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Pipe Stalker™ Revolutionizes Global Kimberlite Detection

Project Overview

The majority of mined diamonds are recovered from kimberlites, deposits that extend far into the depths of the earth. They are often found under water and beneath heavy overburden, including vegetation, ice, snow and alluvial soils. 

As known diamonds are mined and eventually exhausted, the search for high-value kimberlite deposits requires diamond explorers to operate in increasingly challenging environments. There is a need for a low-risk, cost-effective solution that, with the use of AI,  markedly improves exploration costs, efficiency and rates of discovery. 

 

In late 2021, Auracle used 10 known kimberlite occurrences on the Nunavut mainland as a test site to to prove the effectiveness of Pipe Stalker™ to disclose subsurface kimberlite occurrences that were not apparent at the surface and to identify the environments, structure and subsurface features unique to kimberlite pipes. 

Nunavut Canada 

Sector:
Exploration and Development

Service:
Kimberlite Pipe Detection

Satellite
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

Challenges

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Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on exploration activities around the globe. The process is slow and the chances of success are generally low.

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An innovative exploration tool that embraces AI is needed to meet the ongoing challenge to find, evaluate and develop the next generation of kimberlite deposits. 

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Any new exploration tool must have zero impact on land and water while still decreasing time and cost during the exploration phase.

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Like this environment in the Arctic, the test site is covered with overburden and contains numerous water bodies. There are no apparent signs of blind pipe occurrences, which in some areas are under water. 
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Expediate identification of prospective areas and prioritize targets on a regional and local scale in complex scenarios, over large, remote areas and extreme weather conditions.

Solutions 

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The Pipe Stalker™ provides well-defined 3D views of target zones, reducing time and cost in locating viable kimberlite pipes. With this level of prediction and location accuracy, especially for deep holes, fewer drill holes are needed to test prospective targets. 

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The Pipe Stalker™ technology can be fused with and enhances 3D seismic and other geophysical inversions to produce highly graphic 3D information. 

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With exposure of the non-outcropping near surface, geological maps and models and corrected and improved with structural features including non-apparent strike and dip that deepen and refine targets.  

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Below grade, the structural and textural margins of the kimberlite pipe as well as the structural and textural margins of the fracture zone, are shown in this 3D volume slice through the Point Cloud Model.

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Traditional surveys provide volumes in the range of a few thousand to 100 thousand data points. Auracle's 3D point clouds, produced with the Pipe Stalker™, display volumes of a million to 10s of millions of data points, that show the exact location of the kimberlite-pipe and its structural bounds. Using standard XYZ or LAZ format software, differences in densities,  textures and resistivities are evident. 
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The structural and textural margins of the fracture zone surrounding the kimberlite pipe are still visible under the lake which establishes Pipe Stalker™ under water capabilities. The presence of lakes, streams, or ponds is not an impediment to identifying subsurface and underwater structures.

Benefits

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Conducted remotely with the highest commerical resolution available, Pipe Stalker™ identifies the linear features in the surrounding country rocks that clearly delineate the kimberlite pipe occurrences outer boundary so the exact location of the kimberlite pipe occurrences is revealed.
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The Pipe Stalker™ allows for the exploitation of new kimberlite occurrences in complex scenarios including extreme weather conditions, deep deposits, under cover and harder rock mass and high-stress environments.
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Pipe Stalker™ addresses the ESG priority, embracing innovative technology that enables responsible and ethical detection of kimberlite pipe occurrences and sustainable exploration and development of these rare natural resources. As a satellite technology, Pipe Stalker™ creates no unnecessary human footprint, requires no social license and does not cause cultural interference. 

Reduce the environmental impact and reduce costs and time with a new AI solution for kimberlite-pipe discovery