in dealing with important but intangible parameters.
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