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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...

Where do I meet the geologists of Africa?

by Colin Reeves on January 29, 2013 community

The Geological Society of Africa celebrated
its 40th anniversary in January during the
24th Colloquium of African Geology. Shown above: a business meeting of the Society’s membership with the election of a new council.

Africa is more than 20 per cent of the world’s land area, is home to 15 per cent of human population but still earns its label as the Dark Continent through generating only 2 per cent of the world’s electricity. Where can you find the geologists exploring this sleeping giant with its inevitable future in the resources sector?

One answer is at the Colloquium of African Geology, the 24th running of which occurred recently in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia (9-14 January 2013). The Colloquium has its roots in the 1950s and 60s, heyday of the now-defunct Research Institute of African Geology at the University of Leeds in England where your correspondent studied in the mid-1970s. The Geological Society of Africa, founded in 1973, subsequently took the Colloquium under its wing and, every second year, holds its flagship meeting under the same name. The society also has technical oversight of the Journal of African Earth Sciences, published by Elsevier. The Colloquium has alternated between locations in Europe and Africa for many years.

The Addis Colloquium saw the Society returning to its roots to celebrate its 40th anniversary and to formally open a modest permanent office in the University of Addis Abeba. The meeting itself was held at the Millenium Conference Centre near the airport and attracted more than 400 delegates. Remarkably for those who have attended other meetings on African geology and missed African faces, about half the delegates hailed from Africa itself, while the rest included leading authorities on African geology from Europe, Australia and America, North and South. Amongst notable participants were the President of the Geological Society of America, the Director of the British Geological Survey and the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the next International Geological Congress which comes to Africa (Cape Town) in 2016. There were also revered European figures from the colonial past of African geology.

The meeting extended over six days, Wednesday to Monday, with a mid-term break for local excursions on the Friday. Each day had one or two plenary speakers while the bulk of the proceedings was split between five parallel sessions. Field trips into the Rift Valley and elsewhere were on offer before and after the main meeting.  A number of workshops were also organized around the Colloquium and there was a modest number of booths and posters. A business meeting of the Society’s membership with the election of a new council (see photo above) preceded a visit to the University to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Society with drinks and snacks on the closing day.

Technical sessions had one stream devoted to mineral exploration and another to petroleum exploration while other rooms addressed issues as wide-ranging as the fundamental mapping of Africa’s Precambrian shield, the evolution of the East African Rift System, groundwater resources and environmental health issues.

High on the agenda were contributions from a plethora of initiatives, all designed to coax African geology into the digital era: WAXI, AEGIS, GIRAF, ANESI, AEON,..(all of which may be Googled). A fundamental problem is that Africa, unlike Canada, Australia, Brazil and the US (whose combined land area only slightly exceeds that of Africa!), still lacks any kind of effective federal structure, even at the level of geological survey. And most of Africa’s 50-plus national geological surveys are under-performing against any credible benchmark and stand isolated within their national boundaries. Breakthroughs in understanding African geology are therefore still just as likely to come from academics outside Africa as from within Africa itself, such regional scale studies being mostly beyond the remit of those professionals engaged in commercial exploration on the continent.

No offer to host the 25th Colloquium was forthcoming from Europe, but Brazil stepped up to the plate with an offer to run the meeting simultaneously with the Geological Society of Brazil’s meeting at Salvador on the Atlantic coast in September 2014.  Here, surely, is an opportunity to learn something new on the common origin of two of the southern hemisphere’s largest petroleum provinces. So, don’t miss this next opportunity to meet the geologists of Africa!