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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...

Intelligent exploration key to finding new mineral deposits

by Kylie Williams on February 18, 2015 applied

[Click to enlarge]

A robust new mineralization model for the Los Pasos VMS Project in Cuba, integrating a range of historic data types. The model was generated by Paul Stacey of MapIT using Target 3D geology software.

Geoscience data is critical to exploration success, and yet spending more and acquiring more data have not translated into dramatically higher discovery rates. Exploration organizations are therefore seeking to maximize the value of their existing data, and technology, to prioritize opportunities and select the best drill targets.

As projects move deeper under cover, modern exploration scenarios require explorers to assess all the appropriate data on hand for the project to generate more insightful and accurate exploration models.

Real data, real solutions

Stories of data and discoveries were shared recently at the annual North American Geosoft User Group Meeting (UGM), held during the Mineral Exploration Roundup in Vancouver, B.C. “Intelligent Exploration” was the conference theme and more than 6,700 members of the global exploration community attended.

About 70 Geosoft customers gathered at the UGM to hear how fellow explorers are using technology to make the most of available data in diverse exploration situations. Examples range from visualizing diamond pipes in northern Canada to resource modelling in the Golden Triangle of British Columbia and breathing new life into historic data for a project in Cuba.

Multidisciplinary data compilation

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Interpreted geology with current resources constraints from Colorado Resources’ North ROK project in northern British Columbia, modelled by Alex Walcott of Peter E. Walcott & Associates using Target 3D geology software.

Multidisciplinary analysis has become a hallmark of successful exploration. Discoveries become possible when large volumes of geological, geophysical and geochemical data from various sources are integrated and modelled to determine drill targets.

Tasked with managing data for Colorado Resources’ North ROK project near the Red Chris copper and gold mine in northern British Columbia, Alex Walcott, geophysicist with Peter E. Walcott & Associates, used the Geosoft platform from start to finish to integrate data and build project knowledge. The company has had Geosoft as its main exploration software since 1986.
 “More than 80% of the data analysis was done using Oasis montaj and Target,” says Walcott “You can do anything with Geosoft, and then some, with a little creativity.”

In the case of North ROK, Walcott used Geosoft software during early exploration to create field maps and simple survey grids; for analysing geochemistry and geophysical modelling and processing as the project advanced; and finally for preparation of the resource model.

“Using a single software platform to integrate the North ROK project data kept the datasets consistent and updated. It meant we could reliably generate custom products for presentations, analysis and drill planning,” says Walcott.

Paul Stacey, president of exploration data company MapIT, demonstrated his use of Geosoft Target to transform data dating back to the 1950’s into a reliable resource model.
Using Target’s 3D wireframing capability, he combined drill holes, soil and stream sediment samples, geology maps, as well as historic mine plans and sections from a project near the San Fernando base metal mine in Cuba.

The wireframing enabled Stacey to apply his own expertise to the 3D models rather than rely on numbers alone. Blending old data with new, and physically connecting features and trends (joining up dykes, for example), he managed to generate a 43-101 resource estimate on a deposit that had not been mined since 1963.

“Other tools are available, but Target provides the most collaborative approach,” Stacey notes, adding that by using the free Geosoft 3D Viewer, he was also able to share information about the project with international stakeholders.

Deeper analysis

A careful, step-by-step approach to data processing can help explorers literally see deeper underground.

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A rare glimpse inside Canadian kimberlite pipes: slices through spatially and parametrically constrained Magnetization Vector Inversion results for Peregrine Diamonds’ Chidliak project on Baffin Island, produced by Campbell & Walker Geophysics Ltd. using VOXI Earth Modelling.

At Peregrine Diamonds’ Chidliak project on Baffin Island, in far northern Canada, previous exploration and modeling efforts were unable to predict the shape of a complex kimberlite body beyond 40 metres below the surface.

Peregrine turned to Campbell & Walker Geophysics Ltd. for some expert advice.

“The challenge was to produce an accurate model of a sparsely drilled kimberlite at depth for more accurate drill planning,” explains principal geophysicist Kit Campbell. “We used an iterative inversion strategy to perfect the model.”

The geophysics firm started with geologically unconstrained inversions, then used Geosoft VOXI to build constraints into the model, accounting for remanent magnetization, and adding spatial constraints and rock properties from drill data.

“The extra preparation took time but was necessary to get reliable results where previous approaches had failed,” says senior geophysicist Sean Walker, noting that “the inversions themselves took no more time than usual.”

The resulting constrained Magnetization Vector Inversion (MVI) included all the available data and modelled the kimberlite bodies to 150 metres. Peregrine Diamonds is using the new models for drill planning.

Knowing what to leave out

Explorers seek to create the best models from the data available, and sometimes that means knowing what to leave out.

“The quality control tools in Geosoft help you find the problems in your data,” says Stacey, pointing out that the most challenging aspects of the San Fernando project was incorporating geochemical information from multiple sources, analysis methods, and time periods.

The robust, modern resource estimate models developed by MapIT for San Fernando have allowed exploration companies to make confident decisions about further work in the area.
A real benefit of multidisciplinary collaboration is that it brings explorers together to talk about different strategies for uncovering new mineral deposits and re-assessing old ones.

The takeaway: spend the time and effort upfront to fully explore your project data, and create the best possible exploration models. That is how modern discoveries are made.



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