Bird's the word
Mineral detection device attracts attention

Tracy Kovalench
Northern News Services

NNSL (May 29/98) - Some say it's used for power-line access, others swear it's a fish locator. Maybe it detects weaknesses in the roads so they can predict the next pot hole ...

These are just a few explanations G & G Expediting's Glen MacCara overhears from his office window. "I always hear parents trying to explain it to their kids," says MacCara, "everybody has a different answer."

The big, yellow thing that looks something like a missile has sparked the interest of many strolling down 52nd Avenue. "People stop to take pictures," says MacCara.

A geophysicist would tell you it's a "bird." More precisely, it's a magnetic and electromagnetic survey bird.

Containing mineral-detection equipment, the bird is flown via plane or helicopter, suspended anywhere from 25 to 100 metres above ground. It is part of the early phases of mineral exploration, which is followed by ground investigations and if need be, a drilling program, says Gord Clarke from Covello Bryan geological consultants.

Around the territories, birds search mineral deposits for kimberlite, a bedding mineral for diamonds.