Making the most of your data (GeoSquare)

Managing a mine site or a petroleum tenement lease is a perpetual activity which requires consideration of budgets and maintaining the social licence to continue production. In order to fulfil production requirements, a resource has to be developed and in doing so a high level of environmental management is required. This could include a number of activities such as initial exploration, feasibility studies and development of infrastructure on the site. During the initial stages of planning, post production scenarios are incorporated but not fully developed as operations will have a major impact on the final relinquishment options implemented.

Analysis of data required for each phase of the development cycle for a mine or petroleum lease, share a number of common elements and challenges. These can be summarised in the following points.

Text showing keywords for data management

Illustration of data management keywords (image by B Strapme CC2)

  1. Data Management
    • Retain good quality data in company systems through rigorous QA/QC standards and methods at all stages.
    • Use dedicated and adaptable database (does not mean a single database) for all operation phases to ensure continuity.
    • Add sufficient metadata for analysis by subsequent users, more is better.
    • Retain provider reports for data and instrumental logs.
    • GeoSquare can assist in the review, planning and implementation phases of this work.
    • We understand that not all systems are perfect and relying on our experience we can assist companies in developing metadata systems to enable long term use of data.
  2. Data Objectives
    • Understanding what the data will be used for is one of the hottest topics in companies, GeoSquare can assist in refining the objectives to minimise long term costs and increase the value of data collected.
    • Data should be applicable to a wide set of criteria and should meet minimum QA/QC standards.
    • Staff should understand that it is a company asset, has value, and has long term implications to efficiency.
    • Not only units directly involved with the data should have input into the objectives but also units on the periphery should be consulted.
  3. Data Analysis
    • Data analysis can be divided into standard and advanced subgroups. Standard data analysis is generally performed in-house and addresses general issues while advanced analysis is focused on solving a specific question. GeoSquare can provide both or one of these services and it depends on the client needs and objectives.
    • It can be complicated for in-house users to analyse growing data sets which might be due to telemetry or refinements in data gathering technologies. In some instances people are overwhelmed and limit their analysis to only specific data sets which can have a negative impact on a number of systems.
    • GeoSquare can provide key services in this area to enhance productivity and understanding of results from data analysis. We can supply both area experts and analysts which have a good working relationship to deliver optimised results.
  4. Synthesis of Data
    • Synthesis of whole data sets are generally limited, although valuable information regarding operations and compliance can be derived without additional costs. This is one of the areas in which GeoSquare has extensive experience due to its subject experts and involvement in mining and petroleum developments.
    • Drawing on multiple sources of information, which could include internal and external resources, a data synthesis can be performed to develop a better understanding of current conditions. This effectively increases the ability to make informed decisions and manage future liabilities. It is GeoSquare’s aim to support companies to reach this stage and we gladly work with clients to ensure a positive outcome relating to their data needs.

The development of large data sets have initially assisted large operations to capture enough data to address their specific needs. But data sets are growing and efficiency in analysing data has decreased. Pure data analytics cannot solve all issues as it is too generalised and requires subject specialists to be actively involved during this stage. GeoSquare are uniquely placed to assist in this area and can supply services which include both expertise in hydrogeology, geochemistry and data analytics.