Tiernan Davies – Mineral Exploration Geotechnician

Tiernan Davies – Mineral Exploration Geotechnician

For my summer and fall co-op term I worked for Aurora Geosciences as a geo-technician. Aurora is a Canada-wide exploration consulting company that specializes in geological consulting and conducts a wide variety of geophysical surveys.  As I was eager to being my co-op, I started looking for a co-op position early second semester and came across Aurora‚Äôs website by conducting a quick Google search for Canadian exploration consulting companies. Their website really caught my attention, and I sent them an email expressing my interest in a co-op opportunity. Not long after I applied, I received an email for an interview. I decided to accept the job offer from Aurora as I felt Aurora would satisfy my desire to travel around Canada.

My adventures began early May with my first project in northern Ontario where I worked on a gold exploration project. I started off by cutting core samples in the cut shack. I was responsible for packaging and shipping samples to be sent to the Geochem lab to undergo assay testing. Shortly after I began cutting, I was moved to the core shack where I was trained to do Geotech on core that we received daily from the drill rig. This was the highlight of my co-op as I got to work hands on with multiple geologist and ask tons of questions. I also had the opportunity to spot drill pads and take strike and dip measurements of previous drill holes.

After having a couple of weeks off I was moved to the geophysics office in Whitehorse, Yukon. I spent a couple of days in Whitehorse doing training. I also had access to a company vehicle and was able to do some exploring before beginning work. I was assigned to do an induced polarization (IP) survey in the Selwyn mountains at a fly in camp. I had the opportunity to sit in the front seat of the bush plane and admire the views. Once at camp the work began. We flew to our survey site every day by helicopter. The IP survey consists of laying out kilometers of wire and injecting current every 50 meters to measure the resistivity and chargeability of the earth. This method is used to find anomalies that will become future drill targets.

Operating the Induced Polarization transmitter in the Yukon

The final project I worked on was in Northern British Colombia where I did more geophysics. On this project, we were preforming a magnetic/VLF (very low frequency) survey. The survey measures the magnetic field of the underlying rocks. Different rock types have different magnetic fields therefore geologists can interpret the structures and lithologies without drilling. I was responsible for preparing and maintaining the geophysics equipment daily. The survey is performed by wearing a backpack with a magnetometer and a VLF sensor attached to it. The survey is completed by walking down survey lines. Depending on the terrain I would survey anywhere from 2 to 10 kilometers a day.

Conducting a Mag/VLF survey in northern British Columbia

Overall I really enjoyed my co-op with Aurora. I was able to absorb tons of new geoscience knowledge and learned the importance geophysics plays in an exploration program. I also got to see exploration programs at different stages. I learned a lot about the industry and realized that exploration is for me. My co-op experience has inspired me to further my education in geoscience and I plan on continuing my studies at university after my time at Fleming. I look forward to doing more exploration next summer.

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