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Ground based geophysics

More and more, geophysics is becoming an important exploration tool as companies turn their efforts towards hidden and buried deposits. However, it is vital to know the limitations of both the techniques and data when designing, implementing and interpreting the results of a geophysical program. One aspect of this fact was highlighted in a recent SRK ES project involving induced polarisation (IP) and time-domain electromagnetic (TEM) surveys in Oman, in search of copper-gold mineralisation for Gentor Resources.

Following a site visit to audit drilling protocols and logging procedures, SRK ES was commissioned to conduct followup ground geophysics over a pre-defined airborne electromagnetic anomaly in the Oman Mountains, west of Sohar. While a gravity survey to assist in the exploration was initially requested, having seen the very rugged terrain in the prospect areas firsthand, SRK ES considered this impractical. It would require a highly accurate digital elevation model to correct the data. That work exceeded the needs of the project at its current stage and would add limited geological value, given the time it would take to complete.

As an alternative, SRK ES conducted an IP and TEM survey over a three-week period, which involved very challenging fieldwork in rough terrain. The process of data collection had to be adapted to the ground conditions, as they proved problematic when trying to obtain good electrical contacts for the IP survey. The TEM survey progressed rapidly, producing results that improved the definition of the conductive anomaly and coincided well with mineralised intersections in previous diamond core drill holes. Due to the speed at which SRK ES completed these survey lines, two further prospect areas were covered with TEM surveys.

The results left Gentor with a number of promising targets to follow up with further studies and scout drilling. In contracting SRK ES, Gentor gained robust geophysical results in a timely manner, despite the obstacles presented by steep scree slopes and exposed environments.

Dan Marsh:

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