Engineering & Mining Journal

JAN 2019

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Page 47 of 59

46 E&MJ • JANUARY 2019 OPERATING STRATEGIES Seequent and IMDEX have formed an on- going partnership to deliver a real-time 3D visualization solution for mining and explo- ration that the two companies claim dra- matically improves the speed and accura- cy of decision-making for drilling projects. Seequent, formerly known as ARANZ Geo and based in New Zealand, is a developer of visual data science software; IMDEX, headquartered in Western Australia, offers real-time subsurface intelligence solutions. The two companies are collaborating to integrate IMDEXHUB-IQ, which pro- vides access to sub-surface data; and Central, Seequent's centralized model management solution for visualization, tracking and management of an organi- zation's geological data. The integration, according to the two companies, will al- low live 3D data collected in the fi eld and synced to IMDEXHUB-IQ to be linked in real-time to the same project in Central, enabling 3D visualization of downhole survey and structural geology data. The real-time 3D visualization solution allows project changes to be tracked over time, enabling QA/QC of drill hole data. The solution enables drill hole progress to be reviewed in Central's 3D browser along- side the planned program and current geo- logical interpretation, improving geologists' confi dence in decision-making and ensur- ing issues are identifi ed and managed as they arise, according to the developers. IMDEX said several mining companies are interested in testing the solution on their drilling programs, including First Quantum Minerals (Australia) Pty Ltd. In a related development, satellite communications provider Inmarsat said it is working with IMDEX to enhance satellite connectivity – combining IMDEXHUB-IQ and Inmarsat's L-band satellite services as a standard feature, thus eliminating the need for mining and drilling companies to provide their own connectivity. This en- ables users to analyze and upload fi eld data in real time from isolated locations. Michelle Carey, general manager–IM- DEX product development, said, "This collaboration will allow our IMDEX- HUB-IQ solution to connect to the cloud via Inmarsat's highly secure and reliable network, meaning that the data obtained can be uploaded for analysis in real-time, even in areas with no terrestrial coverage. "We expect to take the solution to mar- ket on a regional basis to mining organi- zations across Australia and New Zealand, with worldwide distribution following closely behind," she explained. Joe Carr, director of mining innovation at Inmarsat, added: "By building our global mobile satellite connectivity into the solution as standard, end-users do not have to spend time and considerable effort to reduce the complexity of procuring their own network providers on a project by project basis. Work Groups and Guidelines Aim to Improve Industry's Grasp of Tech Concepts Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) has launched a new Artifi cial Intelligence Working Group intended to help demystify AI and enable the mining industry to ex- ploit its value. GMG said its Artifi cial Intelligence (AI) Working Group is a culmination of several brainstorming and breakout sessions held at GMG events over the past six months. Ultimately, said GMG, the working group intends to create a greater under- standing of AI and its applications in mining and promote increased openness to enable companies to adopt AI technol- ogies safely and effectively. It will be a community of interest on the topic, bring- ing together operators, AI experts from in- side and outside the mining industry, and other mining stakeholders. The mining industry "has a lot to gain from AI-based innovation," said AI Work- ing Group leader Mark O'Brien. While the industry is beginning to recognize AI as an opportunity to harness new technolo- gy to improve operational effi ciency, it is still missing a clear understanding of how mainstream technologies (such as facial recognition, scene detection, voice rec- ognition) translate to industrial settings. "The truth is," O'Brien notes, "most of us don't really know much about or truly understand what AI actually is." According to GMG, mining stakehold- ers have a range of questions and con- cerns: How can a mining company use AI to improve operations? Where can we start? Is it safe? How will the mine's physical and digital infrastructure need to change to accommodate it? What are the change management implications? How will AI affect the workforce? The working group will initially focus on three objectives: First, educating the industry on what AI is and is not, and defi ning common terminology. Second, documenting successful AI applications with use cases, identifying limitations or failures where appropriate. Third, making AI technologies accessible by providing clarity about requirements for AI deploy- Companies Collaborate on Drill-data Visualization and Analysis Improvements Below-surface structural data being collected and viewed live in Seequent's Central browser.

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