Founded in 1975 in Toronto, Canada, Phoenix Geophysics is the world leader in onshore electromagnetic (EM) and MT (Magnetotelluric) geophysical instrumentation. Phoenix also maintains a service division for specialized surveys, client training, and equipment testing.

Phoenix equipment has been used in more than 80 countries.

In hydrocarbon exploration, MT complements seismic in poor-seismic areas; provides rapid reconnaissance of new basins where seismic is expensive or difficult; and sometimes shows direct hydrocarbon indicators.

EM/MT are also used as primary tools in exploration for coal, diamonds, uranium, other base and precious metals, geothermal, and industrial minerals.

Engineering uses include dam site studies, railway tunnel planning, and mining hazards prediction (water inrush in coal beds).

Research applications include earthquake prediction research and crustal mapping.

In mining exploration, an exciting new application has been developed since 2014 by the state agency Geoscience Australia (GA). GA and its sister agencies and researchers implemented a national grid and database of long-period MT data (AUSLAMP). This data has shown that MT measurements can identify relict crustal low-resistivity zones and sub-vertical “plumes”.

These “plumes” are the pathways where hot metal-bearing fluids moved upwards, and precipitated the metals in what are today ore deposits such as the famous Olympic Dam IOCG deposit in South Australia. Other crustal plumes have more recently been identified below the Gruyere orogenic gold deposit in West Australia, and the Ernest Henry IOCG deposit in the famous Mount Isa mining camp in Queensland, Australia.

This suggests a new, more efficient mining exploration paradigm:
(1)use broadly spaced MT to look for the large, easily-visible deep crust conductors
(2)use somewhat closer spaced MT to identify the sub-vertical relict fluid pathways
(3) finally, focus detailed exploration only on the most favorable zones identified by (1) and (2)

Following the Australian example, a national database of MT data can be expected to generate increased investment from industry.

Phoenix Geophysics will be showcasing their latest innovations, products and services on the exhibition floor at the International Mining and Resources Conference. Register your complimentary expo pass now.