ARANZ Geo, developer of 3D geological modelling software Leapfrog, and REFLEX, developer of REFLEX ioGAS geochemical exploratory data analysis software, report continued success three years on from the launch of the Link connecting Leapfrog and REFLEX ioGAS. The link allows users of the two software packages to visualise geochemical data analysis in real-time in the 3D space, further enhancing the dynamic nature of 3D geological modelling and honing decision-making.

The REFLEX ioGAS Link at the Kevitsa Deposit, Finland

First Quantum Minerals are reporting success using the REFLEX ioGAS Link at their Kevitsa Mine (now Boliden) in Finland. REFLEX ioGAS is considered to be the ideal software for geochemical analysis and Leapfrog is the next generation in implicit geological modelling. In the continued exploration effort at Kevitsa Ni-Cu-Pt-Pd Mine the ioGAS Link allows geologists to rapidly visualise geochemical data to improve interpretations.

ARANZ Geo managing director Shaun Maloney says: "Integration with other software is essential as dynamic modelling becomes the norm and the amount of data increases. The live link offers users of Leapfrog Geo and REFLEX ioGAS real benefits, not least being able to readily access and visualise a huge range of geochemical data and rapidly include it in the modelling process. The use of the ioGAS Link at Kevitsa is a great example of combining the unique benefits of the two leading programmes."

Integration of ready-use data

The need to improve the geological model to optimise mining and to generate further exploration targets drove a program at Kevitsa to acquire lithogeochemical data that could be fed into a 3D model for proper correlation and rapid visualisation. To speed up data capture onsite First Quantum Minerals Limited used the Olympus pXRF Analyzer, obviating the need to send samples off for laboratory testing, which can mean a 3-4 week delay. The ioGAS live link allowed for new geochemical interpretations of Olympus pXRF data to be used quickly to re-evaluate the geological model created in Leapfrog.

Former First Quantum Minerals geologist Frank Santaguida said: "We were able to recognise specific rock types that were associated with mineralisation. We analysed some of these rocks and were able to geochemically fingerprint them. Analysing the historic drill core and new exploration core we could then plot the new data to target new areas for mineralisation.

"This integration of ready-use data with existing interpretations allowed geologists to make timely decisions and effective use of the very latest information."

Better mining

A huge range of geochemical information can be gathered during exploration, mine development, and mine operation. Not incorporating this data into a geological model exposes organisations to risk.

Frank continued: "The chemical information gives us much more to go on and seeing it in 3D is very revealing and valuable. We can see another level of compositional detail and we can better understand geology to be better miners. It also means we can go about answering the all-important question for the Exploration Geo, ‘is there more?’"

The next challenge and trend in the management of information

Being able to easily combine multi-disciplinary data is a growing requirement and recognised by many industry pundits as the next challenge and trend in the management of information in mining. Vast amounts of data are increasingly available, yet cross over between packages doesn’t always facilitate easy use and effective integration and collaboration.

REFLEX global product manager Dave Lawie commented: "What will add value going forward is aggregating disparate and different types of data into a single common environment and then running analytics."

Leapfrog Partnership Programme

The ioGAS Link is part of the Leapfrog Partnership Programme, which aims to deliver seamless interoperability between leading software providers for superior modelling and more effective decision making. Existing partners include REFLEX, acQuire, Corescan and Deswik.

Maloney adds: "The ioGAS Link and our other partnerships allow Leapfrog users to draw appropriately from multiple disciplines to redefine problems outside normal boundaries and reach solutions based on a new understanding of complex situations."

ARANZ Geo’s regional director for North America Rob Ferguson says: "The link between Leapfrog and REFLEX ioGAS has become invaluable for organisations that require in-depth 3D analysis of geochemical distribution. The driving force behind the success of the integration is the absolute requirement to develop more robust mineral domains for resource estimations."