Category: Geology

Why a single source of truth has more than one advantage for the mining industry

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.

Leapfrog Central

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.

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What happens if all your teams are on the wrong page?

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“If you design something based on out of date information, and perhaps order incorrect materials, the impacts could be cost overruns, scheduling hits or expensive machinery sitting unused.”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.

Works-Central-model

Leapfrog Works model managed in Central

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A New Dawn on the Data Horizon. Is the Energy Sector now facing their digital challenges?

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.

 

geothermal-ipoint

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Creating an easily updatable Mined Geology Model in Leapfrog Geo

Ron Reid, Group Resource Geologist at Harmony GoldBy guest blogger, Ron Reid, Group Resource Geologist at Harmony Gold. Comments contained within are the authors alone and do not in any way represent the opinions of Harmony Gold.

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.

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WING Visibility Scholarship applications now open!

In April, we announced Seequent has signed on as the first Global Visibility Partner for Women in Geothermal (WING).

Founded in 2013, WING now has around 1000 members in 48 country teams in geothermal hotspots around the world from New Zealand to El Salvador to Denmark.

As WING’s Visibility Partner, we are proud to be sponsoring this year’s Visibility Scholarship.

Andrea (Andy) Blair, Global Chairman of WING, says: “Women need to be visible, in positions of influence, making decisions and leading, and serving as role models for those wanting to step into these roles too. We thought it was a really good fit to have Seequent as our partner in this area given their Leapfrog Geothermal software, used by many in the industry, provides the tools to enable visualisation and provide clarity.”

Open to all WING members, the scholarship will support speaking at the New Zealand Geothermal Conference in November. Seequent will provide flights, accommodation and conference registration for the successful applicant, chosen from conference abstracts screened by WING and Seequent.

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When time is your enemy, you need your software on your side

By Seequent Product Manager PJ Hollenbeck

All projects have their challenges, but those with a fast turnaround have a special set of problems and pressures.

A succession of accelerated construction deadlines may call for rapid iteration of geological models to meet the shrinking timelines. You might need to develop multiple hypotheses from the data you have, often in a very short space of time.

That would be ok if the software you were using was built from the ground-up specifically with geologic modelling in mind, but often it isn’t. Instead, you may be relying on tools co-opted from another industry or discipline and not intended for the ‘artform’ of geological modelling. Not only will that tend to make the initial modeling process slow and difficult, but when new data comes in – as it frequently will – it could take days, even weeks to update the model. Meanwhile, the project is already underway and costing money.

3D model

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New Zealand: the shaky isles

By Sam Bain

New Zealand has a lot of earthquakes. Many of you will have heard of the recent deadly Christchurch earthquake sequence. Some of you may know about the relatively large earthquake sequence that occurred near Seddon, a small town to the south of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, in 2013. Perhaps those strange types out there with a passion for seismology might have noticed the relatively common occurrence of medium to large earthquakes near New Zealand on the USGS earthquake map. They might not realise that in a typical month New Zealand experiences approx. 3000 earthquakes (I am cheating a bit here as around one third of these are too small to be felt). On average, New Zealanders felt 414 earthquakes larger than magnitude 4 each year from 1960 to 2011.

New Zealand Earthquake Map

Map showing earthquakes throughout New Zealand over the last year. The categorisation by colour refers to the intensity of the shaking experienced from the earthquakes. The shaking intensity is largely controlled by the earthquake magnitude and location relative to the person being shaken (especially depth). For clarity, the huge number of weak earthquakes have not been shown. Image from GNS Science Geonet website .

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New Zealand geology: a brief overview

By Sam Bain

When geologists visit the Leapfrog offices they often end up chatting with our geo’s about the spectacular geology that can be found here in New Zealand. We can usually recommend some interesting outcrops to visit when travelling our country. Today I thought I would try to give an overview of this geology. Given the tectonic complexity of this area, it will be a very simplified description but hopefully it will provide a starting point for those who are interested. In the long term I hope to look in more detail at some specific sites.

New Zealand is a section of Zealandia, a much larger submerged continental landmass. Zealandia extends a significant distance east into the Pacific Ocean and south towards Antarctica. It also extends towards Australia in the north-west. This submerged continent is dotted with topographic highs that sometimes form islands. Some of these, such as the main islands (North and South), Stewart Island, and the Chatham Islands, are settled. Other smaller islands are eco-sanctuaries with carefully controlled access.

The submerged landmass of Zealandia

The submerged landmass of Zealandia

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The risk of megathrust generated tsunamis

By Sam Bain

Natural disasters are often staggering in their scale, but few can compare to the shocking extent of damage and life loss resulting from the 2004 Indian Ocean and the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis.

We have all seen the horrifying images and videos from these events. The spread of mobile phones with reasonable quality cameras means that within hours of a disaster images begin to appear on the net. For me, there is one video in particular which captures the terrifying raw power unleashed by these disasters. It was captured from on top of a solid building and shows the rapid speed and destructiveness of the tsunami. It also clearly demonstrates the huge amount of displaced water that is involved.

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What is happening with Mining and Geo

By Richard Lane

Leapfrog Geo was introduced in response to a number of requests from users to have a tool that could be integrated more easily in a standard work environment and manage the level of complexity they were encountering in their models. This led to a new interface that helped organise the models in Leapfrog Geo in a more structured way.

We now have received a considerable amount of feedback on how Leapfrog Geo compares to Leapfrog Mining. It has been very informative from our perspective because it has clearly illustrated the very wide variety of uses and tasks that Leapfrog Mining has been used for.

The principal difference between the two products is that Leapfrog Mining is a toolbox, which contains a significant number of powerful tools. Leapfrog Geo is designed to do certain workflows and it does these very efficiently. For users whose principal tasks are these workflows it is the obvious choice, and a significant number of users have indicated their preference by switching to Leapfrog Geo.

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