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20 Jul 2020 - Technology - GIM Suite

5 ways the right software delivers more from your geological data

If you’re feeling like the world is in upheaval, that’s because it is. A global pandemic and social unrest spilling across borders is throwing the mining industry more curve balls than a baseball game in extra innings.

In the midst of this commotion, geology managers are reacting to ensure projects continue with as few interruptions as possible. While changes to rosters and COVID-19 preventative measures have been necessary in the short term, smart mine management teams are focused on finding more streamlined ways of working sustainably over the long run.

Here are five reasons the right software for managing geological data can enhance mine efficiencies.

1. Trusted partners

It would be wonderful if there was one off-the-shelf product to fit everyone’s needs. The reality of modern mining is every mine operation is different, which is why it’s essential to have a geological data management system that’s configurable to your specific needs. It also means you should have a partner that has the industry knowledge to develop software that’s able to scale to your current operations (and accommodate historical data) while keeping pace with industry developments and expectations for future innovation.

2. Interoperability

Choose software that connects with other third-party mining software to get the full value of your technology investments. Here’s what to look for:

  • A seamless import or export of information between your mine software systems.
  • Data should be stored and managed as a ‘single source of truth’ in software designed specifically for geological data management.
  • The entire process of importing and exporting data from different formats should be streamlined to avoid errors, lost data, and mismatched fields.

3. Mobile data capture

Companies are still grappling with ways to capture data in remote areas. It’s not uncommon for pit samplers or geologists to use paper to log samples or field data, which is time-consuming and prone to errors. As Ian Dickie from Kinross Gold discovered, a mobile data capture app allowing both online and offline data entry streamlines the whole process. Having a more robust and digital mechanism to collect information in remote conditions allows for speedier availability of your geological data for downstream modelling and decision-making.

4. Interactive web reporting

Keeping track of drilling progress and being able to visualise drill programs is another way geology managers can add efficiency into a mining operation. Real-time reporting extends the value of your data, especially when it’s displayed on a dashboard to show current progress. This puts the geology manager in a state of proactive decision-making, instead of reacting to data that takes time to be captured, loaded and verified.

5. Single source of truth

Perhaps the biggest challenge to efficiency is the problem with multiple sets of data and no definitive source of information. Having one single source of truth everyone in your organisation can rely on provides untold efficiencies, especially during a time of upheaval. Some of the advantages include:

  • Your entire team is working from one central geological database.
  • Data rules and validations ensure the right data is captured and verified for accuracy.
  • When there’s no question about the accuracy of your data, you can dispense with the confusion caused by multiple spreadsheets maintained by different sources and personnel.
  • Audits and regulatory reporting are easier and there’s no discussion or controversy about the validity of the data.

Unless and until you have a single source of truth with validated, verified and auditable data, your mine is not operating at peak efficiency.

The short and long of geoscientific data management

There’s no doubt a mature geoscientific data management solution provides competitive advantage. It makes a direct impact on the mining value chain by ensuring geology departments and teams work more productively.

The overall advantage to accurate geological data is confidence in data-led decision-making and an increase in mine efficiencies.

Here’s the best part: these efficiencies are available regardless of your current level of upheaval. This is true whether it’s on a global scale or caused by the normal complexity of modern mining operations.

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