SEISMIC is changing the game in brownfield exploration where customers are successfully applying high resolution seismic solutions to find "more for less" through targeted orebody discovery. New HiSeis CEO, Leigh Rigg, believes hard rock seismic has an even bigger role to play going forward, and where better place to start, than right here in WA.
Science-based, data-driven drill targeting will become increasingly important as exploration trends toward deeper and more complex environments. Increased costs associated with deeper drilling combined with social and environmental considerations of an expanded mining footprint create a compelling argument for new cost-effective and environmentally responsible approaches to orebody discovery. At HiSeis, we help our customers accelerate discovery or divest with confidence.
Rigg sees Perth as the ideal location to lead the world in minerals exploration technologies; particularly in subsurface characterisation. To harness the local potential, Rigg is keen to promote closer working relationships with customers, academic institutions, Perth's innovation community and like-minded technology peers to push the application of seismic technology across the life of mine. Attracting the brightest minds from home and abroad and making Geoscience careers a destination of choice is fundamental to this vision. Not just by arming them with the best tools, but by doing so in an open and collaborative manner presents a massive opportunity for WA.
Mining would be so much easier if we could see into the subsurface; but we can't, so we rely on conceptual frameworks (Geological models) built from sparse data (field measurements) to make spatial predictions (orebody size and distribution) that drive our decision process. Not just any decisions by the way; but rather those responsible for the majority of capital allocated across the life of mine. It stands to reason therefore, that any additional subsurface insight that alters the conceptual model can have a dramatic impact on the key performance indicators.
We believe seismic is an essential ingredient in defining the conceptual framework for spatial predictions. It is the only technology available today that can provide representative geological detail at scale below a few hundred meters into the subsurface. The additional insight between, beyond and below existing data provides a "Big Picture" 3D perspective which is fundamental to understanding the broader mineral system responsible for the spatial distribution of ore deposits across the entire lease. HiSeis' advanced proprietary workflows not only highlight the main geometries but, in many cases, illuminate fluid pathways and/or direct mineralisation indicators, providing further validation for optimized drill targeting.
Previously, hard rock seismic was more commonly deployed in late stage brownfield minerals exploration; however, due to repeat success in orebody discovery across a wide range of commodities and geographies; we now see the technology being applied much earlier in the exploration cycle by progressive companies who are looking to accelerate discovery in a cost effective manner. Recent examples in the public domain include Stavely minerals Thursday's Gossan prospect in Victoria and Perseus Yaoure development in Cote d'Ivoire.
The opportunity to extract more value from seismic through enhanced decision support across the entire life of mine is where HiSeis is working closely with global mining service provider; MiningPlus; headquartered right here in Perth. CEO, Ben Auld, explains "The relationship between prediction and production is where "Get the big picture' meets "Define. Plan. Operate". HiSeis is revolutionizing the way we can see between and beyond the drill holes to obtain "The Big Picture" in ways not previously possible. From grass roots exploration through to mine closure, deep penetrating, 3D hard rock seismic can provide significant value across the entire life of mine."
The cost of doing a seismic survey should always be compared to the cost of not doing a seismic survey. It does not take many unsuccessful deep exploration drillholes before you have covered the cost of a high-resolution 3D survey. From there, everything is upside; from cost savings and reduced environmental footprint through more targeted drilling, to new potential orebody discovery away from current field of view. Bill Beament, Executive Chairman, Northern Star Resources Ltd states "The information seismic surveying gives us is unparalleled technically in my view, let alone providing on a bang-for-buck cost basis, a very, very good data set for the money that you spend. HiSeis seismic surveys make exploration drilling exponentially more valuable"
Rigg says, "I encourage you to take a closer look at hard rock seismic; especially if perceptions are based on earlier vintages. Project experience from 90+ surveys worldwide, combined with continuous university research, and the emergence of High Performance Computing (HPC) over the last decade has transformed seismic image resolution in hard rock environments. We continue to interrogate digital technologies beyond HPC; currently engaged in several pilots with different local technology providers centered on three themes; improved image resolution, processing efficiency and geological model integration. We see "Digital" as a core competence and natural extension of our geoscientists "toolkit". We want the best technical people using the best digital tools. Our future depends on it."
HiSeis is a mining technology company specializing in hard rock seismic solutions for targeted orebody discovery. Based in Perth, WA, HiSeis provides a full end-to-end service from design & acquisition of 2D and 3D seismic surveys, to advanced processing and geological interpretation of the subsurface. HiSeis has completed 90+ seismic surveys across 4 continents over last 10 years with an established repeat client base of over 40 customers, ranging from multinational mining companies to local junior explorers.