The people, science and technology behind discovery

Subscribe to the Magazine

Get new articles sent directly to
your mailbox.


Join the network

Twitter Updates Group Forum

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...

Dr. Hamid Mumin – Forging industry partnerships for education and discovery

by Virginia Heffernan on November 1, 2012profiles

Although there is more overlap between the theoretical and applied aspects of economic geology than is true for most disciplines, geology professors are not usually recognized for their mineral discoveries.

One exception is Dr. Hamid Mumin, professor of geology at Brandon University in Manitoba. He was an active participant when Fortune Minerals found and delineated the Nico Fe-Oxide polymetallic deposit in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and has a list of other credits to his name: the Bogosu Gold Mine of the Ashanti Gold Belt, a carbonitite complex enriched in rare earth elements at Eden Lake, Manitoba; the magmatic South Bay nickel-copper showing near Leaf Rapids, Manitoba; and VMS deposits in Northwestern Ontario.

That kind of dedication to practical fieldwork supports Mumin’s overriding philosophy that his job is incomplete unless it benefits the “average person in the street”.

“Tremendous academic contributions have come out of industry sponsored work and for the most part, the collaborations have been excellent,” says Mumin, who does not believe the two worlds need conflict provided he remains an arms length consultant. “I have one basic rule: I will support you if you support my students.”

Fortune Minerals, for example, funded Mumin’s students in their research and provided summer employment. In return, Mumin helped guide Fortune’s efforts to find Iron Oxide Copper Gold (IOCG) deposits in NWT’s Great Bear Magmatic Zone.

Mumin’s experiences in Ghana early in his career helped shape his current approach. His exploration and feasibility work on the Bogosu deposit within the Ashanti gold belt, which later became a 100,000 oz.-plus producer, had a powerful and immediate impact on the local community.

“In Africa, especially, a little goes a long way to transform society. The social, economic and health benefits are enormous,” says Mumin, who was chief geologist and site manager at Bogosu in the late 1980s.

The Bogosu experience paralleled his industry collaborations in that it was equally - if not more - beneficial for Mumin. “I learned a lot more from my Ghanaian colleagues than they learned from me.”

To illustrate his point he tells the story of one Ghanaian geologist who, faced with a broken blueprint machine, decided to make his own. Mumin could hardly believe his eyes when the geologist produced a perfectly legible blueprint from a contraption jerry-rigged from a few pieces of plywood, some plexiglas, and a bottle of ammonia.

“Look what African ingenuity could do. They reduced a $20,000 piece of technological equipment to $5 of leftover scraps. It was wonderful to see the simplistic reality of it.”

Mumin’s work at Bogosu led to a PhD at the University of Western Ontario focused on the gold deposits of Ghana’s Ashanti belt. This was preceded by an M.A.Sc. in Economic Geology and a GeoEngineering degree, both from the University of Toronto (U of T).

Mumin developed an interest in geology as a boy spending summer vacations with his grandfather, a miner in Kirkland Lake. When the opportunity arose to complete Grade 13 in the northern Ontario town, including taking the only geology course offered in the province at that time, he pounced. The early education provided a natural transition to mine employment and his acceptance into geoengineering at U of T.

Mumin thinks Canada has the potential to host IOCG deposits that will surpass the NICO and Sue-Dianne deposits currently being developed in the NWT. He points to recent discoveries in the Central Mineral Belt of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Quetico belt west of Thunder Bay, Ontario, the reinterpretation of mineralization in several mining camps, and a rising tide of IOCG exploration and discovery across Canada. He and his colleagues are still actively searching for IOCG mineralization in the Great Bear Magmatic Zone, NWT and in the Trans Hudson Orogen.

His advice for the aspiring geologists who might be on the hunt for these Olympic Dam replicas? “Every geologist will face temptation. There is a devil behind every other outcrop. Guard your integrity and professionalism and you will have a successful career.”