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Geodesa 2000 Conference"Geoscience data and success in mineral exploration - examples from southern & eastern Africa" 5 – 8 June 2000, Dar es Salaam

Technical Programme Summary report Programme


Technical Programme
Session 1: Discoveries & developments in mineral exploration
Session 2: New techniques using data and IT in mineral exploration
Poster session
Session 3: Availability of geoscience data
Session 4: Geoscience data and the role of public institutions
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Summary Report
Session 1: Discoveries & developments in mineral exploration
Session 2: New techniques using data and IT in mineral exploration
Poster session
Session 3: Availability of geoscience data
Session 4: Geoscience data and the role of public institutions
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Antonio Pedro (DG, SEAMIC) Introduction
Barthold Schroot (Geodesa / TNO) "Achievements and bottlenecks of the Geodesa project"
Henk Schalke (NITG-TNO) "Applied Geosciences for International Co-operation - strategy and practice"
David Ovadia (BGS) "Value of geoscience metadata"
Charles Kaphwiyo (Geol. Survey Malawi) "Geosciences beyond 2000 – a case of the Geological Survey of Malawi"
Phil Westerhof (ITC) "The GeoFoster Plan: a regional approach to a sustainable geo-data and mineral support infrastructure"
General discussion
Final conclusive summary of Antonio Pedro
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Monday 5 June

9.00 Registration

10.00 Opening session

Welcome by Antonio Pedro, Director General of SEAMIC


11.00 Session 1: Discoveries & developments in mineral exploration

Gregor Borg (Univ. of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany): "The application of new exploration techniques and geosciences data bases within the new economic framework of African mineral exploration"

Baguma Zachary (Geol. Survey Dept. Uganda): "Modern methods of data processing and integration brings new hope to Karamoja, Uganda"

Lunch Break

14.00 Session 1 continued

Ross Stevens & Peter Williams (Resolute Ltd): "Golden Pride exploration - gaining confidence in integrated exploration"

Zuze Dulanya (Geol. Survey Malawi), Domingos Pilale & Fernando Uamusse (National Directorate of Geology, Mozambique): "Geoscience data correlation and mineral assessment in the Precambrian basement complex of the Mozambican mobile belt in the Kirk range Angonia region"

Paul Dirks and Alexander Mikhailov (Univ. of Zimbabwe / Kairezi Exploration, Harare): "About clustering of gold deposits and regional exploration strategies in Archean Cratons"

Katto Edwards (Geol. Survey Dept. Uganda): "Geoscientific information on Muko iron ore prospect, southwestern Uganda"

Discussions on session 1

Tuesday 6 June

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9.00 Session 2: New techniques using data and IT in mineral exploration

Maarten de Wit and Christien Thiart (Univ. of Cape Town): "Metal potential maps of Africa by linking Spatial Statistics to the Gondwana GIS"

Steven R. McMullan (Fugro - Geodass Pty): "New Technology for Data Dissemination"

Colin Reeves and B.K. Sahu (ITC): "The contribution of aeromagnetic surveys to mapping the geology of the Geodesa region"

Julius Nyakaana (Geol. Survey Uganda) & Vedastus Ntulanalwo (Geol. Survey Tanzania): "Cross-border geoscience data compilation and interpretation in the NE Kibaran Belt"

Discussions on session 2

Lunch Break

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14.00 Poster session (the authors present their own posters)

Opportunity for the presenters to introduce their posters with a brief presentation in the lecture room.

P. Lannez, Milesi J.P., Braux C. and Deschamps Y. (BRGM): "A-GIS metadata project: AFRICA GEOMAPS"

Ria Tinnion (Geosoft): "Integration of geology, geophysics, geochemistry and imagery for mineral exploration applications"

B.A. Mcharo & S.Y. Ayub (Mineral Resources Dept., Dodoma, Tanzania): "The geology and geophysics (TMI and radiometrics of QDS 1, Kyerwa, and the comparison of geology, Landsat and geophysical data south of Lake Victoria"

Julius Nyakaana (Geol. Survey Uganda) & Vedastus Ntulanalwo (Geol. Survey Tanzania): " Cross-border geoscience data compilation and interpretation in the NE Kibaran Belt"

Gosbert Kagaruki (SEAMIC) "Thematic mapping to improve the existing geological maps"

Gerald Chuwa and Dustan Daudi (Ashanti Geita): "Ashanti's Geita project"

Wednesday 7 June

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9.00 Session 3: Availability of geoscience data

Sharad Master (Witwatersrand University): "Geoscientific bibliographic databases: the first steps in mineral exploration - case studies from Africa"

Steven R. McMullan (Fugro - Geodass Pty): "Mining the Library"

Nesibu Sibhat (Ethiopian Institute of Geological Surveys): "Western Ethiopia Geo-database and use of GIS"

A.K. Liyungu (Geol. Survey Dept. Zambia): "Stream sediment results from North-western Province, Zambia: Observations, implications and lessons to be learned"

Mesfin Wubeshet (SEAMIC): "Use of public domain data in GIS in order to enhance geological information"

Lunch Break

14.00 Session 3 continued

Steven R. McMullan & Johan R. Krynauw (Geodass / Tanzam 2000): "Tanzam 2000 exploration programme in the Lake Victoria goldfields of Tanzania"

Ria Tinnion (Fugro - Geodass, South Africa), Greg Hollyer (Geosoft, Canada) and Tracey Minton (Geosoft, UK): "New Internet-Based Models for Exploration Decision-Making"

Frans Floris (NITG-TNO): "Towards a Decision Support System for mineral exploration"

Discussions on session 3

Thursday 8 June

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9.00 Session 4: Geoscience data and the role of public institutions

Henk Schalke (NITG-TNO): "Changing role of Geological Surveys with regard to geoscience data"

Vistorina Niku-Paavola (Geological Survey of Namibia): "Geoscience data at the Geological Survey of Namibia"

Dominic I. Koosimile and Terence Siamisang (Botswana Geological Survey): "Regional geophysical surveys in Botswana – an incentive to mineral exploration investment"

George Kwenda and Forbes Mugumbate (Geological Survey Dept. Zimbabwe): "Geoscientific data acquisition, management and usage at the Zimbabwe Geological Survey"

Luzia Alexandre and Orlando Pinheiro (Geological Institute of Angola): "The role of the Ministry of Geology and Mines in Angola and in Southern and Eastern African Countries"

Lunch Break

14.00 Session 4 continued

Barthold Schroot (NITG-TNO / Geodesa project): "The case for a regional centre for geoscience information"

Discussions on session 4

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Summary of the Proceedings

Monday 5 June

The Director of SEAMIC, Antonio Pedro, opened the conference and welcomed the participants. He recorded appreciation for the interest of the stakeholder organisations and the private sector. The Geodesa project, now drawing to a close had played an important role in SEAMIC. In the course of the conference the participants would, amongst other presentations, hear reports of see some of the work carried out at SEAMIC under the auspices of the Geodesa project.

Session 1 : Discoveries and developments in mineral exploration
Chairman: Martin Hale

Professor Gregor Borg of the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, offered the large perspective for the conference by reviewing The application of new exploration techniques and geosciences databases within the new economic framework of African mineral exploration. He pointed out that the introduction of new ways of handling geodata - with databases and GIS - more- or-less coincided with the beginning of a post-bipolar (post-cold war) world and a post-apartheid Africa. The effect in finance and economics was that major exploration investment, previously largely confined to South Africa and a few neighbouring countries, moved to many other African countries, and especially to Ghana, Mali, Niger and Tanzania. Africa as a whole showed the largest percentage increase in exploration expenditure compared with other regions over the period 1990-99. Is this increase sustainable? In the same period electronics has had a major impact on exploration. Only samples are transported from the field by surface or air, whilst all data are transmitted to and from the field using satellite communications. Satellites are also producing unprecedented amounts of exploration data and providing new and better methods of site location. Advances and developments in mining and metallurgical recovery technologies are making gold production feasible at costs below $150 per oz and are making zinc silicate and carbonate ores viable. Solvent extraction and pressure leaching make mine-site metal production feasible with resulting added value to mine product. In exploration, methods of geochemical analysis have been refined, with BLEG appropriate for samples of autochthonous soils whilst MMI selectively determines weakly-bound ions on the surface of allochthonous soils. Many of these factors need to be taken into account in the design of exploration databases. The speaker concluded by pointing out that, for the emerging industry of offshore mining, there are as yet few databases.

A member of the audience asked if the speaker’s pre-1990 exploration expenditure included aid-agency expenditure. The speaker said that it did not, because it was not, in his view, exploration. This work was valuable as a means of generating information that might stimulate exploration, as indeed was its current conversion to digital form.

The question of how the market would absorb the potentially-large amounts of gold that could be produced at current low costs was answered by a member of the audience. There was a virtually-inexhaustible hoarding capacity in India and China, and should low costs eventually drive down prices, sales volumes in these countries would simply rise in response.

Finally there was some discussion on the efficacy of the MMI methods. Details of how the method works are regarded as proprietary. One member of the audience had found the results in Mali not very convincing.

Baguma Zachary of the Geological Survey of Uganda explained how Modern methods of data processing and integration bring new hope to Karamoja, Uganda. Specks of gold were reported in the streams of the Karamoja area, northeast Uganda, in the 1950s. After artisinal alluvial mining began in the 1980s, the source was traced to auriferous quartz-feldspar veinlets. Recent investigations have involved mapping the shear zone that controls the mineralisation and determining whether other elements are associated with the gold. Mapping established that the area was underlain by amphibolites and gneisses of the Mozambique mobile belt (1.3 Ga). Samples from a stream sediment survey were analyzed for 12 elements. Data for every element was found to have a skewed distribution. A correlation matrix indicated element associations, which on a dendrogram comprised two clusters, Ti-V-Mo-Mn and Zn-Cu-Ni-Co, both likely related to mafic and ultramafic rocks. The remaining elements, Ba, Pb, As and Au showed no relationship with one another, but were antipathetic to the elements of the mafic-ultramafic clusters. The work resulted in the delineation of five gold-mineralized locations and the recognition that no element acts as a pathfinder for gold.

Ross Stevens illustrated how Resolute Limited was building on the discovery and development of its gold mine in Tanzania under the title Golden Pride exploration - gaining confidence in integrated exploration. Although the Golden Pride ore body in northwestern Tanzania is close to surface and was discovered by artisinal miners, the surrounding area is covered by 6-40 m of lacustrine sediments (deposited in proto-Lake Victoria) and mbuga (black cotton soil). Although Golden Pride has a soil anomaly of 100 ppb Au and 500 ppm As over 3.5 km, it was thought unlikely that geochemistry would yield satisfactory result in the surrounding area. Its exploration was necessarily limited by budget, the large area, poor mapping and timing of the field season. The exploration target was further deposit(s) fitting the empirical Golden Pride model, exploitation of which would not have adverse environmental or social impacts. The model for Golden Pride is shear-zone hosted gold mineralisation accompanied by silica hydrothermal alteration (giving rise to a topographic high) and a sub-parallel BIF; these are intersected by a quartz-gabbro dyke. A bend in the shear zone may or may not be important. Economic analysis showed that the maximum cover-stripping with which a deposit of the same size as Golden Pride could return a profit was 30 m. Given all these constraints, the area was explored using a combination of fixed-wing aeromagnetics and helicopter-mounted EM/magnetics. Eleven anomalies outlined by the fixed-wing surveys were tested for depth of cover with EM, which a depth penetration of about 40 m. Subsequently three of these anomalies were drilled directly, five were subjected to further surface investigations and three were dropped.

The occurrence of As at Golden Pride came under discussion. It occurs as arsenopyrite, which is absent from most other deposits in the region, and As is still detectable at surface where mineralisation lies beneath thin mbuga. It was also noted that the dykes in the region tend to be Proterozoic (1.8 Ga) whereas the Golden Pride deposit is Archaean.

Zuze Dulanya of the Geological Survey of Malawi sketched the results of the work he had carried out with Domingos Pilale and Fernando Uamusse, both of the National Directorate of Geology, Mozambique, on the Geodesa project spanning the Malawi-Mozambique border and involving Geoscience data correlation and mineral assessment in the PreCambrian an complex of the Mozambiquan mobile belt in the Krik Range, Angonia region. The geology comprises meta-sediments (schists, marbles, high-grade metamorphic rocks), metamorphosed mafic and ultramafic rocks (amphibolites, pyroxenites) and Karoo sediments. Various mineral occurrences occur in the area. Gravity surveys were carried out over the region in the 1960s and airborne magnetics and radiometrics in the 1980s. The work focused on reconciling mismatches at the political boundary, applying modern data enhancement and mapping methods to the geophysical data, and using the results for mineral exploration modelling. The work re-affirms the complex structural and metamorphic history of the area and suggests that intrusion of Pan-African and post-Pan-African granites remobilized and concentrated gold (detected in recent a stream sediment survey) in their rims.

Professor Paul Dirks of the University of Zimbabwe used a simple allegory to begin to explain About clustering of gold deposits and regional exploration strategies in Archaean cratons. When something is lost, it is more effective to first think about where it might be than simply to search everywhere. Similarly in mineral exploration – use a logical approach to searching. Also consider how far to step back in order to obtain a view at the appropriate scale. With these points in mind, the speaker turned to the digital database of 6000 gold occurrences in Zimbabwe. By querying the database it was clear that gold is found only within the Zimbabwe craton, which is thus the 1st order control on gold distribution. The presence of greenstones within the craton represents 2nd order controls, and structural lines running N-S, E-W and NW-SE represent 3rd order controls. Distance from these structures is a higher order control. Structures in the upper crust are important as traps for mineralisation, but are not important in terms of channelling mineralising fluids from their source. Rather, large deep structures are important for channelling mineralising fluids. Such structures may not be obvious at surface, raising the question of how to find them. If such deep structures are linked to the trapping structures, as the classic Colvine diagram implies, then detecting the trapping structures is sufficient. But these deep structures are not necessarily linked to the trapping structures. At the craton scale, the trend of known gold occurrences can reveal an underlying but otherwise unseen deep structure. Within a greenstone belt, analysis of computer-generated lineament from Landsat TM imagery can indicate the trend of deep structures. That different processes influence the distribution of gold mineralisation at different scales is illustrated by two methods of analysing the clustering characteristics of deposits. Both fractal analysis and Fry analysis suggest that clustering tends to occur at scales of 1200 m and 4000 m

In answer to a question on the data requirements for this approach, the speaker felt that a minimum of 200 gold deposits was probably sufficient, but pointed out that geochemical anomalies or other data could be used instead of gold deposits.

Regarding detection of deep structures, the speaker stated that the orientation of streams (of an unspecified order) seemed quite effective.

It was noted that deep structures seem independent of plate tectonics. They may originate in the brittle upper mantle at a depth of 40-80 km. Could (part of) the mineralising fluids come from the upper mantle? Whilst the origin of deep structures is clearly controversial, it is their detection, rather than their origin, that is particularly important for gold exploration.

Katto Edwards of the Geological Survey of Uganda brought a very full session to an interesting conclusion with Geoscientific information on Muko iron ore prospect, southwestern Uganda. The iron ore occurs in rugged terrain at four neighbouring localities: Butare; Kyanyamuzinda; Kamena; and Kashenyi. The ore, first exploited as early as the 2nd century, is mainly hematite that occurs in bands 0.5 -10 m wide, but most usually about 1 m wide. The bands tend to be steeply dipping (about 600), which clearly limits their amenability to open-pit mining. Electron microprobe examination to the ore reveals that the gangue minerals are quartz, sericite and an aluminium silicate (thought to be kaolinite) and the amounts of P and S do not exceed market specifications. The grade of Muko iron ores compares favourably with the best in the whole world, at 68% Fe. Total resources were estimated sometime ago at 30-50 million tonnes, but more recently the Department of Geological Survey and Mines of Uganda has estimated the minable resource of the most promising deposit, Butare, as 2.5 million tonnes within an area of 750 x 350 m.

Discussion highlighted the ruggedness of the Muko area and the difficulty of access to parts of the deposit other than at the four named locations. It is not easy to see how the exploitation of this resource could be economic at a time when iron ores of similar grade are produced very cheaply elsewhere in the world. Uganda, however, currently produces its own steel from scrap on a small scale and the Muko iron ore could be blended with scrap to increase steel production without expending foreign exchange on imports of scrap or iron ore.

The question of the gold content of the ores was raised. An investigation in the area in 1998 by Cluff Mining Co. Ltd, found that, in most stream sediment samples, gold values were below the analytical limit of detection and in the remaining samples the gold values very low and unlikely to be of economic insignificance. However, these results might be attributable to the poor sieving method that was applied.

Tuesday 6 June 2000

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Session 2 : New techniques using data and IT in mineral exploration

Chairman: Colin Reeves

The opening presentation was given by Professor Maarten de Wit from the University of Cape Town who began by regretting the absence of a stronger representation at the conference from South Africa. His presentation, entitled 'Metal potential maps of Africa by linking spatial statistics to the Gondwana GIS', centred around the database of mineral deposits in Africa that had been assembled in Cape Town in 1998-9. This has now been linked to another database prepared by BRGM that contains an extra 15,000 mineral occurrences and is supported by a statistics package. He went on to demonstrate a number of possible queries of such a database using either 'knowledge-driven' or 'data-driven' GIS searches in order to highlight those areas where the odds of finding (or not-finding) a particular commodity were greatest. (The new database is now quite close to release on CD-ROM from BRGM. A pre-release version was demonstrated later in the conference and will be priced affordably for the university market.)

A questioner drew attention to the fact that large areas devoid of points on the map represented areas of cover where prospectivity might still be quite high.

The second speaker was Steven McMullan (Fugro - Geodass) who, in a change to the published programme, presented a talk on 'New technology for data dissemination'. Data, he emphasised, should be freely available as it is only in this way that it can realise its full potential. He quoted the example of a Canadian exploration company that had posted all its exploration data on the web and challenged the community to help it find a mine. In return, presumably, they might get some advice free of charge.

The main point of the talk concerned the capture of data from reports and maps in scanned image format and their translation into text using OCR and their publication on (for example) CD or providing accessibility via the internet. His company had been involved in a large exercise of this type that involved over 10 000 pages of documentation. Image format in high quality requires a high volume medium for data transmission, and ways of minimising this were addressed. The rate of transmission commonly available today is still below 1 megabyte per second. While this is increasing annually, the rate at which computers can process data is accelerating faster still (by about 50 percent per year). Ways of compressing voluminous data to speed their transmission were therefore important. Images can now be compressed 100:1 with only minor losses for many purposes.

His own company, he said, had a vast resource of such data. This should be used like a library in the sense that data could be loaned like a book. So long as the author of the book ultimately got paid, what was actually important was the use to which the book had been put by each reader.

A lively discussion ensued on some of the issues involved with intellectual property and the value of data.

After the coffee break, the chairman gave his presentation entitled 'The contribution of aeromagnetic surveys to mapping the geology of the Geodesa region'. He demonstrated the value of building digital geological maps in a way such that the younger cover layers could be progressively removed to reveal the older rocks below. He demonstrated this for southern Africa using the examples of the Kalahari-Congo cover, below which was large areas of Karoo basalt that had now been mapped well from the aeromagnetic coverage. Below that again was extensive cover from the sedimentation during the earlier Karoo times. Data on this had been assembled from other published sources, but aeromagnetic data could not assist greatly here. Dykes, however, may be clearly mapped by aeromagnetic surveys virtually everywhere they occur. The various phases of rifting that had affected Africa even during the relatively short period since the Paleozoic were also highlighted.

He then showed an interpretation of the aeromagnetic coverage of the Geodesa region. This, he said, resembled many published sketch maps of African Precambrian geology, all of which differ in detail. It was his hope that the aeromagnetic coverage would help to quantify these models somewhat. He emphasised that the African plate could perhaps be better considered as made up of a patchwork or mosaic of 'tiles' that have shifted slightly with respect to each other over time (non-margin earthquake energy). Extending this model to the whole of Gondwana he showed an early version of an animation that attempted to illustrate this idea and its impact for the period from 200 Ma to the present.

The final talk of the morning was given by Julius Nyakaana of the Geological Survey of Uganda who reported the work completed so far on the first of two cross-border projects, namely that lying west of Lake Victoria and covering parts of SW Uganda and NW Tanzania as well as all of Rwanda and Burundi. The arcuate dyke swarm lying partly below Lake Victoria was much in evidence, as well as a number of major fault-lines. Perhaps important among these was a ENE trending fault that appears related to the north shore of Lake Victoria and the direction of recent rifting (e.g. Kavirondo) east of the Lake.

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Poster session

he afternoon session following the lunch break was devoted to a poster session that was first introduced by the presenters. First among these were Jean-Pierre Milesi and Christian Braux who demonstrated the BRGM metadatabase for geological mapping in Africa. BRGM has over 5000 geological maps in its premises in Orleans, representing, it was claimed, over 95 percent of all maps of Africa. The database provides an index to these in Arcview format. More information may be obtained from or

Ria Tiannon invited delegates to view the pre-release new version of Geosoft Oasis montaj (version 5) that was being demonstrated during the poster session.

Poster presentations of both cross-border projects were on show, accompanied by their authors. The project from Uganda-Tanzania had already been introduced by a talk; that from Malawi-Mozambique would be presented the following day.

Colin Reeves showed two aeromagnetic anomaly maps of southern and eastern Africa used as a basis for the interpretation presented earlier. A dyke map (scale 1:5 000 000) prepared by Sergio Chavez Gomez (MSc student at ITC) for the forthcoming Fourth International Dyke Congress was also displayed alongside.

Boniface Mcharo and S.Y. Ayub showed the use to which they had been putting the Geosoft software provided by the Geodesa project in the processing and presentation of data from NW Tanzania. Gosbert Kagaruki from the SEAMIC centre showed a poster entitled 'Thematic mapping to improve the existing geological maps', and Gerald Chuwa and Dustan Daudi , of Ashanti Geita, displayed a some posters on the Geita project, in the Lake Victoria goldfields area.

A strong level of interest was recorded until the end of the afternoon.

Wednesday 7 June

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Session 3 : Availability of geoscience data

Chairman: Henk Schalke

The first presentation was given by Sharad Masters (Witwatersrand University, South Africa) on "Geoscientific bibliographic databases: the first step in mineral exploration-case studies from Africa". It was explained that several levels of databases on geoscientific bibliographic items are existing, from simple ones to the more structured electronic ones ,and in this respect he mentioned the efforts made by BRGM in their project PANGIS.

The speaker made it clear that in making a geoscientific bibliographic database his experiences from the past (from 1991 till 2000). In using more and more sources and even surfing on the web he could give impressive examples how far he got already and stressed that any exploration project cannot start without the use of such a database.

In the second part of his lecture the speaker gave examples of the following case studies:

Magondi Copperbelt-Zimbabwe,

The Central African Copperbelt,

Ruwenzori/Kilembe-Uganda and

Liberia and Sierra Leone.

As a special gift the speaker highlighted a case study, funded by a major donor country, where no studies were made at all which led to rather unsuccessful results.

The second presentation was given by Steven McMullan (Fugro-Geodass, South Africa) on "Mining the Library". Like the previous speaker his presentation made it fully clear how important it is to explore libraries for information about the envisaged region of exploration in order to establish a’ virtual library’ which is to be supplied to the explorationist for use in the field. Modern information technology will give ample opportunities to upgrade these ‘virtual ‘ tools by satellites so independent from all traditional lines of communication. The speaker referred to his second talk this afternoon in which he will link further results to this topic.

Nesibu Sibhat (Ethiopian Institute of Geological Surveys) during his talk on "Western Ethiopia Geo-database and use of GIS" explained that although the capabilities of making a useful database are present the very poor and in bad shape due to the war conditions in his country. Notwithstanding these difficulties he was able to demonstrate that for the western part of his country he achieved a good result due to the lessons learnt out of the GEODESA project. His conclusions were that setting up a GIS is a matter of teamwork from different disciplines and departments, this is not always a easy task and demands a lot of energy. He emphasised that new donorprojects will be the only possibility to make achievements like he presented.

The presentation given by A.K. Liyungu (Geological Survey Department of Zambia) titled "Streamsediments results from north-western Province in Zambia: observations, implications and lessons to be learned" brought us back to the field, the area where the geologists want to be. His presentation was the result of a BGS/Worldbank project in a region where a heavily covered bedrock was prospected for copper and cobalt. The methodology used led to the conclusion that in the case of stream-sediments it is advised to analyse as much elements as can be done. He also stressed that TERMITE mounds can deliver useful information as well.

As the last speaker of the morning session Mesfin Wubeshet (SEAMIC) gave a lecture on "Use of public domain data in GIS in order to enhance geological information". It was made clear that the use of the Internet can be of great assistance to retrieve valuable information from the public domain such as Digital Terrain Models(DTM),Digital Elevation Models(DEM) and the Digital Chart of the World(DCW).New results are expected from the latest satellite Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission(SRTM) which will cover 80% of the world and will give a resolution of 30 meters. The public domain will become a major supplier of valuable information needed for our GIS developments.

After lunch the envisaged programme was changed due to the presence of a television crew which came for the by Steven McMullan & Johan Krynauw (Fugro-Geodass). In this presentation the both speakers gave an excellent presentation of a totally new concept used in their project named "Tanzam 2000 exploration programme in the Lake Victoria goldfields of Tanzania". Fugro got a contract for a prospectivity study in the area and it was demonstrated along which steps in the followed methodology the final to be drilled spots were selected. The investors gave total freedom to Fugro in this project to come up with to be explored fields.

A lively discussion followed this remarkable presentation and the final results of the project will give an answer if this methodology can be used again and again.

Ria Tinnion, Greg Hollyer and Tracey Minton (respectively from Fugro and Geosoft), the authors of the presentation "New Internet-Based Models for exploration decision making", also made it clear that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is entering our working environment quite rapidly. Their conclusion that the bottomline lies in enabling the effective evaluation of exploration prospects and increased exploration success through adoption of Internet based collaboration and communications approaches" This presentation, given by Tracey, give way for the discussion that the successive versions of e.g. OASIS Montaj are produced in such a speed and costing so much that only a few Surveys can cope with this development.

The last speaker of this very interesting day came from the OIL &GAS industry with a Demo about Decision Support Systems. The author, Frans Floris (NITG-TNO, The Netherlands) elaborated on the developments in the E&P industry and the role The Netherlands Institute of Applied Geoscience/national geological survey TNO(NITG-TNO) is playing. On his way to South Africa ,where discussions will start with the CSIR/Mining Division on the possibilities for a similar system to be jointly developed for the mineral sector, he was invited to speak about his results so far. He mentioned the collaborators in this project such as SHELL,STATOIL, AGIP and SUN Microsystems which will have their individual case studies and share of the achievements react quite positive and have expressed their wish to continue in this development project.

The discussion learnt that the mineral sector knows already for long time similar systems on the one hand and at the other side is so different in their methodologies from the hydrocarbon sector that the audience will follow the developments of this project under discussion with great interest.

The session was closed with a DEMO by the representatives of BRGM, which was developed in co-operation with the University of Cape Town, and gave an insight in the mineral deposits of the GONDWANA.In the second half of this year the CD-ROM will be commercialised for a reasonable price(as it was promised during the discussion)

It was a very interesting day and the total audience was present till the very end which was well after the original closing time of this session. The chairman thanked all speakers for their valuable contributions but also the audience for their attention and lively reactions on the lectures.

Thursday 8 June

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Session 4 : Geoscience data and the role of public institutions

Chairman: Phil Westerhof

The fourth session of the workshop ‘Geodesa 2000’ focussed on the role of public institutions (read: Geological Survey institutions) in archiving, preserving and, most importantly, making available to the users of geo-science data. Although most presentations dealt with written documents and maps one should not forget that Geological Surveys are also the custodian of invaluable collections of rock samples, drill core, thin sections, geochemical samples and heavy mineral concentrates, generally collected at great cost from the field.

Dr. Henk Schalke of the Netherlands Institute of Applied Geoscience TNO – National Geological Survey started by stating that world-wide geo-science institutes were struggling for survival. His own institute was formed some years ago by merging the applied geo-science department of TNO (the leading applied science institute of the Netherlands) with the State Geological Survey (RGD). The latter name was considered not appealing enough with the public and politicians, geology became geo-science.

Henk continued by emphasising that geo-science institutes must adapt to new markets or face a very difficult future. NITG’s current products are geo-resources (oil, gas, Na- and Mg-salts), geo-space (multiple use of space; e.g., underground transport, storage) geo-environment (pollution of soils, surface water, aquifers; underground storage of nuclear waste in clay layers or in salt diapirs) and international co-operation, all tailored towards the needs in the Netherlands. By offering new products NITG endeavours to penetrate new markets and become less dependent on their oldest clients, i.e., national, provincial and municipal governments.

Henk further stressed that data within NITG is, in principle, freely available (not necessarily free of charge). Data of concession holders is confidential as long as the exploration or mining licence is valid. He further explained that the boundaries between the ‘exclusive economic zones’ on the North Sea were agreed upon by the coastal states by treaty. The demarcation of these zones is arranged by law and is basically a function of the length of the coastline and equidistance.

Mrs Vistorina Niku-Paavola of the Geological Survey of Namibia sketched the situation at her institute. Companies have, in principle, the obligation to report/copy the results and acquired data to the government, i.e., the national Geological Survey. After lapsing of the exploration or mining license this data will enter the public domain. Monitoring of this system is, however, not very rigorous.

An important question that came up was whether Geological Surveys in the South could learn from the sisters in the North. From the discussion that followed one can conclude that Geological Surveys in the South should not try to become ‘clones’ of the ones in the North. The needs are totally different. In the South, emphasis is still very much on exploitation of a country’s mineral resources in order to generate income. Transfer of technology and know-how was, however, considered as potentially very beneficial.

Dominic Koosimile of the Geological Survey of Botswana reported that the Botswana government has now embarked on a systematic programme to cover the entire territory of Botswana with air-borne geophysics (magnetics and radiometrics) and regional gravity as a means to boost mineral exploration. All data collected by the private sector are handed over to the national Geological Survey for archiving and incorporation of into the national databases after the expiry of the prospecting licence period. Sata is, in principle, free at affordable prices, even for private prospectors and junior companies.

George Kwenda of the Geological Survey of Zimbabwe sketched the situation at his institute and informed the meeting that the archive holds a huge amount of geo-science data: geological maps (60% of the country, scale 1:100,000), air-borne geophysics (90% of the country), 2500 technical reports and 900 exploration reports. All data, including the traditional library contents, are now scanned and digitised and electronically archived (computer Servers or CD-ROM).

Orlando Pinheiro of the Geological Survey of Angola reviewed the geo-science situation in his country. The government has embarked in setting up SIGEMA, the Angolan Geological and Mining Information System.

Finally, Barthold Schroot of Geodesa project at SEAMIC explored the possible role of regional mineral support centres like SEAMIC in assisting the national Geological Survey organisations in carrying out the tasks described above. He emphasised on the synergy generated by regional centres: pooling of scarce resources, improved interaction between geo-scientists of neighbouring African countries (south-south co-operation.

After having discussed geo-science data for four days and stressing the importance of good quality data, preferentially in digital format compatible with the hardware and software of the client, as a means to attract the investor, a significant part of the audience raised questions on the data quality. The topic was further elucidated by Paul Dirks (Univ. of Zimbabwe) and Alan Goldsmith. From the discussion the following points emerged:

data is introduced into databases without thinking about the end-user; often a lot of attention is being given to the design of the database and not to user-friendliness.

frequent little mistakes in the co-ordinates of the data render these databases useless.

data is inaccurate, digitising errors.

errors in the original analogue document.

databases are often of an encyclopaedia- type and cannot be queried.

the data source, especially the scale of the data source, is often unknown.

The basic thought is that it is very good that all this data has been acquired, but what is the best way to make it useful to the client, the end-user. One problem is the use of different non-compatible GIS systems. Again, regional centres like SEAMIC, can play a vital role in harmonising the standards for GIS. Under all circumstances the source of the data on the digital product should be indicated.

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Workshop on "International co-operation in geoscience data management in southern and eastern Africa after the end of the Geodesa project"

9 June 2000, Dar es Salaam

Antonio Pedro - Director General SEAMIC- Intoduction

In the introduction Antonio Pedro explained the reason of the existence of a regional centre like SEAMIC.

On their own Geological Surveys Organisations (GSO) / National Institutes (NI) have difficulty to fulfil their mission due to several reasons. The lack of financial resources is one of the most important, followed by capacity and capability in human resources and equipment. A centre like SEAMIC can be of assistance to the GSO's to try to overcome these issues. He explained how SEAMIC is working to reach that goal, like pulling resources together, establishment of international, regional and sub-regional networks, attract external funding from EU, WB etc., and implement pilot projects like Geodesa. He requested an open discussion to arrive at the synergy of the GSO's and SEAMIC to finetune the collaboration.

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Barthold Schroot (Geodesa / TNO) "Achievements and bottlenecks of the Geodesa project"

Barthold Schroot gave a brief overview of the Geodesa project. Geodesa stands for; Geoscience Data compilation in Eastern and Southern Africa. The project offered support to the GSO's of 13 eastern and southern African countries of which 6 countries are actual member of SEAMIC. The philosophy of making geoscience data more accessible has been translated into a general two step approach: the preparation of an inventory (meta data base) and assisting data upgrading work. This has been achieved by the following activities:

Supply of standardised hard and software to 13 GSO's

Training of geoscientists during 5 courses of 6 - 8 weeks each

Assistance in upgrading of survey data

Create a forum for interaction between geoscientists in the region and internationally through workshops

Creation of a regional framework resulting in a common approach in survey data

Implementation of cross-border projects

The results are:

an increased accessibility through an inventory (meta data base)

an increased awareness of the value of geoscientific data

an increased awareness of the benefits of co-operation in the region

increased technical skills of GSO's employees

added value to survey data

The bottlenecks were:

The existing infrastructure at the GSO's and the custom regulations to import hard and software

The initial low awareness of the project and the poor relationship of the GSO's and the ESAMRDC (the former name of SEAMIC)

Ambiguous situation with the SADC MCU in Lusaka

Insufficient time to be spent at the geological surveys to really upgrade the data more thoroughly;

Rather small 'critical mass' at the GSO's / NI.

Remaining weak GSO's

The last three issues are the argument to apply for an extension of the existing contract.


The first question referred to the brain drain of the Geodesa trained staff at the GSO's. It was noticed that trained personnel moved within their own organisation but not really left the GSO. This possibly is due to poor mining exploration activities in the region.

Another question on how to solve the weak situation of the GSO's was answered by referring to the discussion to follow the sessions but ideas like privatisation, more funding, more governmental awareness were brought up.

The third question was related to the importance of in-career training. This was found to be very useful in order to apply a wider use of digital data for different user groups. This can be materialised through a continuous training programme in the training centres like SEAMIC facilities and/or training in Europe or US.

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Henk Schalke (NITG-TNO) "Applied Geosciences for International Co-operation - strategy and practice"

Henk Schalke presented some experience of co-operation which can be used by GSO's as example. In Europe some 15 GSO's of Europe joined in EuroGeoSurveys and in Asia in the CCOP (Co-ordinating Committee on Onshore and offshore geoscience Programmes).

CCOP consists of member countries and co-operating countries in the fields of energy, mineral resources, Integrated Coastal Zone Management and geo-hazards.

The advantages of these organisations is that because of a combination of expertise capabilities and capacities are stronger than the individual GSO's.

New ideas and strategies result in a common policy, which have to be compared to the policies of donor organisations. Through this co-operation a common awareness of themes is generated, which results in projects on a multi- or bi-lateral basis. The multilateral projects are increasingly favoured by the donor organisations. Conclusion:

Learn from your neighbour

Geoscientists work with confidential data which often has political consequences. Sharing information will reduce regional tension and consequently a more stable society which improves the investors climate.

Projects are announced through several web-sites of EU, WB, AfDB etc.

SEAMIC can assist member states in preparing Expressions of Interest (EoI) and project proposals.

European GSO's can assist SEAMIC in this pro active approach and submit joint project proposals in co-operation with SEAMIC. GSO's from their side can inform SEAMIC on developments in their respective country to increase the possibility of creating a strong well informed consortium.

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David Ovadia (BGS) "Value of geoscience metadata"

Presently one can observe that GSO's are:

Found in most countries

Mainly publicly funded

Impartial and non-political

Implement systematically mapping programmes and process large amounts of data

Are often the central office where geoscientific data can be obtained

Are under pressure and have to prove existence

The modern role is to promote sustainable and environmentally acceptable development in earth sciences, advise on risks and hazards and identify the elements of the quality of life, like groundwater, waste disposal (including nuclear waste).

The mission is not to produce maps but detailed publicly freely available information, which does not mean that it is free information.

David Ovadia explained the Data Value Chain.

This chain starts with the low value data, like seismic data, to which value is added by expertise (profiling, 3D modelling etc.) in order to upgrade low value data into high value data (knowledge about the e.g. productive wells).

The GSO's are performing these activities for obvious customers like the mineral / hydrocarbon industry and civil engineering sector, water industry, local and national government to less obvious customers like banks, insurance companies and health organisations.

BGS enquired with potential users their need for information. One of these users is the Rio Tinto Company. Their idea of tasks of a GSO was:

Acquisition and maintenance of baseline geodata easily and cheaply available to exploration companies

Statistics on mineral production and trade

Good communication of information and not place barriers between information resources and external users

Good library

Accurate and up-to-date mineral tenements (claims)

Two curves were shown by David to indicate the relation between the activities of the classical sector of the GSO's and mining sector. One curve declined which is the size of the prospective terrain and the second curve showed the increasing costs involved to obtain more detailed information on a smaller area. The graph showed that the GSO's in the developed world investigate the prospective terrain to a larger extend than the GSO's of the undeveloped world where much of the investigation is to be done by the mining sector. This point of the extend of activities of the GSO's and the mining sector was called cross over during the discussions that followed the presentation. The graph is enclosed in this document.

To make the works of GSO's attractive we have to show:

The costs are less than the benefits

We understand and can deliver the needs of our customers/users

We are able to focus our expertise and data

We are able to deal with new challenges like global change, hazards, etc.

That the turn around time is acceptable for our customer

Our performance has improved e.g. by joining non-traditional consortia like NGO's, civil engineers and economists in their international work

The USGS investigated a mapping project in 1993 which saved society between 1,3 and 3,5 million US$;

The BGS calculated one of her projects to have a return on investment of 10% over a 40 years period. In some cases the proof of return on investment often takes more than 5 years, which usually is longer than a period between government elections, therefore it is difficult to convince governments to invest or sustain GSO's, once the GSO is in decline. Other examples were shown (Peru and Bolivia), where the return period often took decades.

New customers like insurance companies often have no knowledge whatsoever of geological maps and are not interested in those data. They are interested in "information"; this information has been obtained to focus the data in such a way that it can provide the "information" the user requires for their purpose like quantification and display of risks. The insurance company can set rates to grades of risks and/or try to mitigate the losses.

Usually investors in the mineral sector, consultants and oil companies are international players and expect of GSO's to have the same back ground and experience. International cooperation also is shown by creating a meta data base system. Through EuroGeoSurveys the Geological Electronic Information eXchange System is created, which is being extended to central Europe.

The aims and objectives of GEIXS are;

To access geo-information

Multiple thesaurus and harmonise geo-information

Create a one-stop-shop

The reason for GEIXS was to reduce the cost of data search, help to avoid a duplication of new data and that all relevant data is shown in one system. All GSO's participate in this system which is hosted by the NITG-TNO and a back-up with BRGM. This system has been set up with 50% financial support from the EU. To have the project approved by the EU the sustainability had to be indicated. Global alliances are required to sustain the GSO's. A system like GEIXS will be the start of a new co-operation in which information will be a tradable commodity, information is standardised and results in improving good-governance and a competitive society.

Future vision of the role of the GSO's;

Building meta data on world scale

Link to other different types of data bases

Extend to more layers of information

Development of e-commerce

Development of intelligent geo-information search engines

More positive return on investment


The first question was related to the view of the WB that the data acquisition cross-over from GSO to mining company should be more oriented towards the mining company rather than to the GSO is contrary to the development in the developed world.

The WB merely considers the reduction of government tasks from financial point of view with less consideration of the task of the national governments to control their natural resources in a sustainable manner. The objectives of governments and private industry differ in some areas. From country to country one has to consider unto which level terrain is explored. Another aspect is that data is too fragmented in case companies obtain the data. Unto which level data are to be acquired is a result of government and private industry as stakeholders.

Another question was the reason why the 'cross-over' between exploration of data was more detailed in the developed world in relation to the undeveloped world was difficult to answer and could be the result of tradition, culture and the effect of foreign aid. One possibility could be that the risk assessment in the undeveloped world is more a matter for the private companies rather than for the governments.

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Charles Kaphwiyo (Geol. Survey Malawi) "Geosciences beyond 2000 – a case of the Geological Survey of Malawi"

The traditional tasks of the GSO's are losing ground, new challenges present themselves due to:

Growing population which result in a growing demand on natural resources

Diminishing of resources which intensify the search for good quality of mineral resources

Advanced technology like remote sensing and information technology result in reducing field work with large geoscientist-teams

The mineral resources are substituted with synthetic products

These new challenges require the need for efficient methods of data gathering, processing and interpretation with less data from the field.

What does the future hold? Old data still exist in the archives and due to the change of the needs of the users the data have to have a suitable format. In case the survey is under financed to such an extend that field work is reduced to a minimum another task can be to re-analyse existing data.

New challenges lie in the increasing pollution of groundwater, construction hazards, environmental degradation, land slides and flood prone areas.

To re-examine the existing data and through the dissemination of the new interpretation of these data during workshops, publications, by developing tailor made products and by closer co-operation with international organisations and institutes the relevance of the GSO for society can be shown and income increased.

Conclusion is that by making maximum use of existing data the Geodesa project is used as stepping stone / hub in raising the awareness of the public.


There is the general feeling that large companies do not make use of the information of GSO's. They rather rely on their own. Quality control is therefore necessary.

In moving from grass root field work to desk work the danger exists that the field experience is lost. It was observed that field work is not to be neglected. To rework the existing data is merely a new activity to re-use data for new subjects and not leave the data idle, but use them in a changing environment, especially when the financial possibilities are reduced.

Suggestions were made:

Development of human resources

Development of infrastructure and extend to other regions

Co-ordination with focal point in government

Review of mining law and role of GSO

Co-ordination of new role of GSO in relation to curriculum of university

New products like industrial minerals and geo-hazards have to be developed.

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Phil Westerhof (ITC) "The GeoFoster Plan: a regional approach to a sustainable geo-data and mineral support infrastructure"

The role of GSO's has been analysed during three international oriented workshops in 1998.

Most GSO's are understaffed, under-equipped and under-financed. During the implementation of the Geodesa project the idea was born to create a twinning relation between GSO's of the EU and the members of the Geodesa project. The rationale for this idea was that this would be beneficial because of the following reasons:

Partnership for capacity building

Twinning between regional centres or organisations

Economy of scale

Pooling of scarce resources

Establishment of a critical mass

Promotion of a south-south co-operation

Establishment of a one stop shop for regional information and services

Concentration of aid more effective administration and efficient use of funds

The disadvantages would be:

Funding discipline of the member states

Higher salaries of international staff

Custom clearance for the samples to be analysed in laboratory

The financial goal for this centre should be that the member state fees and own income would generate approximately 80% and donor aid 20%.

SEAMIC can be seen as pilot in this series of centres of excellence.

The goals of a centre in this plan would be:

Improving geo-information management

Exchanging information between private industry, governmental organisations and universities and between countries

Upgrading of know-how and skills and the national institutes

Support the creation of a European network for co-operation with an African network

Gateway within the context of a larger African initiative


What is the next step? After a four-year extension of the present project of 1,5 years a second phase would have to be initiated. After this second phase the situation mentioned above would have to be established.

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General Discussion

Position of the WB

In the case one of the GSO's will be eliminated a great number will follow due to the example set. This has to be prevented. Steps must be taken to create regional centres.

In case a GSO is eliminated a number of scenarios could be thought of:

Trading data in a data broker house in new York

Consultants will take the best parts out of the system and no systematic system will be left behind and all data is scattered

Industry forms a consortium to create its own GSO

A business model has to be designed to prevent these scenarios

Regional centres is one of the solutions

Political unwanted situation is that data are managed in regional centres.

Problems that are occurring:

GSO's are small in comparison to ministries

For centres like SEAMIC service contract can be introduced.

SEAMIC can monitor donor activities in member countries.

SEAMIC can function as advisor for governments e.g. in

Mining tax


Advocate role of GSO with WB/EU etc.

Some of the GSO's do not have success. Why would that be. The reason is that the GSO does not show much activity.

Ghana has been mentioned as successful:

Active role in government

Legal policy

Useful mapping and therefore attractive country for investors

Other aspects of society to be included like tourism

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GSO's have to be more pro-active

Market orientation

GSO's have to start the change and wait until they are being dismantled.

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Final conclusive summary of Antonio Pedro:

Goals of the GSO's analysed

Objective and mission statement revisit core business

Classical tasks against new challenge

Knowledge more important than data (raw)

Reference is made that tasks have to be considered related to the customers ( what service is required)

Declining activities in mining sector

Role of GSO's is questioned

Opportunities of GSO's in health and environment

The same process at all GSO's is noticed and remedies are necessary

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