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Earth Explorer is an online source of news, expertise and applied knowledge for resource explorers and earth scientists.
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March 12, 2013
On Tuesday March 26, 2013 the TGDG will host a selection of speakers for a mini-symposium at Hart House on ‘Laterites or Laterwrongs: Making the Pieces Fit’. Speakers include Ravi Anand (CSIRO), Peter Winterbourne (Vale), and Ron Schonewille (Xstrata)...
March 11, 2013
Hailing from industry, government and academia, high profile Australian and internationally-based researchers will join the CET fortnightly to share their experience on a wide variety of geoscience topics.These seminars are FREE and all interested Geologists are welcome to attend...
February 25, 2013Is regulation robbing exploration properties of their worth?
You can’t get chickens if you don’t allow the eggs to develop. Joe Hinzer, president of geological consulting firm Watts, Griffiths and McOuat (WGM), uses this analogy to illustrate how many early-stage exploration projects are being stifled by current mineral valuation regulations before they have a shot at becoming mines...
February 04, 2013
It has been a busy 24 hours as the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) kicked off its Mineral Exploration Roundup 2013...
January 29, 2013Where do I meet the geologists of Africa?
Africa is more than 20 per cent of the world’s land area, is home to 15 per cent of human population but still earns its label as the Dark Continent through generating only 2 per cent of the world’s electricity. Where can you find the geologists exploring this sleeping giant with its inevitable future in the resources sector?
January 28, 2013
As exploration programs focus on remote and concealed targets, the ability to recognize large ore-forming systems – from the most distal margins to high-grade cores – becomes increasingly important. Efforts are therefore under way to generate sophisticated “footprint” or “signature” models of high-value deposits.
December 2, 2012
The December 4th Greenland Day, taking place in Perth, will feature industry and geoscience experts from across the globe, discussing Greenland’s burgeoning exploration opportunities and recent research advances...
November 1, 2012
Some of the sector's leading minds will be looking into their crystal balls on November 8th, trying to summon a picture of what the future might hold for exploration and mining in Canada...
September 11, 2012
Brazilian state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, said Tuesday that it had started oil production at the Baleia Azul presalt field in the offshore Campos Basin...
September 11, 2012
Barrick Gold CEO Jamie Sokalsky speaks with Carl Quintanilla on CNBC about Barrick's strategy to drive shareholder value...
September 10, 2012
The tie between energy supply, population, and the economy goes back to the hunter-gatherer period...
July 12, 2012
A massive two thirds of Western Australia remains unexplored for minerals and geologists say the territory presents huge potential...
July 12, 2012
Shale and other unconventional resources are being called the biggest game changer in a generation - and as land and other costs escalate, the industry continues to apply lessons gleaned from the early successes...
July 11, 2012
In this exclusive interview with Professor David Thiel, Director at the Centre for Wireless Monitoring and Applications at Griffith University, he discusses how electromagnetic geophysics can help those who are conducting a feasibility study and opens up on the real cost benefits of this technology...
July 11, 2012
Improved security has started to open up new areas for mineral exploration in Latin America....
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.”