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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.
March 12, 2013
On Tuesday March 26, 2013 the TGDG will host a selection of speakers for a mini-symposium at Hart House on ‘Laterites or Laterwrongs: Making the Pieces Fit’. Speakers include Ravi Anand (CSIRO), Peter Winterbourne (Vale), and Ron Schonewille (Xstrata)...
March 11, 2013
Hailing from industry, government and academia, high profile Australian and internationally-based researchers will join the CET fortnightly to share their experience on a wide variety of geoscience topics.These seminars are FREE and all interested Geologists are welcome to attend...
February 25, 2013Is regulation robbing exploration properties of their worth?
You can’t get chickens if you don’t allow the eggs to develop. Joe Hinzer, president of geological consulting firm Watts, Griffiths and McOuat (WGM), uses this analogy to illustrate how many early-stage exploration projects are being stifled by current mineral valuation regulations before they have a shot at becoming mines...
February 04, 2013
It has been a busy 24 hours as the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) kicked off its Mineral Exploration Roundup 2013...
January 29, 2013Where do I meet the geologists of Africa?
Africa is more than 20 per cent of the world’s land area, is home to 15 per cent of human population but still earns its label as the Dark Continent through generating only 2 per cent of the world’s electricity. Where can you find the geologists exploring this sleeping giant with its inevitable future in the resources sector?
January 28, 2013
As exploration programs focus on remote and concealed targets, the ability to recognize large ore-forming systems – from the most distal margins to high-grade cores – becomes increasingly important. Efforts are therefore under way to generate sophisticated “footprint” or “signature” models of high-value deposits.
December 2, 2012
The December 4th Greenland Day, taking place in Perth, will feature industry and geoscience experts from across the globe, discussing Greenland’s burgeoning exploration opportunities and recent research advances...
November 1, 2012
Some of the sector's leading minds will be looking into their crystal balls on November 8th, trying to summon a picture of what the future might hold for exploration and mining in Canada...
September 11, 2012
Brazilian state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, said Tuesday that it had started oil production at the Baleia Azul presalt field in the offshore Campos Basin...
September 11, 2012
Barrick Gold CEO Jamie Sokalsky speaks with Carl Quintanilla on CNBC about Barrick's strategy to drive shareholder value...
September 10, 2012
The tie between energy supply, population, and the economy goes back to the hunter-gatherer period...
July 12, 2012
A massive two thirds of Western Australia remains unexplored for minerals and geologists say the territory presents huge potential...
July 12, 2012
Shale and other unconventional resources are being called the biggest game changer in a generation - and as land and other costs escalate, the industry continues to apply lessons gleaned from the early successes...
July 11, 2012
In this exclusive interview with Professor David Thiel, Director at the Centre for Wireless Monitoring and Applications at Griffith University, he discusses how electromagnetic geophysics can help those who are conducting a feasibility study and opens up on the real cost benefits of this technology...
July 11, 2012
Improved security has started to open up new areas for mineral exploration in Latin America....
What are the current demands and the latest advancements in exploration software and solutions? Geosoft’s product management directors and chief technologist field questions on current and emerging trends.
What are some of the current demands from the exploration sector?
We’re seeing more interest and investment, industry-wide, in data management. Within exploration companies of all sizes there is a stronger focus on understanding the information you have, making it more easily accessible and preserving it for future exploration projects. We are actively working with exploration companies like Areva, Vale, Teck Cominco, Rio Tinto and others to design and implement Exploration Information Management Solutions (EIMS) that deliver greater transparency of data and decision-making and better data access for global exploration teams.
Improving exploration capabilities within GIS is another requirement. Most exploration companies are now using GIS systems as a core technology, and explorers need better tools for working with their data and projects within GIS environments. This is an important focus for Geosoft. We have made continual improvements to our exploration geology and geochemistry workflows for ESRI’s ArcGIS to ensure they meet explorer needs.
In what areas of exploration are Geosoft software and solutions used?
Geosoft software, services and solutions support explorers in all areas of exploration, from opportunity assessment and target generation to advanced exploration and prefeasibility. The exploration sector generates and consumes vast amounts of geospatial data. Geosoft solutions provide a full range of capabilities that help explorers manage their exploration information and projects and generate insight from the data in maps, sections, 3D models and integrated interpretations that aid project evaluation and guide drilling programs.
What are your latest software capabilities for exploration, and what areas do they target?
Our 2010 software release targets three key areas: improving access to data and information; simplifying workflows to make exploration tasks like reporting and map creation more efficient; and creating an environment where explorers can move from 2D to 3D more seamlessly.
We have introduced Seeker, a new tool designed to help explorers find and start using data quicker. Seeker provides a single interface for handling the entire data access workflow – from structured metadata querying to the viewing of results and from data extraction to the explorer’s desktop application.
We’ve improved statistical and reporting capabilities within our Target exploration geology workflow, making it easier to highlight, report and assess significant intersections in drilling projects.
We also continue to expand 3D capabilities within the Geosoft platform. Effective 3D rendering of the subsurface has become essential for presentation and collaboration; however, a great deal of exploration work is still completed in 2D plans and sections. To help bridge the gap, we have added new support for crooked geophysical sections that will enable more accurate representations of the data in 2D and 3D.
What impact have you seen on the demand for exploration software and solutions?
In today’s challenging climate, there has been a significant pullback of activity in the exploration sector. As a solution provider, we’ve worked with customers to understand how we can help them become more efficient with fewer resources.
Within the junior sector, explorers have focused on preserving funds and many have slowed down aggressive drilling projects. This has led to more data analysis, more integration of data and smarter application of technology.
As many explorers decelerate, we are seeing greater use of advanced 3D capabilities and more time spent generating integrated interpretations (combining geophysics, geology and geochemistry) to focus their projects, and minimize risk, before making the decision to drill.
A number of recent discoveries have been credited to the application of modern technology to old projects. As an example, recent discoveries at HudBay’s Lalor Lake and Rio Tinto’s Bingham Canyon mine were both attributed to fresh perspectives that came from applying deeper exploration techniques and 3D visualization capabilities.
Among our larger customers, we’ve also seen a focus on realigning resources and operational efficiency. Deploying corporate-wide technology projects, with limited in house IT resources, continues to be a challenge. In many cases we’ve supplemented our technology with services to support our customers’ data management needs.
Have exploration companies changed their approach to technology in recent years?
More exploration companies are consolidating their technology spending to focus on core platforms and tools they consider to be the most essential to exploration. They’re being more prudent with discretionary software spending. Geosoft exploration software is used extensively across the exploration project cycle, including drill hole mapping, data integration, 3D visualization and generation of interpretations and reports. In many cases, Geosoft has been deployed as a standard platform within exploration companies. As a result, our customer base has remained stable. In some cases we’ve been able to develop stronger relationships and new opportunities with existing customers.
We’ve also found exploration companies to be more receptive to using services to supplement internal resources when deploying larger technology projects. We’re working on a number of Exploration Information Management projects where Geosoft is providing a complete solution, one that combines technology with value added services to support things like information and metadata preparation, workflow customization and change management.
People still need improved workflows, better user interfaces, and better access to data, and we continue to work on all fronts to address these needs. So, in many ways, things haven’t changed.
What will be the next developments in exploration software?
The next developments will be focused around the web, in particular the emerging model of cloud computing (Internetbased development) and the delivery of web services. Our ability to efficiently manage tasks, like handling the vast amount of data generated from exploration, through personal computers is limited. And as we continue to face the demographic challenge of meeting growing global demand for resources with fewer people and tighter financial constraints, the need for efficient access to information and tools within the exploration sector is greater than ever.
Web-based development provides new opportunities for connecting explorers to data and tools that allow for more effective, efficient decision-making and empower collaboration within global exploration teams. Building this shared and interconnected future with explorers is motivating future developments at Geosoft.
We’re also working on earth modelling, and how we can make complex techniques like geophysical inversions (which convert geophysical data into 3D earth models) more useful and accessible to exploration professionals. We recently welcomed Dr. Robert Ellis, an industry leader in inversion and modelling of geophysical data, to our R&D team in the role of Senior Scientist, Earth Modelling.
Inversion techniques have progressively moved from university research labs to industry exploration environments, where they have helped to develop further insight into the subsurface and reduce risk in exploration for minerals and oil and gas. However, they remain highly specialized and complex. We are working with Dr. Ellis on the next generation of modelling capabilities that will make 3D modelling accessible to many more explorers. Although we are still in the early stages of development, we are very encouraged by progress so far.
Questions were answered by Louis Racic and Steve Randall, Geosoft Product Management Directors, and Ian MacLeod, the company’s Chief Technologist.