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Earth Explorer is an online source of news, expertise and applied knowledge for resource explorers and earth scientists. Sponsored by Geosoft.

News & Views

News Archive

December 7, 2016

Geosoft introduces IP and resistivity inversion in VOXI Earth Modelling

Geosoft has added induced polarization and resistivity data inversion to its VOXI Earth Modelling 3D inversion software service. Geoscientists are now able to create detailed 3D models of conductivity and chargeability from IP and resistivity survey data with VOXI. The resulting models can assist in interpreting and targeting regions for mineral and environmental applications...

December 5, 2016

Mexico's Deepwater Round Exceeds Expectations

Some of the world's biggest oil companies showed up Dec. 5 and agreed to invest on the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico, proving that deepwater exploration still has a pulse despite challenging market conditions...

November 30, 2016

Magnetic inversion results for Ngamiland available for download

A regional-scale geophysical inversion of magnetic field data in the Ngamiland region of northwestern Botswana is now available for download from the Botswana Geoscience Portal, a partnership initiative of the Botswana Geoscience Institute, industry sponsors and Geosoft...

November 30, 2016

LIGO Resumes Search for Gravitational Waves

After a series of upgrades, the twin detectors of LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, have turned back on and resumed their search for ripples in the fabric of space and time known as gravitational waves. LIGO transitioned from their engineering test runs to full science observations at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 30...

November 9, 2016

International Volcano Scientists Unite

For the first time, the United States will host the international Volcano Observatory Best Practices workshop, previously held only in Italy. The workshop will take place this month in Vancouver, Washington. It is designed specifically for volcano observatories around the world and their staff to exchange ideas and best practices with each other...

October 4, 2016

USGS Assesses Mineral Potential for Sagebrush Habitats in Six Western States

USGS has completed a comprehensive assessment and inventory of potential mineral resources covering approximately 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming...

October 3, 2016

Uganda Targets Up to U.S.$100 Million for Mineral Exploration

Uganda is well endowed with mineral resources and, like many naturally-gifted African countries, is becoming keen on ensuring that these resources play a transformative role in its long-term structural transformation dream - the Vision 2040...

September 9, 2016

Small-Scale Fishers Get A Big Boost With First-Of-Its Kind Impact Investment Fund

Conservation organization Rare announces the Meloy Fund for Small-Scale Fisheries at Our Ocean Conference. The Global Environment Facility, one of the largest funders of conservation worldwide, will be investing $6 million into the fund...

September 1, 2016

Scientists take to the skies to track West African pollution

Scientists operating research aircraft over West Africa have detected organic materials in the atmosphere over a number of urban areas, contributing to concerns of the rise in pollution across the region...

August 17, 2016

New IGS Xplore prospectivity maps for Botswana

International Geoscience Services have released a series of base metal prospectivity maps for the Ngamiland District of northwestern Botswana using free geodata available on the recently-launched Botswana Geoscience Portal, hosted by Geosoft. The maps identify favorable areas for copper, zinc and lead mineralization using geological, geochemical and geophysical datasets downloaded directly from the portal.

August 11, 2016

NexGen Makes New High Grade Discovery

NexGen Energy reported the discovery of a new high grade zone of mineralization 4.7 km northeast of the Arrow Deposit as part of an on-going summer drilling program on its 100% owned, Rook I property, Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan...

August 10, 2016

Rampion UXO Disposal to Take Place This Week

E.ON has confirmed that the two unexploded devices, detected along the Rampion offshore cable route will be safely disposed this week following the consultation with the Marine Management Organisation...

August 9, 2016

Diamonds In The Rough: E&Ps Find New Reserves In Mature Basins

The oil industry’s history demonstrates clearly that new plays and prospects have long been found in mature basins that were thought to be well on the way to being squeezed dry. Through the acquisition of new data, developing new concepts and coming up with fresh interpretations, long-producing basins around the world from the North Sea to Malaysia have continued to reveal new riches...

August 8, 2016

Northern Shield Identifies High Quality VTEM Targets at Séquoi

Northern Shield Resources announced the results of the interpretation and modelling of the VTEM survey from the Séquoi Property in the Labrador Trough of Quebec . Séquoi is owned 100% by Northern Shield and is being explored for Noril'sk style Ni-Cu-PGE massive sulphides. After geophysical modelling and interpretation of the VTEM data from Séquoi, six VTEM anomalies of significant interest have been identified...

August 3, 2016

Rio Tinto tailors big data drive to copper

Rio Tinto will put the weight of an exploration big data push and its newly-formed Growth and Innovation group behind its desire to identify a "tier 1" copper asset. Speaking at the annual Diggers & Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, Growth and Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh said Australia was "overdue for a tier 1" mineral discovery of any type...

August 1, 2016

Tetra Tech Awarded $200 Million Navy CLEAN Contract

Tetra Tech announced that it has been awarded a $200 million, single-award contract by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic. Through the Comprehensive Long-term Environmental Action Navy (CLEAN) contract, Tetra Tech will provide environmental engineering support services to installations within the NAVFAC Atlantic Area of Responsibility...

May 3, 2016

NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS), MODUM Partners announce "Young Scientist Summer School on Sea Dumped Chemical Weapons"

This international project cooperates closely with CHEMSEA (Search and Assessment of Chemical Weapons) Project for and sharing and knowledge transfer...

April 12, 2016

Monday mad rush for gold stocks

Renewed optimism about the outlook for gold saw investors pile back into gold stocks, pushing many stock to 52-week highs in heavy volumes...

April 11, 2016

Medgold Resources: Continues to Expand the Boticas Gold Project, Portugal; Proposes $200,000 Private Placement

Medgold Resources is pleased to announce new assay results from contiguous rock-chip sampling from the Limarinho South zone at its Boticas gold project in Portugal, which include a highlight of 6.0m @ 5.7 g/t Au...

April 8, 2016

De-carbonizing our energy sector

Nuclear energy currently provides around 11 percent of the world's electricity. China, the European Union, the United States, India, Russia, South Korea, and other nations’ have major existing fleets...

April 1, 2016

Follow-Up Drilling Results Indicate Wide Gold Zones at Hendricks Gold Discovery

Gascoyne Resources Limited announced that it has received the final assay results from the 10,000 metre aircore exploration drilling programme...

March 26, 2016

The Oil Market Is Finally Hitting Its Breaking Point

After a significant reduction in investments over the past two years, oil companies can no longer overcome the production declines from legacy wells...

March 15, 2016

N-Sea Expands into the French Offshore Wind Industry

Subsea IMR provider, N-Sea, has signed a letter of intent with CERES Recherches & Expertise Sous-Marine and TechSub Industrie Environement, to provide subsea survey, installation and remediation services to the French offshore wind industry...

March 9, 2016

PDAC 2016 Convention Exceeds 22,000 Attendees

Optimism and opportunity abounded at the PDAC 2016 Convention of The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in spite of recent industry challenges...

March 3, 2016

6 Alpha Launches EOD Contracting Division

6 Alpha Associates, a specialist risk consultancy practice, with expertise in the assessment and management of unexploded ordnance, has launched a dedicated explosive ordnance disposal division...

Data Connections

Troy Wilson

How are you connecting with your data?

There was a time when the biggest data problem within the geosciences was the dearth of data, not enough data to support discovery and exploration projects. As more of the world's earth data is collected, digitized and stored in private, corporate and public databases, the problem has quickly become how to deal with the digital geoscientific data explosion.

There are now vast amounts of available data, and the challenge is how to help geoscientists connect with it to solve their discovery puzzle - whether that's pinpointing where to explore for minerals, oil, or understanding the characteristics of an environmental site for remediation.

Geoscientists need to be able to find data, evaluate it based on information about the data (metadata), retrieve it, either in native file formats or by translating the data directly into the context of their applications. Once found, verified and converted into a usable format, the data is analyzed, visualized, interpreted and used to support conclusions, and arrive at decisions that lead to action, which can be both critical and costly. We call this the Data Experience. It is through the Data Experience that geoscientists build knowledge from their data. In this article we take a look at how data management solutions and new technologies are helping to improve the data experience, thereby contributing to reduced risk and better results for exploration companies and geoscience organizations.

The ultimate data experience

What is the ideal data experience? For many geoscientist end users, it's about being able to find, connect and extract value from their data faster and easier. This means having easy access to all available data, and the applications needed to work with the data, via a single interface on their desktop. It's the ability to quickly search and query from local databases and data servers, as well as public servers available on the Internet. It's being able to count on the data's quality and completeness. Finally, geoscientific discovery is an iterative and intuitive process, and the seamless flow of data - often multidisciplinary and available in different projections and formats - across applications is important. As is the ability to quickly add new data as it becomes available to continually evolve our understanding of a changing picture.

Business case for better data connections

Behind the scenes, there are solid business issues driving the requirement for stronger, centralized connections between people, workflows and their data assets. The case for investing in data management solutions often includes financial considerations, protecting and maximizing data asset value on the one hand, and minimizing cost of discovery on the other. When you consider that, within exploration, 1 in 1000 projects explored move into a production environment that delivers return to the shareholder or investor, and that 90% of mines are on properties that have already been explored, it's not hard to make a case for managing your data assets to support smarter exploration. There are also security issues, quality issues, and compliance with regulatory requirements.

The benefits of data management solutions

Formal data management solutions address many of these issues, significantly increasing the value of data resources by establishing stronger connections between data and data consumers.

Improvements in data management help to focus geoscientists on the decision and not the workflow problems, by enabling them to spend more time on data interpretation and knowledge development and less time on data chores and data management issues. Having a consistently reliable flow of data to support projects, increases the number of projects that can be progressed within a given budget cycle. Organizing and managing your data supports effective collaboration and information sharing with consumers, partners and investors. It protects your investment in past data acquisition and makes old data more valuable by enabling it to be leveraged for future projects.

At the end of the day, it's about reducing risk and increasing both the speed, time to market, and quality of business decisions to improve results. Stronger data connections deliver better results.

Developing an exploration data management strategy

Developing an exploration data management (EDM) strategy that connects your data repositories with your data users, within the context of your organization, can be a daunting challenge. Here is a guide to some of the key characteristics of an EDM solution, and some considerations when developing your EDM strategy.

1. Scope of EDM. EDM solutions must address the three key barriers to effective exploration data management: 1) getting exploration data and information into your company repositories, 2) creating a secure environment where data can be catalogued and metadata can be added, managed and maintained for data QC and compliance, and 3) getting data out to data-consumers in a usable format.

2. Simplicity. To add value data management has to immediately contribute to results and minimize efforts. Simplicity is the key here, and it starts with having the right process for getting data in and out of your system. EDM must be supported with a single, well defined and easy process to get data in to the system. It must have one single, way for data users to extract data and get value from the system.

3. Data Repositories. To start, it's recommended you choose one or two repositories for your EDM project. Different data types, geochemistry, drilling, geophysics, geology/GIS, 3D modeling, place different demands on the repository and require different supporting technology. Our experience is that an exploration company will need up to six or seven separate data repositories, each supported by different technology. Examples of exploration Data Repository technologies range from common File systems to data storage systems like acQuire, ArcSDE and specialized 3D systems such as Fractal or GoCAD.

4. Middleware. Middleware is a solution for connecting data users with back-end data repositories. The reality of having multiple repositories, each with its own data access methodologies, limitations and capabilities, complicates data search, extraction and delivery to endusers. Middleware, like Geosoft DAP, creates value by connecting to the various systems, and handling tasks like data cataloguing, managing and maintaining metadata to support effective and standards based user access to data.

5. Performance. There are performance issues inherent in accessing the very large data sets consumed in exploration. Middleware is helpful in resolving these issues. For example, Geosoft DAP performs the function of extracting, windowing, translating, compressing and streaming data to its clients. Repository technologies typically require high-bandwidth access to the data stores. Because of the compression and streaming using standard HTTP, DAP can provide data access over low-bandwidth connections.

6. Integration and Implementation. Integration of your EDM with your data repositories, and its overall fit within your organization is critical to making it all work for you. Choose experienced middleware integrators that have experience with large volume geoscience data, and the services to support your roadmap development, systems integration and global implementation (if that's required in your organization).

Troy Wilson is VP, Marketing with Geosoft.