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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...

The right fit: Selecting software for mineral exploration

by Virginia Heffernan on March 25, 2015 expertise

Jim Royall, Exploration Manager for Medgold Resources, shown here in the field, suggests choosing software that meets as many of your current needs as possible.

Choosing exploration software can be a difficult, even fraught experience. The more expensive exploration becomes, the more crucial the decision, especially for juniors with projects that have progressed beyond the grassroots stage but are not yet considered advanced.

“It’s like buying school shoes,” says Jim Royall, Exploration Manager for Medgold Resources in northern Portugal, who offers a means to narrow down the choices. “Do you buy a snug fit for now or buy a bigger size, hoping you will grow into them?”

After years of experience on projects in Europe, Africa and South America, Royall is convinced that the former option is preferable because it mitigates the risk of the current program while acknowledging the uncertainty of the future: if the project is successful, software requirements will fall into place.

Medgold is focused mainly on orogenic gold systems in northern Portugal. The company’s most advanced project is Lagares on the Valongo belt, where structurally controlled and intrusion hosted gold mineralization occurs at the margins between sediments and younger granitic intrusions.

The project is blessed with a wealth of historical data from at least six different drilling campaigns, plus extensive mine workings dating from Roman times. But much of the data is of poor quality, a factor that made choosing the right software even more critical.

“The drilling that was done in the past, when companies accepted 60-70% core recovery or less, is substandard,” says Royall. “We’ve resampled the old core and collected new samples and we needed the ability to integrate those verification datasets with the historical data.”

[Click to enlarge]

Lagares composite drill cross section incorporating historic data with surface channel samples, geological mapping, 3D geological interpretation and planned drilling. By using Target to integrate 2D and 3D data, both historical and modern, Medgold gained a better understanding of the gold mineralization controls at Lagares, leading to the best results ever recorded at the project.

Multi-element soil geochemistry in Target.

After looking at different types of GIS-based software and programs designed for more advanced exploration, Medgold selected Geosoft Target. Here are the four main criteria Royall urges every exploration manager to consider before selecting software:

1. Can you justify the cost?

This is the most obvious consideration, especially for juniors struggling to raise the financing for exploration. Royall suggests choosing software that meets as many of your current needs as possible. Target, for instance, allows Medgold to develop a geological model for its more advanced Lagares project, while providing the data processing capability to assess projects further down the pipeline.

2. How important is quality control?

Historical data is meaningless and potentially dangerous if that data is corrupted or substandard. So having a program that can recognize bad data even as new information is collected is essential for locating quality drill targets. “Target forces us to have good data,” says Royall. “We don’t fully understand the controls on the mineralization at Lagares. But by being able to integrate the data we can start drawing vectors and build cross sections that show the controls.”

3. Will you be working in multiple dimensions?

Most exploration programs have both 2D (surface mapping and sampling) and 3D (drilling; geophysics) components, so software that can easily move between - and integrate data from - the two dimensions makes targeting much easier. “You need software that handles 2D data extremely well, but also allows integration with 3D drill data so that you don’t have to bring in another software package for that,” says Royall.

4. How easy is it to introduce?

Personal preference and fear of the unknown will always dictate software choices to some extent, but it’s important for every member of the exploration team to be able to collaborate on projects on a common platform. “Target is very intuitive and easy to learn,” says Royall. “The geologists here have been using it off the bat with no formal training.”

When Royall chose Target for the first time as a newly minted exploration manager of Berkley Resources’ uranium projects Spain, he didn’t have much experience on which to base his decision. But years later, he is confident of his selection. By using Target to integrate 2D and 3D data, both historical and modern, Medgold gained a better understanding of the gold mineralization controls at Lagares, leading to the best results ever recorded at the project.

“Target was the right choice for Berkley and it will prove itself again with Medgold.”


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