Category: Mining

Tips for vein modelling with channel samples

By Antonio Garibaldi,  Zak Hynd and Ignacio Torresi.

This is written for those who are having trouble modelling veins with fragmented data, especially channel samples.

Leapfrog Geo’s vein tool was designed to work with drillhole data, ideally drillholes which intersect both walls of the tabular vein structure. If you are using the vein modelling tool with fragmented channel sample data you will find these tips and tricks helpful.

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Part 2: More confident resource understanding

Iain Levy, Senior Technical Lead, Seequent.

In the first blog, we talked about a new more immersive approach to resource estimation. In this, the second part, we use real world data to highlight how this works and how this deeper understanding benefits the user. We will start off by looking at how you set up a domain for the immersive approach, before looking at how this could then be applied to investigating the search parameters.

Before we get started though, here’s a quick outline of the mineralisation:

There are two major pods of massive sulfide mineralisation running in a NE-SW trend, plunging to the NE (Figure 1). There is also a small pod of mineralisation to the north with limited drilling. We will be looking at the northern (red) pod to start. While it is a base metal deposit, we are going to be estimating gold as it has more interesting statistics and trends than zinc or lead. In terms of drilling, we are looking at a grade control situation with high density drilling.

 

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Part 1: 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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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 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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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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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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Distance functions as a resource / Confidence classification and drillhole planning tool

By Findlay Craig

The distance function tool in Leapfrog Geo allows you to calculate the distance from a given object or objects within a project, and derive distance buffers – solids whose walls are a set distance from the objects we are interested in.  Although conceptually simple, this tool can be applied to drillhole planning and resource classification to quickly and easily inform and justify our planning, and quantify current and potential reserves.

In the example below, we have an ore body which is partially drilled out; to the south it is poorly constrained and we need to plan an additional drillhole program to gather more information in this area.

Distance functions as a resource blog

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3D geological mapping: From 2D GIS maps to 3D modelling

By Antonio Celis

phot 1

 

Traditionally, geoscientists have translated their field data collection efforts into a digital version of a geological map, which is typically built using GIS software (e.g. ArcGIS). Consequently most companies will have large archives loaded with GIS information from their projects. With more companies now choosing to collect their field data using electronic devices it ultimately results in a large repository of GIS data.

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