Category: Mining

DATA IS A SOLID INVESTMENT FOR JUNIOR EXPLORATION COMPANIES

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.

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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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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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Wood’s Principal Geologist, Peter Oshust talks Leapfrog EDGE

Peter Oshust, Wood PLC

Peter has over 25 years’ operating and consulting experience for base-metals, gold, platinum-palladium, and diamond projects around the world. Based in Vancouver, he specialises in geological modelling, geostatistics, and Mineral Resource estimation. Wood combines the experience and expertise of Amec Foster Wheeler and Wood Group into one full scope service company supporting industrial assets for customers worldwide. For more info: https://www.woodplc.com/.

In your opinion how has resource estimation or geostatistics changed over the last 10 years?
Resource estimation has changed over the past 10 years in a few areas. First, regulators and consumers of technical reports have driven improvements by demanding greater responsibility and accountability for the predictions. Also, industry and public both have a better understanding of resource confidence. For the practitioner, recent developments in software applications have provided toolkits that enable the assimilation of multiple data types and much more rapid analysis and modelling than previously. Improvements in computer hardware have also made it possible to tackle larger datasets and models.

Resource estimation will continue to change, with punctuated evolution from new applications like Leapfrog EDGE.

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Reporting Resources in Leapfrog EDGE using open pit shells

By Seequent Senior Resource Geologist Carrie Nicholls

In this blog, I will teach you how to use Leapfrog EDGE to report using open pit shells.

You have completed the resource model and now you need to compile the table of resource figures. If there has been mining activity, either historic or present, then the deposit will have to be depleted. In addition, if appropriate and available, you will most likely need to constrain the resources with a resource pit shell and/or underground stope optimisation.

Whether it is an open pit shell or closed volumes, as would be the case with underground mining, the basic procedure will be the same. A ‘Geological Model’ will need to be made to represent the reporting volumes. The estimated grade model as completed in Leapfrog EDGE and the ‘pit’ model will be evaluated onto a block model. This will then be used to report the resources at the cut-offs required. Creating the ‘pit’ model itself is straight forward. Some open pit surfaces may be a little trickier to incorporate, for example if the pit edge daylights it may not be enough to extend to the geological model extents. If it’s not be possible to go back to the mining engineer who made it to extend the pit shell, I’ll show you how to deal with this.

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Geoestima’s Principal Consultant, Orlando Rojas, discusses his testing of Leapfrog EDGE

Geoestima’s Orlando Rojas, a senior resource consultant with over 25 years’ experience, shares his experience using Leapfrog EDGE on a strata-bound copper deposit during the rigorous pre-release programme.

Leapfrog EDGE is designed for today’s resource estimation challenges. How has resource estimation or geostatistics changed in the last 10 years?
I think the biggest change is that deposits have lower grades, which requires more accuracy from resource models and more parameters to predict the throughput and cash flows. We therefore need faster, and more versatile software, with traceable workflows.

Can you tell us about your experience using Leapfrog EDGE?   
We have already completed a geological and resource model using only Leapfrog EDGE. It was a strata-bound copper deposit, we modelled the lithology and a mineralisation envelope. We performed estimations by ordinary kriging and inverse distance using two or three passes and then we compiled the results using the calculation tool. We approached the resource category using the data density function tool, which allows you to map data density within a search.

We conducted geological modelling, grade estimation and classification entirely in Leapfrog EDGE. The resulting mineral resources model built in Leapfrog EDGE conforms to all the industry-standard technical procedures. This confirms that this tool is a viable alternative for us.

The biggest benefit is that it delivers an intuitive workflow from geological modelling to resource estimation, with the added benefits of Leapfrog’s great visualisation and dynamic
updating capabilities. Leapfrog EDGE also allows you to save time exporting and importing files from different software.

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Performing a Jack-knife-Style Analysis Using Leapfrog EDGE

One simple yet effective method for testing estimation sensitivity is to run a jack-knife analysis, wherein a sample or set of samples is intentionally removed from a dataset, an estimation is performed in the location of the missing samples, and the estimated result is compared back to the samples. The tools and workflow built into Leapfrog EDGE make this a simple operation to perform at a block level by comparing the results of two different estimations.

1. Create A Standard Estimator

The first step to running a jack-knife is to create an estimator using all data required. For this example I will use the LMS1 domain from the Leda training dataset, and will be estimating the Zn grades within that volume.

Edit Domained Estimation

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Mastering new tools for today’s resource estimation challenges

SRK’s Peter Gleeson talks about Leapfrog EDGE, our new resource estimation solution that’s quick to master and saves time without compromising on quality.

Peter Gleeson, an expert with thirty years’ experience in resource estimation and mining geology tells us what he likes about Leapfrog EDGE, where he sees the future of resource estimation heading and why tools like EDGE will become so essential.

 

 

How has resource estimation or geostatistics changed over the last 10 years?

It’s become a lot more sophisticated. The market has moved from just using general mining packages to using niche packages that specialise in a specific area. Leapfrog EDGE combines many of the tools from these specialist packages into an all round estimation package. They have learnt from the mistakes of others and listened to what the resource geologists need. Examples of this include automatic Swath validation plots, automatic Boundary Analysis plots and improved ways of interpreting variography.

How do you think it will change over the next 10 years?

The industry needs more dynamic estimation models. A single static model for the life of mine is no longer good enough. Management want to test risk in a project or estimate. Only having one model that takes months to update is a barrier to this process. Leapfrog EDGE offers the opportunity to perform multiple realisations of an estimate in a relatively short time frame compared to other software.

What is one part of the resource estimation process that is often overlooked?

The geology. People put a lot of effort into geostatistics and they make fundamental mistakes as they don’t understand the geology. Combining the power of Leapfrog Geo with a fully integrated estimation workflow means the practitioner can give stronger emphasis to providing a robust geological model to underpin the estimate. Geostatistics will not save you if your geological domains are incorrect. Hence the acronym EDGE (Estimation, Domaining and Geostatistical Evaluation), with the emphasis on domaining. Working directly with Leapfrog Geo means resource domain models can often be updated in minutes as new data becomes available rather than days or weeks. Despite the improvements in efficiency of these new tools the fundamental input and understanding should be through good geology.

You can read the full interview here.

Ready to experience Leapfrog EDGE yourself? Watch this 6 minute demo video.

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Leapfrog’s role in revealing and enhancing the value of the Bozshakol deposit

The Bozshakol mine, operated by KAZ Minerals in northern Kazakhstan was the largest greenfield development project in Kazakhstan when under construction and is among the largest newly developed copper deposits in the world. It will process around 30 million tonnes of copper per year.

In pursuit of their large scale, low cost goal KAZ Minerals are implementing the most modern technology to ensure the level of automation and efficiency is high.

Leapfrog is allowing us to produce geological models in a fraction of the time (about a week at most). Without Leapfrog I’d estimate to produce just the geological model would take about four months.” Ashley Brown, Head Resource Definition, KAZ Minerals

cropped KAZ

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