During September Mount Isa Mines (MIM) and Ernest Henry Mining (EHM) carried out a low-level Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) geophysical survey of a large portion of the respective leases, using a helicopter and a specialised suspended transmitter/receiver loop.

Geophysical data was gathered by transmitting an electromagnetic signal from a system attached to a helicopter.

The AEM survey was conducted by third-party specialist, SkyTEM Australia, using the SkyTEM method which is widely accepted globally as the best technique for mapping water resources.

During the survey the helicopter flew approximately 90 metres above ground level, while the receiver/transmitter loop was 30 metres above the ground.

Over the course of the survey, the helicopter flew 1,600 line kms at MIM and 1,400 line kms at EHM.

Information gained from the survey will help to identify subsurface conditions, from the ground surface extending to a depth of 300 metres, including the identification of geological features such as faults and groundwater-bearing units in the shallow environment.

This data will be fundamental in further expanding our knowledge of the natural environment and support ongoing environmental assessments of both the MIM and EHM leases.

Prasanna Rao, MIM Water Planning Advisor, says the information gained from using this type of geophysical method for investigating subsurface conditions benefits many of our stakeholders.

"We can use the data obtained to better inform rehabilitation and mine closure criteria, enhance our understanding on groundwater movement and better inform our decisions with regards to mine planning and design," Prasanna says.