Southwest Sask., particularly around Swift Current, is up for a refresher course with the Ministry of Energy and Resources.

The province recently invested $500,000 into undergoing an up-to-date 'aerial geophysical survey'. The survey would see a grid mapped out around the Swift Current and the southwest. An airplane would then fly around this grid, gathering geological data via a 'magnetometre’.

This information would reflect different magnetic levels present in portions of the grid, indicating precious resources like oil, helium, and even lithium-in-brine.

Heading up this operation is Ryan Morelli, chief geologist for the Saskatchewan Geological Survey with the Ministry of Energy and Resources. It's his hope that this information being gathered, and updating the older data on file will encourage further exploration of these particular in-demand resources locally.

"It helps geologists to understand the geological framework in the area," said Morelli. "It provides more information as to where some of these resources might exist."

This survey will not pinpoint any secret wells of oil or deposits of gold. It simply takes readings from a large area, and figures which ones have the most magnetic or the least magnetic influence.

As to how big the actual survey grid will be, and how long it will last, Morelli isn't too sure yet. He and his team only recently found out that the government approved the $500,000 they need to get up and flying.  

Nonetheless, with recent developments in helium and other riches around southwest Sask., the hope is to spur exploration companies into action, finding the exact locations of these resources.

"It's very dependent on the circumstances," cautioned Morelli. "There's potential that it could add information or lead to more discoveries."

Should something major be discovered on Crown Land, there is an existing process that will allow a group to discuss its utilization with the government. Private land will have to be considered, if anything is discovered, based on if it is a freehold or not.

More information can be found on the Ministry of Energy and Resources website, with channels available for anyone with immediate questions.