Lithoprobe high-resolution seismic surveys have provided the first systematic images of the deep stratigraphy in four major Canadian mining camps (Noranda, Matagami, Sudbury, and Selbaie). Systematic compressional wave velocity and density measurements in deep boreholes have established that lithological contacts were the main impedance contrast imaged, although reflections from faults and deformation zones have also been observed. The strongest reflections are attributed to mafic intrusions and some sulphides and oxides. Integrating seismic, physical rock property measurements, and geological data has resulted in the revision of several geological models with direct impact on local strategies for deep mineral exploration. Mining companies have shown an interest in seismic reflection methods and this has led to several follow-up studies. The application of seismic methods to the direct detection of massive sulphides, based on physical rock property measurements, has been studied through two-dimensional and three-dimensional (3D) seismic imaging and vertical seismic profiling technologies. The challenge will now be to optimize 3D seismic imaging for mineral exploration and to improve seismic data processing by enhancing the seismic response from deep, lenticular orebodies.

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