Sudbury·Audio

Researchers continue multi-year project looking at mineral exploration

A project looking into mineral exploration in northern Ontario is starting up its fourth year of research.

Metal Earth research project is in year 4 of 7.

In the past, upwards of 50 researchers were out each year as part of the Metal Earth project. This year, about 18 are being sent out. (Submitted by Laurentian University)

A project looking into mineral exploration in northern Ontario is starting up its fourth year of research.

The Metal Earth project, led by the Mineral Exploration Research Centre at Laurentian University in Sudbury, started in 2017. It's a seven year, $104 million project.

Ross Sherlock, the director of the project, says the pandemic has affected the research this year. 

"So in the normal course of a year we would have had 40 or 50 some odd researchers in the field doing geological mapping between the middle of May and the end of August," he said.

"This year we have about 18 researchers in the field, really just for the month of August."

He says plans were made to send the researchers out safely during the pandemic.

Ross Sherlock is the director of the Metal Earth project. (Submitted by Laurentian University)

"We have some fairly rigorous health and safety protocols in place to allow us to do field work," he said.

"We really focused on Masters students that need their final field season to allow them to be able to complete their thesis and graduate so that they're not really delayed by a year."

This year, Ross says they will be looking at two transects in the Sudbury and Atikokan areas.

"It will be scientists out doing some geological mapping," he said.

He says the research done in Sudbury will compile geological surveys into a 3D model. Sherlock says the research will be used for exploration.

"The overall goal of Metal Earth is to try and understand the geological process in metal endowment," he said. 

"We're doing large scale geological and geophysical surveys really to understand the crustal architecture associated with these systems."

Researchers are once again collecting data for the massive, seven-year Metal Earth Project based out of Sudbury's Laurentian University. Find out what's new for year four. 6:41

With files from Angela Gemmill

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