Perspectives Geoscience Blog

Selecting the best geophysical method and contractor for your exploration project

Jun 21, 2021 5:12:31 PM / by Jenna McKenzie

Our firm offers geophysical services and I am often asked if we complete ground geophysics in-house, which I find very curious. Perhaps explorers are under such pressure to get their surveys done ASAP, that requesting the firm that does the surveys in the field to interpret the data appears to be efficient. My worry is that going this route does not put in enough thought about how that survey is designed, who the best service provider is, if sufficient quality control was completed and how the data is interpreted. 

To me, it is a disadvantage to rely on your geophysical contractor* to complete quality control and interpretation of your data. Just like you would not rely on an assay lab to do your sample QC analysis, it would be best to get an unbiased pair of eyes on the geophysical data also. 

The first question we always ask is “what are we looking for?” and emphasize the geometry and the physical properties of the potential mineralization and surrounding geology. Are we looking for a porphyry-epithermal system in the Rockies? Kimberlites in the Superior? A sedex system in the Labrador trough? These each have different shapes and contrasts which can be modelled and will have different survey types that may be effective.

This way, the best contractor can be selected, in an unbiased way, where the survey is customized for your mineral exploration target. Getting help with drafting your request for proposal, reviewing the contract to confirm all survey specifications are right for your needs and completing a quality control of the data before the contractor demobilizes is essential to collecting high-quality data. 

Sure, we go to the field, and in a pinch we can rent ground magnetometers or gravimeters and do some surveying. This summer is particularly busy as everyone is rushing to get out and explore. But the more complicated the geophysical survey, the better it is left to the experts who specialize in collecting data in the field. 

Geophysics is going to be increasingly relied upon as we evolve towards a world of net-zero emissions, which requires resources that will be undercover or at greater depth. Ensure that the surveys you invest in are designed with care, executed by professionals and interpreted properly.

Contact Ronacher McKenzie if you’re in need of geophysical Services. 


Topics: Geophysicist, Geology, Geophysics

Jenna McKenzie

Written by Jenna McKenzie

Jenna McKenzie is co-founder and Principal Geophysicist of Ronacher McKenzie Geoscience Inc., a consulting firm focused on the integration and interpretation of geoscientific data. She is passionate about exploration and has extensive field, processing, inversion and interpretation experience with ground and airborne geophysical methods in early exploration and advanced mining scenarios. Her consulting experience includes multiple commodity and deposit types including diamond, gold, potash and lithium, and porphyry copper, VMS and Sedex. Jenna is currently on the executive of the Canadian Exploration Geophysical Society (KEGS) and volunteers as Conference Secretary of Exploration ‘17, a Decennial Mineral Exploration Conference (