By their very nature engineering and environmental projects bring together multi-disciplinary teams who need to collaborate and communicate. but this is often thwarted by interoperability issues with specialist software. Experts who want to spend their time understanding and interpreting data, instead waste precious time manipulating software, their valuable skills lost on something that should actually be helping, not hindering.
Imagine using drillhole data to immediately see what’s going on underground in real-time. This is what the expanding technology partnership between Seequent and IMDEX is aiming to achieve.
As leaders in 3D geological modelling and visualisation software, Seequent are thrilled to be working with IMDEX, who are global leaders in mining equipment, technology and services (METS).
In a study carried out by leading precious metals mining group Polymetal International plc, new resource estimation solution, Leapfrog EDGE, was proven to achieve the same results as Datamine. The study also revealed many distinct advantages with Leapfrog EDGE, which applies the highly dynamic, intuitive and visual Leapfrog 3D capabilities to resource modelling. Leapfrog EDGE includes all of the industry standard tools you need most, for estimating, domaining, geostatistical evaluation and reporting.
Seequent’s Asia-Pacific Technical Sales Advisor for Energy, Andrew McMahon, talks about his take on current challenges in the geothermal energy industry.
The total installed global geothermal power generation capacity stands now at 14,369 MW, and that figure is set to rise. Geothermal workflows are becoming increasingly important – from exploration, to well planning, operation and maintenance. The biggest challenge I’m hearing though, is how we address geothermal data.
You might be working on a development which has decades of history and a huge amount of associated data including well, production and geophysics which has allowed for the establishment of a complete development program. Or you might be in a situation where all you have is basic data. How do we make the most of what geothermal data we have?
If you’re a junior exploration company, your aim is to run a well-funded successful exploration program, which results in an attractive official resource estimate that pays off for investors. Arriving at that estimate is a lengthy, complex process involving thousands of data points. We spoke to Contact Gold Corp about their approach and how using Leapfrog Geo helped them make a valuable intercept at a key exploration project in Nevada: Pony Creek.
Geologist Zachery Hibdon, explains Contact Gold’s interest in Pony Creek. “We’re looking for gold deposits on what is considered the southern end of the Carlin Trend, which is one of the more prolific gold trends in the world. Over 100 million ounces of gold have been produced out of mines on this trend. It’s a great place to be looking for more gold.”
Parts of Pony Creek have been previously explored, so there is historical data available to help Contact Gold’s team build a more reliable, current geological picture. Handily, Leapfrog has features to help validate historical data and raise flags for clean-up. Zach commented on the validation features in Leapfrog saying, “It’s a quick painless process to go through and once you figure out where some of those red flags are they can be used to help clean the data.” So even where there is known, desirable gold mineralisation such as at Pony Creek, the objective is to carefully analyse the geologic controls behind it, to ultimately create an accurate resource estimate.
The objective of any ground investigation is to mitigate project risk.
Embarking on a massive infrastructure project through an area of complex geology, including volcanoes, requires a very clear assessment of the ground conditions. This demanding task fell on the shoulders of global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, Aurecon. Any unforeseen delays could significantly impact the success of the high profile project, which cuts through the densely populated area of Auckland and is the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand.
To help attain and communicate this detailed technical analysis, Aurecon used Seequent’s 3D geological modelling solution, Leapfrog Works, a tool specifically designed for the Civil Engineering and Environmental industries.
Centralising all your data on one platform – such as Leapfrog Central – will dramatically improve your review process. But it also has a far-reaching and beneficial impact on your company culture, argues Seequent Senior Technical Leader Julia Oliveira.
It wasn’t so very long ago that if we needed to review models in the mining industry we would have to send pen drives from the mine to the head office – by plane. Imagine that! If you have to send data by plane, you have a problem.
Even putting data on a server and then downloading it somehow seems too complicated in 2018 for something that should be simple and fluid. It’s also open to error. Centralising all your data on one platform gives you security, reliable version control, and makes sure everyone is working from the same model and can track its history.
But what’s meaningful about centralisation for me – particularly about using Leapfrog Central – is that it’s not just about process. It can also be about inspiration, recognition and better work. Because what’s surprising is that when you introduce new technology you can also introduce a new culture; a better, modern and more effective culture that can inspire your geologists to do more.
To get there you have to realise that talking to users and talking to managers about centralisation are two very different conversations.
By Seequent Civil & Environmental Product Manager Pat McLarin
“If you design something based on out of date information, and perhaps order incorrect materials, the impacts could be cost overruns, scheduling hits or expensive machinery sitting unused.”
Was it version 8 or version 9?
Are your engineers working to the latest 3D model published this morning? Or are they about to make an expensive and time-consuming mistake because they didn’t receive the most up to date revision with that one key alteration?
Version management can be just as complex a process as wrestling with data interoperability – and could even carry more risk.
While geology is generally thought to be static, at least during a construction project lifecycle, our understanding of it will change dramatically as a project progresses. New data will frequently change the design and details of a project, sometimes significantly. It’s vital to know that everyone involved understands there’s a new geological interpretation and is working from the correct one.
Data and information management challenges are well documented and known across most industries. Where are files stored? How is information accessed? Is data up to date and reliable? Even adequate systems, processes and habits tend to devolve over time as roles and businesses change. The age of digital doesn’t seem to make things easier, but rather harder as we grapple with trying to knit the old with the new.
To discuss these big data challenges facing the energy sector today and what can be done about them, we spoke to Jeremy O’Brien Geothermal Energy Business Manager at Seequent, and Chris Hanton Technical Sales Executive at Perigon.
I was asked the other day – can you filter the model for the mined / unmined material in Leapfrog. This got me thinking – the answer is yes but doing it once and only once is a lot of work to get a single result. If we flag a model as mined/unmined today, then tomorrow the result is wrong as we have mined some more. So I asked myself “Is there a way to create a mined model that is easily updated?” There is! It has been a while since I did a ‘how to’ post so I figured this might be a good topic to cover.
In Leapfrog Geo the terminology of the geology modelling process and workflow can easily impose a straitjacket on your thinking – create a geology model using erosion, deposition and intrusion surfaces. What you are in fact creating is a domain model using cutting, covering and slicing surfaces. Remove the geology straitjacket and you will see the domaining process can be used for anything. In this case we can use the cutting (erosion) and covering (deposition) surfaces to cut in a mined/unmined model. Then we can evaluate this model against the drilling, geology models and resource models to flag out the mined material.