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“If you design something based on out of date information, and perhaps order incorrect materials, the impacts could be cost overruns, scheduling hits or expensive machinery sitting unused.”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

Leapfrog Works’ latest release – version 2.1 – steps up 3D geological modellings ability to integrate with BIM models, with the inclusion of two key export formats, the BIM Industry Foundation Class (IFC) and Autodesk Drawing (DWG).

The release continues our major development programme to provide a subsurface solution specifically for the Civil Engineering and Environmental industries.

BIM with ground model

Leapfrog Works Project Manager, Pat McLarin, explains, “To date BIM has mainly been focused on vertical infrastructure, with much of the detail relating to design and structural decisions now incorporated into BIM models, even down to minute decisions such as wallpaper. However, the ground conditions on which the entire structure rests have not been adequately included. This means that BIM users do not have a detailed enough vision of how the geology is impacting and could impact on future decisions, exposing projects to risk. And the workflows used to bring geology into BIM have been adhoc and manual and aren’t able to make the best use of the data and the geologist’s full geological interpretation.”

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The Geothermal Modelling Workflow from Conceptual Model to Flow Model

By Seequent Product Director of Energy, Brennan Williams

Based on the feedback from our current Leapfrog Geothermal users over the last 12 months, we have been working to advance the workflow between the conceptual geological model and the numeric flow model in Leapfrog Geothermal.

With the release of Leapfrog Geothermal 3.6, a TOUGH2 flow model with an unstructured grid can now be created, on to which the geological model rock types and also fault rock types are evaluated. The TOUGH2 model can then be exported and run in the flow simulator.

Geological model with faults and wells

Figure 1: Geological model with faults and wells

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Unearthed: where data will take Civil Engineering next

“The issues that swirl around data, from openness to ethics, and innovation to automation, are vast and varied. We see many different attitudes towards it in the industries we serve.”

The second edition of our Unearthed Report is out now.

The second edition of our Unearthed Report is out now.

How will the smarter use of data transform the Civil Engineering and Environmental sectors in the next few years?

It’s an issue we’ve set out to explore in the latest edition of Unearthed, the technology and innovation report produced by the Seequent team behind Leapfrog Works – our 3D geological modelling software.

You can download the report with all the new features here.

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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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