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Exploration ’17, Toronto

Looking to the future of mineral exploration.

Exploration ’17, held in Toronto, Canada, from 22 to 25 October 2017, was part of a decennial series of meetings that review the achievements of the past decade and look to the future. The conference attracted about 1,200 mostly industry delegates as well as service providers and academics. The participation of Dr Steve Hill, Director Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA), was noteworthy as government bodies were not widely represented.

Selected highlights

Announcement of the international Frank Arnott Award collaborative challenge winners. The University of Adelaide team won the novice category for their innovative work on the GSSA’s Gawler Craton precompetitive dataset. A highlight of this entry was the projection of the subsurface data onto a semi-transparent digitally printed terrain model, which was not only eye-catching but allowed for more social interaction around 3D data (without the need for monitors and glasses). The group of 1st to 4th year students were led and mentored by Professor Graham Heinson.

Associated workshops. Steve Hill presented at the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC) led workshop on The Future of Mineral Exploration Drilling and Sampling. Steve’s presentation, The future of Geological Survey drilling (PDF 3.8 MB) included an overview of the evolution of different styles of government precompetitive and collaborative drilling and where that is heading into the future. This workshop was well received by Canadian delegates, who otherwise were not aware of DET CRC achievements and the impact on government drilling in South Australia.

State of play and projected future of mineral exploration sessions. Highlights included geochemical talks by Paul Agnew (Rio), Peter Winterburn (University of British Columbia) and Eric Grunsky (formerly Canadian Geological Survey). Excellent geophysical talks included Alan Jones’s overview of magnetotelluric techniques and Clive Foss’s (CSIRO) presentation on modelling magnetics data, including the recently acquired Coompana airborne data. Steve Hill gave a presentation, SA Mineral Systems Drilling Program (PDF 6.3 MB) on behalf of the GSSA and collaborators on South Australia’s Mineral System Drilling Program. Download abstracts from the program schedule.

Trade booths. These provided opportunities for new technologies and advances to be promoted by different providers, such as GSSA partners DET CRC, Reflex, Olympus, Corescan, Minalyze and GoldSniffer.

Face-to-face networking. Exploration ‘17 provided a perfect forum to meet and discuss the future of mineral exploration with talented and inspired, forward-looking people.

Corescan booth. Neil Goodey (Managing Director, right) had exciting news and ideas for opportunities on further developments of the HyLogger<sup>TM</sup> and Corescan systems at the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library. (Photo 416189)

Corescan booth. Neil Goodey (Managing Director, right) had exciting news and ideas for opportunities on further developments of the HyLoggerTM and Corescan systems at the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library. (Photo 416189)

REFLEX booth. L-R: Fred Blaine (Senior Scientist), James Cleverley (Global Product Manager) and Britt Bluemel (Geochemist). REFLEX are major collaborators with the GSSA, not only through DET CRC and the South Australia Mineral Systems Drilling Program with things such as Lab-at-Rig<sup>®</sup>, but also as provider of the REFELX IQ LOGGER<sup>TM</sup> (being held by James) and the REFLEX PRESS<sup>TM</sup> in foreground (which are both at the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library). (Photo 416190)

REFLEX booth. L-R: Fred Blaine (Senior Scientist), James Cleverley (Global Product Manager) and Britt Bluemel (Geochemist). REFLEX are major collaborators with the GSSA, not only through DET CRC and the South Australia Mineral Systems Drilling Program with things such as Lab-at-Rig®, but also as provider of the REFELX IQ LOGGERTM (being held by James) and the REFLEX PRESSTM in foreground (which are both at the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library). (Photo 416190)

– Steve Hill

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