Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation  
The Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency

of Joint Stock Company "PMGE" IN 2017

In 2017, JSC PMGE performed geological and geophysical works on 4 State contracts concluded with FGBI VNIIOkeangeologia, and 2 contracts with JSC Rosgeologiya. In the reporting year, 3 state contracts were completed.

The areas of activity traditionally covered the Antarctic, the Ocean and the Arctic.

Fig.1 The overview map of the JSC "PMGRE" works in 2017.

  1. GEOLOGICAL-GEOPHYSICAL STUDIES IN THE ANTARCTIC (2 state contracts in 2017). Being carried out by PMGE on the Antarctic continent and in the adjacent seas as part of the annual Russian Antarctic Expeditions (RAE).

In the reporting year, fieldwork was successfully carried out to study and assess the mineral and raw material potential of the Cooperation Sea depths and the mountainous areas of Queen Mary Land (Bunger hills) and Princess Elizabeth Land within the 62nd RAE.

Fig. 2 Location of sites for conducting field geological and geophysical research within the 62nd RAE.

The following geological problems were solved:

- complex geophysical works (CDP seismic reflection method, shipboard magnetometer and gravimeter surveys) in the Cooperation Sea;

- specialized geological works on Queen Mary Land, Bunger hills (central part);

- aerogeophysical works of a scale of 1: 500,000 were carried out on Princess Elizabeth Land, the northeastern part,

In addition, cameral work on the geological and geophysical study and assessment of the mineral and raw material potential of the Antarctic continent and its marginal seas were completed in the 61st RAE (3rd stage), 62nd RAE (2nd stage) and 63 RAE (1st stage).

The following geological problems were solved:

On the 61st RAE - 3d stage:

- a deep model of the Earth's crust structure in the Weddell Sea eastern part was created in the GIS form;

- a set of geological maps of the Reuer Islands was compiled;

- according to the results of aerogeophysical works, a set of maps of the Eastern part of Princess Elizabeth Land was prepared.

On the 62nd RAE - 2nd stage:

- a set of preliminary maps of the Cooperation Sea was created;

- A set of preliminary maps of the central part of the Bunger Oasis (central part) , Queen Mary Land, was compiled;

- A preliminary set of maps based on the results of aerogeophysical work was prepared.

On the 63rd RAE - 1st stage:

- preliminary maps of the northwestern part of the Weddell Sea, the western part of the Bunger Oasis, the western part of Wilhelm II Land were prepared, the organization of field work and transportation to Antarctic was completed.

Fig.3. Preliminary geological map of the central part of the Bunger Oasis with points of manifestation of minerals (according to the results of the work of 2017)

At present, work has begun within 63rd Russian Antarctic Expedition. On October 26, 2017 the scientific expeditionary vessel "Akademik Fedorov" with PMGE staff on board, set off for Antarctica to conduct continental geological and geophysical work. And on December 15, 2017 the research vessel "Akademik Aleksandr Karpinskiy" went on a voyage to study the geological structure of the north-western part of the Weddell Sea.

The field work for 63rd RAE (2nd stage) and completion of cameral works of the 62nd RAE (stage 3) are planned for 2018. In addition, it is planned to begin the work within the 64th RAE.

  1. GEOLOGICAL-GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH IN THE OCEAN (2 contracts in 2017) are carried out in the Atlantic Ocean on the problem of deep-sea polymetallic sulphide ores (DPS) in the framework of implementation of international obligations adopted by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation under a contract concluded with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) at the UN on October 29, 2012.

As of 01.01.2017, we surveyed 53 blocks, all the studied DPS resources of the Russian Exploration Area (REA-DPS) were: P2 - 42.9 million tons, P3 - 61.9 million tons, total - 104 , 8 million tons of ore mass. For metals: Cu - 3949.5 thousand tons, Zn - 738.4 thousand tons, Au - 119.0 tons, Ag - 1679.7 tons.

In September 2017, the research vessel "Professor Logachev" left St. Petersburg to conduct offshore work to study the geological and geomorphological structure of the axial zone bottom of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge within the blocks 47-60, 62-71 and 74 (REA-DPS).

Complex studies of 12 blocks of the REA-DPS test site were carried out, preliminary geological and geomorphological maps were constructed; blocks (47, 62, 64), promising for detection of DPS ore occurrences were distinguished. The results obtained will be worked out in detail during the cameral period.

Fig. 4 Preliminary (field) geological maps of 12 blocks of REA DPS, studied in 2017.

In 2018, the work at the REA-DPS test site will be continued, it is necessary to study 13 blocks more, and to carry out engineering-geological and ecological studies.

Besides, in order to carry out the Contract with ISA, next year it is necessary to begin work on studying the rest 19 blocks (out of 100). The need to increase funding for the implementation of obligations under contracts with ISA was discussed on October 9, 2017, at the Maritime Board under the Government of the Russian Federation.

  1. GEOLOGICAL-GEOPHYSICAL STUDIES IN THE ARCTIC (2 state contracts in 2017). Are being realized in the Spitsbergen archipelago and in the seas of the Russian Arctic. Studies in the Spitsbergen archipelago are conducted in accordance with the "Concept of Russian Policies on the Norwegian Spitsbergen Archipelago", approved by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 1386c of December 31, 1997. Also for the most inaccessible regions of Russia (seas, islands and continental land of the Russian Arctic), the Company carries out works on drawing up sheets of the State Geological Map of the Russian Federation at a scale of 1: 1,000,000.

In 2017, geological studies were continued in the northern part of the Wedel Jarlsberg Land of the Spitsbergen archipelago (2nd field season). Field work was carried out from July to September 2017.The land geological traverses with accompanying testing were performed, with the compilation of lithostratigraphic reference sections; specialized geological and geomorphological studies.

Figure 5. Preliminary geological map with points of manifestation of minerals in the northern part of the Wedel Jarlsberg Land

As a result the following is done:

- preliminary geological map with points of manifestation of minerals in the northern part of the Wedel Yarlsberg Land, scale 1: 100 000;

- preliminary geomorphological map of the northern part of the Wedel Yarlsberg Land, scale 1: 100 000;

- a preliminary geological-lithological scheme of Quaternary sediments of the Dunderdalen section, scale 1:25 000;

- a preliminary tectonic stratigraphic scheme (serial legend) of the southwestern part of the Spitsbergen archipelago;

- Lithological-stratigraphic columns of the Vendian deposits in the northern part of the Wedel Jarlsberg Land;

- a section of Quaternary deposits in the Skilvik bay;

- Partial sections of Quaternary sediments in the area of Storvika Bay and Van Keilenfjord.

New manifestations of hematite-magnetite ores within the Martin ridge are discovered. In the Central part of Chamberlaindalen valley, as well as in the Storvika area, new manifestations of sulphide ores bearing copper mineralization were discovered. The site was inspected, where last field season the concentrates were washed with gold signs.

In addition, in 2017, as part of the development of a set of maps of scale 1: 1,000,000 on sheets U-46-47 (Komsomolets Island), materials on sheets of SGM-200 were synthesized and geological maps of the pre-Pliocene and Pliocene-Quaternary formations were created on their basis, and a map of minerals, adapted to scale 1: 1 000 000. Geomorphological and geological-ecological schemes have been created at scale 1: 2 500 000, as well as a scheme for assessing the ecological state.

In 2018, it is planned to complete the cameral work on the geological study and assessment of the mineral and raw material potential of the Northern part of Wedel Jarlsberg Land, and also to begin the the study of the Central part of Nordenskiold Land (Spitsbergen archipelago).

S.A. Kozlov

Chief geologist of JSC "PMGE"

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