The development of new exploration technologies at Noranda: Seeing more with hyperspectral and deeper with 3-D seismic

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 95, No. 1058, 2002

J.C. Gingerich, M. Peshko, Noranda Inc., Toronto, OntarioL.W. Matthews, Noranda Inc., Calgary, Alberta

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. (ESSI) Probe-1 hyperspectral scanners (128-channel, 0.43 µm to 2.5 µm spectral range) that are capable of mapping in excess of 3500 km2 per day at 10 m pixel resolution. The technology has been successfully deployed on four continents over a broad range of terrain from desert to boreal forest and the high Arctic. To augment the company’s deep search initiatives, Noranda has successfully modified and implemented existing 3-D seismic technology to help targeting massive sulphides located at depths ranging from 500 m to 2000 m. In the fall of 1998 and early 1999, Noranda completed an 18 km2, 3-D seismic program in eastern Canada by successfully drill testing acoustic impedance anomalies locating massive sulphides at depths in excess of 1100 m.
Mots Clés: Exploration, Hyperspectral technology, 3-D seismic technology, Sensing, Surveying.