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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

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...

Targeting Exploration Mapping Needs


Industry usage of drillhole and mapping software is growing day-by-day. This is largely due to speed and efficiency advantages when dealing with greater volumes and diversity of data. Exploration projects can have upwards of five hundred drillholes. As exploration projects get bigger and the number of drillholes and other datasets increase, effective software has become essential for managing and visualizing these large datasets.

Major and junior exploration companies each bring their own unique and diverse perspective to the business of exploration, however, when it comes to mapping software there is a common view on essential requirements, and emerging priorities.

With so many options available, focusing on the software functionality that you require from your exploration mapping software is considered a good strategy for maximizing efficiency and your exploration investment dollars.


Power mapping for exploration

Mark Parker, Managing Director of African Eagle Resources plc, a London AIMlisted junior exploration company operating in East Africa had a clear view of his needs when looking for mapping software, "We knew that what we needed was a good, computer- based means of archiving and visualizing our drillhole data."

Parker has been using Geosoft's mapping system for geophysics and geochemistry since 1990 and this past year African Eagle added Geosoft's Target drillhole software to their system. The ability to work efficiently with all their data in one integrated environment was a key consideration.

"Our Oasis montaj system provides a powerful way of viewing and visualizing the data," explains Parker "and it allows you to combine different data sets, in different ways, to make the best use of all the data you have available."

Visualization has played a critical role in African Eagle's exploration projects. "In a situation where you don't have any outcrop, which is typical in Tanzania, you're relying very much on your drillholes to do basic geological mapping, as well as actual mineralization interpretation," says Parker. "In this case, it's quite important that you have powerful tools for visualization which allow you to make the best use of the data you have and to interpret the data to the maximum."

Integration with their Geographic Information System (GIS) environment has become a greater priority for African Eagle. In addition to meeting internal needs, GIS integration allows data to be shared effectively with African Eagle's major exploration partners.

Exploration projects often involve two or more companies working together within joint ventures, option agreements and other partnership arrangements. "As an example the partner on one of African Eagles' Tanzania projects uses ArcView," explains Parker. "In working with them, we need to supply formats that can be viewed in ArcGIS. If we can supply things in native ArcGIS so much the better."

Parker sees the market introduction of Geosoft's Target for ArcGIS, a drillhole and mapping extension for ESRI's ArcGIS, as a positive step towards meeting their integration needs. "Target for ArcGIS will allow us to exchange our data, and particularly our visualizations, as freely as possible with ArcGIS users."


Exploring in GIS

Julian Misiewicz, Consulting Geologist for Africa and Europe with Gold Fields International, a South Africa-based major global gold producer makes a distinction between essential and specialist-use mapping functionality.

"In exploration, you need three basics: database software, a GIS package, and, definitely, a drillhole processing package," says Misiewicz. "All three are essential." Having met those needs, if cost is not a factor, specialized three dimensional modeling packages are also very beneficial.

Gold Fields uses ArcGIS as its GIS platform for exploration. Recently, they purchased Geosoft's Target for ArcGIS for its ability to provide integrated drillhole plotting and surface mapping capabilities in ArcGIS. "ArcGIS is an outstanding package", says Misiewicz, "and Target provides the facility to plot drillholes within ArcGIS."

Using Target for ArcGIS drillhole mapping software is quick and easy. It provides the facility for drillhole plotting, as well as surface mapping, contouring, plotting and treatment of geochemical and geophysical data in ArcGIS. One doesn't have to be a specialist or geophysicist to process the data, and a geologist working with multiple data sets can do it easily using Target within ArcView.

Efficiency in data processing is important, but ultimately the proof, and the power, is in seeing your data. "The better you can see and plot your data," says Misiewicz, "the better you are able to understand it, firstly, and the better you are able to get the best value out of that data, and to use it effectively throughout the business environment."

For many years, specialized exploration software, such as Geosoft's Oasis montaj has provided the ability to expertly visualize geophysical, geochemical and geological data within an integrated environment. "One of the things that Geosoft has been very good at, is visualization," says Misiewicz. "Oasis montaj is an excellent package for creating beautiful images of geophysical and geochemical data."

Visualization technology has come a long way. Advanced rendering techniques together with three dimensional modeling applications have added a lot of power to the way you can view and interpret your data.

Until recently, however, visualization tools for exploration data in the GIS environment have been very limited. This is rapidly changing, as integration of exploration software with broad-based GIS systems takes greater priority in the industry. Target, as an extension to ArcView, is seen as providing a necessary solution.

Using Target, geologists are able to bring in a borehole, and plot the trace of that borehole directly on their map. They can also plot sections straight out of their ArcGIS package, and are able to incorporate all the information they have in their GIS package, the geological mapping, the geophysics images and the geochemistry in particular, in their interpretations.

New exploration software is tasked with meeting the growing need for seamless integration of exploration datasets within the broad-based GIS environment, while continuing to meet the rigorous mapping and processing requirements of geological users.

At the end of the day, explorationists use computerized methods because it's quicker and better than doing it by hand. The key advantage that exploration drillhole and mapping software, such as Target and Target for ArcGIS, bring is the capability to handle large volumes of data and visualize a thousand or more drillholes at a time, allowing geologists to create and revise maps and sections quickly and easily, while formulating and fine-tuning their understanding of their targets.

For more information on the software mentioned in this article, contact software@geosoft.com.