Innovation in Exploration

Innovation in Exploration

IGO invests in exploration research and development (R&D) programs across three key areas:

  • Seismic interpretation and drill core analysis
  • Electromagnetic (EM) geophysical technologies; and
  • Resistate indicator minerals for exploration.

R&D is conducted internally and externally through collaborations with private sector SME’s, universities, CSIRO, AMIRA and MRIWA programs.

In recent years, key work programs have included:

Hyperspectral Imaging, in conjunction with scanning provider, Terracore, to scan drill core from the Nova-Bollinger deposit and several prospects on the mining lease in both Short Wave Infrared and Long Wave Infrared. Hyperspectral logging is new to the nickel exploration space and has allowed IGO geologists to map out critical processes that led to the formation of the Nova-Bollinger Ni-Cu-Co sulphide deposit. This ability to image critical processes in forming Ni-Cu ore deposits is being applied to other IGO prospects, so that informed decisions can be made about exploration targets at an earlier stage, resulting in fewer drill holes needed to test targets.

EM Transmitters

Designing the next generation of EM transmitters, harnessing ultra-low noise EM receivers using cryogenically cooled superconductors, affectionately known as a SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device). These new EM transmitters will help us more efficiently conduct geological surveys, without compromising the depth to which the survey is effective.

IGO has sponsored two geophysical Honours projects at Curtin University, which has included the trial of a new portable EM system (Loupe) that will be applied underground at Nova to measure the conductivity along ore drives, to ascertain if it can discriminate ore grade zones, and hence detect hidden zones of mineralisation beyond the drive walls.




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