The Competitive Advantage for Top Miners through Data Driven Insights

By Ryan Silvester

It is no secret that mining companies are starting to realise the value data can bring to their operation, especially when it comes to guiding the decision-making process. Using data driven insights to drive value is giving top miners a competitive advantage and helping to optimise core mining functions including exploration, mine planning, resource allocation and fleet management.

With data now playing such a pivotal role in the mining process, the ability to collect, process and manage data becomes a crucial task for mining companies. Technologies such as mining software solutions provide companies with tools to assist in harnessing the value in their mining data.

Geoscientific Information Management systems such as Geobank play an important role to ensure mining companies are maintaining the quality, integrity and usability of the data collected.

Mineral exploration requires efficient and effective data management in order for a project to move to the next stage and reach its potential value. Mining companies invest millions of dollars into exploration activities and at the end of the process are left with huge amounts of data, of which there is enormous value associated. The right collection, management and analysis of this data will influence the profitability of the project.

“The way in which companies manage their geological data has a significant impact on the overall return on investment of a project. The data drives real value for the business, not only through shaping the mine planning process, but also in terms of market presentation.” Geobank Product Strategy Manager Mark Gabbitus commented.

Some of the problems with inaccurate data are easily identifiable, whereas some unfortunately are not. Loss of data, poor accessibility and quality control issues can cost millions of dollars when inaccurate modelling, lost opportunities and poor decision-making results.

Geobank, Micromine’s market leading geological data management solution, provides mining and exploration companies with the necessary tools to ensure the correct capture, storage and management of their key geological data. With a focus on flexibility and functionality, Geobank is a central, secure data management solution providing users with a single point of truth.

Intuitive and visual tools can be accessed at the users’ fingertips, making it easy to capture and manage geological data in near real time. Geobank’s powerful validation tools ensure accurate data and its flexible reporting system assists to transform this data into usable information.

Also of increasing importance is the ability for mining companies to capture real-time data on-site and in the field. Micromine’s Geobank Mobile solution provides an efficient, comprehensive and flexible solution for collecting, validating and transferring data from the field to the office. The system ensures data accuracy via real-time validation and rich data input controls that minimise errors at the point of entry.

Geobank Mobile also has the ability to integrate with 3rd party data collection systems such as magnetic susceptibility devices, barcode, GPS, scale devices and on-board cameras. This integration provides users with the ability to access and analyse key geological data in near real time, increasing business intelligence and improving efficiencies.

Gabbitus added “exploration and mine managers can make key decisions knowing they have access to accurate, near real-time data. Drilling activity, mine planning, resource allocation and forecasting decisions are all driven by these data insights. Additionally, we can now use the processing power of laptops and tablets to analyse data in the field. Creating a link between Geobank Mobile and Micromine means the Geologist can view the trace of the drillhole, along with observations made in real time, as it is being drilled and surveyed. Decisions can then be made to decisions stop drilling, drill deeper or don’t drill the next hole in sequence, resulting in saving time, money and resources, which can add increased value to the business.”

While it is important miners adopt technology solutions, those that are able to build data management into their core processes and embed the importance of data management into their company culture are set to see the real benefits data driven insights can bring.

“We are seeing some of our Geobank clients make significant productivity and efficiency gains by embedding appropriate data management methods into their core business. This will become more evident as the industry moves further towards a digital mining model,” said Gabbitus.

Ryan Silvester is Global Marketing Executive with Micromine.