Vector Residual Magnetic Intensity (VRMI) is a method of removing the effects of remanent magnetism from Total Magnetic Intensity TMI data. Whilst that sounds like a mouthful, it is actually a fairly quick and efficient way to conduct preliminary mining exploration.
The technique has previously been associated with iron ore exploration, but it is starting to see application in the search for more niche and lucrative metals; which is breathing new life into previously overlooked mining projects, and has huge ramifications for Australian mining.
The technique uses magnetic surveying to build imaging of ore bodies, which are then refined to remove the effect of remanent magnetism to produce a superior result. These results can then be used to gauge an estimate of resource size and composition, as well as helping to identify drilling targets.
The upshot of this is that it can allow mining firms to more quickly progress to more advanced stages of exploration. Woomera Exploration Limited (WML), is a new company looking at an ASX listing, they formed in 2014, to build exploration tenure in the Woomera Prohibited Area following the relaxing of access arrangements by the Department of Defence.
WML have been pioneers in the VRMI space, utilising the technique in innovative applications – such as identifying prospective Nickle, copper, cobalt, Platinum Group Elements (PGE) targets.
They have calibrated this technology against known and defined resources in Australia, which has indicated that it is a surprisingly accurate predictive tool – that could help to fast-track Australian minerals exploration and development.
Using this technique, WML have been able to build such a resounding case for exploration at their Musgrave project that they have convinced major miner OZ Minerals (OZL) to fund further exploration and drilling activities at the site, in exchange for a share in potential future revenue.
This allows WML to be exposed to the upside of any exploration success without the downside of having to commit to the significant expenditure that is required to effectively explore the prospective project.
The drilling on the Musgrave project is pending a native title agreement (NTMA), which has been agreed in principle and is expected to be finalised in early February, which would be before the proposed ASX listing of WML.
If successful, I imagine other Australian miners and explorers will take note of WML’s VRMI techniques.
If you would like to find out more about WML and their ASX listing, click here to download a copy of the prospectus.