Where have the macros gone? An immersive approach to estimation

Iain Levy, Senior Technical Lead, Seequent.

When discussing Leapfrog EDGE with clients I’m often asked, “what about macros?” or, “will Leapfrog EDGE be getting macros in the future?” Along this vein, a common request is for a swish multidomain tool that enables you to quickly carbon copy parameters from one domain and apply them to multiple other ones.

This has led me to reflect on why macros are so engrained into our estimation workflows, and if this has resulted in a focus on the processes of resource estimation to the detriment of the geology and reasoning behind it. As Dr Jacqui Coombes, General Manager – Innovation at METS Ignited recently commented; ‘The future of resource estimation will not focus so much on the process of resource estimation but on the reasoning of it’.

This blog is part one of a two-part series which considers the standard approach undertaken for resource estimation, and the value of a new approach where reasoning and validation play a more integrated role throughout the estimate.

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Can Implicit Modelling transform the civil engineering industry?

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
― Abraham H. Maslow

For years the geologists working on civil engineering and environmental projects have grappled with the challenge of building ground models using tools designed for drafting engineering designs.
Traditional engineering design started by drawing 2D sections, plans and elevations to define a 3D structure, which isn’t practical for natural geological structures which are almost never straight and aligned. Geology is a science rather than an engineering discipline because it models the real world instead of designing man-made structures within it. Geology doesn’t come in boxes, triangles, straight lines or even sophisticated Bezier curves. All of these are simply ways of representing the geology on a computer.

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Unearthed report for Civil Engineering and Environment industry

Have you ever thought about the science that goes into building a bridge? It’s not all about the engineering – it’s also about the geology.

Geology is a science, rather than an engineering discipline because it models the real world as opposed to building structures within it. By definition, geology is the study of earth’s composition and the methods we use to study it are rapidly changing.

With the global launch of our latest software, Leapfrog Works, we have released the Unearthed Report – a global briefing on the technology and innovation revolutionising the Civil Engineering and Environmental industries.


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How Leapfrog Geo helped improve geological understanding and productivity at Edna May Gold Mine, Western Australia

In 2014, leading Australian gold miner, Evolution Mining, first introduced Leapfrog Geo to generate a geological model for the 2014 Mineral Resource Estimation, a major change compared to previously used explicit methods. Based on this success, Leapfrog Geo was then introduced to rapidly update the Grade Control (GC) block model.

Hans Andersen, Group Resource Geologist, Evolution Mining, says, “Using Leapfrog Geo we are able to model highly complex geology, giving improved representation of the various geological units. For the past 18 months Leapfrog Geo has also supplemented our grade control process enabling the dynamic updating of our GC block model. This has freed up significant modelling time and allows staff to concentrate on other high value geological activities.”

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Take control of your geological modelling in 2018

Are you energised and excited about the projects underway in 2018? Are the tools you use for modelling helping you to achieve your goals? Are you happy to recommend them?

Recommending a solution to others is the number one proof of satisfaction. If you’re not happy to recommend your current solution, you’re not satisfied. Leapfrog’s 2017 annual survey revealed 95% of users surveyed would recommend Leapfrog to a friend or colleague.

Seriously satisfied

As you can see from the satisfaction scores below, the majority of Leapfrog users surveyed are ‘satisfied’, and a large proportion of those ‘satisfied’ users are ‘very satisfied’

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Leapfrog EDGE survey blog

Leapfrog EDGE pre-release feedback – ‘What a modeller geologist always wanted’

Leapfrog EDGE is a resource estimation solution that supports and advances industry practices to meet today’s challenges. Designed in collaboration with the industry, Leapfrog EDGE has undergone years of development and refinement in readiness for its market launch in November 2017.

Nearly 200 geologists with a variety of different backgrounds, experience and job roles used Leapfrog EDGE as part of a pre-release programme. This blog outlines the results of a recent survey on their experiences.

This feedback is based on Leapfrog EDGE 1.0. We expect the increased functionality in the recently released Leapfrog EDGE 2.0 to add even more value and solve additional issues experienced in resource estimation.

Seamless integration with geology

A key feature of the software, introduced to address a need identified in the early research, is the seamless integration of the resource estimation process with the geological model. Leapfrog EDGE delivers an integrated workflow and ensures the resource estimate has a strong geological foundation. Nearly 90% of those surveyed agreed that Leapfrog EDGE provided this integration and that it improved their confidence in the final result.

Robin Simpson, Principal Consultant (Resource Geology) at SRK Consulting, Russia, told us, “Leapfrog EDGE is a pleasure to use and it is convenient to be able to stay within Leapfrog for many of the tasks I previously had to export to other software. I like the convenience of being linked to the geology model and it is more efficient to update the resource model with fewer hassles importing and exporting files.”

Federico Mera, Resource Geologist at Lundin Gold, Ecuador, had a similar experience, “Leapfrog EDGE is what a modeller geologist always wanted. It simplifies steps and removes the annoying processes that deviate from the main goal of understanding the geology. I’ve used other software to model resources but I never feel entirely comfortable because I’m concerned about importing, exporting, re-importing and changing file formats.”

Leapfrog EDGE’s dynamic updating feature, first introduced in Leapfrog Geo, allows users to add data or revise their interpretations at any stage in the workflow and the changes automatically flow downstream and update. This simple but substantial step enhances how users can manage change as they continue to interpret geology and make use of the latest information.

This dynamic updating is cited as a key advantage by many including Graham Greenway, Group Resource Geologist at Lundin Mining, UK, who says, “One of the most frustrating steps in the resource estimation process is having to run and re-do multiple steps if new data is added. When you add new data to Leapfrog EDGE the process automatically reworks itself.”

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Our impact on the Geothermal industry

We offer a product suite with modelling capabilities for many industries, including Leapfrog Geothermal for the geothermal energy sector.

Geothermal energy is heat from the earth

Geothermal energy is now being harnessed by regions world-wide as an affordable, clean, and sustainable energy source. The interactive map below shows the geothermal 2017 electrical generating capacities per country:

Data from ThinkGeoenergy. This interactive heat-map was created using the free program OpenSourceMap. 

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A Three Letter Word that Sank a Thousand Mineral Projects

This post was written by Mike O’Brien, Geostatistician Seequent Expert Services (previously ARANZ Geo), based on his experiences working as a consultant on mineral projects

‘AND’ is a logic gate that sneaks up on mineral projects and destroys their value.

‘AND’ is a logical conjunction and, to grossly simplify, it implies the outcome of applying a series of factors in combination is only positive if each of the series of factors is positive. This logic gate controls a lot of things that we do. For example, (Exam passed by Jane) = (Jane goes to school) AND (Jane goes to exam venue) AND (Jane obtained pass mark). All three conditions have to happen for Jane to pass the exam.

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Using curiosity as a business tool

By Claire Mahoney

From the time we can speak, we start asking questions: Why is the sky blue? How big is the ocean? Why do the leaves change colour? Being curious is encouraged and rewarded because it leads to a deeper understanding of the world, which helps us operate and survive better as humans.

Curiosity is part of our company culture and we use it for a lot of different reasons: to build better software, understand user needs and help solve complex industry challenges. Even as we grow as a company, we’re still asking the same questions: What does it look like underground? Can we harness the power of a volcano?

By being curious we’ve created multiple opportunities, solved a host of problems and had some enlightening conversations. Here’s how we apply curiosity in our business.

Curiosity for problem-solving

When we heard back in 2014 that some of our customers were having problems managing their model versions, which was hampering their decision-making and costing money at the operations stage, we saw an opportunity to help out and get curious.

We asked some key questions: How are you managing projects now? How are models shared currently? What other decisions depend on the data? What other problems is this causing?

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The Open Mining Format

By Nicole Doucette

Imagine this: You’re a geologist at a mining company, and you’ve just finished updating your company’s geological model with new drilling results. You now need to pass this model to the mining engineers, so they can redesign a section of the mine. The mining engineers use a different software program than you do though, as it’s an industry standard to use different specialized programs for each part of the mining lifecycle.

However, your software programs are proprietary and not interoperable – meaning they don’t easily share information. They each have a unique file format. Your company has created a custom script to convert from one software to another, so you spend hours running the script and checking the data. You’re wary to run any new software updates, as it could change the file structure and render your script useless. You also have to meticulously check the file to make sure it’s converted correctly – because once the file was corrupted and haul trucks were sent to the wrong location, which was both dangerous and costly.

Instead of being able to focus on your work, you’re losing time every day converting and re-importing files for different programs. Since mining is iterative, you pass files back and forth with other geologists and engineers often. Every time they send you their data, they have to follow this same time-consuming process as well.

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