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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...

Shawn Ryan
Striking Gold in the Yukon

Without the downturns in the exploration business that are as certain as the seasons, prospector Shawn Ryan might never have found the multi-million ounce White Gold deposit in the Yukon Territory currently owned by Kinross Gold Corporation.

His first setback came in 1989, shortly after the federal government re-jigged the super flow though financing program companies relied on to finance their exploration efforts on domestic soil. Funds dried up, and the 26-year-old lost his job working for an exploration team in the Timmins Camp where he was born.

Looking for a way to continue the bush life he was so drawn to, Ryan – the 2010 recipient of the PDAC’s Prospector of the Year award - found out he could earn up to $1,000 per day picking wild mushrooms in British Columbia, so he headed west.

“I said ‘you must be kidding me, won’t the cops chase me around’?” because he assumed the mushrooms in demand must be of the magic, hallucinogenic variety. “But I fell in love with picking mushrooms.”

A few years later, another downturn hit, this time in the gourmet mushroom market. By then Ryan had found a more romantic love in fellow mushroom picker Cathy Wood and the two decided to start a family, requiring a more stable life and income.

Most people would assume that meant full-time jobs with benefits, but Ryan and Wood took up prospecting from a tin shack home outside Dawson City instead. Ryan had a hunch that deposits of the kind that had produced the millions of ounces of placer gold found during the Klondike rush were still lurking under the Yukon soil. He set about proving his theory with a rigorous soil sampling program.

But bad luck would strike again. “We decided to do this in 1996, and then we were hit by Bre-X scandal. You couldn’t sell anything, and everyone left the bush,” says Ryan.

Once again, the setback turned out to be a blessing because it allowed Ryan five years to continue his research, refine his soil sampling method, and prove up a mineralized system that exploration companies would be interested in optioning once the cycle turned up. During that time, he and his family lived on the roughly $10,000 per year Ryan received from the Yukon Mining Incentive Program.

His well-considered methodology was a key factor in his success. Instead of the conventional technique of sampling the top six inches of the soil profile, Shawn realized he would have to dig about 2.5 ft. under to find the gold that had eroded from bedrock millions of years ago, undisturbed by the glaciation that scraped many of Canada’s other mining camps clean.

In 2002 Ryan honed in on an area within the Stewart map sheet where the government had just completed an airborne survey and uncovered geophysical anomalies near an old copper showing.

“The area lit up over five miles with a nice copper-gold anomaly, and the deeper soils were responding like crazy in the district” says Ryan, who was using tulip bulb diggers from Holland to take his initial samples. “That was when we knew that large soil sampling programs in the Yukon will outline large mineralized systems if you have the budget to take lots of samples.”

The first indications of the White Gold deposit north of Dawson City, now believed to contain about two million ounces of gold, were to follow.

Ryan says a combination of technologies, including GPS and GIS, have allowed him to process geochemical data in the way only major companies had the resources to do just 15 years ago. Using a team he trains though his contracting company, he’ll take an astounding 185,000 soil samples for companies that have optioned his properties this year, up from 2,500 samples in 2003 and 70,000 samples last year.

“That way, the technique and assaying remains the same for all the properties, and I get the master database at the end of the year,” says Ryan, currently president of Ryan Gold, which will be account for almost half of this year’s sampling total. “So if the camp is eventually amalgamated, then the soil database remains consistent.”

And because the region’s gold deposits have small footprints not visible from surface, every sample counts. For example, one of the main zones at the significant Coffee project optioned by Kaminak Gold Corporation announced itself in only one sample. White Gold showed up in just two.

His crack team of samplers consists of a combination of university undergraduates and a full-time crew. “They have to be in good shape and they have to be team players. Cathy is into soccer, so she likes soccer players. Sometimes I think she’s making a team on the side.”

The creation of Ryan Gold releases Ryan and Wood from their administrative duties, allowing them to focus on finding new areas of interest in the district, and giving them more time to spend canoeing with their two children, ages 12 and 14.

Ryan says the White Gold district will remain at the geochemical exploration stage while companies can still find deposits close to surface using soil sampling (there is virtually no bedrock in the area). He is expecting at least six significant discoveries over the next few years before the camp begins to rely heavily on geophysics to find deeper orebodies.

His advice to explorers just setting out on their careers? “This nut was cracked with science, not by skipping steps. Let the science be the judge of whether you continue exploring or not, and lead you to the true anomalies.”