First signs of improvement in two years

“It’s absolutely essential that geoscientists experiencing tough employment conditions do not lose contact with their profession, peers and colleagues” AIG President, Mr Mike Erceg

First light at the end of a very long jobless tunnel for Australia’s geos?  READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

The jobs outlook for Australia’s geoscientists has shown the first small signs of improvement in two years with the number of professional geoscientists in Australia seeking work or unable to secure satisfactory self-employment, falling fell in the June quarter compared with the preceding period.

The survey received 1095 responses this quarter from an estimated 6,000 geoscientists in Australia, working in all sectors of exploration and mining, government, education, research, environment and a range of other fields of practice.

On a state by state basis, decreases in both unemployment and under-employment were evident in all states except South Australia where unemployment remained static but under-employment  amongst self-employed geoscientists increased.

Geoscientist unemployment and under-employment in Australia June 2009 – June 2016
Geoscientist unemployment and under-employment in Australia June 2009 – June 2016

Case Study – A well-established Diamond mine

Diamond

Case Study

A well-established Canadian diamond mine in the Lac de Gras region, Northern Territories

PROBLEM

  1. Difficulties with data flow and data management
  2. Data was fragmented and in many different formats
  3. A non-observational style of geological logging was causing delays and hindering data flow
  4. 3 month delays to use collected data lead to frustrated geologists and management

SOLUTION

Self-managed database – Expedio introduced a self-managed database solution and provide support

Data Logging: Expedio implemented a data logging solution that could be used offline with a standardised interface that adjusted the logging style of the geologists to an observational technique. This technique reduced logging time as geologists were no longer adjusting logs to fit standard geological blocks

OCRIS Logix: A stringent data management process that streamlined the workflow of uploading data from the field logger to the production database.

OCRIS Model: Expedio’s single interface data management solution integrated with our anywhere logging software centralised and standardised all company data.

Data Management: Expedio removed the frustration of waiting months for valid usable data. Data is now usable within hours of it being collected in the field. This allowed for the collection of analytics on production which identified inefficiencies that could be addressed. Centralising and standardising the data provided Logging Geologist, Geology Supervisor, Plant Operators, Plant Supervisors, Diamond Pickers, Resource Modellers and Mining Engineers access to the most current data set as required.

GBIS/Geobank Optimisation: A decade of experience in optimising GBIS/Geobank systems allowed Expedio to get the most out of the client’s current data management system.

OUTCOME

Support OCRIS Logix was delivered to the client onsite, with remote support by Expedio.

Robust system – The self-managed system has required little to no maintenance since its implementation over 5 years ago.

Validated data – A single source of validated data ensured all departments are using the latest reliable and accurate  data sets.

Reporting – Data is now available to all departments within hours of collection, management can now act decisively regarding their resource and production in real time.

MESSAGE

The driving force behind any data management system is that it delivers Always Accurate Data

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pXRF Reveals Stone-Age Industry with Staggering Output

pXRF Reveals Stone-Age Industry with Staggering Output

ObsidianMine

Under a cloudy winter sky, the eastern slope of Mount Arteni has the dull monotone of a barren wasteland. At 6,715 feet, its spare crest is dwarfed by the snow-capped 13,419-foot summit of nearby Mount Aragats, the highest point in the Republic of Armenia. The only signs of life are ragged clumps of wild grass, bent horizontal in a frigid wind from the high Caucasus.

Then the clouds suddenly break, and Arteni explodes into a dazzling mosaic of sunlit mirrors. Every square foot of ground, as far as the eye can see, is carpeted with fragments of glassy obsidian, many of them chipped and flaked into razor-sharp weapons and tools.

“We are looking at the remains of a gigantic open-air workshop,” says archaeologist Boris Gasparyan of Armenia’s National Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology. Countless blades, hand axes, scrapers, chisels, arrowheads, and spearheads produced at the mountainside “factory” circulated over a vast exchange network that long precedes the oldest recorded instances of formal trade.

Equipped with new technology that can precisely identify the origin of obsidian tools—even down to a single lava vein in a specific volcano—scientists have come to believe that Arteni was a central component in what amounts to a far-reaching Paleolithic arms industry. Its products have been traced north over the Caucasus to present-day Ukraine and west across Anatolia to the Aegean, almost 1,600 miles away.

Estimates of Arteni’s output are staggering. Active production is thought to date back to the Lower Stone Age, when the region’s first skilled artisans were early Neanderthals. Their successors mined the same materials up to 1000 B.C.E. Gasparyan and his Armenian associates, along with their American, Japanese, and European collaborators, have harvested thousands of Paleolithic tools at Arteni and other local sites.

They have barely scratched the surface, he says: “The number of obsidian implements here from different periods, from the Paleolithic to the Bronze and Iron Ages, is impossible to count. It is in the millions.”

Technology’s Windows on the Stone Age

pXRF

Scholars had long recognized the importance of the Caucasus in the saga of human history. But the violent convulsions of the 20th century—two world wars, the Russian Revolution, and the establishment of the Soviet Union, which annexed the region in the 1920s—held research to a minimum. With the Soviet collapse at the end of the 1980s, archaeology came to a complete halt. Although Armenia gained its independence in 1991, more than a decade passed before the extraordinary wealth of its resources was understood.

By 2011, says anthropologist Ellery Frahm of the University of Minnesota, it wasn’t unusual for international teams to collect 500 obsidian artifacts in Armenia in one day, numbers that quickly outran traditional methods.

Frahm met the challenge by refining two key advances in determining the origin of obsidian. The first worked on the principle that trace elements in a sample can be chemically matched to the volcano where it was produced. In effect, it bears a chemical “fingerprint.”

The conventional testing procedure was expensive and time-consuming, depending on specialized laboratories distant from archaeological sites, and requiring that artifacts be ground into a fine powder. Confronted with Armenia’s volume of artifacts, Frahm said, it was crucial “to take sourcing from the realm of ‘white coats’ in a lab to ‘muddy boots’ in the field.”

His solution was the pXRF, a portable x-ray fluorescence instrument with the dimensions and weight of a cordless drill, which can analyze an artifact’s chemical composition in ten seconds without pulverizing it. Although it had been in laboratory use for several years, the device wasn’t employed extensively in the field until 2011, when Frahm began adapting it for Gasparyan-led projects. Since then, he says, “We have analyzed more obsidian specimens than all other prior studies in Armenia combined.”

He followed up in 2014 with a more innovative procedure, developed at Minnesota’s Institute for Rock Magnetism. Frahm and his colleagues focused on tiny black grains of magnetite, an iron oxide with magnetic properties, which are suspended in obsidian and give it its ebony color. Magnetic measurements, explains Frahm, “can reveal how these grains differ in size, shape and composition from one portion of an obsidian flow relative to another part,” he says.

The measurements fine-tune source data dramatically, yielding a far more detailed fingerprint and shedding valuable light on the toolmakers’ work habits. Did they always mine a preferred seam of obsidian, or did they move from one former lava flow to another for reasons that are not yet clear? Put simply, Frahm says, using a term borrowed from the modern arms industry, the goal was to open a window on “Neanderthal procurement strategies in Armenia.”

Original article by Frank Viviano of National Geographic, view the full article here

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Expedio – Always Accurate Data 

Expedio Top Tip – Azimuths and Magnetic Drift

Azimuths and Magnetic Drift

Expedio’s Top Tip for April understanding Azimuths and Magnetic Drift:

DataOcean

Managing azimuths and magnetic drift is very important in maintaining the integrity of your downhole survey data.

Steps in managing azimuths and magnetic drift correctly:

  • Correctly reference azimuths recorded – Is the reading measured in True north, Magnetic north or Grid north. Incorrectly collecting and storing this data will have a massive effects on the quality of the data set.
  • Know the magnetic north to grid north conversion – Magnetic declination tells you the direction of magnetic north, measured from true north, and convergence tells you the direction of grid north, measured from true north. For example countries such as Brazil  have a 23 degree swing between national grid north and magnetic north. Get this wrong and you will miss your target.
  • Be aware of magnetic drift –  Variations in the Earth’s outer core results in changes to the magnetic field and hence the position of the magnetic north and south poles over time.

 

Case Study – Taking the pain out of Data Management

homepage1-b2

Case Study

A small Australian gold and REE explorer with projects in southern Africa

PROBLEM

  1. MS Excel based logging system was struggling to keep data consistent with the multiple versions of logging templates.
  2. No data flow control mechanisms.
  3. Fragmented data that was stored in many different formats including CSV, Access, Mapinfo and AcQuire.
  4. A non-centralised database was causing incomplete datasets to be used in resource estimation reporting. Some lab results were not being used as they were only located during Expedio’s migration process.
  5. Historic data from several previous project owners had created unconformity in the dataset. Local grid conversions have been mismanaged and not correctly implemented to the collar coordinate data.
  6. Lack of in house skills and IT infrastructure.

SOLUTION

Database solution – Expedio hosting with routine extracts and reports to client

OCRIS Operational Unit (OOU): Expedio implemented a centralised fully hosted OCRIS Operational Unit

OCRIS Mobile: Anywhere data logging solution customised with the client’s business rules, validation and formulas,.

OCRIS Toolbox:  Consolidated all data into one database. Using OCRIS Toolbox users can now access a variety of summary activity reports, QC analysis tools and strip log functionality to browse, report and export their data on demand.

OCRIS Logix: A stringent data management process from field logging to data management with a full, demonstrable audit trail.

Expedio Hosting: Expedio hosts one centralised database and manages all of their project data

OUTCOME

Scalable solution – By implementing the OOU the Expedio’s scalable solution will easily grow with the global expansion of the company.

Data Capture – Field logging process delivering a clean, controlled and rapid flow of data with errors trapped and corrected at the point of data capture by the user

Data Management – Regular updates using accurate datasets are always available on short notice, freeing up time for managers to do what they do best, plan, model, interpret and manage their project development, while outsourcing the skills, hosting and IT infrastructure overheads to the experts at Expedio.

Support – 24 hour support ensures the client has peace of mind knowing a solution to any data management challenges can be delivered rapidly avoiding any major issues.

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Expedio – Always Accurate Data

RIU Explorers Conference Wrapup

RIU Explorers Conference Wrapup

RIU Explorers Conference

RIU Explorers Conference held last week in Fremantle was a fantastic event for both the technical presentations and an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and colleagues.  The focus this year was on Lithium with a broad spectrum of presenters from junior explorers to major producers, with gold and base metal resource companies also well represented.

The Expedio booth was well attended with a lot of interest and positive feedback for our new interactive dashboard reporting.

Metals X were the recipients of this year’s Craig Oliver Award for general industry excellence and the winner of the Expedio wine prize was Peter Cash from Millennium Minerals. Congratulations to Metals X, Peter Cash and thank you to the event organisers, sponsors and attendees.

RIU Explorers Conference Winner

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Expedio – Always Accurate Data

Giant Diamond Found by Lucapa

Lucapa finds giant diamond

giant diamond

The company recovered a 404.2 carat diamond during alluvial mining at Mining Block 8, above the high-priority L259 kimberlitic signature, at the Lulo concession in Angola.

The giant diamond has been confirmed as a top-tier Type IIa D-colour gem.

Lucapa said it was the biggest diamond ever uncovered by an Australian company, and was the 27th biggest recorded diamond in the world.

The previous largest diamond recovered at Lulo was 133.4 carats, found only weeks ago.

The diamond represents the fourth 100-plus carat diamond found at Lulo since mining began in August 2015, and the 114th large special diamond.

Lucapa’s average selling price for run-of-mine diamonds has been $A2360 per carat, but this stone is expected to go for much more.

Lucapa CEO Stephen Weatherell said the company (40%) and its partners Endiama (32%) and Rosas & Petalas (28%) were proud of the find.

“We have always emphasised the very special nature of the Lulo diamond field and this recovery – together with the other 100 carat-plus diamonds recovered this year alone – is further evidence of that,” he said.

Original article by Kristie Batten of MiningNews.net, click here to view the full article

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Expedio – Always Accurate Data

Expedio News – Water Management Systems

expedio news

This was the December 2015 issue of Expedio ‘News for You’. Highlights were;

Water Management System

Water Management

Expedio are experts in building comprehensive water management systems run directly from our OCRIS software suite.

  • Time based storage and tracking of multiple data sources
  • Aquifer properties and volume usage
  • Digital downhole logger management
  • Weather station and rainfall gauge data

Our data capture and management solutions allows you to manage a single, centralised system for all exploration, mining and  hydrogeological data including:-

  • Detailed well completion logs
  • Groundwater license summary reports
  • Routine data exports in valid, ready to use formats

Expedio can also produce data exports and well completion logs in the standard GSWA / Government data interchange format specific to the groundwater industry. To find out more visit www.expedio.com.au or email info@expedio.com.au

From all the Expedio team, we would like to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year…
…and a successful 2016!

Christmas Tree

To view the full newsletter, click here

neXTek Wrapup

Expedio at neXTek

The neXTek event held on 26 November was busy, well attended and informative – overall a great day for this inaugural event organised by the MineSpace folk.  Many delegates and exhibitors I chatted with really liked the 1 day conference format and the compact exhibition space hosting new and technologically advanced products and services relevant to exploration and mining.  Particular favourites were the underground virtual reality experience, a portable self-contained seismic unit and enterprise level 4G communication networks. The Expedio presentation and OCRIS product demonstrations were well received with a lot of interest from delegates unhappy with their current ‘old-school’ data capture and  management software  products.  Expedio would like to announce Tara French from Regis Resources as the winner of our lovely bottle of McLaren Vale red, congratulations Tara!  Thankyou to all attendees and organisers of neXTek, and we hope to see you all again next year.

Photo supplied by Minespace

Expedio – Always Accurate Data