VMS and Ni-Cu case study Orion Minerals

This case study illustrates the use of an exploration method that leverages modern exploration techniques for deep-seated VMS
and Ni-Cu deposits in a 978 km2 survey area in the highly prospective Areachap Belt, South Africa.

The exploration method comprises the use of a high power helicopter TEM (“HTEM”) system, a large fixed loop TEM
(“FLTEM”) ground system and drilling that are employed in a staged process to keep down risks and costs and more
importantly to optimize the chances of discovering viable economic mineral resources.

Based on the HTEM survey 19 high priority VMS targets were detected for ground follow up with FLTEM. The FLTEM data
confirmed all of these targets, and 2D plate modelling refined the parameter for optimal drilling of the targets. The first result
of the drilling campaign led to the discovery of a significant Ni-Cu deposit.

The prospect of this case study is that the employed method may be useful for certain types of mineral exploration. Provided
that the electrical conductivity contrast between the mineralisation and the host rock is sufficient then the use of
HTEM and FLTEM is a viable choice. The staged exploration process ensures that potential resources are detected and that risks and costs at each step are kept down.

Download the case study that was presented at SAGA 2019 here.

SkyTEM used by X-Terra Resources to identify multiple new and base metal targets

In early winter 2017 X-Terra Resources Inc. (TSXV: XTT) (FRANKFURT: XTR) (click here for the X-Terra Resources Website) contracted SkyTEM Canada www.skytem.com to conduct an airborne survey over its Veronneau Property in Quebec. SkyTEM collected 1,225 line kilometres of electromagnetic and magnetic data at a 100 m flight line spacing utilizing the SkyTEM312 time-domain (TDEM) system.

Download the case study in PDF format here.

Mineral Exploration Whitepaper

Smaller and Smarter – Efficient and Effective Exploration Economics

SkyTEM has engineered the next generation of airborne geophysical electromagnetic systems designed specifically to deliver cost-effective mineral exploration with a lighter and faster system, while still able to map at least as deep as any of the conventional HTEM systems.

The whitepaper provides case studies to illustrate the economic and technical benefits gained from fast acquisition and delivery of high quality data that can serve to reduce exploration costs while maximizing exploration objectives.

Click here to download the whitepaper.

Airborne surveys worldwide

Each blue dot represents a survey completed


Airborne HTEM geophysics for environmental studies and mine operations


There is growing awareness in the international mining community of the need to minimize environmental impacts associated with mine operations. Resource extraction requiring or affecting water is closely scrutinized by the public and regulated by governments. The application of airborne electromagnetic geophysics (AEM) to provide solutions for environmental and geotechnical engineering problems has increased in recent years and the mining community can benefit from these solutions. AEM techniques used by mining companies globally on a routine basis to explore for resources can also provide great value for mapping water and potential hazards in the area of mine operations.

The examples described in this paper focus on data collected by today’s advanced helicopter borne timedomain (HTEM) systems. For decades HTEM has been employed to map resources and system development was aimed at mapping increasingly deeper discrete conductors rather than mapping geology. Some of today’s HTEM systems such as SkyTEM have the capability to resolve subtle resistivity contrasts from the very near surface concurrently with depth of investigation in excess of 500 m. This with the ability to acquire data at speeds up to 150 kph makes HTEM an economic and efficient solution for a wide variety of applications.

This paper also identifies potential career options for earth science professionals who have focused solely on mining and mineral exploration and are now looking for new opportunities.

Click here to download entire paper.

SkyTEM Method for Finding Diamonds in Angola

Finding diamonds with SkyTEM

Conductivity-Depth Image (CDI) showing thick conductive crater in-fill

C.L. (Tiaan) Le Roux and W.H.B. (Billy) Steenkamp have written a paper about Xcalibur Airborne Geophysics’ project for Catoca in Angola using the SkyTEM’s airborne EM and magnetic surveys for finding diamonds.

Airborne geophysical techniques are widely accepted and routinely used in the search for diamondiferous kimberlite intrusions, particularly if large areas need to be explored or if the kimberlites are covered by more recent Tertiary or Kalahari sediments and do not penetrate to the present day surface.

Since its inception about 12 years ago Xcalibur Airborne Geophysics has flown many high-resolution airborne geophysical surveys in a number of African countries for various diamond exploration companies. Among these are a number of recent surveys flown for Sociedade Mineira de Catoca LDA (Catoca) in 2013 in Angola.

Angola is the world’s fourth-largest diamond producing country after Botswana, Russia and South Africa. Apart from the well-known Catoca diamond mine in the Lunda Sul province, which is one of the largest kimberlite pipes in the world, Catoca together with partners Endiama and Prescol,hold a number of large very prospective exploration licenses in Angola. In spite of being in ‘elephant country’ for kimberlites, it remains a challenge to cost-effectively and successfully explore for economically viable prospects. The correct application of both magnetic and electro-magnetic (EM) airborne geophysical surveys forms an integral part of Catoca’s exploration strategy for finding kimberlites that contain diamonds.

The most cost-effective technique for first-pass exploration of large areas, particularly where access on the ground is difficult, is still airborne magnetic surveying. The key is to use state-of-the-art geophysical instruments on a robust, low-noise airborne platform and acquire good quality data along adequately spaced flight lines at the lowest safe flying height. Follow-up with airborne EM helps to differentiate, delineate and confirm targets for direct drilling.

Airborne EM data is acquired using the proven world-leader high-resolution helicopter-borne
SkyTEM system from SkyTEM Surveys Aps., Denmark. This system is mounted on a large
non-metallic hexagonal frame which is slung 35m below a standard Eurocopter B3 helicopter.

Read the entire paper from Xcalibur here.

SkyTEM Multi Geophysical Airborne Surveys

geophysics and explorationThe objective of the whitepaper is to summarize the efforts of SkyTEM development team to extend the capability of SkyTEM time-domain electromagnetic systems in order to acquire multi geophysical data. We are also proud to introduce unique geophysical system capable to acquire simultaneously dual-moment time domain electromagnetic, magnetic and gamma-ray spectrometry data at the same height level.

The system is designated for different applications where it is required to acquire multi-geophysical with high resolution and low terrain clearance. This is possible because we have found way how to place all sensors on the same carrier and acquire all data without to interfere each other. The key of the success was to use a concept of light-weight robust spectrometers and full spectrum analysis method as an alternative to heavy big volume spectrometers placed on aircraft and conventional windows method. Certainly we can offer the big volume NaI spectrometer concept accepted as industry standard, however we believe that the light weight spectrometer concept may provide better data resolution.

Download the whitepaper Whitepaper – Combined GRS Surveys.

The Valen Survey – Comparison with VTEM

VTEMIn the white paper we compare the performance of the new SkyTEM508 system with that of the VTEM system over the Valen conductor in South Australia. The two systems have approximately the same transmitter moment, making this the first comparison of SkyTEM and VTEM based on comparable condition. The comparison demonstrates that the two systems hyave similar noise levels, but the SkyTEM system has an anomaly amplitutude 1.5 – 2 times that of the VTEM system.

Click here to download the white paper.


Graphite Exploration Case Study

Airborne graphite exploration - case studySkyTEM surveys has conducted a survey of Graphite One Resources’ Graphite Creek property in Alaska, USA. The SkyTEM304 system successfully mapped conductive bodies coincident with the extent of known graphite mineralization. SkyTEM also detected a significantly larger trend of conductors that led to the discovery of new high grade graphite mineralization.


…the system remains open along strike and depth as defined by the geophysics and mapping, conrfirming the strength and continuity of this deposit.

Anthony Huston
President and Director
Graphite One Resources

Download the case study Graphite_Exploration_Case_Study.