P1061 Project Series “South American Exploration Initiative” (SAXI): The Tectonics, Architecture and Metallogeny of the Proterozoic of NE South America 

The P1061 South American Exploration Initiative SAXI commenced in March 2018. The Project aimed to gather data and to enhance the exploration potential on the Proterozoic Guiana Shield that extends over five countries in north-eastern South America (Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil). The Proterozoic Guiana Shield also represents the geological extension of the West African Craton, which via the Amira Global P934 West African Exploration Initiative (WAXI) built up an extensive exploration database for the West Africa Craton and continues to impact exploration in West Africa. The SAXI project was created to gather data for the Guiana shield to assist exploration companies in focusing their activities in areas of maximum prospectivity and to help the local Geological Surveys in the region to build capacity and enhance their capability in their role of providing pre-competitive data and information. An additional aim of the project is to build a matching knowledge base that can be combined with the WAXI database to produce a seamless coverage for the two regions.  

A collaboration between Amira Global and the Centre of Exploration Targeting (CET) saw the success of the first stage of the P1061 SAXI project. Producing a 190-layer Geographic Information System (GIS) database in the first stage with 8 countries involved in research (5 countries included in research area). The first year of the project saw 21 collaboration partners become involved in the SAXI project with 5 industry sponsors, 15 research Organisations and 3 in-kind sponsors. The project in the first stage had 27 graduate student projects integrated into the program. Led by Prof Mark Jessell with the help of Sandi Occhipinti, Steffen Hagemann of the Centre of Exploration Technology, in collaboration with Jean-Paul Bout, the project has flourished throughout the years currently in the final period of the second stage SAXI-2 which was built upon the success of the first stage SAXI-1. SAXI-2 augmented the exploration efforts currently taking place by enhancing stakeholders understanding of the exploration potential of the Guiana Shield and added more depth to the GIS Database that SAXI-1 concluded. The SAXI-2 project was expanded to: 

P1061 SAXI-2 to date has supported 26 undergraduate and 18 post graduate qualifications, held 200 person-days of training, developed a 650GB GIS Database and continues to gain more interest from industry. SAXI-2 delivered a harmonised analysis of the lithostratigraphy of North-East South America, Detailed studies of South American ore deposit and an analysis of major tectonic structures in the Archean and Paleoproterozoic of South America and their relationship to mineralisation of the Trans Amazonian belt. The program is currently training regional geoscientists in the techniques of exploration geology via in-country short courses and annual workshops as necessary to facilitate the transfer of knowledge of the outcomes of the project to sponsors. Also training of young South American geoscientists via a suite of MSc and PhD projects directly funded by this project and in partnership with other funding sources. 

As P1061 SAXI-2 comes to completion in May 2024, the next project stage, SAXI-3 is being developed in collaboration with the project sponsors and the wider Amira Global membership. For more information and to be included in the SAXI-3 conversations contact Dr Silvia Black, Program Manager at Amira Global.