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Technical Definitions

The Soil Gas Hydrocarbon (SGH) analysis discussed below was developed by Dale Sutherland of Activation Labs, Canada and represents a new advancement in technique, precision, and reliability in SGH analysis.

Soil Gas Hydrocarbon Analysis


SGH is a deep penetrating geochemistry that involves the analysis of surficial samples from over potential mineral or petroleum targets. The analysis involves the testing for 162 hydrocarbon compounds in the C5-C17 carbon series range applicable to a wide variety of sample types. SGH has been successful for delineating targets found at over 500 metres in depth. Samples of various media have been successfully analyzed such as soil (any horizon), drill core, rock, peat, lake-bottom sediments and even snow. The SGH analysis incorporates a very weak leach, essentially aqueous, that only extracts the surficial boundhydrocarbon compounds and those compounds in interstitial spaces around the sample particles. These are the hydrocarbons that have been mobilized from the target depth. SGH is unique and should not be confused with other hydrocarbon tests or traditional analyses that measure C1 (Methane) to C5 (Pentane) or other gases. SGH is also different from soil hydrocarbon tests that thermally extract or desorb all of the hydrocarbons from the whole soil sample. This test is less specific as it does not separate the hydrocarbonsand thus does not identify or measure the responses as precisely. These tests also do not use a forensic approach to identification. The hydrocarbons in the SGH extract are separated by high resolution capillary column gas chromatography to isolate, confirm, and measure the presence of only the individual hydrocarbons that have been found to be of interest from initial research and development and from performance testing in two Canadian Mining Industry Research Organization (CAMIRO) projects (97E04 and 01E02).

Over the past 12+ years of research, Activation Laboratories Ltd. has developed an in-depth understanding of the unique SGH signatures associated with different commodity targets. Using a forensic approach we have developed target signatures or templates for identification, and the understanding of the expected geochromatography that is exhibited by each class of SGH compounds. In 2004 we began to include an SGH interpretation report delivered with the data to enable our clients to realize the complete value andunderstanding of the SGH results in the shortest time frame and provide the benefit from past research sponsored by Actlabs, CAMIRO, OMET and other projects.

SGH has attracted the attention of a large number of Exploration companies. In the above mentioned research projects the sponsors have included (in no order): Western Mining Corporation, BHP-Billiton, Inco, Noranda, Outokumpu, Xstrata, Cameco, Cominco, Rio Algom, Alberta Geological Survey, Ontario Geological Survey, Manitoba Geological Survey and OMET. Further, beyond this research, Activation Laboratories Ltd. has interpreted the SGH data for over 400 targets from clients since January of 2004. In both CAMIRO research projects over known mineralization and in exploration projects over unknown targets, SGH has performed exceptionally well. As an example, in the first CAMIRO research project that commenced in 1997 (Project 97E04), there were 10 study areas that were submitted blindly to Actlabs. These study sites were selected since other inorganic geochemistries were unsuccessful at illustrating anomalies related to the target.

Although Actlabs was only provided with the samples and their coordinates, SGH was able to locate the blind mineralization with exceptional accuracy in 9 of the 10 surveys. SGH has recently been very successful in exploration and discovery of unknown targets e.g. Golden Band Resources drilled an SGH anomaly and discovered a significant vein containing “visible” gold. (

Sample Type and Survey Design: It is highly recommended that a minimum of 50 sample “locations” is preferred to obtain enough samples into background areas on both sides of small suspected targets (wet gas plays, Kimberlite pipes, Uranium Breccia pipes, veins, etc.). SGH is not interpreted in the same way as inorganic based geochemistries. SGH must have enough samples over both the target and background areas in order to fully study the dispersion patterns or geochromatography of the SGH classes of compounds. Based on our minimum recommendation of at least 50 sample locations we further suggest that all samples be evenly spaced with about one-third of the samples over the target and one-third on each side of the target in order for SGH to be used for exploration. Targets other than gas plays, pipes, dykes or veins usually require additional samples to represent both the target and background areas.

SGH has been shown to be very robust to the use of different sample types even “within” the same survey or transect. Research has illustrated that it is far more important to the ultimate interpretation of the results to take a complete sample transect or grid than to skip samples due to different sample media. The most ideal natural sample is still believed to be soil from the “Upper B-Horizon”, however excellent results can also be obtained from other soil horizons, humus, peat, lake-bottom sediments, and even snow. The sampling design is suggested to use evenly spaced samples from 15 metres to 200 metres and line spacing from 50 metres to 500 metres depending on the size and type of target. A 4:1 ratio is suggested, however, larger orientation surveys have also been successful. Ideally even large grids should have one-third of the samples over the target and two-thirds of the samples into anticipated background areas. This will allow the properassessment of the SGH geochromatographic vectoring and background site signature levels with minimal bias. Individual samples taken at significant distances from the main survey area to represent background are not of value in the SGH interpretation as SGH results are not background subtracted. Samples can be drip dried in the field and do not need special preservation for shipping and has been specifically designed to avoid common contaminants from sample handling and shipping. SGH has also been shown to be robust to cultural activities even to the point that successful results and interpretation has been obtained from roadside right-ofways.

Sample Preparation and Analysis: Upon receipt at Activation Laboratories the samples are air-dried in isolated and dedicated environmentally controlled rooms set to 40°C. The dried samples are then sieved. In the sieving process, it is important that compressed air is not used to clean the sieves between samples as trace amounts of compressor oils “may” poison the samples and significantly affect some target signatures. At Activation Laboratories a vacuum is used to clean the sieve between each sample. The -60 mesh sieve fraction (<250 microns, although different mesh sizes can be used at the preference of the exploration geologist) is collected and packaged in a Kraft paper envelope and transported from our sample preparation building to our analytical building on the same street in Ancaster Ontario. Each sample is then extracted, separated by gas chromatography and analyzed by mass spectrometry using customized parameters enabling the highly specific detection of the 162 targeted hydrocarbons at a reporting limit of one part-per-trillion (ppt). This trace level limit of reporting is critical to the detection of these hydrocarbons that, through research, have been found to be related at least in part to the breakdown and release of hydrocarbons from the death phase of microbes directly interacting with a deposit at depth. The hydrocarbon signatures are directly linked to thedeposit type which is used as a food source. The hydrocarbons that are mobilized and metabolized by the microbes are released in the death phase of each successive generation. Very few of the hydrocarbons measured are actually due to microbe cells, or hydrocarbons present or formed in the genesis of the deposit or from anthropogenic contamination. The results of the SGH analysis is reported in raw data form in an Excelspreadsheet as “semi-quantitative” concentrations without any additional statistical modification.

Mobilized Inorganic Geochemical Anomalies: It is important to note that SGH is essentially “blind” to any inorganic content in samples as only organic compounds as hydrocarbons are measured. Thus inorganic geochemical surface anomalies that have migrated away from the mineral source, and thus may be interpreted and found to be a false target location, is not detected and does not affect SGH results. This fact is of great advantage when comparing the SGH results to inorganic geochemical results. If there is agreement in the location of the anomalies between the organic an inorganic technique, such as Actlabs’ Enzyme Leach, a significant increase in confidence in the target location can be realized. If there is no agreement or a shift in the location of the anomalies between the techniques, the inorganic anomaly may have been mobilized in the surficial environment.

The Nugget Effect: As SGH is “blind” to the inorganic content in the survey samples, any concern of a “nugget effect” will not be encountered with SGH data. A “nugget effect” may be of a concern for inorganic geochemistries from surveys over copper, gold, lead, nickel, etc. type targets.

SGH Interpretation Report: All SGH submissions must be accompanied by relative or UTM coordinates so that we may ensure that the sample survey design is appropriate for use with SGH, and to provide an SGH interpretation with the results. In our interpretation procedure, we separate the results into 19 SGH subclasses. These classes include specific alkanes, alkenes, thiophenes, aromatic, and polyaromatic compounds. Note that none of the SGH hydrocarbons are “gaseous” at room temperature and pressure. The classes arethen evaluated in terms of their geochromatography and for coincident compound class anomalies that are unique to different types of mineralization. Actlabs uses a six point scale in assigning a rating of similarity of the SGH signatures found in the submitted survey to signatures previously reviewed and researched from known case studies over the same commodity type. Also factored into this rating is the appropriateness of the survey and amount of data/sample locations that is available for interpretation. This rating scale is described in detail in the following section.


To date SGH has been found to be successful in the depiction of buried mineralization for Gold, Nickel, VMS, SEDEX, Uranium, Polymetallic, and Copper, as well as for Kimberlites. SGH data has developed into a dual exploration tool. From the interpretation, a vertical projection of the predicted location of the target can be made as well as a statement on the rating of the comparability of the identification of the anticipated target type to that from known case studies. The rating is a measure of the comparability to known case studies, e.g. if the client requires a review for uranium deposits, what is the rating or similarity of the target to SGH case studies over known uranium deposits. The uranium template was developed using SGH data from study sites over Dawn Lake and McArthur River Athabascan uranium deposits in Saskatchewan, roll-front uranium deposits in Nevada and Mongolia, and breccia pipes in Arizona.

  • A rating of “6” is the highest or best rating, and means that the SGH classes most important to describing a Uranium related hydrocarbon signature are all present and consistently vector to the same location with well defined anomalies. To obtain this rating there also needs to be other SGH classes that when mapped lend support to the predicted location.
  • A rating of “5” means that the SGH classes most important to describing a Uranium signature are all present and consistently describe the same location with well defined anomalies. The SGH signatures may not be strong enough to also develop additional supporting classes.·        A rating of “4” means that the SGH classes most important to describing a Uranium signature are mostly present describing the location with well defined anomalies. Supporting classes may also be present.
  • A rating of “3” means that the SGH classes most important to describing a Uranium signature are mostly present and describe the same location with fairly well defined anomalies. Some supporting classes may or may not be present.
  • A rating of “2” means that some of the SGH classes most important to describing a Uranium signature are present but a predicted location is difficult to determine. Some supporting classes may be present.
  • A rating of “1” is the lowest rating, meaning the SGH class most important to describing a Uranium signature is present but a predicted location is difficult to determine. Supporting classes are not helpful.

The SGH rating is directly and significantly affected by the survey design. Small data sets, especially if significantly <50 sample locations, or transects/surveys that are geographically too short will automatically receive a lower rating no matter how impressive an SGH anomaly might be. When there is not enough sample locations to adequately review the SGH class geochromatography, or when the sample spacing isinadequate, or if the spacing is highly variable such that it biases the interpretation of the results, then theconfidence in the interpretation of any geochemistry is adversely affected. The SGH rating is not just a rating of the agreement between the SGH pathfinder classes for a particular target type; it is a rating of the overall confidence in the SGH results from this particular survey. The interpretation is only based on the SGH results without any information from other geochemical, geological or geophysical information.


The subjective SGH rating system has been used since 2004 when Activation Laboratories started providing an SGH Interpretation Report with ever submission for SGH analysis to aid our clients in understanding this organic geochemistry and ensuring that they obtain the best results for their surveys. As explained in the previous section, the SGH rating is not just a rating of how definitive an SGH anomaly is, and is not based just on the map(s) provided in this report. It is a rating of “confidence in the interpreted anomaly” from the combination of (i) are the expected SGH Pathfinder Classes of compounds present from thetemplate for this target type (one Pathfinder Class map is shown in the report, at least three must be present to adequately describe the correct signature for a particular target), (ii) how well do these SGH Pathfinder Classes agree in describing an particular area, (iii) how well does this agreement compare to SGH case studies over known targets of that type, (iv) how well is the interpreted anomaly defined by the survey (i.e. a single transect does not provide the same confidence as a complete grid of samples), and (v) is there at least a minimum of 50 sample locations in the survey so that there may be an adequate amount of data to observe the geochromatography of the different SGH Pathfinder Class of compounds.

The question often arises by clients as to the frequency of a rating, e.g. “how often is a rating of 5.0 given in an interpretation”. To better understand this we present this review of the history of the SGH rating program since 2004 and some of the underlying situations that can affect the historical rating charts.

Originally it was recommended that a minimum of 35 sample location be used for small target exploration, however it was quite quickly realized that this is often insufficient and at least 50 sample locations were required. In 2007, the rating scale was refined to include increments of 0.5 units rather than just integer values from 0 to 6.

A rating frequency may be biased high as most clients conduct an orientation study over a known target, thus several of these projects result in high ratings. Note that, at this time, the rating is not said to be linked to grade of a deposit or depth to the target. Even in exploration surveys clients tend to submit samples over more promising targets due to knowledge of the geology and prior geochemical or geophysical results. As shown in the following chart, projects with SGH data from 200 or more sample locations have a higher level of confidence in the interpretation as the geochromatography of the SGH Pathfinder Classes of compounds can be more completely observed and reviewed.


The rating frequency may be biased low as research projects often include a bare minimum of samples to reduce costs. Research projects may also be over targets known to be difficult to depict with geochemistry. Multiple targets in close vicinity in a survey may result in a low bias as the Pathfinder Class geochromatography is more difficult to deconvelute. Ratings may also be biased low if less than the recommended 50 sample locations is submitted as indicated by the following chart. This chart also illustrates that there is no interpretation bias to a particular rating value.


The overall rating frequency for over 400 targets from January 2004 to December 2009 is shown in the chart below illustrating that surveys over more promising targets are most often submitted for best use of research or exploration dollars. It also indicates that the 0.5 increments were less frequent as they started in 2007.



Reporting Limit: The SGH Excel spreadsheet of results contains the raw unaltered concentrations of the individual SGH compounds in units of “part-per-trillion” (ppt). The reporting of these ultra low levels is vital to the measurement of the small amounts of hydrocarbons now known to be leached/metabolized and subsequently released by dead bacteria that have been interacting with the ore at depth. To ensure that the data has a high level of confidence, a “reporting limit” is used. The reporting limit of 1 ppt actually represents a level of confidence of approximately 5 standard deviations where SGH data is assured to be “real” and non-zero. Thus in SGH the use of a reporting limit automatically removes site variability and there is no need to further background subtract any data as the reporting limit has already filtered out any site background effects. Thus we recommend that all data that is equal to or greater than 2 ppt should be used in any data review. It is important to review all SGH data as low values that may be the centre of halo anomalies and higher values as apical anomalies or as halo ridges are all important.

Laboratory Replicate Analysis: A laboratory replicate is a sample taken randomly from the submitted survey being analyzed and are not unrelated samples taken from some large stockpile of bulk material. In the Organics laboratory an equal portion of this sieved sample, or pulp, is taken and analyzed in the same manner using the Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer. The comparison of laboratory replicate and field duplicate results for chemical tests in the parts-per-million or even parts-per-billion range has typically been done using an absolute “relative percent difference (RPD)” statistic which is an easy proxy for error estimation rather than a more complete analysis of precision as specified by Thompson and Howarth. An RPD statistic is not appropriate for SGH results as the reporting limit for SGH is 1 part-per-trillion. Further, SGH is a semi-quantitative techniqueand was not designed to have the same level of precision as other less sensitive geochemistries as it is only used as an exploration tool and not for any assay work. SGH isalso designed to cover a wide range of organic compounds with an unprecedented 162 compounds being measured for each sample. In order to analyze such a wide molecular weight range of compounds, sacrifices were made to the variability especially in the low molecular weight range of the SGH analysis. The result is that the first fifteen SGH compounds or the first page of the Excel spreadsheet is expected to exhibit more imprecision than the other 147 compounds. An SGH laboratory replicate is a large set of data for comparison even for just a few pairs of analyses. Precision calculations using a Thompson and Howarth approach should only be used for estimating error in individual measurements, and not for describing the average error in a larger data set. In geochemical exploration geochemists seek concentration patterns to interpret and thus rigorous precision in individual samples is not required because the concentrations of many samples are interpreted collectively. For these reasons recent and independent research at Acadia University in Canada promote that a percent Coefficient of Variation (%CV) should be used as a universal measurement of relative error in all geochemical applications. As SGH results are a relatively large data set for nearly all submissions, %CV is a better statistic for use with SGH. By using %CV, the concentration of duplicate pairs is irrelevant because the units of concentration cancel out in the formation of the coefficient of variation ratio. For SGH, the %CV is calculated on all values ≥ 2 ppt. These values are averaged and represent a value for each pair of replicate analysis of the sample. All of the %CV values for the replicates are then averaged to report one %CV value to represent the overallestimate of the relative error in the laboratory sub-sampling from the prepared samples, and any instrumental variability, in the SGH data set for the survey. Actlabs' has successfully addressed the analytical challenge to minimize analytical variability for such a large list of compounds. Thus as SGH is also interpreted as a signature and is solely used for exploration and not assay measurement, the data from SGH is “fit for purpose” as a geochemical exploration tool.

Historical SGH Precision: In the general history of geochemistry, studies indicate that a large component of total measurement error is introduced during the collection of the initial sample and in subsampling, and that only a subordinate amount of error in the result is introduced during preparation and analysis. A historical record encompassing many projects for SGH, having a wide variety of sample types, geology and geography, shows that the consistency and precision for the analysis of SGH is excellent with an overall precision of 6.6% Coefficient of Variation (%CV). When last calculated, this number has arange having a maximum of 10% CV and a minimum of 3% CV in a population made up of a total of some 400 targets interpreted since June of 2004 which has encompassed a wide variety of sample types as soils, peat, etc. in over 32,000 samples. When field duplicates have been revealed to us, we have found that the precision of the field duplicates are in the range of about 9 to 12 %CV. As SGH is interpreted using a combination of compounds as a chemical “class” or signature, the affect of a few concentrations that may be imprecise in a direct comparison of duplicates is not significant. Further, projects that have been resampled at different times or seasons are expected to have different SGH concentrations. The SGH anomalies may not be in exactly the same position or of the same intensity due to variable conditions that may have affected the dispersion of different pathfinder classes. However, the SGH “signature” as to the presence of the specific mix of SGH pathfinder classes will definitely still exist, and will retain the ability to identify and vector to the same target location.


The Laboratory Materials Blank Quality Assurance measurements (LMB-QA) shown in the SGH spreadsheet of results are matrix free blanks analyzed for SGH. These blanks are not typical laboratory blanks as they do not accurately reflect an amount expected to be from laboratory handling or laboratory conditions that may be present and affect the sample analysis result. The LMB-QA measurements are a pre-warning system to only detect any contamination originating from laboratory glassware, vials or caps. As there isno substrate to emulate the sample matrix, the full solvating power of the SGH leaching solution, effectively a water leach, is fully directed at the small surface area of the glassware, vials or caps. In a sample analysis the solvating power of the SGH leaching solution is distributed between the large sample surface area (from soil, humus, sediments, peat, till, etc.) and the relatively small contribution from the laboratory materials surfaces. The sample matrix also buffers the solvating or leaching effect in the sample versus the more vigourous leaching of the laboratory materials which do not experience this buffering effect. Thus the level of the LMB-QA reported is biased high relative to the sample concentration and the actual contribution of the laboratory reagents, equipment, handling, etc. to the values in samples is significantly lower. This situation in organic laboratory analysis only occurs at such extremely low part-pertrillion (ppt) measurement levels. This is one of the reasons that SGH uses a reporting limit and not adetection limit. The 1 ppt reporting limit used in the SGH spreadsheet of raw concentration data is 3 to 5 times greater than a detection limit. The reporting limit automatically filters out analytical noise, the actual LMB-QA, and most of the sample survey site background. This has been proven as SGH values of 1 to 3 parts-per-trillion (ppt) have very often illustrated the outline of anomalies directly related to mineral targets. Thus all SGH values greater than or equal to 1 or 2 ppt should be used as reliable values for interpretations.The LMB-QA values thus should not be used to background subtract any SGH data. The LMB-QA values are only an early warning as a quality assurance procedure to indicate the relative cleanliness of laboratory glassware, vials, caps, and the laboratory water supply at the ppt concentration level. Do not subtract the LMB-QA values from SGH sample data.



In the interpretation of “inorganic” geochemical data one of the determinations to be made is to calculate a “Threshold” value above which data is considered anomalous. This is done on an element by element basis. In the interpretation of this “organic” geochemical data this determination is done differently. The determination of a threshold value is not calculated for each hydrocarbon compound. The determination of a threshold value is also a concentration below which geochemical data is considered as “noise” for the purposes of geochemical interpretation. As discussed on page 10, SGH uses a “Reporting Limit” instead of some type of Detection Limit. The amount of noise that is already eliminated in the data, as below the Reporting Limit of 1 part-per-trillion (shown in the data spreadsheet as “-1” as “not-detected at a Reporting Limit of 1 ppt”) is equivalent to approximately 5 standard deviations of variability. To thus calculate an additional Threshold Value is a loss of real and valuable data. Further, in the interpretation of SGH data, individual compounds are not considered (unless explicitly mentioned in the report). The interpretation of SGH data is exclusively conducted by “compound chemical class” which is the sum of four to fourteen individual hydrocarbons in the same organic chemical class as these compounds naturally have the same chemical properties that ultimately define their spatial dispersion characteristics in their rise from a mineral target through the overburden. This combined class is more reliable than the measurement of any one compound. SGH also eliminates the need for a Threshold value determination above the Reporting Limit due to the “high specificity” of the specific hydrocarbons and the classes they form. Each of the hydrocarbons has been hand selected due to their lower probability of being found in general surface soils. Further, only those classes where the majority of the compounds are detected above the Reporting Limit are considered in the interpretation. This defines the SGH geochemistry as having lessgeochemical noise due to the use of a reporting limit and as having higher confidence in the use of groups (classes) of data instead of individual compounds. However the most important aspect of interpretation is the use of a forensic signature. At least three specific “Pathfinder” classes, based on the combinations or template of classes we have developed, must be present to define the hydrocarbon signature to confidently predict the presence of a specific type of mineral target. Do not calculate another Threshold value. FACT: It has been proven many times that important chemical anomalies can exist even at 5 ppt.

SGH PATHFINDER CLASS MAGNITUDE: The magnitude of any individual concentration or that of a hydrocarbon class does not imply that the data is of more importance or that mineralization is of higher quantity or grade. SGH interpretation must use the review of the combination of specific hydrocarbon classes to make any interpretation.


One of the first experiments in 1996 in the development of the SGH analysis was to observe if an SGH response could be obtained directly from an ore sample. From office shelf specimens, small rock chips were obtained which were then crushed and milled. The fine pulp obtained was then subjected to the SGH analysis. These shelf specimen samples were from well known Volcanic Massive Sulphide deposits of the Mattabi deposit from the Archean Sturgeon Lake Camp in Northwestern Ontario and from the Kidd Creek Archean volcanic-hosted copper-zinc deposit. Even these specimen samples contain a geochemical record of the hydrocarbons produced by the bacteria that had been feeding on these deposits at depth. As a comparison, SGH analysis were similarly conducted on modern-day VMS ore samples taken from a “black smoker” hydrothermal volcanic vent from the deep sea bed of the Juan de Fuca Ridge where high concentrations of microbial growth was also known to exist. The raw data profiles as GC/MS Total Ion Chromatograms are shown below to illustrate the “visible” portion of the VMS signature obtained from the SGH analysis.


The top two profiles were obtained from two samples of the modern day “black smokers”. The third and fourth chromatograms in the above image were obtained from the Pre-Cambrian Zn-Cu Kidd Creek and Mattabi deposits. The red arrows point to three compounds that are a portion of the SGH signature for VMS type deposits. This visible portion of the VMS signature of hydrocarbons can easily be seen in the analysis of each of these four samples.

The next question in our early objectives was to see if this SGH signature could also be observed in surficial soil samples that had been taken over VMS deposits. Through our research projects, soil samples were obtained from over the Ruttan Cu-Zn VMS deposit near Leaf Rapids, Manitoba and located in the Paleoproterozoic Rusty Lake greenstone belt. The profile obtained, as observed in the raw GC/MS chromatogram, is shown in this next image below:


The three compounds indicated by the red arrows represent the same visible portion of the VMS signature observed from the modern day black smoker samples and the ore samples taken from the Mattabi and Kidd Creek, even though this soil was taken from over a different VMS deposit in a geographically different area. Is this coincidence? Another soil sample was obtained from Noranda’s Gilmour South base-metal occurrence in the Bathurst Mining camp in northern New Brunswick. As shown below, this sample contained a very complex SGH signature, however the visible portion of the VMS signature as indicated bythe red arrows is still observed as in the black smoker, Mattabi and Kidd Creek ore samples.


In research conducted by the Ontario Geological Survey, this same portion of the SGH signature was also observed over the VMS deposit at Cross Lake in Ontario. Note that the visible signature shown as the three compounds indicated by the red arrows are only a small portion of the complete SGH VMS signature.

The full VMS signature is made up of at least three groups, as three organic chemical classes, that together contain at least 35 of the individual SGH hydrocarbons. The chromatograms shown on the preceding page from the GC/MS analysis are not used directly in the interpretation of SGH data. As we are only interested in a specific list of 162 hydrocarbons, the mass spectrometer and associated software programs specifically identifies the hydrocarbons of interest, runs calculations using relative responses to a short list of hydrocarbons used as standards, and develops an Excel spreadsheet of semi-quantitative concentration data to represent the sample. Thus the SGH results for a sample, like that observed in ore from the Ruttan, are filtered to obtain the concentrations for the specific 162 hydrocarbons. A simple bar graph drawn from the Excel spreadsheet of the hydrocarbons and their concentrations results in a DNA like forensic SGH signature as shown below. The portion discussed hear as the “visible” SGH VMS signature in the GC/MS chromatograms, is again shown by the red arrows.


Through the work done in the SGH CAMIRO research projects, it was observed that the hydrocarbon signature produced by the SGH technique appeared to also be able to be used to differentiate barren from ore-bearing conductors. This was explored further through the submission and analysis of specific specimen samples that represented a barren pyritic conductor and a barren graphitic conductor.

The GC/MS chromatograms from these two specimens are compared to that obtained from the Kidd-Creek ore as shown below. This diagram conclusively shows that the SGH signatures obtained from the two types of barren conductors are completely different than that obtained by SGH over VMS type ore. SGH is thus able to differentiate between ore-bearing conductors and barren conductors as the Forensic SGH Geochemical signature is different.


SGH has been described by the Ontario Geological Survey of Canada (OGS) as a “REDOX cell locator”. Many SGH surveys for Gold and other mineral targets can result in multiple types of anomalies, depending on the class of SGH compounds, even over the same target and in the same set of samples. Thus “Apical”, “Nested-Halo”, and “Rabbit-Ear” or “Halo” type SGH anomalies are all typically observed from the effect of REDOX cells that have developed over deposits. REDOX cells are also related to the presence of bacteriological activity.