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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...

Improved Data Access Makes Canada a better investment

Carmela Burns

The recent public release of geophysical data for the Boothia Peninsula in Nunavut, one of Canada's newest diamond exploration hotspots, illustrates how Geosoft DAP technology is helping Natural Resources Canada's Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) fulfill its mandate to improve Canada's competitive advantage in attracting investment in resource exploration.

Several companies hold large tracts of ground on the peninsula because the area is considered prospective for diamonds. But in order to find a diamond deposit, explorers must first find the rock type that hosts the gems. This source rock, kimberlite, is often pinpointed by its unique aeromagnetic signature.

Until lately, there have been no publicly accessible geophysical maps to help identify kimberlites on the Boothia Peninsula.

But in April 2005, the GSC's Northern Resource Development Program made high-resolution aeromagnetic survey data available for the area through its DAP web interface. Explorers eager for further evidence of diamond prospects at Boothia jumped at the chance to access the data instantaneously on the Internet.

In 2004, the Geological Survey of Canada recorded a total of 3,000 downloads through the Geosoft DAP interface.

"The Boothia Peninsula is a huge area where there has been no government aeromagnetic survey ever flown," says Warner Miles, head of the GSC's Regional Geophysics Section. "The data set illustrates the complex geology and deformational history of the area. As soon as it became available, exploration companies were able to download it immediately at no cost."

It's this kind of service that GSC clients, including just about everyone who explores for minerals in Canada, have been requesting for years. Miles says the catalyst for the GSC's adoption of Geosoft DAP was the imminent retirement of at least two of its employees in the Geophysical Data Centre, which employed four people to deliver up to 300 requests for data each year from private industry.

At the same time, the Survey realized that their clients were becoming increasingly sophisticated about their own needs in terms of data formats and projections.

"We found that the users were capable and willing to download these data themselves and that we couldn't replace departing staff," says Miles. "There is still a significant demand for hard copy custom maps and digital data on hard media, but that demand is diminishing rapidly."

The GSC set out to develop its own data delivery system for a one-kilometer aeromagnetic grid of Canada. But the in-house system could manage only gridded data in limited formats and had no reprojection capabilities.

In Geosoft DAP, the government geophysicists found a solution to the combined challenge of dwindling staff and increasing demands for speed and efficiency. The software allowed on-line loading of several high-resolution data sets, including both geochemical and geophysical data, a couple of years ahead of the timeline possible for the section's existing application.

In January 2004, the group loaded a 200-metre aeromagnetic grid of the entire country and the complete gravity anomaly database onto the Geosoft DAP web interface. They were the first group in the GSC, as part of a 2-year program to consolidate Canada's geoscience knowledge, to get data on-line and available for download, an achievement Miles attributes to the use of Geosoft DAP instead of the group's less mature in-house system.

"This fits exactly with our current policy," says Miles. "The data is out there, it's being used, and we're not applying any friction to the wheels of exploration in Canada. But we've just scratched the surface in terms of getting the word out to the broader geoscience community."

Implementing DAP was not all smooth sailing for the GSC, which has different requirements from those in private industry. For example, because the Survey is federal, all of the DAP text were translated into French and presented in both official languages. Additionally, because its end users are external instead of internal, the Survey had to rely heavily on the web interface and devise a way to for clients to zoom into a particular area using latitude and longitude ranges.

"There were a lot of growing pains and we were on the phone constantly," says Miles. "But the way we look at it is that this has saved us a great deal of time and money in terms of salary dollars."

End users are also saving time and money. Before Geosoft DAP, a 200-metre magnetic grid for Saskatchewan and Alberta, for example, would have cost $10,000 and taken several days to process. Now it's free and instantaneous.

In the near future, Miles hopes to be able to deliver all 932 of the GSC's aeromagnetic and radiometric data surveys through Geosoft DAP. All new surveys will be loaded as profile data and optimum resolution grids.

Eventually, he envisions compatibility between the GSC and the provincial surveys.

"It would be a big improvement for a user to see provincial and territorial data holdings when they look at our data and vice-versa."

But for now, Miles is content to play his part in fulfilling the policy set out by Natural Resource Canada's Earth Science Sector "to make access to, and delivery of, as many of its knowledge assets as possible free of charge or at a minimal cost". The Geosoft DAP technology is helping him do that.

Geoscientists can access Natural Resource Canada's Geoscience Data Repository at