Low yields in ornamental rock mining remain one of the most important problems in this industry. This fact is usually associated with the presence of anisotropies in the rock, which makes it difficult to extract the blocks. An optimised planning of the exploitation, together with an improved geological understanding of the deposit, could increase these yields. In this work, marble mining in Macael (Spain) was studied to test the capacity of non-destructive geophysical prospecting methods (GPR and ERI) as tools to characterize the geology of the deposit. It is well-known that the ERI method provides a greater penetration depth. By using this technique, it is possible to distinguish the boundaries between the marble and the underlying micaschists, the morphology of the unit to be exploited, and even fracture zones to be identified. Therefore, this technique could be used in the early stages of research, to estimate the reserves of the deposit. The GPR methodology, with a lower penetration depth, is able to offer more detailed information. Specifically, it detects lateral and vertical changes of the facies inside the marble unit, as well as the anisotropies of the rock (fractures or holes). This technique would be suitable for use in a second stage of research. On the one hand, it is very useful for characterization of the texture and fabric of the rock, which allows us to determine in advance its properties, and therefore, the quality for ornamental use. On the other hand, the localization of anisotropy using the GPR technique will make it possible to improve the planning of the rock exploitation in order to increase yields. Both integrated geophysical techniques are effective for assessing the quality of ornamental rock and thus can serve as useful tools in mine planning to improve yields and costs.
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