Maximizing value: 3D data integration and interpretation

One of the main challenges in exploration is increasing our subsurface knowledge. Add to this the desire to reduce exploration risks and maximize success of discovering new resources. Nowadays scientists work with a wide range of raw and processed data, geological interpretations, and concepts. New technologies for 3D data integration and interpretation are essential, but the approach is not simple. In some instances, you have mountains of historical data that need to be brought in a real 3D interpretation environment, while in others, you have very little geological data making geophysical modelling essential to test geological  hypothesis. Increasing knowledge demands effort and resources.

Two years ago, Mira Geoscience started working with Ero Copper Corp on the Curaçá Valley project by providing an integrated approach supported by geological understanding. From observation to computation, we helped in the creation and delivery of meaningful, client-driven integrated 3D models that served as the basis for decision making and discoveries.

Case study: Curaçá Valley copper mine/project area, Brazil

The Curaçá Valley project is a great example of adapting an exploration approach to the different types of data available. It all started with data management. We compiled historical geological, geophysical and geochemical data in GOCAD Mining Suite. This was followed by a thorough QA/QC of the geoscientific database. Finally, 2D surface data were brought into a 3D modelling environment, allowing the creation of 3D models.

Caraíba (Pilar mine) area is a near mine exploration project rich in data. New findings at depth called for a re-evaluation of the historical synform model. The deposit is now considered related to a steeply-dipping intrusion. Using structural field interpolations, in GOCAD Mining Suite – Sparse, a new model of the foliation families was created using historical structural data. The predictive model pointed to a high mineral potential zone near the contact between two foliation planes. This model was confirmed by the finding of a new mineralization intercept almost 500 m below the mine infrastructure.

Caption: Caraíba - new mineralization intercept almost 500 m below the mine infrastructure.
©2018 Ero Copper Corp. All rights reserved

Due to the lack of geological data at depth in the Vermelhos project area, we applied the classical data-driven approach of Weights-of-Evidence using 3D properties (mostly geophysics) as predictors in GOCAD Mining Suite – Targeting Workflow. The near surface main mineralized area was used as training data in order to find similar signatures elsewhere in the volume of interest. The predictive model indicated mineralization 200 m below the main mineralized area. In parallel to this, an ongoing review of historical electromagnetic (EM) surveys determined that the mineralization produced moderate, but appreciable conductive responses. A systematic Borehole EM program and interpretation of this data through plate modelling pointed to satellite mineralization. Both the predictive and BHEM targets were confirmed by drilling.

Caption: Caption: Vermelhos – new satellite mineralization.
©2018 Ero Copper Corp. All rights reserved

The success we had in broadening our knowledge made us confident in using similar workflows, processes and techniques at depth and larger scale throughout the Curaçá Valley. With modelling results indicating that a Vermelhos-type mineralization could be detected at roughly 200m depth, a state-of-the-art airborne EM program was designed as the next phase of exploration.

Scott Napier, P.Geo – Senior Geophysicist with Mira Geoscience

Scott leads this project with James Reid, Glenn Pears, Thomas Campagne, Pablo Letelier, and Jean-Philippe Paiement. Scott brings general expertise in geophysical inversion, along with extensive borehole, ground, marine, and airborne EM interpretation and processing experience. He has worked in Canada and internationally on oil and gas, uranium, and base metal exploration teams, with a track record of proven discovery.

Latest news

Software tips
December, 14 2020

Tagging query results

In Geoscience INTEGRATOR, this allows you to rapidly access that subset of objects. Instead of having to search and select multiple filters every time...
Read more
Software releases
October, 31 2018

GOCAD Mining Suite release

Version 17 update2 will definitely improve your modelling experience. The focus is on user experience and stability....
Read more
Software tips
February, 03 2020

Using search filters

In GOCAD Mining Suite, use filters to find objects efficiently.
Read more
Geoscience ANALYST
November, 03 2020

Clustering data stored on geoh5 objects

Past event. View here or on our YouTube channel...
Read more
Geoscience ANALYST
December, 01 2021

EM101: Tips and tricks for EM data in Geoscience ANALYST

In 20 minutes, James Reid show's you EM101 using Geoscience ANALYST Pro, a low-cost...
Read more
Geoscience ANALYST
January, 21 2020

UBC-GIF or VP Suite inversion?

"The programs are complementary, and the combination gives one the ultimate flexibility in potential-field inversion,” says Kristofer Davis, Scientific Programmer at Mira Geoscience.
Read more
Software tips
December, 09 2019

Simple unconstrained inversion

Computing an unconstrained inversion in Geoscience ANALYST Pro – it’s never been as easy!
Read more
Conference
July, 12 2022

AIG Symposium: Structural Geology and Resources 2022

We are proud sponsors of SGR22 symposium and Gem Midgley will be presenting. From October 18...
Read more
Software tips
January, 20 2020

Adding reference images

You can add reference images to mine fusion models and hazard reports in Geoscience INTEGRATOR to better orient yourself visually.
Read more
Geoscience ANALYST
April, 22 2020

Constrained inversion using GRAV3D

Past event, view here or via our YouTube channel...
Read more
Software tips
November, 18 2019

Uploading multiple files

In Geoscience INTEGRATOR, you can upload multiple files in one simple step...
Read more
Geoscience ANALYST
August, 28 2019

New geophysical tools in Geoscience ANALYST

Coming up later in 2019 is the launch of new geophysical tools. It includes a new interface for the industry-standard UBC-GIF forward modelling...
Read more

Please contact our team for additional information about our products and services