‘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.”

Visual capabilities

Presented in streamlined, easy to follow workflows, Leapfrog EDGE includes all of the standard tools for estimation, domaining, geostatistical evaluation and reporting while introducing the innovative use of 3D visualisation to resource estimation. 95% of respondents agreed that the power of interactive data visualisation, often in 3D, helped them gain a greater understanding of their data. While being able to iterate and test various parameters while viewing the results in 3D also gave new insight.

John Ashton, Chief Exploration Geologist at Boliden TARA Mines DAC, says, “The standout features of Leapfrog EDGE are its ease of use and integration with the excellent Leapfrog environment. It has the potential to be a game changer in resource estimation.”

Reducing the learning curve

This ease of use, cited by many as a strong advantage of the software, is due to intuitive workflows and uncluttered work spaces designed to significantly reduce frustration and training time, while improving productivity. 86% of respondents agreed that Leapfrog EDGE had been thoughtfully crafted and this dramatically reduced the learning curve. In fact, almost everyone surveyed said they felt comfortable working with EDGE in a matter of days (58%) and for some in a matter of hours (37%).

Director of Product and Innovation, Tim Schurr, comments, “As you’d expect the tools are user friendly, intuitive and easily accessible so users can focus on the resource estimate rather than mastering software. With sound experience in mineral resource estimation a new Leapfrog EDGE user takes only a matter of days to become proficient, comparable software can take months.”

Common frustration

We also asked respondents about their greatest source of frustration with current practices and many cited the sheer difficulty of the overall workflow and the sequence of different software solutions needed to complete the process. Others had more specific frustrations that Leapfrog EDGE’s simplification helped alleviate. These include the option to distribute the smallest composite to other composites along the length of the drillhole or being able to easily assess boundary validity by automatically summarising data into a graph, for interaction, adjustments and viewing.

Most valuable feature

When we asked everyone to comment on what they thought was the single most valuable feature of Leapfrog EDGE, most cited the connectivity to the geological model and being able to readily update. Several also identified key features they liked such as the contact analysis and variography production. Several also saw the visualisation capabilities as most significant and the overall ease of use and simplicity of the solution. Nearly 80% rated Leapfrog EDGE as high quality, with 100% recognising it as valuable to their work.

Matthew Batty, Senior Geologist, NexGen Energy Ltd, says, “I’m also impressed with how quickly the statistics and variograms are produced. Making the decision of stationarity is often an iterative process, and Leapfrog EDGE allows the user to instantaneously view statistics and variography, which cuts down on the number of iterations required.”

We asked participants what percentage of their regular resource estimation work they could complete in Leapfrog EDGE 1.0 and nearly half of those surveyed said 70% or more. With more functionality added to Leapfrog EDGE 2.0 we expect this percentage to rise.

There’s lots more to come but we’re delighted with user feedback so far.

Following on from this survey we are now working with several contributors to develop Case Studies to illustrate their use of Leapfrog EDGE in their resource estimation projects. We look forward to sharing these case studies in the coming months.

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

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