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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...

Christina McCarthy - Mining the capital markets

Geologist and mining specialist Christina McCarthy turned a market crash into a capital opportunity

by Graham Chandler on MaY 25, 2012 profiles

It sounds ironic but when Christina McCarthy lost her field geologist job in the 2008 market crash she quickly turned to that very market for her next career.

Now a Mining Specialist with Toronto’s Euro Pacific Canada, McCarthy was working with Blackstone Ventures at the time: in Norway and Sweden on VMS and nickel-copper deposits.

“I was working on different properties and had a great mentor,” she recalls. “But after about two years, the markets crashed,” and she found herself laid off.

It had been her first full-time position following graduation and just what she had been looking forward to as a budding field geologist.

Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, McCarthy remembers her earliest interest in the profession. “In high school they didn’t teach any type of geology courses so I wasn’t introduced to geology until I went to university,” she says. She started as a psychology major at Brock University, but when she got into Geology 101 she was hooked. “I immediately fell in love with geology which led to my degree and I became a geologist.”

The Scandinavia job after graduation was a great experience. She learned hands-on how to do advanced exploration of VMS, nickel-sulphide and IOCG deposits through core logging, detailed mapping, sampling, geophysics, data analysis and presentation. She was loving it. When the market foundered and she was laid off she went back to Toronto thinking, “what am I going to do now? I couldn’t picture doing anything other than geology.”

But her Type-A personality proved to be the solution. “I’m a communicator,” says McCarthy, “and I realized that I could still do what I loved - geology - in the capital markets.” But it was 2008 and no one on Bay Street was hiring. “So I went to an investor relations company that worked mainly with resources and worked for free for the first five months. I just wanted to learn the industry.” Shortly afterwards she caught the attention of the Equicom Group which recruited her for their resource team. “There were only two of us on the resource team - myself and my partner Joanna Longo, a veteran in the capital markets who became a great mentor to me,” she recalls. “We worked many late nights together, building the business, and eventually we thought: why not hang out our own shingle?”

The two of them went off and started their own investor relations company under the BayFront Capital umbrella called 'Terre Partners'. “We ran our business out of a coffee shop in downtown Toronto,” says McCarthy. “With our combination of capital markets experience and technical background, we had new clients and a successful business within a few months.” In addition to IR, they worked alongside the merchant bankers who raised the capital for resource companies. “My role was to look at exploration companies, going through a detailed check list of what made the company great, and great enough to introduce to our clients. When you’re asking investors for those million-dollar cheques, you have to find the best projects out there in a competitive market.”

That experience prepared her perfectly for her present position with Euro Pacific Canada. It’s often hands-on again, at field sites, all over the world. “I fly to Timmins, Mexico, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, wherever the project is, and look at it. I look at the potential and the prospectivity of the project, to determine if it’s something our clients would want to get involved in.” It’s a detailed look: favourable geology, jurisdiction, historical production, cross-sections, the drill core data, detailed maps, engineer and technical reports - everything that’s available.

The position is one of a mediator says McCarthy. “We introduce them to the investors who are going to give them the capital to advance their projects and ultimately get it to the mining stage.” So she sees the needs of both sides.

Today’s investors are sophisticated; they know what to ask. McCarthy uses the example of a prospective gold deposit. “Investors want to know the mineral grades, metallurgy, recovery and strip ratios. Is the deposit comprised of oxide material or is it a sulfide deposit?” she says. If it’s an oxide gold deposit they know it has the potential to be a heap-leach operation, whereas if it’s a sulfide or nickel deposit, smelting and refining may be involved - which may mean a higher capex. Similarly, if there is a high strip ratio and the grades are not high enough, the deposit may not be economic.   

“Questions will include: is this a good grade deposit, do you have a mining Major around you? A lot of investors want to know if there’s potential to have a big enough deposit that you might be taken over or be partnered with someone,” she says. Another investor concern is location. In a mining jurisdiction such as the Timmins - Kirkland Lake Gold Camp,which has exceptional infrastructure and favourable geology with over 150 million ounces of historic gold production, will be attractive. Government or political risk can’t be overlooked, either. And “they want to know about mining laws, permitting, geopolitical and environmental risks,” says McCarthy.

What else do investors need to know about exploration companies? “I would say there is a checklist,” she offers. First of all, “drilling is the truth serum. That’s the only thing that’s really going to tell investors what is there. But drill targets need to be backed up with the right geoscience.” She cites a small explorer in Southern Mexico’s Guerrero Gold Belt along the trend of a major’s mine. “They are doing all the right things first: mapping, soil samples, soil lines, grid lines and trenching. They’re taking all the steps to try and correlate the geophysics with soil samples and trenching; if they are coincident you have a drill target.” An experienced management and technical team are very important as “people buy management”.

McCarthy says many companies try and talk up potential when they don’t have all the necessary work to back it up. “A company that has done all that work, has the coincidental geophysics with soil sampling and trenching, has two check marks to define that drill target.” Investors need the comfort of knowing companies have a good target and are approaching it systematically so they know shareholders’ money won’t be wasted. “Because ultimately the goal is to prove up a reserve and build a multi-million ounce mine.”