Archive for category Airborne

Kazakhstan – “The big mineral deposits will come from juniors”

Posted by on Monday, 6 June, 2016

by Elena Tumashova, 02.06.2016

Mining corporations who is ready to invest in Kazakhstan do not see enough prepared reserves here. The author believes that new discoveries can be done only with help of junior sector. Timur Toktabaev, the Director of Subsoil Use Department of the Ministry for Investments and Development, says that investments are needed on all stages of the exploration and mining processes.

Junior capital market on the Toronto Stock Exchange is $ 58 billion (market capitalization). These are different juniors, and large players are choosing projects for further investments among them. Kazakhstan doesn’t have many to choose from, although the potential is enormous. The speaker cited the example of the experience of the National Geological Exploration Company “Kazgeology” and Canadian airborne geophysical company Geotech Ltd : their joint venture LLP KazGeotech has discovered several mineral deposits yet. “But, no one believed in it, saying that there was nothing left,” – says the expert.

With the adoption of the new Mining Act in 2017 it is going to be almost all the 8 types of licenses in Kazakhstan, which operate in Australia. “The processing time of the license will take only 3 days. If you pay for 2 square kilometers around $ 115 you have to invest in it almost $6500 as a minimum work program. This kind of exploration is expected in Kazakhstan. Any individual can do it. A geologist who was working in Soviet times, will takea license and will attract attention, but now he does not have rights, he cannot get through”- as Timur Toktabaev describes the situation.

Read more (in Russian)..

“USGS Goes Airborne to Define What Minerals Lie Beneath the Upper Midwest”

Posted by on Monday, 4 April, 2016

by Heidi  Koontz 1-click interview

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

“Beginning in early April and continuing for approximately two weeks, the U.S. Geological Survey will conduct an aerial survey designed to scan the upper part of the earth’s crust.

As part of this survey, a helicopter will be flying low to the ground towing equipment shaped like a giant hula-hoop beneath it. The flight region includes parts of upper Michigan, northern Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota. The survey, carried out under contract by Geotech Ltd., will fly along a series of widely spaced parallel profiles spanning over 1500 miles.

The survey will determine how well different rocks conduct electricity and ultimately help refine geologic maps of an area with significant mineral potential.

The survey is targeting a suite of rocks deposited 1.8 billion years ago in a deep-water marine environment when the region lay at the edge of a vast ocean. These rocks are a potential source of sulfur for many types of mineral deposits found throughout the region and have been mapped only at the surface throughout the survey area.

“The high electrical conductivity of these particular rocks makes them an ideal target for airborne electromagnetic studies,” said USGS scientist Paul Bedrosian, the study’s lead investigator. “This survey will enable us to map the geometry of these rocks deep into the subsurface.”

Read more

“Refreshing geophysics” by Grigoriy Bedenko

Posted by on Tuesday, 23 February, 2016

Grigoriy Bedenko (Kazakhstan), a journalist, photographer and aviation fun has published a picture story about KazGeotech’s surveys in Kazakhstan.

The created JV between Kazgeology and Canadian Geotech Ltd. takes advantage of modern and unique airborne geophysical technologies for mineral exploration and geological investigations in Kazakhstan.
































Mining Indaba – Where the World Connects with African Mining™

Posted by on Wednesday, 17 February, 2016

indabaIt is currently the world’s largest mining investment event and Africa’s largest mining event.

From February 8-11th all the mining, exploration elite attended in Cape Town South Africa in African Mining Indaba Conference and Exhibition.

One of the most advanced airborne geophysics companies, Geotech Ltd., actively operating in Africa, showcased the vast mineral wealth that remains undiscovered in Africa, which are identified from Geotech’s regional airborne geophysical surveys flown for governments throughout Africa, including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Namibia, Niger and Tanzania (the poster).











Geotech’s High Resolution Fixed-Wing Magnetic and Radiometric Survey results, obtained during the World Bank funded survey in Cameroon for the Mining Sector Capacity Building Project (PRECASEM), was also presented by the Republic of Cameroon, MINISTRY OF MINES, INDUSTRY AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT.



New airborne electromagnetic data interpretation record release in Australia

Posted by on Monday, 8 February, 2016

“The Southern Thomson Orogen VTEMplus® AEM Survey: Using airborne electromagnetics as an UNCOVER application, Geoscience Australia Record 2015/29 discusses the acquisition, processing and interpretation of data from the Southern Thomson Orogen VTEMplus® AEM Survey and highlights the use of regional AEM surveying for geological and depth to basement mapping in this greenfields area. Data acquisition, processing and interpretation methods are presented, followed by a series of case studies demonstrating the effectiveness of the technique for identifying and mapping depth to resistive basement, for characterizing cover sequences, for mapping weathering products and for mapping post-depositional structures.”


See more…

The newly-released airborne magnetic survey results in BC

Posted by on Saturday, 30 January, 2016

The Northern MinerRead the article about the newly-released airborne magnetic survey results. The survey is considered the largest ever done by Geoscience BC.

Geoscience BC revealed the survey results at a press conference Jan. 26 at the Mineral Exploration Roundup convention in Vancouver.

by Lesley Stokes:

Roundup 2016: Geoscience BC’s much-needed new survey results for explorers in BC

SEG Best Paper award in M&G, New Orleans, 2015

Posted by on Wednesday, 6 January, 2016


The paper from Geotech Ltd. has been awarded as the Best Paper in the Mining and Geothermal sessions at the 2015 SEG annual meeting in New Orleans: “Airborne Inductively Induced Polarization effects in and their removal from the VTEM data from Mirny, Russia”.

As the Committee Chair says: “Out of all the papers presented, it was voted as highest ranking by the session participants”.

The paper is about airborne inductively induced polarization (AIIPTM) effects, which is expressed in the form of numerous negative transients, and observed in the VTEM helicopter time-domain EM (TDEM) data from Mirny, Russia. VTEM data reflect mainly two physical phenomena in the earth: i) electromagnetic induction and ii) airborne inductively induced polarization (AIIP) related to the relaxation of polarized charges in the ground. Typical AIIP effects in the VTEM data from Mirny corrupt only the early to mid-time channels, from 55 microsec to 400 microsec. Moreover, the earliest few time channels, from 18 microsec to 48 microsec, are not affected by AIIP, because the IP effect takes a finite time to build up. Cole-Cole analysis of the AIIP affected VTEM data showed that the frequency factor and the time constant are close to 0.8 and 0.0001s, respectively. Since the earliest time channel data are not affected by AIIP, the resistivity of the shallow ground can still be precisely determined. As a result, the purely inductive VTEM decay can be accurately modelled and used to remove the AIIP effect from later time-channels.


Read More:

Airborne geophysics in Kazakhstan

Posted by on Tuesday, 4 August, 2015

gbr-logo“Global Business Reports” (GBR), who provides information about all aspects of the hydrocarbon, Pharmaceuticals, Chemical, Energy, Minerals, Mining and the Metallurgical industries around the world, has published an interview with the director of an airborne geophysics Kazakhstan-Canada joint venture as part of GBR research on the mining industry in Kazakhstan, which will be published in Engineering and Mining Journal in September 2015.

10 questions and 10 comprehensive answers about KazGeotech, its achievements and plans.


KazGeotech survey for Rio Tinto (rus):

Pioneer completes its first Commercial Multicopter UAV-MAG™ Survey

Posted by on Saturday, 11 July, 2015

by Michael Burns, President, Pioneer Exploration Consultants Ltd. on July,11, 2015

Pioneer Exploration Consultants Ltd. is a Canadian based geological consulting company that is quickly emerging as a leader in mining and exploration related UAV-based survey technology. Starting in 2014, they designed and built in-house a multicopter UAV-MAG™ survey system, and flew the first ever 590 line km multicopter-based survey.











Rather than waiting for a turn-key UAV based magnetometer system to hit the market, Pioneer came up with the idea of designing and building their own…

“Starting in the summer of 2014, we combined a proven UAV platform with a potassium vapor GSMP-35A magnetometer, resulting in a system with excellent performance specifications and survey capabilities. The UAV is a multicopter flight platform, chosen based on its payload capacity and flight time of about 30 min. The GSMP-35A potassium vapor sensor package is a proven airborne magnetometer with 0.0001 nT resolution, 0.3 pT sensitivity and 10 Hz sampling. The sensor package includes an ultra-light weight laser altimeter, GPS, and an IMU (inertial measurement unit) to record the sensor’s velocity, orientation and XYZ movement. The result was our UAV-MAG™ system which can fly up to 70 line km per day at an all in cost to the client of less than $100 per line km. Mobilization costs are the same as getting a person on site with 100 pounds of gear, due to the light weight and compact size of the UAV-MAG™, so rather than being a major cost addition to the survey, it’s becomes an insignificant expense.

To our knowledge, our survey costs are at least $40.00/ line km lower than anyone else on the market. This becomes a significant advantage for our clients, letting them put more resources into ground, and that’s huge for them.








Example of first vertical derivative results from two sample surveys, line spacing 50m, height 45m.

Our initial design focused on achieving three main goals:

1) To reduce magnetic interference of the flight platform in order to collect high quality magnetic data.

2) Create a system that is both reliable and flexible enough to fly a mag survey and collect aerial photos for orthoimagery and digital elevation models in the same day.

3) Create a highly portable system with the ability to fly a survey safely and simply in any terrain and under challenging weather conditions.

We achieved the first goal by employing a “towed bird” sensor configuration. The sensor is slung below the craft by a special designed light weight mount system, allowing sufficient craft-sensor separation and achieving low drag and no noticeable reduction in flight time. The remaining requirements pushed us away from fixed wing platforms and into multicopters for a number of reasons. With the UAV-MAG system, we can launch from the middle of a survey grid in heavily forested, steep terrain and not worry about takeoff and landing. Once in the air, the UAV-MAG™ takes care of the rest by flying the survey autonomously and returning home for landing. We found this invaluable for remote surveys. The small size of the platform, compared to a fixed wing system allows fast flight launching and easy transport. We can carry our fully flight-ready system by hand, ATV or vehicle, and launch within minutes. No complicated launching platforms, or landing fields required. What we have created is a truly versatile survey platform for multiple sensor packages, essentially a Swiss Army knife UAV, and our clients so far have been extremely pleased with the results and reduced survey costs.”

-Michael Burns, President, Pioneer Exploration Consultants Ltd.

For more information about our UAV-MAG™ Surveys, or to request a quote, please contact Michael Burns at:


2015 Astana Mining and Metallurgy Congress

Posted by on Friday, 26 June, 2015

The Astana International Mining and Metallurgy Congress (AMM) (17-18 June) jointed political, business, financial and scientific leaders of the mining and metallurgical industry from many countries. The main goals of the congress was development of partnerships, introduction of technological innovations, attraction of investments and development of the country’s mining act.

The congress was held in the Palace of Independence. The world leader in airborne geophysics Geotech Ltd. together with the JV KazGeotech participated in the exhibition, in the “GEOLOGY SESSION” and in the bilateral business-meeting with Albert Rau, Vice Minister, Ministry of Investment and Development (Republic of Kazakhstan) presenting Geotech airborne geophysical technologies and Geotech-KazGeotech potential for geological exploration of Kazakhstan and the Middle Asia region.

Douglas Pitcher, Managing Partner and VP, Geotech with Gary Hodgkinson, General Manager Exploration, Rio Tinto - Central Asia

Douglas Pitcher, Managing Partner and VP, Geotech with Gary Hodgkinson, General Manager Exploration, Rio Tinto – Central Asia












Bazarbay Nurabayev - The chairman of Commitee of geology and subsoil use is reporting about strategic partners in the mineral exploration sector

Bazarbay Nurabayev – The chairman of Commitee of geology and subsoil use is reporting about strategic partners in the mineral exploration sector














Galym Nurjanov, Head of JSC “NATIONAL COMPANY KAZGEOLOGIA” - about  strategic directions of the company development

Galym Nurjanov, Head of JSC “NATIONAL COMPANY KAZGEOLOGIA” – about strategic directions of the company development














Douglas Pitcher, Managing Partner and VP, Geotech  - presenting Geotech airborne geophysics technologies and accelerating discoveries using Airborne Geophysics.

Douglas Pitcher, Managing Partner and VP, Geotech – presenting Geotech airborne geophysics technologies and accelerating discoveries using Airborne Geophysics.
















D Pitcher-Geotech_AMM Kazakhsatan 2015-eng-rus


Other posts “Geotech in Kazakhstan”…


Photo: A.Prikhodko

Newly discovered historical gravity data pushes exploration activity

Posted by on Thursday, 28 May, 2015

The Aston Bay‘s Storm Project in Nunavut is focused on exploring high-grade sedimentary hosted copper mineralization.

The company recently has undertaken a review of the project data to gain further insight into the untested anomalies identified in the 2011 Versatile Time Domain Electromagnetic (VTEM) survey conducted by Geotech Ltd.

The results of the survey confirmed that the mineralized zones of the Storm deposit can be accurately mapped and modeled with electromagnetic techniques and the data suggests there remain portions of multiple zones that have not been adequately drill-tested along strike and beneath existing known mineralization.

One of the drill-ready VTEM anomalies is oval in shape and called SE anomaly with approximate dimensions of 4.0km x 1.5km. The anomaly is coincident with elevated levels of copper in the rocks and soils at surface and located along the structural system that hosts mineralization identified in previous drilling.

In 2013 Aston Bay acquired the ground gravity survey data collected in 1999 by Quantec IP Incorporated.  APEX Geoscience Ltd. confirmed the quality and veracity of the data and analysis of the data shows a coincident gravity high over the southern third of the SE Anomaly (see picture below).














SE Anomaly Comparison (VTEM vs Gravity) – Coincident Anomalies Suggestive of Large Prospective Target

“The combination of geochem data, gravity data, electromagnetic data and historic drilling encountering high-grade copper sulphides, reinforces the potential for a large sedimentary-hosted copper target at the Storm Project. The discovery of a compelling gravity anomaly also underscores the value of our on-going investigation and evaluation of the extensive historical database that the Company acquired from Teck. This also makes a stronger case for a larger gravity survey on the property to identify other potential targets within this basin scale system”, commented Benjamin Cox, President and CEO of Aston Bay.

Read in detail..

GEOMODEL – online time-domain EM data inversion

Posted by on Tuesday, 19 May, 2015

Significant improvements have been made since the last presentation of the webapp on ExplorationGeophysics.Info pages. Now the shareware TDEM data inversion web application ( has easy and comfy Eng-Rus interface, the input supports six different file formats (airborne and ground systems), sounding stations position can be represented on the scalable Google Map, data is showed in a sheet, TEM off-time decay chart and calculated apparent resistivity with time or depth.


















The software can be used with data from WalkTEM, TerraTEM, ProTEM, Geotech airborne VTEM, TEM-FAST 48HPC, Tsikl and other TEM systems. A user can suggest any new data format and provide GEOMODEL developers with corresponded information.

The inversion process is interactive (forward modeling with thickness and/or resistivity changing) or iterative (automatic iterations to get correspondence between calculated and measured decay curve).

The inversion is based on 1D algorithm with support of CSIRO Division of Exploration and Mining and Australian Mineral Institute Research Association (AMIRA), P223F project.


















The next procedures can be done with TDEM Geomodel webapp:

-Import-export TEM data and inversions from a large number of industrial formats, including USF;

-Viewing and analysis of transient field decay curves;

-Editing individual decays or tens of decays together in a fast and easy way;

-Runing 1D inversion and compiling resistivity sections;

-Saving results in ASCII format for further processing and presentation in third-party software (Surfer, Autocad, Geosoft Oasis Montaj, etc.).

-Saving inversion results as resistivity sections and maps in different image file formats.

The next example shows  Geotech airborne VTEM  data inversion (Alberta, Canada):


The development team welcomes user’s comments and suggestions.

The next UAV magnetic system

Posted by on Wednesday, 29 April, 2015

Abitibi Geophysics together with GEM Systems announced about creation of  the partnership AeroVision™ for using UAV magnetic system which explores two potassium sensors. The system is going to be available since June, 1.  Sampling interval is promised 2 meters and resolution of .0001 nT, absolute accuracy  +- 0.05 nT. Laser-altimeter, GPS and auto-pilot are included.

The UAV mag surveys cost is going to be over 50% of the present ground geophysics pricing.

IP or not IP? (notes about IP in transient EM)

Posted by on Tuesday, 28 April, 2015

by Alexander Prikhodko

During the last few years the topic about IP effect (induced polarization) in the EM (electromagnetic) transient method (mostly in airborne time-domain) has been actively raised by many authors through geophysical magazines, conferences and meetings.

Here we will look into the topic without formulas and deep theory for a better understanding of the IP effect by general users of electro-prospecting  methods.

The nature of the IP phenomenon is universal regardless of an electric field source inducing (causing) the phenomenon or a measurement way of the appearance. First of all, the IP theory is out of Maxwell equations solutions because the process is accompanied by mass transfer and connected with EM field transformations. In contrast to IP theory Maxwell’s equations deal with electromagnetic induction which the time-domain (transient) method is built from.

In the case of IP the term “induced” means “caused” and does not relate to the concept of EM induction.

The concept of Induced Polarization (a substance ability to separate opposite charges) incorporates different phenomenons but related processes that occur:

1) in heterogeneous fluids or in pores filled with fluids;

2) due to electrochemical processes.

These two phenomenons – electrokinetic (1) and electrochemical (2), is a key to understanding how IP is used in applied geophysics.

Electrokinetic processes occur on contacts between ionic conductive fluids and a solid phase.

Electrochemical processes occur on contacts, or surfaces, between phases with electronic (metallic) and ionic (non-metallic) conduction. This is fundamental when IP method used when exploring for sulfide mineralization, especially if the sulfides are disseminated as the IP effect will be stronger than for massive sulfides of the same volume because its surface area is less.

Historically electrochemical nature of IP phenomenon first investigated and used in geophysics by Conrad Schlumberger (published in 1920). Later, during further electronic industry development and equipment sensitivity and bandwidth increasing, IP effect began to be observed all over the geologic environment due to the possibility of measurement of rapid and comparatively weak IP signal of the electrokinetic nature.

Generally, the IP effect of both natures potentially may affect data obtained with any electro-prospecting method including inductive time-domain method, regardless that the strongest IP effect occurs in the geologic environment at galvanic (grounded) way of the current inducing and the voltage measuring.

So, the IP component in transient or time-domain data is a parasitic effect which is not under Maxwell’s EM theory. (By the way, in the widely employed original DC-IP method, the inductive component is considered as a source of noise.) There are some technical requirements to sensitivity, bandwidth and geometry of a time-domain system to get better the parasitic signal superimposed on the inductive, native to the method, component.

Fortunately the IP parasitic signal is opposite to the inductive secondary field component allowing to recognize it and separate out it in some cases from the measured total secondary field. The favorable condition to get IP component from time-domain data and investigate it is rapid decaying inductive secondary field, i.e. resistive environment in general is favorable, but there are cases  when a strong IP component is prominent in presence of long inductive decay.

Unfortunately the existing theories of the electrokinetic and electrochemical natures of the IP phenomenon are on a qualitative basis. It means there is no chance to get petrophysical or/and petrochemical parameters of the geologic environment and to classify the IP sources according to their nature. On practice, empirical approximations are used for the IP process description with limited controlled parameters (in particular, Cole-Cole formula and the corresponded parameters) despite the nature of the phenomenon. To our delight it enables creative and thoughtful geological interpretation of the IP data if we get it correctly.

Foreign investments in mineral exploration in Kazakhstan

Posted by on Monday, 27 April, 2015

Galym Nurjanov (a head of JSC “National exploration company “Kazgeology”) has held a press conference at RSU “Central Communications Service for the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan” and reported about success in investments attraction in the mineral exploration sector of Kazakhstan economy.

Over the past two years the four major foreign investors came to Kazakhstan – the Australian-British concern “Rio Tinto”, a South Korean corporation “KORES”, the Australian company “Iluka Resources” and the German investment fund “ULMUS FUND”. These companies are willing to invest into the mineral exploration sector over $ 5.5 billion tenge.  Airborne geophysical surveys are going to be started soon in connection with Rio Tinto and Iluka Resources projects. The advanced airborne geophysical technologies including VTEM and ZTEM which are used right now in Kazakhstan, have been brought by Canadian company Geotech Ltd.

Factors of Modern Discoveries

Posted by on Wednesday, 8 April, 2015


E&MJ News

Mineral Exploration Strategies

E&MJ News published an article by Steve Fiscor where some factors of new mineral deposits discoveries have been outlined – these factors include applying modern geophysical technologies. The author provides some examples – airborne EM (VTEM, ZTEM), airborne gravity gradiometer, and airborne radiometric surveys which played key role in discoveries of mineral deposits.

“All of the discoveries were in the zone of other major discoveries, but most of them had been overlooked for one reason or another. The motivation could only be attributed to a geologically motivated hunch. New technology in the form of deep-penetrating airborne surveys allowed ground-based geophysical surveys to target undiscovered anomalies. Combining the new information with what they knew historically, exploration geologists were able to improve the drilling programs to quickly determine a resource.”

The next discoveries made with airborne geophysical technologies:

Albany Ultra-pure Graphite – VTEM survey

The Balboa Discovery at Cobre Panama – ZTEM survey

Kennady North Kimberlite Discoveries – airborne gravity gradiometer survey

PLS High Grade, High Techand Contrarian – airborne radiometric survey



Novel technologies for greenfield exploration – GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF FINLAND 2015

Posted by on Wednesday, 1 April, 2015

The Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) reports about new mineral exploration and mapping methods which were developed in the project ‘Novel technologies for greenfield exploration’ (NovTecEx) carried out in 2012–2014. The project was a part of the Green Mining Programme funded by Tekes. The research partners of the project were the Geological Survey of Finland and the University of Oulu. The main study areas were in the SavukoskiPelkosenniemi area and in the Lätäseno area in Finnish Lapland.

The methods include a tool for Audiomagnetotelluric (AMT) measurements, GUI developing for 2D MODELLING AND INVERSION SOFTWARE FOR AIRBORNE TIME-DOMAIN EM DATA, and description  THE EQUIVALENT SOURCE METHOD for CALCULATION OF THE DERIVED BOUGUER ANOMALY.

The report pdf