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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...

Cutting Edge Prospects

Miranda Gold uses the third dimension to generate quality prospects and attract partner interest

By Virginia Heffernan

For an exploration company whose business model depends on using data to entice potential joint venture partners, choosing appropriate software to process and display that information in a meaningful way is crucial to success.

“We take a project with no data or very little data and bring it up to joint venture status,” says Brian Cellura, generative manager for B.C.-based Miranda Gold Corp. “The software is the critical link between the data collection and the GIS environment because it allows us to move the data into a 3-D model that is ultimately what you want to present to partners.”

Cellura and his team use Geosoft’s Target for ArcGIS to combine different types of data with historical drill logs to arrive at a visual display that can point to new drill targets on Miranda’s gold projects in Nevada, Alaska and now Colombia. The data is presented in a 3-D format to potential partners willing to spend the money required to take the project to the next level of exploration.

For instance, by using Target to produce a 3-D rendering of drill hole data from the company’s Redlich project in Esmeralda County, Nevada, Miranda’s geologists were able to confirm that the previous project operator had missed the main gold zone because they were drilling in the wrong direction.

Although Miranda has yet to announce a major discovery, the junior has been successful in farming out properties without diluting its share structure or treasury. Currently, the junior has 15 projects on the go and about $10 million in the bank with the goal of generating 1-2 new projects in Nevada every year.

Cellura is methodical in his approach to project generation. The first step is to evaluate land status to determine what ground is open, or coming open, for staking. He then combines ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) data with Digital Elevation Models (DEM) to identify any major structures or alternation associated with gold.
If the area looks intriguing, the next step is to find as much historical data as possible and plug it into the database. “One of the nice things about working in the United Sates is that in almost every area, someone has done something at some point,” says Cellura.

At this point, regional stream sampling can help identify the large arsenic plumes that are often associated with gold deposits in Nevada, and hyperspectral remote sensing surveys provide more detailed information about alteration minerals.

On the ground, Miranda has developed a portable system that can measure the mercury gas associated with some Nevada gold deposits. One metre deep holes drilled by auger are capped and allowed to collect mercury gas for about thirty minutes. Miranda then tests the holes for gas concentrations using a handheld mercury spectrometer that is hooked up to a computer on the back of an ATV. Being able to integrate field data into the office database almost instantaneously is an important component of Miranda’s business model.

“All of our geologists run ArcPad on handheld Trimble/Archer units,” says Cellura. “At the end of the day, they have a series of data and reference points that can be incorporated into a GIS environment so they have a base geologic, structural and alteration map right from the time they get back to the office. The assays then get dumped into the database so that everything is viewable in the GIS environment. We try to automate this as much as possible.”

In Nevada, Cellura says he is aiming to integrate public databases of groundwater geochemistry with Miranda’s own stream sediment assays, then combine these geochemical results with the ASTER and DEM data to come up with profiles of areas where the pediment may be covering undiscovered gold deposits.

In Colombia and Alaska, where ASTER is not as effective due to thick cover of vegetation, he is looking into using botany studies in conjunction with ASTER to determine vegetation types that may point to specific alteration.
“One of the things that Miranda tries to do is stay on the cutting edge of technology,” says Cellura.“There are new technologies that we are still learning about and trying to fit in with what we are doing right now.”