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20 Mar 2017 - Industry News, Event News

Big PDAC 2017 signals new confidence in exploration

Following a larger recorded attendance at the world’s largest mining event, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) 2017 Convention, it seems confidence is returning to the minerals and mining sector globally, particularly in North America.

More than 24,000 people, including investors, analysts, mining executives, prospectors, geologists, government officials and students, attended the four-day PDAC convention this March, which is an increase from last year’s 22,000.

 

acQuire participated again this year with a booth presence and a series of talks around geoscientific information management.

One talk, “The Connected Mine” – jointly presented by Steve Mundell, Director of Product for acQuire; Michelle Carey, Global Manager Integrated Solutions for Reflex Now; and Lorraine Tam, Senior Project Geologist at ARANZ Geo – described how they are working toward better connectivity for the “the connected mine” so all data is available in a timely manner for better decision making. The talk received a big turnout, reinforcing the interest in the industry for greater connectivity between systems.

Other talks featured Jenni Pfeiffer of Kinross Gold Corp with “GIM Assessments as a Tool to Drive Strategic Change” and acQuire also offered a sneak peak at their latest software release – GIM Suite 3.

Delegates were able to see the new features contained in the upcoming release, adding to an already impressive array of features in the market-leading GIM software. GIM Suite 3 focuses on enhancing team productivity with new automation features and aims to simplify and improve the efficiency of data management processes.

acQuire at PDAC 2017To get a more detailed overview of GIM Suite 3, contact us.

Keynote themes at PDAC

The ability for miners to endure cycles without losing momentum was one of the key points in talks at the conference.

During the keynote speech of the conference, Teck Resources VP of Exploration Alex Christopher said while confidence is growing in industry, there is still a high degree of uncertainty and commodity prices will still swing. Christopher said building resilience is key to enduring the cycles of the mining industry.

Mark Bristow, CEO of Randgold Resources Limited said he still sees companies fail to plan for the future. As downcycles hit, key members of the geology team are often let go, only for there to be a skills shortage when industry picks up again. Bristow advises companies to invest in exploration, particularly when the industry is in a trough, to realise big gains later.

Digital disruption parallel to PDAC

With digital innovation being a major industry topic, two disruptor events were run alongside PDAC.

Unearthed Toronto, a resources industry hackathon event, which started in Perth, ran for the first time in Toronto. The event was sponsored by Barrick Gold who gave two challenges for the participants to work on over a 54 hour period. acQuire provided mentoring to the teams who came up with innovative prototypes during the weekend event.

Another event, Disrupt Mining, sponsored by Goldcorp and Integra Gold, also featured alongside PDAC. The event produced five finalists, who presented some of the best technological innovations in the industry. All looking for the $1M funding up for grabs, the ideas spanned bio-remediation of tailings, smaller underground equipment to artificial intelligence programs to better identify ore bodies to blockchain mechanism for selling gold.

If you didn’t make it to PDAC this year, keep an eye on our newsroom for further insights from acQuire. We’ll be releasing a special PDAC series of podcasts, videos and insights from our leadership team at the event.

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