Multiple total field 3-D DC resistivity mapping

Abstract The development of a DC resistivity instrumentation system for data acquisition in extreme topography yielded an unexpected bonus in the quality and information content of the type of raw data gathered. Not only were traditionally too-rough areas being investigated systematically for the first time, the unique high-density, multi-directional raw data were providing the opportunity to greatly expand the range of conductive and resistive signatures that could be accurately recognized. Using a true 3-D inversion algorithm, 3-D earth resistivity imagery began to show distinctive anomaly patterns for hydrothermal mineralization at the seldom-visited resistive end of the spectrum, successfully imaging epithermal gold systems in conditions that had defied conventional ground and airborne geophysics for years.

The traditional mode of designing a resistivity survey to test a specific target concept was shown to be an unnecessary limitation on exploration thinking when a single sweep acquisition of dense, multi-directional 3-D raw data could effectively provide the all-targets “shotgun” coverage that would take 10 or 12 conventional surveys to duplicate. Exploration planning has the opportunity to move from single steps of trial and error geophysical testing to a mode of mapping everything at the outset, and then sorting out what might be of exploration interest in the results. Survey parameterization becomes the non-technical process of marking an outline on a map and declaring “survey here.” Operational and interpretational reasons for not testing where the exploration interest lies have all but disappeared. With any-terrain capabilities and unprecedented raw data density and overlap to support interpretation of complex conditions, that outline can be drawn through extreme rough terrain, including lakes, cliffs, industrial facilities, and grounded installations to test for generally unknown sub-surface features of potential interest.

As more is learned about the larger-scale signatures of ore settings and the district-scale geo-electric imprint of hydrothermal processes on lithology, it appears that the only thing certain about ore signatures is their uncertainty. This is not bad news. New opportunities abound as the advanced 3-D technology allows a first effective look at the previously unexplorable rough terrain or complicated settings, and a second look at areas where older results may now be known to be non-definitive.
Keywords: Resistivity mapping, Inversion, 3-D, Imaging resources, Resource settings, Exploration, Geophysics.
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Summary: A method is described for determining the viability of hard rock orebody extraction by block caving. Using a very limited amount of geotechnical data, the procedure enhances Laubscher’s empirical stability graph method by using the complex structural modelling system (ChaSM) to assess cavability and block cave tonnages.
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): R.J. Butcher
Keywords: Block caving, Hard rock orebody, Extraction, Tonnage.
Issue: 1058
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: To satisfy their continuing need to replenish or expand their ore reserves, mining companies are faced with the dilemma of arriving at a proper balance between the dual avenues of discovery through in-house exploration and of acquisition of properties that are relatively proven or are even in production. The returns from exploration activities may be spectacular, but are unpredictable. The allure of an acquisition lies in its promise of quick and risk-reduced addition to reserves. However, it...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): H.O. Seigel, J.C. Gingerich, E.O. Köstlin
Keywords: Ore reserves, Exploration, Acquisition.
Issue: 1058
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: Noranda has successfully developed and implemented two leading-edge mineral exploration technologies — hyperspectral remote sensing and 3-D seismic surveying. Airborne hyperspectral imaging provides detailed geological and mineralogical mapping capability at both a regional and project scale that facilitates improved selection of prospective terrain and an accelerated exploration cycle. Noranda, in partnership with Falconbridge, has licensed the exclusive use of the Earth Search Sciences Inc....
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): J.C. Gingerich, L.W. Matthews, M. Peshko
Keywords: Exploration, Hyperspectral technology, 3-D seismic technology, Sensing, Surveying.
Issue: 1058
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: The financial performance of the mining industry, measured by return on equity and capital employed, has been inadequate for many years. Consequently, mining companies are not valued highly by stock markets. Among the more important causes for the decline in the sector are the conservative working practices and reluctance to adapt to change or to develop new technology, although some relatively recent developments such as SX-EW copper and heap leach gold have made a significant impact on the...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): R. Horn
Keywords: Mining, Geology, Exploration, Orebodies, Junior companies, Financial performance.
Issue: 1058
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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