PACIFIC OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS

OBJECTIVES

PACIFIC aims at developing radically new, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly mineral exploration techniques.

PACIFIC approach builds on the “traditional” passive seismic method which uses large arrays of autonomous seismometers deployed at the surface.

These seismometers record ambient seismic noise generated by traffic, ocean waves, quarrying activities, or atmospheric effects, thus providing useful background information about the geological and structural setting of mineralised regions.

However, the technique relies on surface waves that attenuate rapidly with depth, and lacks the resolution needed for reliable identification of ore bodies.

Two radically new developments are therefore planned in the PACIFIC project:

Figure 1: Passive reflection seismic technique.

THE PASSIVE REFLECTION SEISMIC TECHNIQUE

This technique is appropriate for greenfields exploration. In this technique, PACIFIC partners will extract body waves from ambient seismic noise and use them to detect reflections at geological interfaces.

Figure 2: Multi-array passive seismic imaging technique.

THE MULTI-ARRAY PASSIVE SEISMIC IMAGING TECHNIQUE

This technique is typically deployed during drilling or in brownfields exploration. Here PACIFIC partners will use two types of arrays – one at the surface and another deployed vertically in drill holes. This will dramatically increase the depth resolution of the method.

RESULTS

By the end of the project, PACIFIC will provide the mineral exploration industry with a new tool for exploring the subsurface, by making two major improvements to the traditional method and bringing it closer to industrial exploitation.

The project will also contribute to increasing public acceptance of mineral exploration activities by providing an environmentally friendly complement to current exploration techniques.

PACIFIC is therefore promoting passive seismic techniques in order to provide invaluable information about the sub-surface for mineral exploration, with minimal impact on local populations as well as on the environment.

Work at Marathon test site (Canada).

The product will be a new mineral exploration tool that will provide detailed 3D information on the subsurface and will be able to image small targets without the financial and environmental burden of the active seismic approach.

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Core samples from drilling in Scandinavia

Can mining make the world a greener place? December 3-4, 2020 – Download the press release

Click here to download the press release (Pdf format) announcing the online event co-organised by INFACT, PACIFIC and the NHM on December 3-4, 2020! Can mining make the world a...

PACIFIC at the SIT4ME workshop on 10-11 November 2020

Nick Arndt (Sisprobe) successfully delivered a talk on "Passive Seismic Methods for Mineral Exploration and Tailings Dam Monitoring" at the SIT4ME workshop on 10-11 November...

Could noise from drilling be used as a seismic noise source?

Two PACIFIC project partners, Sisprobe and Université Grenoble Alpes, in collaboration with the team of Richard Gloaguen of the INFACT project, started an experiment to test...

Behavioural science meets mineral exploration!

The key goal of the PACIFIC project is to develop mineral exploration methodologies that are kinder to our planet. However, the success of exploration today depends not only on...
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