The Benefits of Airborne Magnetic Surveys

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Understanding the Benefits of Airborne Magnetic Surveys

In order to understand the benefits of airborne magnetic surveys, it is important to understand the cost and time-consuming nature of a mineral exploration program and the value of a quality geophysical dataset to direct the program. Magnetic surveys are used to measure the different magnetic anomalies that are present over an area. The concentration of magnetic mineral commodities under the surface of the Earth alters the magnetic fields; magnetic surveys are used to identify the presence of these minerals.   Drill programs and ground exploration are costly and time consuming initiatives, which can be managed more efficiently after conducting a regional airborne survey and identifying target areas.  
Airborne magnetic surveys use small aircraft and specialized magnetometers to quickly and effectively measure the magnetic field over large areas. Regional airborne magnetic surveys provide lower resolution data, due to a wider line spacing interval between the survey lines, but cover larger overall areas. These surveys are typically used as a preliminary method of prospecting a region, the first stage of the exploration process for both identifying areas with high concentrations of magnetic and non-magnetic commodities. Detailed surveys have a much narrower line spacing and therefore cover smaller areas but provide greater higher-resolution data. These surveys are typically used to further examine areas which may be identified as potential sites for mineral exploration projects.  

Quality Equipment and Data Acquisition

The success of accurate magnetic field identification and data acquisition is dependent on both the quality of the acquisition equipment, and the setup of the aircraft that is used as well.  Both of these factors are influenced by the experience of the airborne survey crew. Choosing an experienced geophysical survey company with the best possible technology, and the ability to maintain a magnetically "quiet” aircraft results in better-quality data and minimizes the need for post flight corrections. Better data results in better results in terms of economically and efficiently structuring an overall exploration program, increasing the odds of accurately identifying magnetic mineral commodities.

Who Benefits from Airborne Magnetic Surveys?

Junior mining and mineral exploration companies stand to benefit the most from airborne magnetic surveys. Governments and any other organizations that are interested in the geophysical exploration of large areas also benefit from the datasets that are acquired. 
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