The 2011/08/20 at 14:14
The discovery of new mineral resources is becoming a genuine challenge for explorers. The global increase in the demand for metals has entailed a vigorous renewal of global exploration. However, the most easily found deposits have already been mined. The task of explorers is becoming more difficult even if the planet continues to hold considerable potential. By developing new targeting methods, Azimut has positioned itself as one of the emerging leaders in mining exploration. The company applies its technology in Quebec, a jurisdiction world renowned for the vivacity of its mining sector.
Azimut asks the key question that drives mine explorers: “Am I in the right place for spending millions of dollars on exploration?” In this profession, risk is omnipresent and very high: large-scale deposits must be found quickly at competitive prices. “Our profession is to identify targets. To reduce initial risk, the company has developed innovative methods allowing geo-scientific (satellite, geophysical, geochemical...) data to be processed covering vast territories on an ongoing basis. The processing of this information allows the definition of a method that can be applied for exploration. When quality targets are identified, we acquire exploration permits, then sign partnership agreements with major and junior mining companies. Azimut offers 50 % to 65 % of interest to its partners on projects in exchange for investment in exploration,” explains Jean-Marc Lulin, holder of a PhD in geology and CEO of the company. Thanks to these collaborations, several major prospective zones have been discovered in Québec. Azimut is the holder of by far the greatest number of exploration permits in Québec.
Data processing procedures implemented for detecting deposits constitute a distinctive skill that sets the company apart from its rivals. “Our digital processing capacity is the cornerstone of our savoir-faire. It enables us to recognise several types of highly specific deposits, on the scale of a province or a country. This approach has, in the last seven years, led us to sign 29 agreements worth a total of almost 95 million dollars (66.39 million euros) in investment on our projects,” points out the CEO.
To meet the needs of numerous countries in full economic expansion such as China and India, the search for new deposits is widening. There is also a need to meet needs for new resources related to demographic growth. “For petrol and gas, the energy industry was faced with a wall some thirty years ago, believing it was reaching the end of available resources. This sector which has considerably improved the way it does things, has allowed other major reserves to be found in regions previously considered as non-prospective or unreachable,” observes Jean-Marc Lulin. Mining industry players are now prospecting for target zones in regions of the globe not explored in the past. Two main tendencies are emerging: deeper searches in mature mining camps and exploration in new, isolated regions without infrastructures, including the most remote areas of the globe. In addition, thanks to a general increase in metal prices, certain deposits previously considered to be not economically viable are now becoming profitable. Jean-Marc Lulin specifies that “certain searches are also turning towards countries until now considered politically unstable. In the face of the pressure of demand, industry is now taking more risks.”
In the case of Canada, mining exploration is gradually being steered into the northern part of the country, towards the Arctic. The north of Québec, with its extremely diversified mineral substances, holds significant unexplored sectors where Azimut is now focusing its efforts. “Mineral resources will be the engine of development of Québec,” underlines Jean-Marc Lulin who is enthusiastic about the Plan Nord recently launched by the government of “La Belle Province”. Azimut envisages expanding its activities to other regions of the globe where quality digital data exists. New ideas and field experience form a winning combination for this company at the cutting edge of its domain. •