Episode 222: The Seismic Approach to Mining Geophysics (Heather Schijns)

“History is telling us that we’re likely to get some new discoveries from introducing seismic into our mixture. Nobody understands mineral deposits like the geoscientists who work on them day in, day out.”

Dr. Heather Schijns explores the groundbreaking use of hard rock seismic data in mineral exploration with insights from one of the most popular papers at IMAGE 2023.


  • The transformative impact of seismic data in identifying deeper mineral deposits and reducing exploration risks
  • The successful application of advanced processing techniques, like full waveform inversion and Kirchhoff pre-stack depth migration, on the Olympic Dam IOCG deposit
  • The counterintuitive cost benefits of seismic exploration as mining ventures deeper
  • The strategic approach to de-risking 3D seismic surveys for business stakeholders
  • The importance of seismic interpretation in effective mineral exploration and the evolving role of geoscientists in this domain
  • The potential for seismic methods to enhance safety and reduce high-risk activities in mining
Seismic Soundoff · 222: The Seismic Approach to Mining Geophysics (Heather Schijns)

Host Andrew Geary and Heather Schijns discuss her expanded abstract, “Sparse 3D seismic survey over the Olympic Dam IOCG deposit.”

This episode delves into why now is the perfect time for the mining industry to embrace seismic methods, especially as the search for base metal resources deepens and conventional geophysical approaches face limitations.

Listeners will be captivated by the journey from a sparse 3D seismic survey to a comprehensive understanding of the Olympic Dam deposit and how this approach paves the way for future exploration strategies. The episode also tackles the critical business aspect of seismic exploration, urging listeners to consider the value and risk reduction seismic data can provide.

Episode Links


Principal Technical Specialist Heather Schijns supports Europe/Africa exploration geophysics and generative for Tech Resources Limited. She is a geophysicist with experience exploring North and South America, Australia, and Africa for various commodities, including nickel, copper, lead-zinc, and coal. Heather is skilled in a range of geophysical methods, including gravity, magnetics, EM and MT, with expertise in hard rock seismic and rock physics. She’s a published researcher with an MSc and PhD in Geophysics from the University of Alberta focused on hard rock seismic and rock physics.

Show Credits

Seismic Soundoff showcases conversations addressing the challenges of energy, water, and climate.

SEG creates these episodes to celebrate and inspire the geophysicists of today and tomorrow.

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Andrew Geary at TreasureMint hosted, edited and produced this episode. The SEG podcast team comprises Jennifer Cobb, Kathy Gamble, and Ally McGinnis. 

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