TEMPEST: locating minerals from the sky

The TEMPEST system provides accurate, three-dimensional data on subsurface conductivity to help pinpoint areas of interest for mineral exploration. This airborne technology is able to survey large areas of land, providing valuable information to assist governments and industry in their search for Australia’s geological riches.

The Challenge

Identifying regions for exploration

Aerial surveys using the TEMPEST system are providing 3D maps of electromagnetic conductivity to locate minerals in the subsurface.

Across Australia's vast land mass, exploring and pinpointing the rich minerals deposits can be expensive.

Reliable information on the most likely areas to explore is crucial to governments and industry in identifying priority areas to focus time and money.

Technologies that can capture useful geological data for large regions of land provide invaluable information to support exploration decisions.

Our Response

A bird’s eye survey of surface conductivity

We developed the TEMPEST system, an airborne electromagnetic system which captures high-resolution three-dimensional conductivity estimates of the subsurface, which can be used to survey large areas of land.

These conductivity maps provide accurate information on various minerals located under the earth’s surface, leading to the potential discovery of new ore bodies and groundwater supplies for mining operations.

The Results

Delivering opportunities for new mineral discoveries globally

Aerial surveys using the TEMPEST system are operated by Fugro Airbourne Services.

The TEMPEST system has been successfully used in exploration initiatives in Australia and around the world.

Between 2007 and 2010, TEMPEST was used to survey 185 000 km2 – or three per cent of Australia’s land mass - by Geosciences Australia as part of the onshore energy security initiative.

These surveys led to more than 10 mining and exploration companies discovering mineral deposits across the region.

Fugro Airbourne Services have operated TEMPEST for over a decade and have acquired more than one million kilometres of survey data in Australia and in seven other countries.

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