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Earth Explorer is an online source of news, expertise and applied knowledge for resource explorers and earth scientists. Sponsored by Geosoft.

News & Views

News Archive

December 7, 2016

Geosoft introduces IP and resistivity inversion in VOXI Earth Modelling

Geosoft has added induced polarization and resistivity data inversion to its VOXI Earth Modelling 3D inversion software service. Geoscientists are now able to create detailed 3D models of conductivity and chargeability from IP and resistivity survey data with VOXI. The resulting models can assist in interpreting and targeting regions for mineral and environmental applications...

December 5, 2016

Mexico's Deepwater Round Exceeds Expectations

Some of the world's biggest oil companies showed up Dec. 5 and agreed to invest on the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico, proving that deepwater exploration still has a pulse despite challenging market conditions...

November 30, 2016

Magnetic inversion results for Ngamiland available for download

A regional-scale geophysical inversion of magnetic field data in the Ngamiland region of northwestern Botswana is now available for download from the Botswana Geoscience Portal, a partnership initiative of the Botswana Geoscience Institute, industry sponsors and Geosoft...

November 30, 2016

LIGO Resumes Search for Gravitational Waves

After a series of upgrades, the twin detectors of LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, have turned back on and resumed their search for ripples in the fabric of space and time known as gravitational waves. LIGO transitioned from their engineering test runs to full science observations at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 30...

November 9, 2016

International Volcano Scientists Unite

For the first time, the United States will host the international Volcano Observatory Best Practices workshop, previously held only in Italy. The workshop will take place this month in Vancouver, Washington. It is designed specifically for volcano observatories around the world and their staff to exchange ideas and best practices with each other...

October 4, 2016

USGS Assesses Mineral Potential for Sagebrush Habitats in Six Western States

USGS has completed a comprehensive assessment and inventory of potential mineral resources covering approximately 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming...

October 3, 2016

Uganda Targets Up to U.S.$100 Million for Mineral Exploration

Uganda is well endowed with mineral resources and, like many naturally-gifted African countries, is becoming keen on ensuring that these resources play a transformative role in its long-term structural transformation dream - the Vision 2040...

September 9, 2016

Small-Scale Fishers Get A Big Boost With First-Of-Its Kind Impact Investment Fund

Conservation organization Rare announces the Meloy Fund for Small-Scale Fisheries at Our Ocean Conference. The Global Environment Facility, one of the largest funders of conservation worldwide, will be investing $6 million into the fund...

September 1, 2016

Scientists take to the skies to track West African pollution

Scientists operating research aircraft over West Africa have detected organic materials in the atmosphere over a number of urban areas, contributing to concerns of the rise in pollution across the region...

August 17, 2016

New IGS Xplore prospectivity maps for Botswana

International Geoscience Services have released a series of base metal prospectivity maps for the Ngamiland District of northwestern Botswana using free geodata available on the recently-launched Botswana Geoscience Portal, hosted by Geosoft. The maps identify favorable areas for copper, zinc and lead mineralization using geological, geochemical and geophysical datasets downloaded directly from the portal.

August 11, 2016

NexGen Makes New High Grade Discovery

NexGen Energy reported the discovery of a new high grade zone of mineralization 4.7 km northeast of the Arrow Deposit as part of an on-going summer drilling program on its 100% owned, Rook I property, Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan...

August 10, 2016

Rampion UXO Disposal to Take Place This Week

E.ON has confirmed that the two unexploded devices, detected along the Rampion offshore cable route will be safely disposed this week following the consultation with the Marine Management Organisation...

August 9, 2016

Diamonds In The Rough: E&Ps Find New Reserves In Mature Basins

The oil industry’s history demonstrates clearly that new plays and prospects have long been found in mature basins that were thought to be well on the way to being squeezed dry. Through the acquisition of new data, developing new concepts and coming up with fresh interpretations, long-producing basins around the world from the North Sea to Malaysia have continued to reveal new riches...

August 8, 2016

Northern Shield Identifies High Quality VTEM Targets at Séquoi

Northern Shield Resources announced the results of the interpretation and modelling of the VTEM survey from the Séquoi Property in the Labrador Trough of Quebec . Séquoi is owned 100% by Northern Shield and is being explored for Noril'sk style Ni-Cu-PGE massive sulphides. After geophysical modelling and interpretation of the VTEM data from Séquoi, six VTEM anomalies of significant interest have been identified...

August 3, 2016

Rio Tinto tailors big data drive to copper

Rio Tinto will put the weight of an exploration big data push and its newly-formed Growth and Innovation group behind its desire to identify a "tier 1" copper asset. Speaking at the annual Diggers & Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, Growth and Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh said Australia was "overdue for a tier 1" mineral discovery of any type...

August 1, 2016

Tetra Tech Awarded $200 Million Navy CLEAN Contract

Tetra Tech announced that it has been awarded a $200 million, single-award contract by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic. Through the Comprehensive Long-term Environmental Action Navy (CLEAN) contract, Tetra Tech will provide environmental engineering support services to installations within the NAVFAC Atlantic Area of Responsibility...

May 3, 2016

NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS), MODUM Partners announce "Young Scientist Summer School on Sea Dumped Chemical Weapons"

This international project cooperates closely with CHEMSEA (Search and Assessment of Chemical Weapons) Project for and sharing and knowledge transfer...

April 12, 2016

Monday mad rush for gold stocks

Renewed optimism about the outlook for gold saw investors pile back into gold stocks, pushing many stock to 52-week highs in heavy volumes...

April 11, 2016

Medgold Resources: Continues to Expand the Boticas Gold Project, Portugal; Proposes $200,000 Private Placement

Medgold Resources is pleased to announce new assay results from contiguous rock-chip sampling from the Limarinho South zone at its Boticas gold project in Portugal, which include a highlight of 6.0m @ 5.7 g/t Au...

April 8, 2016

De-carbonizing our energy sector

Nuclear energy currently provides around 11 percent of the world's electricity. China, the European Union, the United States, India, Russia, South Korea, and other nations’ have major existing fleets...

April 1, 2016

Follow-Up Drilling Results Indicate Wide Gold Zones at Hendricks Gold Discovery

Gascoyne Resources Limited announced that it has received the final assay results from the 10,000 metre aircore exploration drilling programme...

March 26, 2016

The Oil Market Is Finally Hitting Its Breaking Point

After a significant reduction in investments over the past two years, oil companies can no longer overcome the production declines from legacy wells...

March 15, 2016

N-Sea Expands into the French Offshore Wind Industry

Subsea IMR provider, N-Sea, has signed a letter of intent with CERES Recherches & Expertise Sous-Marine and TechSub Industrie Environement, to provide subsea survey, installation and remediation services to the French offshore wind industry...

March 9, 2016

PDAC 2016 Convention Exceeds 22,000 Attendees

Optimism and opportunity abounded at the PDAC 2016 Convention of The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in spite of recent industry challenges...

March 3, 2016

6 Alpha Launches EOD Contracting Division

6 Alpha Associates, a specialist risk consultancy practice, with expertise in the assessment and management of unexploded ordnance, has launched a dedicated explosive ordnance disposal division...

Transforming data into discovery: Vale's vision to turn exploration information into a corporate asset

Earth Explorer Q&A

Vale's vision to turn exploration information into a corporate asset

Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (Vale), the second-largest diversified mining and metals company in the world, is turning exploration information into a corporate asset, with a solution that focuses on three simple goals: quality, security and flow.

In this Q&A, we ask Ana Maria Goncalves, information manager for Vale's exploration and project development division, to discuss how her company is ensuring it gets the most value out of data.

Vale Solution Overview

Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (Vale) joined forces with Geosoft Global Solutions Group to develop an exploration information management solution that met their need for data quality, security and efficient flow to regional exploration teams for opportunity development. They began with an extensive review of their diverse data and client needs within exploration and resource allocation. Their solution combines a family of technology platforms, to create one corporate infrastructure for their exploration information management.

A data architecture and metadata management system organizes and stores geophysical and exploration data in Geosoft DAP Server. The DAP Server also provides a standard way to archive and access all their georeferenced data, including drillhole and geochemical databases.

Vale is using Geosoft's integrated exploration software suite, Oasis montaj and Target for ArcGIS, for their data visualization, integration, mapping and analysis. Having used Oasis montaj for more than 16 years, the company has built vast resources of data in the Geosoft format. GIS is used extensively for data integration within their exploration projects and the Geosoft Target for ArcGIS extension allows their geoscientists to easily view and work with all their exploration data in the GIS environment.

With their information management solution, Vale is addressing the global organization's need for corporate standards and consolidated exploration data management, while providing better access to tools and data for exploration project development.

What is your vision for transforming Vale's exploration information into a corporate asset?

A few years ago, we envisioned creating a global information management mandate. At that time, we had many of the elements in place (exploration software, GIS, databases) but no cohesive strategy for exploration information. Also, Vale as a global exploration organization was not yet a reality. Today the corporation has regional offices around the globe. With our growth and globalization, the need to consolidate and manage the flow of data has also grown.

We created an information management area in our exploration division, to address the requirement for standards and practices in how we collect, organize, process, store and manage our information. Our vision is based on understanding and supporting the diversity of exploration needs. In our organization, many different people need to access to exploration data, including field and project geologists, geophysicists, analysts and engineers. They all differ in how they work with and interpret data. There is value in that diversity. Our information management strategy must balance the corporate need for greater transparency of data and decision-making with the needs of our exploration professionals.

When you looked at delivering greater value through information - where did you start?

First we needed standard procedures and policies to address the basic issues of security, quality and data flow, both internal and external. We identified the different types of data that were most important to exploration, as well as the flow and use of data through the exploration project cycle. Once we understood the information, we identified the best tools and platforms for dealing with it. We then identified the integration that was needed to create a solution for Vale.

From the start, we saw our role as providing the resources, processes and technologies to help people organize data. We're currently establishing data specialist roles in various regions of the world. We also have a team in Brazil that provides data support for exploration projects. On the technology side, we are well underway with getting the technology platforms in place, and a key focus now is communication and training.

Vale's vision to turn exploration information into a corporate asset

Vale is the world's largest iron ore miner.

How important is information management to the future of exploration at Vale?

It is essential. In exploration, we generate technical information and knowledge that show the value of projects. This information is confidential and strategic. That said, we need to understand, organize and manage our data as a corporate asset.

More and more, exploration companies are looking at information as an asset. When you consider that companies are spending more money and yet discovering less, it stands to reason that data management would be used to gain a competitive advantage.

The exploration industry is cyclical by nature, and these cycles can take their toll on historical data. Information management protects the value of data in the long term.

Among your new initiatives, which have demonstrated the greatest business value? What advantages have you seen?

We have seen great advantage in having a system for data maintenance, storage and security. Basically, we have a lot of data, and the ability to put it all into our Geosoft DAP server means that we don't have to rely on CDs, DVDs, or the individual who last worked with the data.

For the longer term, we are building an information asset that will continue to deliver value in the future. Having main datasets and meta data within our DAP system means we can track and access data in a standard way, as well as identify the latest version.

For management, there is also the value of transparency - knowing what information we have and where it is - and that it is all stored in a secure system. These benefits are a reflection of our three goals of data quality, security and flow.

Outside of data management, we have seen a lot of benefit from our use of Geosoft's Target exploration software for ArcGIS. Target for ArcGIS has come to play a big role as the link between GIS and exploration.

What are the biggest challenges your organization faces in building Information Management infrastructure to support Vale exploration?

Vale's vision to turn exploration information into a corporate asset

Aerial View of Vale's Sossego Copper Mine.

There are challenges with any change in how you do things. Support from management is critical to making change happen. Information management needs to be part of the company's plan.

Bringing people into a new environment is always a challenge. In our case, we didn't change our core exploration applications but we did move away from using technologies that some of our people were used to. This challenge is quickly resolved with the right training, information and support.

For information management to work, you need collaboration, and achieving the right level of communication and relationships takes time. We need to continually support the use of information management and demonstrate the positive outcomes at all levels. At the end of the day, it's all about providing solutions that improve the business of exploration.