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Use of drones in acquiring B-field total-field electromagnetic data for mineral exploration

J. P. Smit (), E. H. Stettler (), A. B. W. Price, M. O. Schaefer, M. C. Schodlok and R. Zhang
Additional contact information
J. P. Smit: Vedanta Zinc International
E. H. Stettler: AeroPhysX
A. B. W. Price: Vedanta Zinc International
M. O. Schaefer: Vedanta Zinc International
M. C. Schodlok: BGR
R. Zhang: Geometrics Inc.

Mineral Economics, 2022, vol. 35, issue 3, No 9, 455-465

Abstract: Abstract The mining town of Aggeneys is situated in a world-class polymetallic base metal district. The Black Mountain Mining Complex (BMC), located in the Northern Cape, South Africa, contains six known orebodies with more than 25.5 Mt contained metal in resources and reserves. Currently, three of the six known orebodies are actively mined. The Big Syncline East prospect is situated directly east of the massive Big Syncline mineral resource of > 150 Mt of open pit and underground resources. Big Syncline is one of the six declared resources at BMC. Recent high-power super conducting quantum interference device transient EM identified a large 3500-Siemens conductor at depths greater than 400 m. Initial follow-up drilling confirmed the presence of mineralized sulfides. A follow-up drone-based magnetic survey was flown, primarily to improve on the poor-quality, high-ground clearance magnetic data recorded with a fixed-wing aeromagnetic system, but also to trial a novel hybrid ground and drone total-field transient EM survey over the extreme topography encountered in the area. Results are very encouraging and now pave the way for more routine implementation of hybrid ground-drone total-field transient EM applications, where a large transmitting loop on the surface is surveyed by a relative fast-moving drone-carried fast-sampling total-field magnetometer.

Keywords: Big Syncline East; Drone total-field transient electromagnetics (TFTEM); High-temperature SQUID; Total-field magnetometer; Geometrics MagArrow™ (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s13563-021-00292-1

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