Helicopter surveying for company, but no one knows who
- Buchans (Newfoundland, Canada) residents have been witnessing strange flying objects over their town this past month.
Last week, helicopters were seen hovering over the town, with objects suspended below – one horizontal in shape, the other a circle.
One might think it had something to do with mineral exploration, and they would be right.
But which company? Buchans Mayor Derm Corbett, who is regularly updated on mining activities in the region, said he had no idea who the mystery company or companies could be.
“The only company that I know that was doing geophysics in the Buchans area is the Buchans Minerals Corporation,” he said. “That’s the only group I’m aware of.”
But Paul Moore, the vice-president of exploration for Buchans Minerals, said it wasn’t his company, or SG Spirit Gold, the firm that it is engaging with.
He said people with Buchans Minerals have seen a surveying helicopter, but he did not know what company it was.
Another exploration firm, Messina Minerals, is active in the central region 48 kilometres southwest of Teck’s Duck Pond mine. Results the company announced on March 13, from its Main Zone project featured an estimate which includes indicated resources of 70 million pounds of zinc, 14 million pounds of lead, 8.7 million pounds of copper, 640,000 ounces silver and 7,500 ounces gold.
“I don’t know who the company could be in Buchans,” said Messina President Peter Tallman. “Messina isn’t doing geophysics.”
Anyone familiar with geophysical surveying would guess that the objects were used for collecting data, and they would be right. They are magnetic gradiometers for taking readings where the presence of specific elements can be identified.
According to the website of Fugro Airborne Surveys, which carries out the process for a variety of mining and exploration companies, an element such as gold, which despite being highly conductive (in relation to electricity), vein type gold does not occur in sufficient concentration to be detected directly with airborne geophysics. However, the effects of the geological processes which result in gold deposition are often detectable.
Geotech Ltd of Aurora, Ontario is currently carrying out a geophysical survey over the Buchans area, said Buchans correspondent for the Advertiser, Pauline Dean.
“The magnetic gradiometer which hangs from the helicopter is approximately 1,000 lb and the largest part measures 26 metres in diameter and can take readings to a depth of 700 meters,” she said.
However, the person she spoke to from Geotech would not identify their client. Stacey said that was the same thing with the Fugro employees, who would not say the name of the company that contracted them to conduct the survey in Buchans.
Peter Tallman, the Messina president, speculated that a company may be interested in a property, but isn’t allowed to start work until the Exchange (whatever stock market they are listed on) regulation services grants regulatory approval.