MERN - Québec Mines - Abitibi - Baie-James Triennial Plan 2003-2006

février 2003

3D Common-Earth Model
New Exploration Tool Applied
to the Joutel and the Duparquet Mining Camps, Abitibi (Québec)

Francine Fallara (URSTM-UQAT), Marc Legault (Géologie Québec) and Gervais Perron (Mira Geoscience)

In mature mining camps, the comprehensive integration of geoscientific data into a unique three-dimensional model represents a significant technological breakthrough. This approach, associated with the completion of a regional metallogenic synthesis, is likely to result in new discoveries. 3D modelling requires a structured quantitative approach. For this purpose, it is necessary to have adequate quality multidisciplinary data having a relatively uniform distribution over the entire study area. This necessitates the cooperation of the mining industry at all stages, particularly during the data compilation phase.

Since 2000, to stimulate exploration within the Abitibi Subprovince, Géologie Québec, in close collaboration with URSTM, used two mining camps, Joutel and Duparquet, to construct 3D common-earth models to define base metals and gold exploration targets.:. These projects follow the current trend in mineral exploration, which searches for more and more deep-seated deposits. Like many major mining companies (Noranda, Barrick Gold, Placer Dome, Falconbridge, Inco, Aur Resources, Cambior, etc.), we used the gOcad® technology to produce these new 3D geological models. The Joutel and Duparquet models also illustrate the advantages of the gOcad® software over 2D GIS software in that it can delineate areas of high potential in 3D.

Both common-earth models produces a new dynamic exploration tool used to define targets which can be queried using significant geological criteria based on specific user's needs, such as alteration patterns, drill hole densities, geophysical anomalies, etc. Models themselves can be modified and improved continuously by adding geophysical, geochemical and geological data from new drilling or field cartography.

Hence, 3D geo-modelling represents a new dynamic tool that can be adapted to specific needs exploration companies using data such as geophysical anomalies and alteration indexes to discover mineral deposits. It also enables Géologie Québec to deliver new standardized products for the mining industry using all of the digital geoscientific data available in the SIGÉOM public database. In addition, these models can be modified and improved at all times by adding new geological, geochemical and geophysical data provided by drilling and mapping programs. The main advantages of such a tool are database homogenization and geological interpretation validation that also take into consideration geophysical and geochemical data.

Definition of 3D common earth models
Use of 3D common-earth modelling as an exploration tool

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