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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

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...

February 10, 2016

Cameco's new uranium discovery revealed

Canada's top uranium producer has a significant new discovery nearby to one of its largest existing mines...

February 9, 2016

NexGen Drills Most Intense Mineralization to Date at Arrow

NexGen announces further results from its on-going six rig 30,000 m winter 2016 drill program on its 100% owned Rook I Property in the Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan...

February 9, 2016

Rio Tinto scales up its big data ambitions

Rio Tinto is opening its "vast troves" of exploration data to junior explorers in the hopes they will help sift for opportunities and supply ideas and labour...

February 8, 2016

Online portal improves access to geoscience data from Africa

The Botswana Geoscience Institute is launching a Geoscience Portal...

February 8, 2016

5 Best Minerals & Fossils To Buy With Your IRS Tax Refund

You just got your IRS tax refund and now you're presented with some cash to go out and buy one of a kind minerals and fossils from your local...

February 5, 2016

World's largest offshore windfarm to be built off Yorkshire coast

Dong Energy makes final investment decision on 1.2-gigawatt project that will power more than a million UK homes...

February 2, 2016

World's top 10 rookie gold mines

These high-grade mines will soon start competing with gold mining's industry leaders ...

January 25, 2016

Exxon Mobil Corp's defiant outlook predicts Canadian and Venezuelan oilsands output will 'quadruple' over next 24 years

In sharp contrast to the grim medium-term prognosis for the Canadian oilsands, Exxon Mobil Corp. is predicting sunnier times for bitumen in the decades ahead...

January 23, 2016

Magnetic Survey Keeps Cost Down

At a contaminated furniture factory site in North Carolina, a reconnaissance magnetic survey was conducted toward the end of a Phase 2 investigation ...

Rio Tinto Tackles Exploration Data Management

Carmela Burns

It was Kennecott Exploration, a division of Rio Tinto Exploration in Salt Lake City that introduced Rio Tinto PLC to the concept of using a formal data management process to tackle the ballooning terabytes of digital information on the company's server. Overwhelmed by the burden of organizing, reformatting and distributing geophysical data in the exploration department, it was suggested the company install Geosoft's DAP middleware technology to boost efficiency.

"We had a big area on the file server that included hundreds of airborne and ground survey grids and no way to organize and store them other than in a file directory with little sticky notes to tell him which one was where," says Peter Thurston, data administrator for Kennecott Exploration Company, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto.

By introducing Geosoft DAP, Rio Tinto was able to replace the sticky notes with a central server that is readily accessible to everyone in the company. Now, instead of relying on a colleague to retrieve and reformat data for them, geoscientists can access the information directly from their desktops, decreasing the time and cost of interpretation. And they don't have to know the first thing about DAP to do it.

Thurston says the beauty of delivering information through DAP is that data can be integrated into any client application, for example MapInfo or ESRI's ArcGIS, making the process of retrieval seamless for the end user.

But from his perspective as a data manager, the simplicity of the software is the main attraction. "It's an intuitive process and that's a big plus because you don't need somebody specifically trained in IT to operate it. Once you've got it set up, it pretty much runs itself."

Rio Tinto has installed DAP servers at its offices in Salt Lake City and in Bristol, England. As the company grows increasingly comfortable with the technology, it is expanding DAP beyond geophysical data to include scanned topographic and geological maps and digital maps from commercial GIS packages such as MapInfo.

"People used to spend a lot of time running around looking for stuff they couldn't find, but now they can find it right away because it's all coming from one place," says Thurston. "That has improved out effectiveness. It's a one-stop shop."

As part of its data management strategy, Rio Tinto is evaluating its data repository requirements, and plans to centralize storage of its historical exploration data - including drill hole logs and assay results. Having a central system with a secure server will ensure that data is not lost, corrupted or stolen, regular occurrences when digital information is stored on individual hard drives and CDs. Another advantage is that data semantics and formats can be standardized to ease interpretation.

Implementing these data repositories is a daunting task for one of the world's oldest and largest mining companies. As middleware, Geosoft's DAP can help to connect data users with these back-end data repositories, providing access through one single interface.

The DAP web interface was recently implemented to make company data more accessible to users accustomed to accessing and gathering data from the internet. "Our geoscientists frequently visit online government surveys to download data, and we wanted to provide a similar experience through DAP. With the web interface, they can download data from DAP, just like they would from any other online site," says Thurston.

For a company as big and widespread as Rio Tinto, improved data management is expected to have a significant impact on the value of exploration data. Geologists exploring for diamonds in North America, for instance, will have access - at the click of a mouse - to all the geochemical and geophysical data that Rio Tinto has collected during previous diamond exploration campaigns in other parts of the world. This fresh perspective could be the trigger that leads to new target areas or discoveries.