Category: Case studies

When geologists share, the mining industry benefits

When modellers collaborate, they work faster and think smarter. But getting them to share is not as easy as it sounds. The process needs to be effortless and automatic to deliver the best results, says Seequent Senior Technical Leader Julia Oliveira.

It’s hard to overstate how important collaboration is in our industry. Modelling is not a one-person game, or even a one-team game. When you try to model by yourself that only makes it harder, and that’s because geology is not a one-person truth.

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How Leapfrog upgraded geological understanding at Amaruq

Needing to understand the complex folding and faulting geology of their Amaruq project in Nunavut Canada, leading Canadian-based gold producer Agnico Eagle turned to Leapfrog. During the exploration phase that followed, the team relied on Leapfrog daily to rapidly update, view in 3D and model different geological units allowing optimised drilling in tight timeframes.

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Seequent and IMDEX: An expanding technology partnership for 3D visualisation of drillhole data

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).

Bernie Ridgeway, Managing Director of IMDEX and Shaun Maloney, CEO of Seequent

Bernie Ridgeway, Managing Director of IMDEX and Shaun Maloney, CEO of Seequent at IMDEX headquarters in Perth.

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Polymetal compares Leapfrog EDGE to Datamine

Model of ore zone and faults created in Leapfrog Geo with EDGE

Model of ore zone and faults created in Leapfrog Geo with EDGE

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.

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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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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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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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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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