New efforts using helicopter-borne and ground based electromagnetics for mineral exploration

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 11:05 AM
Uwe Meyer1, Bernhard Siemon1, Ursula Noell1, Jens Gutzmer2, Klaus Spitzer3 and Michael Becken4, (1)BGR Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Hannover, Germany, (2)Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, Freiberg, Germany, (3)Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Geophysics, Freiberg, Germany, (4)University of Münster, Münster, Germany
Throughout the last decades mineral resources, especially rare earth elements, gained a steadily growing importance in industry and therefore as well in exploration. New targets for mineral investigations came into focus and known sources have been and will be revisited. Since most of the mining for mineral resources in the past took place in the upper hundred metres below surface new techniques made deeper mining economically feasible. Consequently, mining engineers need the best possible knowledge about the full spatial extent of prospective geological structures, including their maximum depths. Especially in Germany and Europe, politics changed in terms not to rely only on the global mineral trade market but on national resources, if available. BGR and partners therefore started research programs on different levels to evaluate and develop new technologies on environmental friendly, non-invasive spatial exploration using airborne and partly ground-based electromagnetic methods. Mining waste heaps have been explored for valuable residual minerals (research project ROBEHA), a promising tin bearing ore body is being explored by airborne electromagnetics (research project E3) and a new airborne technology is aimed at to be able to reach investigation depths of about 1 km (research project DESMEX). First results of the projects ROBEHA and E3 will be presented and the project layout of DESMEX will be discussed.