Geophysical technologies have contributed significantly to numerous discoveries of VHMS deposits in the Abitibi greenstone belt since the 1950s when airborne EM technologies were first commercialized. Since the mid-1980s however, the discovery rate has dropped drastically even with major improvements to geophysical technology and much better understanding of the geological processes involved in deposit formation and the geochemical signatures associated with deposits.
While the Abitibi belt is still perceived as being prospective, the search space for new deposits has to be expanded. At the deposit scale, this means developing an effective means to discriminate deposits of interest inside formational conductive zones. At the regional scale, to develop new greenfields areas, new data sets such as high resolution gravity need to be acquired and assessed along with traditionally acquired EM and magnetics.
Bio: Ken has been involved in minerals exploration for over 40 years and has contributed directly to the discovery of a number of economic deposits. In 1999, Ken helped form a technology-focused service company that specializes in the application of innovative processing and data analysis to help drive discovery success. See also, from “SEG News & Views”: Ken Witherley – The Practical Limits of Technology: The Imperative for Geoscience Collaboration