ARANZ Geo, a world leader in the visualisation and interpretation of geological sciences for the mining, hydrogeology and geothermal industries, has demonstrated a continuous modelling workflow software prototype at the annual Deep Exploration Technology Cooperative Research Centre (DET-CRC) conference in Adelaide.
The software is designed to work in conjunction with ARANZ Geo’s 3D geological modelling software Leapfrog® to provide a continuous modelling workflow which can be used in operational environments such as drilling campaigns.
ARANZ Geo’s Product Manager Brennan Williams, who is leading the project says, “We’re very pleased with the response from conference participants and deep exploration experts who are here to look at research and innovations to transform the workflow of mineral exploration. We’ll be carefully evaluating this feedback to ensure the final product exceeds expectations and maintains our position as an industry leader.”
The Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC) was established in 2010 under an Australian Government programme to address the most significant challenges to the future of the minerals industry. The annual conference provides an opportunity for participants to learn of the progress made by CRC research projects and other new industry innovations.
ARANZ Geo’s continuous modelling workflow prototype replaces the repetitive manual tasks involved in importing new data, updating models and generating refreshed comparisons with existing interpreted geology to enhance efficiency and increase productivity.
Mr. Williams says, “By cutting down manual and repetitive tasks geologists have more time to apply their expertise to the understanding of the geology and mineralisation leading to more informed decisions in a shorter timeframe. The value of collected data lies not only in the information that can be obtained from it through analysis and interpretation but also in the elapsed time between data gathering and the use of that information to support decisions.”
BHP Billiton’s Senior Manager Technology Development Paul Hodkiewicz, who saw the demonstration says, “What a difference a day makes. With this continuous modelling technology now you can see how much your model changes due to new drilling data from dinner last night to breakfast this morning.”
Continuous modelling workflow results in agile decision making as geologists can visualise and extract information from geological models that are continuously updated with newly acquired data.
Mr. Williams adds, “Information technology and operations technology (IT/OT) convergence should include rapid resource modelling. The prototype builds on Leapfrog’s core dynamic modelling feature but also provides a level of management that further improves decision-making. It is hoped, that the prototype, as yet unnamed, will initially target mining’s exploration market.”
ARANZ Geo’s Research Director Dr. Richard Lane says, “We pride ourselves on developing solutions that solve real problems in the market. The prototype is in response to industry demand for more efficient ways of operating. A recent mining productivity survey found that productivity decreased as operations became larger. It was recognised that each part of the business needed to be optimised by finding new solutions to existing problems using data and technology. Innovation was identified as a game changer.”
The ‘Productivity in mining: now comes the hard part’ survey, produced in association with the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland and Imperial College London included more than 60 interviews with senior mining executives around the world. Innovation was recognised as the key to making the most of slow market conditions.