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...

The Blackwater camp of central British Columbia

by Virginia Heffernan on March 9, 2012 Discovery

Exploration activity is heating up in the Blackwater gold camp of central BC now that New Gold has consolidated its land position with a 100% interest in the Blackwater and adjacent Capoose properties, both of which contain significant gold-silver resources and lots of blue sky potential.

Another area play to keep an eye on is Greencastle Resources’ Nechako project north of and along the same geologic trend as Blackwater. Nechako and Blackwater both lie within a structurally raised block, called the Nechako Plateau, where mineralization is likely related to the emplacement of Cretaceous intrusives into the Jurassic Hazelton and Bowser Lake Groups.

Last year, Fugro Airborne Surveys flew a detailed heli-borne magnetic and EM geophysical survey for Greencastle. The 1500-line km survey at 100 m line spacings identified 73 high priority anomalies that show favourable structure, magnetic association, conductance and/or size. More extensive conductive zones were given a lower priority because the gold targets at Blackwater are generally non-conductive.

Blackwater is considered to be a low sulphidation epithermal gold-silver deposit. Mineralization is associated with phyllic to potassic or kaolinite alteration of felsic and intermediate volcanic rocks with secondary quartz. The altered volcanic rocks are shot through with pyrite and other sulphide minerals such as sphalerite, tetrahedrite and arsenopyrite. From drilling results to date, New Gold estimates that the discovery contains a bulk tonnage resource of some 6.6 million ounces of gold.

Despite the large quantities of gold, interpreting this style of mineralization can be challenging because the mineralization does not provide a geophysical contrast with the surrounding host rocks, the deposits can be small and geologically complex, and the auriferous vein and stockwork systems tend to be relatively thin and discontinuous. As a result, geophysical interpretation must be able to detect subtle structures that might be controlling gold deposition as well as weak anomalies created by alteration and deposition processes.

To tackle this challenge, Greencastle hired Intrepid Geophysics to undertake a detailed analysis of its survey data to find Blackwater clones. Intrepid has done similar work for other area players such as International Samuel Explorations and Gold Reach Resources and its president, Christopher (Kit) Campbell, worked on the Blackwater property as a summer student decades ago.

By applying enhancement filters to the magnetic grid, Intrepid highlighted a number of dominant structural orientations and trend, including definite breaks in the magnetic fabric that may correspond to lithological boundaries and shear zones.

Intrepid then conducted a profile by profile analysis of the EM data to choose the better conductors, and reviewed them in the context of the magnetic patterns. A variety of geophysical software tools were used to conduct multi edge detection analysis, filtering, image enhancements and analysis. Tools included the CET Grid Analysis extension for Geosoft Oasis montaj which was used to first delineate regions of magnetic discontinuity that correspond to both lithological boundaries and shear zones using a combination of texture analysis and symmetry feature detection techniques. Secondly, the data was examined using fractal analysis to find areas nearby with a complex magnetic expression (zones of structural complexity). The most prospective areas are those where inferred structural complexity occurs adjacent to the regions of magnetic discontinuity. All the GIS work was completed in MapInfo, and the final maps were produced in Geosoft.

“After comparing (the original 73 targets) to what we might reasonably expect from a Blackwater look-alike and depending heavily on the inferred structural context, we pared that down to the final 13 high-ranked targets for follow-up during the forthcoming field season,” says Campbell.

Two significant areas of interest are positively identified by the work done on Greencastle's property, while a third and fourth are implied. Of particular interest, he says, is a magnetic low identified at the southeast portion of Nechako property, as magnetic lows in the region may reflect magnetite destruction in altered mineralized systems.

Campbell believes that the frequency-domain electromagnetics used initially on the Nechako Plateau failed in some instances to penetrate the significant cover of glacial tills and that the better results in the area might be coming from subsequent time domain electromagnetics, including HeliTEM,VTEM and AeroTEM. Geotech’s ZTEM has also been used as an effective tool.

High-priority targets in the gold camp similar to those detected by Greencastle have been further explored with ground IP and resistivity techniques and some correlate with multi-element geochemical anomalies. For many companies, drilling will be the next step to determine if more Blackwater-type deposits can be found. New Gold is certainly optimistic about the camp’s potential.

"The consolidation of our interest in Blackwater and the addition of Capoose further confirm our excitement about the future of the Blackwater project and surrounding area," said Executive Chairman Randall Oliphant when the company purchased area player Silver Quest Resources in late December. "With Blackwater already having a significant gold resource that should continue to grow and a land package now totaling over 670km2, we are excited to move forward with continued exploration and development in this area for many years to come."

Related News:
New Gold Announces Further Increase in Gold Resources at Blackwater Project