Rock Star: Jacques Yves Guigné of Acoustic Zoom

Acoustic Zoom has an elegant solution for expanding borehole data

by Timothy Fowler
A headshot of Prof. Jacques Yves Guigné, CEO of Acoustic Zoom

Prof. Jacques Yves Guigné is CEO of Acoustic Zoom. — Photo courtesy Jacques Yves Guigné

“Acoustic Zoom is a more elegant solution, an advanced methodology to examine geology. Our goal is to create a lens like a telescope to enter into the earth,” said Jacques Yves Guigné, CEO of Acoustic Zoom, located in Paradise, Newfoundland.

Long before Jacques was Dr. Jacques Yves Guigné, Ph.D., P.Geo., FIOA, he walked the shores of Lake Winnipeg near his childhood home. But unlike other kids, early in his life he wanted to know what was deep under his feet. His curiosity about the outcroppings he came across on those walks and what exactly was below led him to a career in geology and eventually the launch of Acoustic Zoom. Guigné has pursued a life-long three-dimensional dream to find and use technology to better understand what is under his feet.

2018 #DisruptMining Winner

Acoustic Zoom won the 2018 #DisruptMining competition from Goldcorp Inc. The company liked the technology enough to invest a million dollars in Acoustic Zoom and give Guigné and his team the opportunity to prove themselves and the technology to the world at its Red Lake Project.

Guigné is proud of the elegant solution Acoustic Zoom makes possible. “You can’t use just brute strength. You have to be sensitive to the earth; we can be sensitive and review seismic energy to capture a particular geology. Ore bodies are more vertical, complex features, and Acoustic Zoom focuses in a very similar way to a CAT scan of the earth."

Acoustic Zoom’s value proposition comes from getting more data from the seven-centimetre-diameter borehole. Acoustic Zoom uses the borehole to create a map 200 metres in diameter, capturing structure and mineralization. The resulting expanded data points increase return on investment. This technology means that older mines can be re-explored, an appealing market application.

Guigné describes his team as talented, and the culture of his company developed over 20 years as not afraid of being innovative. “If you’re conservative and afraid to make mistakes, you won’t go far," he said. "At the same time, you need (people with) depth in mathematics and science.”

Acoustic Zoom’s technology boosts confidence

While project management focuses on risk mitigation, Acoustic Zoom’s goal is to bring more confidence to the drilling process. Guigné and his team take lessons learned over 30 years of work to process data in new ways. His team strives to ask clearer questions about problems in new ways. And new innovation needs time to gel. Some of Guigné's best ideas took 10 years to come to fruition, waiting for the right climate and time to mature.

Drilling is expensive. Acoustic Zoom increases confidence in where the ore body lies and does this with a smaller environmental footprint than that of conventional processes. This is important for investors and operators.

Guigné describes the relationship with Goldcorp Inc. as being part of the dialogue––not just a seller of goods but part of the team. The pilot with Goldcorp Inc. has allowed Acoustic Zoom to move underground with surface technology.

Acoustic Zoom will add 15 to 20 more scientists and field staff in 2019 because of the increase in international work––and that too, is part of this Rock Star’s three-dimensional dream.

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