As an integral part of the Geological Survey of Canada’s EXTECH III Project, a three-dimensional computer model has been created of the Con and Giant gold mines in the Yellowknife Greenstone Belt. The Yellowknife Mining Camp has produced a great deal of gold (over 15 million ounces, or 400 000 kg) in the past sixty years and the prevailing assumption is that the mines are at the end of their lives. However, the potential for discovering additional resources using new ideas and technology, and maximizing use of existing data, offers an opportunity to sustain the old mining operations and maintain their contribution to the community.
The objectives of this study included the compilation and creation of a three-dimensional Geographic Information System model (combining 3D subsurface data with surface information) to provide a framework for concurrent structural and alteration studies, and to encourage new exploration in the area. A secondary objective was to retain the data in digital format as a historical reference for future remediation efforts, and to document a portion of Canada’s rich mining history.
The end result is a database and set of models that have been instrumental in facilitating further exploration in the area, as well as in developing targets for future exploration and mining activities. In addition, the EXTECH III 3D GIS model has made a valuable contribution toward the understanding of the arsenic remediation issues at the Giant mine, and has served as a tool in support of a variety of highly technical engineering studies and for communicating information and problems to the layman and community as a whole.