Team CREATE Outcome – 2022 Next Generation Explorers Award (NGEA™)
On Friday, June 29th, at the Prospector’s & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention a team composed of iMAGE-CREATE trainees and affiliates won the ‘Data Integration’ Category of the Frank Arnott Next Generation Award (NGEA) challenge, bringing home a prize of $3000.
The NGEA competition saw thirteen international teams, with 84 geoscience students competing to identify potential ore deposits, with only six chosen to present their work at PDAC. Our Team (Team CREATE), consisting of Taylor Tracey Kyryliuk, Ryley Penner, Liam Maw, Marc Fassbender, and Christopher Galley, investigated the Flin Flon Greenstone belt resulting in a new geological map below the Phanerozoic cover in Eastern Saskatchewan and three volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) targets. The primary challenge was deciphering the geology below hundreds of meters of sedimentary cover blanking most of the study area.
First, they created a geologic map of the greenstone belt below the sedimentary cover, relying on geophysical data, drillcore information and sparce geochemical data enhanced by machine learning using a global database from similar geotectonic settings, including modern ocean floor samples. Second, a mineral potential map was generated using lithologies derived from the new subsurface geological map, locations and geometry of all major faults, mineral occurrences, as well as electromagnetic and magnetic data to locate the more conductive and magnetically susceptible VMS targets. Finally, detailed 3D magnetic inversion models were build for three targets chosen from the mineral potential map, providing essential knowledge on the geometry and size of these deposits.
This exciting 1-year competition exposed iMAGE-CREATE trainees and affiliates to the challenges that state-of-the-art industry mineral exploration is facing. In addition to industry mentors such as HudBay Minerals and the Geological Survey of Canada, the team were also able to meet with experts in the field of mineral exploration from, Lundin Mining, BHP, and Rio Tinto to discuss their work. Additionally, they learned how to take each of their strengths, be it in geochemistry, geophysics, structural geology, etc., and integrate them all remotely, across different provinces and countries, to create a strong and able team that made it to the NGEA Finals and won a category award specifically regarding their ability to integrate a wide range of data sets.