Margosa Graphite, together with Sri Lankan subsidiary Lanka Resources and Mining (LRM), will undertake an extensive helicopter-borne high-resolution time-domain electromagnetic survey (HTDEM) to accelerate its exploration search for new graphite deposits in Sri Lanka.

The initial HTDEM survey will be conducted over the Pathakada, Aluketiya, Dumbara, Kithulgala, Waharaka, and Dehiowita projects, which the company considers as its priority 1 target areas.

The HTDEM survey was formerly introduced by Margosa managing director Peter Venn at a function in Colombo recently, attended by officials of the Mahaweli Development and Environment and Defence Ministries, Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB), Civil Aviation Authority, Air Force, Air Senok and other dignitaries.

Peter Venn also announced that all necessary approvals have been received from the GSMB and Sri Lanka’s Mahaweli Development and Environment and Defence Ministries.

Margosa has commissioned New Resolution Geophysics (NRG) to carry out the high-resolution HTDEM survey, using its recently developed ‘Xcite’ airborne electromagnetic technology.

This utilises a lightweight inflatable loop, roughly 18 metres in diameter, which acts as a carrier for the system. The loop is securely fastened and suspended approximately 30 metres below a helicopter that flies 60-90 metres above the ground. The transmitter loop induces an electromagnetic field that measures the three-dimensional variations in conductivity within the near-surface soil and rock.

“The invisible magnetic field created in the process is harmless to the people and the environment,” said LRM chairman Varuna Mallawaarachchi.

Weather permitting, the HTDEM survey is due to commence this week, will take up to four weeks to complete and will see average flying times of four to six hours per day. Air Senok, a Sri Lankan aviation contractor, will operate the AS350B Eurocopters, which will also include NRG pilots onboard each flight.

Margosa and LRM have been exploring and acquiring highly prospective graphite tenements in Sri Lanka since 2012. The company has 10 project areas covering 253sqkm in the Kalutara, Ratnapura, Kegalle and Matara districts in Sri Lanka’s southwest.

Margosa and LRM pioneered the use of modern electromagnetic (EM) surveying to explore for graphite in Sri Lanka and early ground EM exploration over relatively small areas identified multiple targets on the Aluketiya and Pathakada properties.

These areas were subsequently drilled, intersecting numerous graphite veins, providing the necessary proof that EM was an excellent exploration tool for vein graphite. Now with strong funding support from Australia, the company believes that the NRG Xcite HTDEM system will quickly and efficiently deliver drill-ready targets.

“This Proof of Concept has led us to invest over A$500,000 in the largest (up to 1700 line km) Airborne EM Survey to discover the next generation of Sri Lankan graphite deposits,” said Margosa chairman John Shackleton.

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