Dias Leverages SQUID Magnetometry from Supracon to Advance Minerals Exploration 

Leveraging ultrasensitive superconducting quantum interference device sensors from its partner Supracon AG of Germany, geophysical survey company Dias is making waves in the world of minerals exploration where greater sensitivity can lead to immense value. Its full-tensor magnetic gradiometry QMAGT System is a helicopter-borne apparatus that is considered one of the most advanced airborne magnetic systems available. 

The sensor measures the complete gradient tensor (second-order) of the earth’s magnetic field. Known as full tensor magnetic gradiometry, the FTMG measurement provides directional information about the magnetic field not available from total field sensors, which have been the industry standard for many years. 

The SQUID sensors are developed by Supracon. Operating within a liquid helium bath, the sensors measure the magnetic field with unrivaled sensitivity. The sensor system is the result of over twenty years of development and testing and has flown many successful exploration campaigns. QMAGT represents the full commercialization of the technology, deployed beneath a helicopter in a custom-built airfoil that reduces motion noise, allowing for the recovery of high-quality data from a lightweight system that can be deployed in most operating environments. Inside are six gradient magnetometer channels able to collect 10,000 samples per second, within a cryostat that can operate for 2.5 days per refill. 

Jonathan Rudd, president of Dias, delivers a presentation on the value of innovation in geophysics at the Discoveries 2023 mining conference in Mazatlan, Mexico. The company devotes more than 10% of its workforce to R&D. 
Glenn Chubak, vice president of technology for Dias, presented “Advances in geophysical imaging for mineral exploration” at the Stanford Mineral-X Symposium at Stanford University this summer. 
Dias and Supracon together showcased their technology recently at Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection Innovation Day in Berlin, an open-air event displaying the forward-looking successes of innovative companies. 
Microfabrication expertise is at the core of Supracon’s SQUID technology 

Supracon manufactures SQUID sensors and high-precision measuring systems for geophysical, biotech, standards, and other markets. Its primary products are both low-temperature and high-temperature SQUIDs based on a unique microfabrication technology. 

Measuring and control unit of JESSY DEEP

Supracon calls its JESSY DEEP the world’s most sensitive receiver for transient electromagnetic measurements. The most common application is in the exploration of minerals. Using a large coil, transient currents are produced in the ground. The detection of the decaying signal allows for the detection and evaluation of conducting material deep in the ground. 

The change of the homogeneity of the earth magnetic field caused by concealed magnetic materials is detected by Supracon’s JESSY STAR. Gradiometer sensors allow an extraordinarily good localization of those materials. 
Model 3Dgreen with mounted and sealed magnetometer sensors

Supracon’s Model 3Dgreen is designed for full-vector-measurements of the magnetic field and can be used in SQUID systems for active compensation of magnetic disturbances. The sensor consists of three low-T DC SQUID magnetometers with a precision field sensitivity mounted orthogonal to each other in the holder. A complete cryogenic insert including the standard SQUID electronics for the three sensors and control software is also available. 

Based in Jena, Supracon also manufactures ultra-sensitive medical devices which are able to non-invasively monitor the electrophysiology of heart and brain activity. It will be exhibiting its capabilities at the Conference on Precision Electromagnetic Measurements (CPEM 2024) in Denver, Colorado in July; also at the International Conference on Biomagnetism (Biomag 2024) in Sydney, Australia in July. 

Headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Dias has other offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Chile and Mexico to provide ground and airborne geophysical survey services for mineral exploration, energy, engineering and environmental markets around the world. 

For more info, see www.diasgeo.com and www.supracon.com