A progress report on year one of Metal Earth – by Colleen Kleven (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – February 21, 2018)


A large seismic reflection survey, part of Metal Earth’s year one research, is now complete, and already this massive, geoscience initiative has started to shake things up.

Led by Laurentian University’s Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC), an internationally recognized industry-funded hub for exploration science and education within the Harquail School of Earth Sciences (HSES), Metal Earth is a $104 million, seven-year applied R&D program supported by a $49.2 million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund – the largest geoscience grant in Canada’s history.

This collaborative research initiative has 25 Canadian and international partners from academia, government and industry focused on revolutionizing global understanding of the geological processes responsible for base and precious metal endowment.

At a time when mineral exploration discovery costs are increasing while the quality of discoveries is decreasing, this information is crucial for development of better targeting tools and the discovery of new mines world-wide.

Seismic reflection data collection and integration phase

Year one included transect-scale data collection with seismic reflection surveys in the Abitibi and Wabigoon greenstone belts, and work in the Cobalt and Sudbury areas.

SAExploration, a seismic contractor in collaboration with MERC faculty, completed seismic lines over 14 different transects ranging from 40 kilometres to 140 kilometres in length, for a total of 1,069 line kilometres. In June 2017, teams of student researchers, supervised by MERC and HSES faculty researchers, conducted initial geologic field work along five Abitibi transects in Quebec and Ontario.

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