Maptek geology champions win on innovation

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Maptek geology champions win on innovation

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GeologyChallengeWinners2022.jpg
Cathy Barton, Senior Geologist for IGO has won the 2022 Maptek Geology Challenge for producing
alternative geological models to better understand water-bearing structures on a disseminated nickel
deposit.
Barton had been intrigued that she and a geology colleague interpreted alternative orientations for
pegmatite intrusions despite working on the same data. She also hoped to gain insights into the uncertainty
of the location and thickness of the pegmatites.
The Maptek challenge provides entrants with access to Vulcan GeologyCore and DomainMCF software,
with unlimited machine learning cloud computing access across one week, to come up with novel ways of
maximising project value.
Barton, who won a batch of DomainMCF hours for her company alongside a personal prize, said finding a
simple solution in DomainMCF made it practical to produce alternatives quickly, boosting confidence in
existing models and highlighting areas needing review.
Barton described her data as ‘distressingly real’, comprising 1885 diamond holes drilled from surface and
underground in widely varying orientations and directions by multiple owners over 30 years. Drillhole
spacing ranged from 100 m with no sign of economic mineralisation to 15 m in some mineralised areas.
With domains categorised and data validated, the job was submitted to DomainMCF using the lithological
grouping as the domain and six elements to estimate grade trends. 
Within 30 minutes and 45 seconds DomainMCF produced an alternative geological model that
honoured the drilling data and correlated well with the implicit model.
Barton appreciated that DomainMCF can be used as a validation tool for geological modelling, for example,
highlighting areas where a vein model may be incorrect due to the modeller's interpretation of the
orientation. She also noted that DomainMCF helped in modelling intricate isoclinal folding as well as large
regional faults.
Barton plans to use the DomainMCF machine learning hours to help review several different resources.
Second and third prizes
Yerniyaz Abildin, University of Adelaide postgraduate researcher won second prize for a study that
compared explicit, implicit and geostatistical modelling with the machine learning approach. 
Abildin noted the main advantages to be the ‘stunning’ speed of cloud computing and user-friendly
domaining tools.

‘Vulcan GeologyCore had several utilities that as a non-geologist I had not previously considered.
DomainMCF produced the result extremely fast - the run time exceeded my expectations by around ten
times,’ Abildin said.

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‘The interconnection between Maptek products is beneficial. It is easy to open the block model produced by
DomainMCF in Vulcan and then analyse the results against previous model,’ he said.
Third prize was awarded to John Florek, Principal of Apical Exploration, who ran DomainMCF on a series of
diamond drillholes for a high-grade gold deposit, to see whether incorporating different geological trends
and categorising them as a domain variable gives more geological control over the model. 
‘The Maptek solution allowed a fresh new perspective to the deposit that we will be exploring. Trends that
were not identified, revealed themselves,’ Florek commented.
The performance of DomainMCF and Vulcan GeologyCore surprised Florek also.
‘The time it took to do these sophisticated models was amazing. It would take geologists years to develop
comparable models, Florek said.
Florek commented favourably on the ability to model domains with known structural controls for
mineralisation, noting that it allowed him to create several models, and test them during exploration drilling.
Additional benefits for projects include quick evaluation of known deposits without the bias of earlier
workers. 
‘I could independently evaluate whether a property has higher or lower potential than what is being
promoted. It's a great tool for institutional investors.’
Maptek Senior Technical Lead Richard Jackson was impressed with the breadth of applications from
entrants in this year's Challenge. 
‘The three winning submissions are great examples of how DomainMCF can be applied to very different
problems, all gaining a little more insight into their data and adding value to the vastly different problems
being tackled. It truly was a challenge of more than just domains!’ Jackson said.

About Maptek
Maptek ™ believes that to make mining more efficient, miners should be enabled to make better decisions.
That’s why all our effort is focused on providing integrated decision-making support solutions. This
integration is particularly important as it enables customers to turn data into knowledge at every stage of
the mining life cycle. Ultimately by fully integrating that knowledge Maptek wants to change the way mining
is done forever.
Contact: jane.ball[at]maptek.com
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