November 2012    Print this article

Geomining compilation: the eighth wonder of the world

Pierre Lacoste and Simon Auclair, MRN

The days of discovering an ore deposit through prospecting alone have been revolutionized. Computers and computerized tools are now an indispensible part of many aspects of exploration and their contribution is considered invaluable. When used for mapping or compiling geoscientific knowledge, they can yield new and often unexpected exploration targets.

By pooling all the data collected from across the province—whether obtained by the Ministère des Ressources naturelles (MRN), exploration companies, mining companies, prospectors or any other source—and integrating them into the SIGEOM database system, the Ministry provides universal access to the information and increases the potential for new discoveries. Anyone can benefit, whether they need information about a particular region or locality, or a specific mineral deposit. The system is founded on the ability to spatially reference and integrate geomining data from a variety of sources over many years.

Each user can initiate a simplified request through the SIGEOM website for a given area (for example, an NTS map sheet) in order to simultaneously obtain one or more types of data, such as geomatics, mining or other kinds of information.

The SIGEOM system comprises three separate tools: Examine, Atlas and À la carte. The E-SIGEOM Examine tool allows the user to search, view, and order documents or reports in electronic or paper format. Geological maps generated by MRN geologists and synthesis projects are also offered. The search may be made using one or more parameters. When a client has completed the search, they may order any of the results.

E-SIGEOM Atlas allows the client to order geoscientific and geomatics products from the MRN’s database. These products are offered in ArcGIS Geodatabase (FGDB) or ShapeFile formats.

E-SIGEOM À la carte allows the user to generate a map based on their individualized or personalized search criteria using the information contained in SIGEOM or Gestim. The data may be viewed and then ordered in ArcGIS Geodatabase (FGDB) or ShapeFile formats (compatible with MapInfo), and are grouped by subject: mining claims, geology, geochronology, geophysics, ore deposit geochemistry, drill holes, or hydrogeology. All drill holes are indexed, described and the data released. Anyone may therefore easily obtain as much or as little individualized information as required to suit their particular needs.

Who provides SIGEOM with information?

All those who work in the geomining sector are obliged to systematically submit reports or summaries of their activities, which are then indexed and compiled. The new information is directly integrated into the interactive database, which is updated daily.

The fact that so many clients use a standardized system (a standard descriptive model and map legend) is what makes it possible to successfully operate SIGEOM and provide universal access to the information it contains. In other words, any user—a company, association, or regional county municipality (MRC) for example—can consult SIGEOM regardless of the type or location of the data of interest. The information they obtain may be used for real estate appraisal, land management or infrastructure project purposes, or even to promote mining and mineral exploration activity in a given area.

It is not surprising that this data management and distribution tool is the envy of the world!

The SIGEOM site is available on the MRN’s website under the section Online Products and Services.

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© Gouvernement du Québec, 2012