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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...

Technology Review

What are the current demands and the latest advancements in exploration software and solutions? Geosoft’s product management directors and chief technologist field questions on current and emerging trends.

What are some of the current demands from the exploration sector?

We’re seeing more interest and investment, industry-wide, in data management. Within exploration companies of all sizes there is a stronger focus on understanding the information you have, making it more easily accessible and preserving it for future exploration projects. We are actively working with exploration companies like Areva, Vale, Teck Cominco, Rio Tinto and others to design and implement Exploration Information Management Solutions (EIMS) that deliver greater transparency of data and decision-making and better data access for global exploration teams.

Improving exploration capabilities within GIS is another requirement. Most exploration companies are now using GIS systems as a core technology, and explorers need better tools for working with their data and projects within GIS environments. This is an important focus for Geosoft. We have made continual improvements to our exploration geology and geochemistry workflows for ESRI’s ArcGIS to ensure they meet explorer needs.

In what areas of exploration are Geosoft software and solutions used?

Geosoft software, services and solutions support explorers in all areas of exploration, from opportunity assessment and target generation to advanced exploration and prefeasibility. The exploration sector generates and consumes vast amounts of geospatial data. Geosoft solutions provide a full range of capabilities that help explorers manage their exploration information and projects and generate insight from the data in maps, sections, 3D models and integrated interpretations that aid project evaluation and guide drilling programs.

What are your latest software capabilities for exploration, and what areas do they target?

Our 2010 software release targets three key areas: improving access to data and information; simplifying workflows to make exploration tasks like reporting and map creation more efficient; and creating an environment where explorers can move from 2D to 3D more seamlessly.

We have introduced Seeker, a new tool designed to help explorers find and start using data quicker. Seeker provides a single interface for handling the entire data access workflow – from structured metadata querying to the viewing of results and from data extraction to the explorer’s desktop application.

We’ve improved statistical and reporting capabilities within our Target exploration geology workflow, making it easier to highlight, report and assess significant intersections in drilling projects.

We also continue to expand 3D capabilities within the Geosoft platform. Effective 3D rendering of the subsurface has become essential for presentation and collaboration; however, a great deal of exploration work is still completed in 2D plans and sections. To help bridge the gap, we have added new support for crooked geophysical sections that will enable more accurate representations of the data in 2D and 3D.

What impact have you seen on the demand for exploration software and solutions?

In today’s challenging climate, there has been a significant pullback of activity in the exploration sector. As a solution provider, we’ve worked with customers to understand how we can help them become more efficient with fewer resources.

Within the junior sector, explorers have focused on preserving funds and many have slowed down aggressive drilling projects. This has led to more data analysis, more integration of data and smarter application of technology.

As many explorers decelerate, we are seeing greater use of advanced 3D capabilities and more time spent generating integrated interpretations (combining geophysics, geology and geochemistry) to focus their projects, and minimize risk, before making the decision to drill.

A number of recent discoveries have been credited to the application of modern technology to old projects. As an example, recent discoveries at HudBay’s Lalor Lake and Rio Tinto’s Bingham Canyon mine were both attributed to fresh perspectives that came from applying deeper exploration techniques and 3D visualization capabilities.

Among our larger customers, we’ve also seen a focus on realigning resources and operational efficiency. Deploying corporate-wide technology projects, with limited in house IT resources, continues to be a challenge. In many cases we’ve supplemented our technology with services to support our customers’ data management needs.

Have exploration companies changed their approach to technology in recent years?

More exploration companies are consolidating their technology spending to focus on core platforms and tools they consider to be the most essential to exploration. They’re being more prudent with discretionary software spending. Geosoft exploration software is used extensively across the exploration project cycle, including drill hole mapping, data integration, 3D visualization and generation of interpretations and reports. In many cases, Geosoft has been deployed as a standard platform within exploration companies. As a result, our customer base has remained stable. In some cases we’ve been able to develop stronger relationships and new opportunities with existing customers.

We’ve also found exploration companies to be more receptive to using services to supplement internal resources when deploying larger technology projects. We’re working on a number of Exploration Information Management projects where Geosoft is providing a complete solution, one that combines technology with value added services to support things like information and metadata preparation, workflow customization and change management.

People still need improved workflows, better user interfaces, and better access to data, and we continue to work on all fronts to address these needs. So, in many ways, things haven’t changed.

What will be the next developments in exploration software?

The next developments will be focused around the web, in particular the emerging model of cloud computing (Internetbased development) and the delivery of web services. Our ability to efficiently manage tasks, like handling the vast amount of data generated from exploration, through personal computers is limited. And as we continue to face the demographic challenge of meeting growing global demand for resources with fewer people and tighter financial constraints, the need for efficient access to information and tools within the exploration sector is greater than ever.

Web-based development provides new opportunities for connecting explorers to data and tools that allow for more effective, efficient decision-making and empower collaboration within global exploration teams. Building this shared and interconnected future with explorers is motivating future developments at Geosoft.

We’re also working on earth modelling, and how we can make complex techniques like geophysical inversions (which convert geophysical data into 3D earth models) more useful and accessible to exploration professionals. We recently welcomed Dr. Robert Ellis, an industry leader in inversion and modelling of geophysical data, to our R&D team in the role of Senior Scientist, Earth Modelling.

Inversion techniques have progressively moved from university research labs to industry exploration environments, where they have helped to develop further insight into the subsurface and reduce risk in exploration for minerals and oil and gas. However, they remain highly specialized and complex. We are working with Dr. Ellis on the next generation of modelling capabilities that will make 3D modelling accessible to many more explorers. Although we are still in the early stages of development, we are very encouraged by progress so far.

Questions were answered by Louis Racic and Steve Randall, Geosoft Product Management Directors, and Ian MacLeod, the company’s Chief Technologist.