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Northern Canada’s Expert in Geotechnical and Geophysical Services
Aurora Geosciences is “The northern company with brains for rocks.” Founded in 1981, this consulting and contracting company has innovated and adapted to be successful against the North’s profound challenges.
The company offers professional geological services including program management, ground surveys, mapping, drill management, core logging and 3D model building, and professional geophysical services including 2D and 3D induced polarization, magnetics, gravity, frequency domain/time domain, extra low frequency electromagnetics and many other geotechnical services for larger companies.
These services set Aurora Geosciences apart from competitors in the region.
“We’re truly a professional services company,” shared Gary Vivian, president. “We offer companies systematic exploration, something other companies may push to the wayside to offer a cheaper service. But it’s ultimately a better value that yields better results.”
The Kennady North project, located immediately adjacent to the De Beers/Mountain Province Diamonds Gahcho Kué diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, is 100 percent owned by Kennady Diamonds. Patrick Evans, President, CEO and Director of both Kennady Diamonds and Mountain Province Diamonds, had been trying to convince DeBeers to complete exploration on the ground surrounding the Gahcho Kue mine leases, but DeBeers was committed to moving ahead with mine development and saw limited potential within the Kelvin/Faraday corridor.
Mr. Evans formed Kennady Diamonds to complete this exploration work after an agreement was reached between DeBeers and MPV on removing the surrounding mining leases not integral to the mine plan. With no in-house exploration team, Kennady Diamonds turned
to Aurora Geosciences, which has managed the program since its inception in 2012.
The idea for Evans to partner with Aurora was obvious: there was a strong working relationship between Mountain Province and Aurora from previous exploration completed at Gahcho Kue. This included knowledge of the local geology, and familiarity with which geophysical techniques worked and those which might not.
The project started with a sizeable amount of airborne data that Evans had collected from the area, which was passed to Aurora for interpretation. Aurora was able to use this data to develop a systematic exploration program on the property, which to date, has yielded incredible success.
“Exploration hasn’t been easy,” said Vivian. “These aren’t your standard-looking pipes—they are turned on their side. In addition to the Kelvin pipe-like body, we have also identified at least two other kimberlite complexes at Faraday Lake which also appear to be pipe-like bodies lying on their side.
“A lot of credit for these discoveries goes to Evans—his persistence has so far wielded some great results.”
With regard to diamond exploration, Aurora Geosciences is also currently working with other junior mining companies holding properties in the Northwest Territories, including North Arrow Minerals, Margaret Lake Diamonds and Canterra Minerals Corporation. Aurora also provides contracting services to DeBeers Canada Inc, Dominion Diamonds and Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.
Creating Custom Technology
Aurora Geosciences is an innovator in Northern mineral exploration. To this end, Aurora has recently developed its own automated and quick processing program for high-resolution gravity data while in the field. It’s most notable development, however, has been with a geophysical technique known as capacitively coupled electrical resistivity imaging or C-CERI. Aurora pioneered the use of C-CERI (or OhmMapperTM as it’s known from the instrument developer Geometrics in San Jose, California), for kimberlite exploration on the tundra of Northern Canada and is now in the process of developing its own enhanced system.
“The conventional system is a great tool, but it doesn’t look very deep—only about 50 to 60 meters,” Vivian said. “We reached out to Geometrics to get their input and are partnering to create a new OhmMapper. This has been the focus of a large R&D push over the winter, which will help us look deeper and hopefully discover new kimberlite bodies that were once hidden from conventional geophysical techniques.”
Employee Work Environment
Aurora Geosciences is proud of its workforce and the respect with which is given to its employees. Vivian shared that a career with Aurora often becomes lifelong. The company is currently engaged with a lot of talented young staff members that it hopes will continue this trend.
Field safety is just one way Aurora Geosciences maintains an exceptional work environment, but it’s a big one. Safety programs in the industry have grown significantly, to the point where many small to mid-sized companies are hiring a full-time safety manager. The company is currently engaged in a drug and alcohol program that involves the assistance of NOS K-9 services out of Yellowknife that completes field inspections as well as checks on personnel and bags prior to field mobilization, thus ensuring a safe work environment for all.
Although Vivian isn’t counting on it, he’s hoping more people realize the value mining brings to everyday life.
“We’re constantly having to deal with the public perception of how ‘bad’ mining is. I hope that in the near future people will begin to realize the industry is safe and we’re doing everything we can to have as little impact on the environment as possible.”
In terms of concrete plans for the future, Vivian sees no end in sight to the downturn that has troubled the market over the last three years.
“I don’t think we’ll be doing a lot of growing in the next few years but see us remaining a healthy and viable company. We’re able to wait for the market to correct, thankfully, but we plan on working on other projects—tech related projects like the OhmMapper and our recent establishment of a nanotechnology company to deal with contaminated water and soils—to bring value to Aurora.”
Innovate. Adapt. Repeat.
To make things work North of 60, you need to 1—know the land, and 2—be ready for anything. Through 33 years of innovation and adaptation in the face of the North’s profound challenges, AGL has carved out its reputation as true northern experts. The northern company with brains for rocks.
Aurora Geosciences is the only company offering professional services in geology and geophysics that is both based in the North and operates across the North. With offices in Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Juneau, AGL delivers applied geosciences and exploration support services with northern savvy and innovative drive. Our client base covers companies and governments engaged in mineral exploration, oil and gas exploration, and engineering.
We provide in-field data processing, plotting and computer-assisted interpretation for time critical exploration projects; offer the full complement of geophysical instruments, data processing equipment, camps and exploration equipment adapted for northern operations; and can operate up to 18 geophysical and/or geological field crews on projects across the NWT, Nunavut, Yukon and Alaska.
Our range of specialized services, experience, equipment means whatever your project type or scope, we have the capabilities and expertise to make it a success.
1901 Davis Avenue, Unit B1
Website - www.aurorageosciences.com