Hi-tech methods used to explore copper deposits in Oman
June 21, 2015 | 4:12 PM
by Times News Service

MUSCAT: Latest technologies in the search for new copper deposits in northern Oman are being applied by Savannah Resources, a London Stock Exchange-listed resources company, together with its Omani partners.

The innovative, technology-led strategy to explore copper includes using both ground and airborne geophysical surveys and has included a recently completed Versatile Time Domain Electromagnetics (VTEM), said a press statement.

The VTEM survey involved a helicopter flying over 3,700km at low altitude over lines some 100 metres apart whilst deploying high-tech sensors to capture technical information about the earth. The data are now being processed.

The survey was flown after comprehensive consultation with community leaders and government officials in Al Batinah Governorate.

David Archer, Savannah’s chief executive officer, said, “The survey took about three weeks to complete. The helicopter was deployed out of the new airport at Sohar and residents have seen the helicopter flying at low altitude over the countryside in a methodical east-west pattern.

“We are pleased to apply innovative technologies such as VTEM in Oman particularly because this technique provides new information both over both areas that have a strong historic record of copper production and over new areas where there is potential for new copper discoveries.

“We have been delighted with the level of support we have had from the seven ministries involved in approving the survey which was very efficiently coordinated by the new Public Authority for Mining. It meant we were able to complete the survey on time and on-budget and well before the high temperatures of summer that could have made flying more difficult.

“Savannah and its Omani partners support the growth of mining in the Sultanate which is consistent with the Oman Vision 2020 strategy which targets an increasing contribution from mining to investment, employment and overall prosperity in the Sultanate.”

Copper has been mined in Oman since the bronze age and there is widespread evidence of old mines throughout the Sultanate.

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