Metal Earth Announces the Successful Completion of the Seismic Survey and the Release of 2017 Summary of Field Work Reports
January 8th, 2018
Sudbury Ontario: The Mineral Exploration Research Center (MERC) is a collaborative center for mineral exploration research and education supported by Industry, government and Laurentian University in Sudbury. In 2016, MERC was awarded $49.3 million by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) to undertake the Metal Earth project. The CRFEF award was supplemented by an additional $55 million of cash and in-kind support from Laurentian University and 22 partners. Metal Earth is a MERC lead collaborative research project focused on metal endowment in the Precambrian shield. The goal of the project is to improve the science of exploration targeting leading to the discovery of new ore bodies. In 2017, MERC contracted a large seismic survey with over 1,000 line km of reflection seismic data collected over 14 different transects. A video of the seismic work is linked below. MERC also kicked off field work for the Metal Earth project and we are pleased to share the first summary field work reports for the project.
The field work was focused almost entirely on geologic mapping along transects. The transects were selected to cover areas with variable metal endowment and to cross large scale geologic features which are related to precious or base metal mineralization. One of the key activities of Metal Earth is to apply a number of geologic and geophysical techniques, such as the seismic surveys, to image transects on a full crustal section; in some cases down to 40 km. The surface geology will be used to constrain the geophysical sections, so at the end of the process, Metal Earth will produce fully interpreted geologic sections.
The geologic field work was focused in four transects, Malartic, Rouyn Noranda, Larder Lake and Swayze with three Research Associates, one PhD student and eight MSc students along with a number of undergraduate field assistants, often gaining their first field experience. After about a month of transect mapping the graduate students focused on specific geologic problems that they identified and which will form the basis for their graduate thesis. Each of the graduate students and research associates have published Summary of Field Work Papers that related to their area of focus. These papers are published by our partners at the Ontario Geologic Survey and at Ministère de l'Énergie et des Ressources naturelles.
General map of the Abitibi showing seismic transects and in purple transects where Metal Earth had field parties mapping during 2017. Our partner, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, had an initial field season at Chibougamau. Additional seismic transects (not shown) were run in northwestern Ontario.
At the Malartic transect, Xiaohui Zhou, a Metal Earth Research Associate, guided two MSc students Brendon Samson and Danielle Shirriff.
Danielle focused her work on the Cubric nickel showing within the southern Manneville fault system.
MSc Student, Danielle Shirriff
Brendon focused his work on gold mineralization within the Timiskaming and Cadillac groups in the Malartic area of theCadillac-Larder Lake deformation zone.
MSc Student, Brendon Samson
Xiaohui focused his work on the stratigraphy and structural setting of gold and nickel deposits in the La Mottee – Malartic areas.
Xiaohui Zhou, a Metal Earth Research Associate
Rouyn Noranda Transect
In Rouyn Noranda, Taus Jorgensen, Metal Earth Research Associate, headed up a team including Marina Schofield a PhD student, Jonathan Sutton and Adrian Rehm both MSc students.
The Rouyn Noranda crew stripping outcrops, Taus Jorgensen is second from left.
Marina is working on the geology and mineral deposits of the Powell block in Rouyn-Noranda.
Marina Schofield, PhD student
Jonathan is starting his MSc on volcanic stratigraphy and metal endowment in the Renault-Dufresnoy and Duprat-Montbray formations.
MSc student, Jonathan Sutton
Adrian has started his MSc and is working on the mode of emplacement of volcanic rocks within the Pontiac Subprovince.
MSc student, Adrian Rehm
Taus has focused his work on structural and stratigraphic relations within the transect area.
Metal Earth Research Associate, Taus Jorgensen
Larder Lake Transect
Further west in Ontario, two MSc students were working on the Larder Lake transect. Nadia St Jean started her MSc on the structural and stratigraphic framework of the Kerr Addison mine.
Nadia and her field partner Leslie Hunt also wrote a summary report on a new exposure of a basal unconformity between the Larder Lake group and the Hearst assemblage in Skead township.
Wall of Green Carbonate at Kerr Addison
Sean Brace is working on his MSc thesis examining the relationship between small alkalic intrusions and gold mineralization associated with the Lincoln Nipissing shear zone in Skead township.
Trenching at the Lafond gold prospect in Skead township
Further west in the Swazye, Rasmus Haugaard (Ras), Metal Earth Research Associate, worked with Tom Gemmell, an OGS geologist, in the Swayze. Colt Meyer, an undergraduate student worked with Ras and completed a paper (which will be the subject of his BSc thesis) on an erosional unconformity, possibly of Timikaming age.
Ras focused his work on the overall lithologic and stratigraphic relationships on the Swayze transect.
Rasmus Haugaard and Marina Schofield
Metal Earth Seismic - MT Surveys
Metal Earth completed about 1,069 line km of reflection seismic surveys along 14 lines. This survey is conducted by SAExploration out of Calgary. The survey started August 4th and was completed on November 27th. The project was completed on time and on budget. The surveys were mainly in the Abitibi (see map) but also in the Wabigoon (NW Ontario), Cobalt and Sudbury. The data are being processed and preliminary sections are targeted to be completed in April 2018 in time for summer field crews to use as part of their mapping dataset.
August 4th 2018, km1 of the Metal Earth Seismic Survey
A short video was produced explaining the seismic survey and how this relates to finding new ore deposits and the next generation of mines. Footage is from a media event in October 2017, when Laurentian University faculty, students, industry partners, media and invited guests visited the seismic survey on the Sudbury transect.
A contract for a large MT survey has been awarded to Complete MT Solutions (CMTS). Their website has links to a number of publications on the theory and application of MT surveys Website. This is a company headed by a number geoscientists with extensive experience in MT data acquisition, processing and modeling. The survey will be along the same lines as the seismic surveys with similar variable resolution. We anticipate the MT survey kicking off in April, pending snow conditions, with completion in fall 2018.
Metal Earth Geophysics Report
In addition to the geologic field work Metal Earth had two geophysical crews out collecting gravity measurements as well as magnetic susceptibility readings and collecting samples for specific gravity. This was headed up by two MSc students Amir Maleki and William Mcniece. These crews, working together, were able to cover the Chibougamau, Malartic and Rouyn Noranda transects. A description of their activities and methodologies is available for download.
Transect Field Trip Guide
From our August field work shop, the Metal Earth team put together a field guide of key outcrops for the transect areas. This is document is available for download from the MERC website.
Download 2017 Field Trip Guides