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Earth Explorer is an online source of news, expertise and applied knowledge for resource explorers and earth scientists. Sponsored by Geosoft.

News & Views

News Archive

December 7, 2016

Geosoft introduces IP and resistivity inversion in VOXI Earth Modelling

Geosoft has added induced polarization and resistivity data inversion to its VOXI Earth Modelling 3D inversion software service. Geoscientists are now able to create detailed 3D models of conductivity and chargeability from IP and resistivity survey data with VOXI. The resulting models can assist in interpreting and targeting regions for mineral and environmental applications...

December 5, 2016

Mexico's Deepwater Round Exceeds Expectations

Some of the world's biggest oil companies showed up Dec. 5 and agreed to invest on the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico, proving that deepwater exploration still has a pulse despite challenging market conditions...

November 30, 2016

Magnetic inversion results for Ngamiland available for download

A regional-scale geophysical inversion of magnetic field data in the Ngamiland region of northwestern Botswana is now available for download from the Botswana Geoscience Portal, a partnership initiative of the Botswana Geoscience Institute, industry sponsors and Geosoft...

November 30, 2016

LIGO Resumes Search for Gravitational Waves

After a series of upgrades, the twin detectors of LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, have turned back on and resumed their search for ripples in the fabric of space and time known as gravitational waves. LIGO transitioned from their engineering test runs to full science observations at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 30...

November 9, 2016

International Volcano Scientists Unite

For the first time, the United States will host the international Volcano Observatory Best Practices workshop, previously held only in Italy. The workshop will take place this month in Vancouver, Washington. It is designed specifically for volcano observatories around the world and their staff to exchange ideas and best practices with each other...

October 4, 2016

USGS Assesses Mineral Potential for Sagebrush Habitats in Six Western States

USGS has completed a comprehensive assessment and inventory of potential mineral resources covering approximately 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming...

October 3, 2016

Uganda Targets Up to U.S.$100 Million for Mineral Exploration

Uganda is well endowed with mineral resources and, like many naturally-gifted African countries, is becoming keen on ensuring that these resources play a transformative role in its long-term structural transformation dream - the Vision 2040...

September 9, 2016

Small-Scale Fishers Get A Big Boost With First-Of-Its Kind Impact Investment Fund

Conservation organization Rare announces the Meloy Fund for Small-Scale Fisheries at Our Ocean Conference. The Global Environment Facility, one of the largest funders of conservation worldwide, will be investing $6 million into the fund...

September 1, 2016

Scientists take to the skies to track West African pollution

Scientists operating research aircraft over West Africa have detected organic materials in the atmosphere over a number of urban areas, contributing to concerns of the rise in pollution across the region...

August 17, 2016

New IGS Xplore prospectivity maps for Botswana

International Geoscience Services have released a series of base metal prospectivity maps for the Ngamiland District of northwestern Botswana using free geodata available on the recently-launched Botswana Geoscience Portal, hosted by Geosoft. The maps identify favorable areas for copper, zinc and lead mineralization using geological, geochemical and geophysical datasets downloaded directly from the portal.

August 11, 2016

NexGen Makes New High Grade Discovery

NexGen Energy reported the discovery of a new high grade zone of mineralization 4.7 km northeast of the Arrow Deposit as part of an on-going summer drilling program on its 100% owned, Rook I property, Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan...

August 10, 2016

Rampion UXO Disposal to Take Place This Week

E.ON has confirmed that the two unexploded devices, detected along the Rampion offshore cable route will be safely disposed this week following the consultation with the Marine Management Organisation...

August 9, 2016

Diamonds In The Rough: E&Ps Find New Reserves In Mature Basins

The oil industry’s history demonstrates clearly that new plays and prospects have long been found in mature basins that were thought to be well on the way to being squeezed dry. Through the acquisition of new data, developing new concepts and coming up with fresh interpretations, long-producing basins around the world from the North Sea to Malaysia have continued to reveal new riches...

August 8, 2016

Northern Shield Identifies High Quality VTEM Targets at Séquoi

Northern Shield Resources announced the results of the interpretation and modelling of the VTEM survey from the Séquoi Property in the Labrador Trough of Quebec . Séquoi is owned 100% by Northern Shield and is being explored for Noril'sk style Ni-Cu-PGE massive sulphides. After geophysical modelling and interpretation of the VTEM data from Séquoi, six VTEM anomalies of significant interest have been identified...

August 3, 2016

Rio Tinto tailors big data drive to copper

Rio Tinto will put the weight of an exploration big data push and its newly-formed Growth and Innovation group behind its desire to identify a "tier 1" copper asset. Speaking at the annual Diggers & Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, Growth and Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh said Australia was "overdue for a tier 1" mineral discovery of any type...

August 1, 2016

Tetra Tech Awarded $200 Million Navy CLEAN Contract

Tetra Tech announced that it has been awarded a $200 million, single-award contract by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic. Through the Comprehensive Long-term Environmental Action Navy (CLEAN) contract, Tetra Tech will provide environmental engineering support services to installations within the NAVFAC Atlantic Area of Responsibility...

May 3, 2016

NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS), MODUM Partners announce "Young Scientist Summer School on Sea Dumped Chemical Weapons"

This international project cooperates closely with CHEMSEA (Search and Assessment of Chemical Weapons) Project for and sharing and knowledge transfer...

April 12, 2016

Monday mad rush for gold stocks

Renewed optimism about the outlook for gold saw investors pile back into gold stocks, pushing many stock to 52-week highs in heavy volumes...

April 11, 2016

Medgold Resources: Continues to Expand the Boticas Gold Project, Portugal; Proposes $200,000 Private Placement

Medgold Resources is pleased to announce new assay results from contiguous rock-chip sampling from the Limarinho South zone at its Boticas gold project in Portugal, which include a highlight of 6.0m @ 5.7 g/t Au...

April 8, 2016

De-carbonizing our energy sector

Nuclear energy currently provides around 11 percent of the world's electricity. China, the European Union, the United States, India, Russia, South Korea, and other nations’ have major existing fleets...

April 1, 2016

Follow-Up Drilling Results Indicate Wide Gold Zones at Hendricks Gold Discovery

Gascoyne Resources Limited announced that it has received the final assay results from the 10,000 metre aircore exploration drilling programme...

March 26, 2016

The Oil Market Is Finally Hitting Its Breaking Point

After a significant reduction in investments over the past two years, oil companies can no longer overcome the production declines from legacy wells...

March 15, 2016

N-Sea Expands into the French Offshore Wind Industry

Subsea IMR provider, N-Sea, has signed a letter of intent with CERES Recherches & Expertise Sous-Marine and TechSub Industrie Environement, to provide subsea survey, installation and remediation services to the French offshore wind industry...

March 9, 2016

PDAC 2016 Convention Exceeds 22,000 Attendees

Optimism and opportunity abounded at the PDAC 2016 Convention of The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in spite of recent industry challenges...

March 3, 2016

6 Alpha Launches EOD Contracting Division

6 Alpha Associates, a specialist risk consultancy practice, with expertise in the assessment and management of unexploded ordnance, has launched a dedicated explosive ordnance disposal division...

Rock Science: Brazil’s Museum of Earth Sciences

Celebrating its 100th Anniversary, the museum features a huge collection of minerals, rocks and fossils, belonging to the Department of National Mineral Production (DNPM).

By Carmela Burns

This beautiful neoclassical building is home to Brazil’s Museum of Earth Sciences in Rio de Janiero.

Brazil has one of the most vibrant mineral markets in the world, producing over 70 mineral commodities, including metals, industrial and fuel minerals. The country is known for its large mineral reserves, and also for the quality and significance of its beautiful gemstones – aquamarine, tourmaline and citrine – produced in the colonial city of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais.

Located in Rio de Janiero, on the path to the Sugar Loaf, the Museum of Earth Sciences is home to a permanent showcase of Brazil’s minerals, rocks, fossils and meteorites. The valuable collection includes over 3,000 rocks and minerals, representing over 95% of minerals local to Brazil.

Celebrating its 100thth Anniversary, the Museum’s collection is based on scientific knowledge that spans several generations of geoscientists. It was originally guided by the state Geological Service when it opened in 1907, and since 1969 has been overseen by the Department of National Mineral Production (DNPM).

As it marks 100 years of service, there are plans underway to rejuvenate the Museum, says Director Diogenes de Almeida Campos. The Museum is already a vital resource for school children learning about minerals – their names and properties such as density, color, magnetism, trace and inclusions. One goal of the restructuring will be to modernize the exhibit and make it more accessible and effective as a learning environment for researchers and students, of all ages.

Diogenes de Almeida Campos, Director of the Museum of Earth Sciences in Rio de Janeiro

Diogenes de Almeida Campos, Director of the Museum of Earth
Sciences in Rio de Janeiro with a Quartz crystal specimen from Diamantina, Minas Gerais.  Brazil is famous for the large and exceptional quartz it produces. The largest quartz crystal ever found in Brazil weighed nearly 90,000 lbs.

"In Brazil, there’s movement underway to advance the teaching of geological sciences, introducing it earlier in the primary grades," says Campos. "The Museum has an important role to play in making minerals, and the earth sciences associated with mineralogy, accessible for learning."

Insight into the history of mineralogy in Brazil is key to this learning experience, and a notable exhibit recently launched by DNPM showcases the African contribution to the geosciences in Brazil. The exhibit sheds light on the important role of African slaves in the history of gold and diamond mining in Brazil. It includes a tribute to Brazilian mineralogist Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva, who discovered the Afrizita (a variety of black tourmaline) and is said to have named it after his African slave Afrízio.

A naturalist and paleontologist committed to the conservation of fossiliferous sites at Crato and Santana do Cariri, State of Ceará, and at Uberaba, State of Minas Gerais, Campos has also helped to establish one of the most significant Brazilian fossil collections at the Museum. The Dinosaur Age exhibit features a collection of vertebrate fossils that lived in Brazil during the Era Mesozóica.  In celebration of its centenary, the Museum recently added an exhibition on the life of Llewellyn Ivor Price, one of the greatest Brazilian paleontologists. Price collected the Staurikosaurus, the first discovered dinosaur of Brazil.

Minerals, and the earth sciences are integrated in all aspects of life in Brazil – contributing to the country’s economy, unique landscapes and architecture. Rio’s famous Sugar Loaf, with its massive gneiss dome, is perhaps one of the most spectacular granite landscapes in the world.

"Brazil has a rich history in mineralogy, and an active scientific community," says Campos. "The Museum is dedicated to capturing, preserving and showcasing Brazil’s wealth of knowledge and discovery in the earth sciences." 


Aphrizite tourmaline

Aphrizite tourmaline specimen from Cantagalo, Rio de Janiero.
A donation from the collection of Eugenio Bourdot Dutra.

The Aphrizite (a variety of black tourmaline) is among the new species of minerals discovered by Brazilian statesman and mineralogist José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva. It is believed that he named the Aphrizite in honor of his African slave Afrizio. In their natural state tourmalines are characterized by parallel ridges (or striations) which run the length of the crystal.

Imperial Topaz
Imperial Topaz specimen from Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais. Imperial Topaz is perhaps the rarest variety of topaz, primarily found in the Ouro Preto mines of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Imperial Topaz was named in honor of the Brazilian monarchy who prized its luxurious golden-sherry hues.
Rose Quartz
Rose Quartz specimen from Corcunda, Brazil. Rose quartz is one of the most desirable varieties of quartz. The pink to rose red color is unique and unlike any other pink mineral species. The color is caused by iron and titanium impurities. Brazil is the only source of true well formed crystals of rose quartz. So amazing are the rose quartz crystals that the first ones discovered were dismissed as fakes by mineralogists from around the world.