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The TEMPEST system provides accurate data on subsurface electrical conductivity to help pinpoint areas of interest for minerals 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

Exploring over large areas in order to identify the rich minerals deposits can be expensive.

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

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

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

Our response

A bird’s eye survey of surface electrical conductivity

As a partner in the Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Mineral Exploration Technologies (CRC AMET), CSIRO played a major role in the development of the TEMPEST airborne electromagnetic (AEM) system which can be used to survey large areas of land in order to derive models of the distribution of electrical conductivity in the subsurface.

Aerial surveys employing the TEMPEST system are used to derive 3D models of electrical conductivity to locate minerals in the subsurface.

These conductivity models have led to the potential discovery of new orebodies and groundwater supplies for mining and agricultural operations.

The results

Delivering opportunities for new mineral discoveries globally

The TEMPEST system has been successfully used in exploration initiatives in Australia and around the world since 2007.

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

Surveys using the system have led to more than 10 mining and exploration companies discovering mineral deposits.

Fugro Airborne 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.

Currently, the TEMPEST AEM system is currently operated by CGG Multi Physics and is employed in Geoscience Australia’s AusAEM initiative which is designed to broadly map electrical conductivity variation over Australia.

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