Ivanhoe Typhoon survey advances on Arabian Shield

Staff reporter

Initial drill results are awaited from testing of geophysical targets generated by Ivanhoe Electric’s Typhoon technology and method on 50-50 joint venture ground shared with Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ma’aden. “We are just getting started in the Kingdom,” Ivanhoe boss Robert Friedland said this week.

US-based Ivanhoe Electric and Saudi mining and metals leader Ma’aden say the proprietary survey tool is being used to increase understanding of a circa-48,500sq.km “underexplored” section of the Arabian Shield. Ma’aden is supplying the ground, Ivanhoe its exploration team, Typhoon and truckloads of money.

“Our joint team is deploying Ivanhoe Electric’s Typhoon surveying technology and utilising our Computational Geosciences imaging software to accelerate the exploration process in Saudi Arabia,” Friedland said.

“We have identified three prospective anomalies for follow-up drill testing on the most prospective areas of this survey, which are south of Ma’aden’s Al Amar gold-copper-zinc mine.”

Typhoon is the brand name for Ivanhoe Electric’s electrical geophysical surveying transmitter, which it says surveys for sulphide minerals that might contain copper, nickel, gold and silver. The survey units emit up to 200 amps of current and up to 10,000 volts, with transmitter switches and capacitance systems said to generate a “very pure and stable transmitted signal, resulting in an extremely high signal-to-noise ratio”.

Typhoon was conceived to conduct large surveys and identify deep geophysical anomalies in highly resistive surface conditions, such as those seen in the Arabian Shield where bedrock can be hidden by sand and gravel more than 1km deep. It can also send induced polarisation (IP) and electromagnetic (EM) signals so the same transmitter can be used to hunt different mineral deposit types.

Ivanhoe Electric and Ma’aden’s initial 1934sq.km Al Amar Belt focus is considered prospective for volcanic massive sulphide (VMS) and epithermal deposits, with past work identifying zinc, copper, lead, silver and gold mineralization. Gold major Barrick Gold and Ma’aden jointly own the Jabal Sayid VMS copper mine on the Arabian Shield while Ma’aden also has the Mahd Ad Dhahab epithermal gold mine.

Ivanhoe Electric expects to have the 65sq.km Umm Ash Shalahib exploration licence around Ma’aden’s Al Amar gold-copper-zinc mine (not part of the JV) surveyed with Typhoon by the end of March this year.

It says data processing and artificial intelligence software developed by subsidiary Computational Geosciences Inc (CGI) rapidly inverts raw Typhoon survey data into geophysical results for interpretation.

The JV has one Typhoon unit currently working and a second – on display at this week’s Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh – on its way. Delivery of the first of three new generation Typhoon units purchased by the JV is also expected to start this quarter, with the latest machines set to replace their predecessors in the field.


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