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 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.

SkyTEM312 HP for deep exploration

Light-weight carbon fiber frameSkyTEM312 HP (High Power) is optimized to provide an exceptional depth of investigation effected by longer decay curves achieved using a 12.5 Hz repetition frequency and a new receiver coil suspension. In addition to this, the system offers data collection at markedly lower costs than ever before by leveraging breakthrough technology that has reduced the system weight substancially. The system is aerodynamically superior to any TEM system on the market, and is available in a FAST configuration.

Download the factsheet on SkyTEM312 HP here.

SkyTEM306 HP – For detailed near-surface exploration

Light-weight carbon fiber frameSkyTEM306 HP (High Power) is engineered to collect dual-moment high resolution near-surface concurrently with a greatly imrpoved depth of investigation. The system is aerodynamically superior to any TEM system on the market, and is available in a FAST configuration reducing acquisition costs by flying at speeds up to 150 km/h.

Download the factsheet about SkyTEM306 HP 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


Mapping groundwater with SkyTEM White Paper

Data from Horn River Basin survey showing a paleochannel at various depths

Data from Horn River Basin survey showing a paleochannel at various depths

The ability to reveal the availability and movement of groundwater can be a huge asset for countries and regions with the need to responsibly and sustainably manage their aquifers.

The SkyTEM method, specifically developed to map buried aquifers, is widely accepted globally as the principal technique for mapping water resources. SkyTEM is an innovative and technologically advanced airborne geophysical system capable of mapping the top 500 metres of the Earth in fine detail and in 3 dimensions. SkyTEM was conceived and engineered in Denmark, a country with a reputation for environmental care and R&D. SkyTEM helps geological organizations and government water agencies on seven continents unearth a wealth of information about their aquifers and aids in their understanding of how geology and mankind can affect, and be affected by, groundwater resources. The SkyTEM method has mapped water resources on a Galapagos Island, important agricultural areas in the USA, Australia, Africa and India, islands in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean and even Antarctica. Recognized for its ability to quickly and accurately map geology in fine detail, the SkyTEM method is also employed globally for mineral and oil & gas exploration as well as environmental and engineering investigations.

This white paper provides results from recent global water exploration projects – from finding new fresh water sources to identifying groundwater recharge areas, saline water encroachment and more.

Water is essential for life on earth. Two thirds of Earth’s surface is covered by water and oceans hold about 97% of all our water.  In the remaining 3% of fresh, or non-saline water, groundwater provides us with 30% of all our drinking water while 68% is trapped in a frozen state.  Less than 2% is available as surface water. This limited supply of available surface and groundwater is the main source of drinking water for the planet’s seven billion plus people. In recent decades as demand for water increases we witness falling water levels in almost all of the world’s wells, and many are beginning to run dry.

According to a recent NASA study one third of the Earth’s largest groundwater basins are being over-exploited.  Twenty-one of the world’s 37 largest aquifers, in locations from India and China to the United States and France have removed water quicker than it can be replaced by rain and snow and their sustainability is at a critical point. (see Depletion of water resources is an immediate and growing concern and is creating overwhelming challenges for the next generations.

Click here to download the entire white paper: Mapping Groundwater with SkyTEM

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.

Mapping Water Resources

The SkyTEM system is an innovative and technologically advanced airborne geophysical system specifically designed to mapping water resources. This unique technology, capable of mapping the top 500 metres of the Earth in fine detail and in 3 dimensions, was conceived and developed in Denmark, a country with a reputation for environmental care and R&D.

SkyTEM has helped geological organizations and government water agencies on seven continents unearth a wealth of information about their aquifers and aided in their understanding of how geology and mankind can affect, and be affected by, groundwater resources.

Drillling boreholes is not enough for mapping water

In most parts of the world groundwater mapping is based only on one data source – drilling information. A 6 inch borehole represents less than one millionth of acre. This 6 inch borehole will provide precise information about the geology  immediately in the vicinity of the hole, but any assumptions made about the surrounding geology is a leap of faith or at best a guess. Drilling boreholes can be expensive particularly when insufficient information is available to determine where to drill and how deep to drill for water. If a large area is being studied, budgets may only allow for limited drilling so selection of where to drill is crucial. Also, access to some areas can be difficult and expensive if the terrain is remote, rugged or heavily vegetated. Limited drilling is often the only option cosidered and low borehole density can result in uncertainties and low confidence levels in geologial interpretations and hydrogeological models.

The SkyTEM airborne method of mappping quickly and economically delivers accurate subsurface data from which location of and depth to aquifers can be revealed.

Read more about the SkyTEM method for mapping water resources in the brochure here.

SkyTEM for mappping water

Geoscience BC report from SkyTEM Peace Project survey

Information presented in the report is the result of the Peace Project, a Geoscience BC-funded project focused on mapping and assessing groundwater in the Peace Region of British Columbia. The report presents data from a SkyTEM airborne electromagnetic (AEM) geophysical survey that was employed to map the hydrogeology in the Peace Project area.

The Peace Project was planned to deliver regional hydrogeological data through an integration of pre-existing data from shallow wells and 3-D seismic surveys with the results of an airborne geophysical survey. Airborne geophysics was considered an essential tool to provide more cost-effective and time-efficient coverage of a large area, than ground-based geophysical methods. The AEM system employed for the project was SkyTEM312FAST, a helicopter-borne TDEM system. The 8000 km2 area was covered in 43 days.

The objective of the AEM survey was to collect resistivity data from near surface to depths up to 300 m and combine this new information with prior data to 1) interpret potential Quaternary and bedrock aquifers within the area; 2) provide a map of the Quaternary–bedrock interface and thus Quaternary sediment thickness; and 3) generate a magnetic structure map of the basement. In general, it is expected that a joint interpretation of all geophysical data will help to determine optimal places for accessing and/or protecting the groundwater and finding non potable sources of water for energy sector use.

The AEM survey involved collecting over 21,000 line-km of data, covering an area of about 8000 km2.The airborne system used, SkyTEM312FAST, collected TDEM and magnetic data with an average speed of 118.8 km/h over the entire survey area. Preliminary data was delivered for quality assurance-quality control purposes every 48 to 72 hours to a third-party consulting firm. At the time of writing this paper, the final data and inversion results were still in the processing stage.

An important component of the airborne survey was communication and outreach with Treaty 8 First Nations and
communities within the survey area. Flights were planned and co-ordinated daily to avoid disturbance of First Nation cultural events, farmers and ranchers in the area. Through discussions with the Blueberry River, Doig River and Halfway River First Nations, the original survey area was expanded to include areas of interest over sections of their traditional lands. Additionally, an area around Fort St. John was flown in response to a request from the Peace River Regional District

Based on the raw data presented above, data-inversion was carried out using the laterally constrained inversion (LCI) method developed at Aarhus University, Denmark. The LCI technique is a relatively new inversion methodology whereby field data are filtered then modelled against a subsurface layer structure that is constrained laterally on a number of chosen model parameters (including layer conductivity and layer thickness).

The inversion results show very detailed structures in both the near-surface and deeper layers. Higher resistivities in the northwestern corner at all depths correlate with the presence of bedrock. High values of resistivity present in the shallower levels, indicate the presence of coarser material, such as sand, gravel and till, near the surface. The deeper levels are dominated by lower resistivities, which indicate the presence of more clay-rich material, till, water saturated sediments and/or bedrock shale and siltstone.

The report including data and results can be downloaded from Geoscience BC’s website here: