JDMA staff have carried out aggregate location studies for over 100 rural municipalities and counties across Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta, as well as studies across eastern and northern Canada. Our studies have included finding aggregate sources for projects ranging from road gravel to concrete-grade aggregates, fine sands for specialty industry use and clay for capping unstable road surfaces.
Our firm uses a proven approach to locating and assessing sand and gravel deposits, involving stereo aerial photograph and 3D terrain interpretation, electromagnetic (EM) ground conductivity surveys, field sampling programs and lab analysis. Our expert air photo interpreters identify granular-bearing landforms and features in stereo air photos and high resolution DEM data. To the interpreter’s experienced eye, diagnostic features on each landform indicate not only size and location of an aggregate deposit, but some suggestion of coarseness, cleanliness and even deposit depth. Identification and analysis in stereo air photos is usually followed by geophysical testing and auger or back-hoe testing. These field studies are used to confirm the size, location and quality of aggregate deposits identified during the air photo study, and to provide more detailed information on deposit depth, volume, gradation and potential contamination issues. We use a range of geophysical testing equipment to assess aggregate deposits, including EM ground conductivity meters and resistivity survey mappers. These tools allow our field staff to quickly map and assess potential sand and gravel deposits within the larger prospect area, and to define optimum locations for augur or back-hoe testing. The deposits are sampled and tested in a lab to provide data on grain size, lithology, shale content and other quality indicators. Our staff can also provide advice on the suitability of particular aggregate types for specific applications, identify potential contamination issues in aggregate deposits, and locate the most economical haul routes from new or existing prospects.