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31 Mar 2017 - Business Management, Podcast by The acQuire Newsroom

The GIM Channel 10: Understanding the value of your geological database

Roy Irvine, Forum Director for EMMM Group, joins this week’s episode of The GIM Channel. He’s held a variety of roles with companies in the mining industry including De Beers, Datamine and Kinross Gold and is passionate about helping people understand their roles in an organisation. In particular he wants them to question the status quo. This is done by embedding something called Boundaryless Information Flow into an organisation.

Roy discusses the value of industry forums, like The EMMM, and what benefits these bring to the resources industry in cycle downturns.

Roy doesn’t hide his passion for data. He explains why the mine resource database or geological database is one of the most valuable assets on a mine, and gives us an easy way to calculate its value. Listen here to find out what you can achieve if you manage this valuable resource effectively.


Show Notes

Here are some key take-outs:

  • In a downturn, companies need to look closely at their process model to see where they are spending money before they tackle cost savings.

“A lot of the cuts have been done for the short term gain but the companies are then going to struggle when the turnaround happens and a lot of the technical skills that they had, they actually let go.” – Roy

  • Mine resource databases are still not being recognised as a valuable company asset – it should have the same level of resources to maintain it as other business systems, like HR and supply chain databases.

If you look at the other databases like HR and supply chain, those things are managed by IT professionals. And the amount of support that those databases have compared to the geological one, is just enormous.” – Roy

  • A simple formula for estimating the worth of a geological database is to take the number of metres of drill samples in a database, multiplied by the current drilling cost and then double it to take into account the effort of staff to work on it.

You come up with some very big numbers. Well, most of them are at least fifty million dollars, some of them are three or four hundred million dollars” – Roy

  • Losing a database, means companies lose a substantial asset and in a lot of cases can’t get back to the places that have been sampled.
  • There is a push to have a geological database recognised as a financial asset in a mine financial statement
  • The ROI of a geological database software system can be calculated by estimating the worth of the geological database, and by recognising the savings a company can make.
  • The biggest saving is time and the trickledown effect of saving several hours per week of an operation’s senior geologist and junior geologists time, starts to become quite substantial.

There’s no argument about why you should have the latest technology to manage your geological data.” – Roy

  • Most people in an operation misunderstand data quality. Data quality is very much like safety. It’s everyone’s responsibility – not just a data manager’s.

“We need to get to the point that anyone who uses data, needs to understand about data quality, so when they get some data, they actually know how they can use it, what can they use it for and what are the boundaries?”

Here are the links you might need

Have you heard the one about…

acQuire’s Director of Product gives his insights into the future of geoscientific information management. Listen here>

Matt Hoffer from Coeur Mining tackles the main challenges in geological data management. Listen here >

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About the Author
The acQuire Newsroom

The acQuire newsroom brings you the latest GIM news for technology and business in the natural resources industry.

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