From university-based exploration research to industrial application

Industry uptake of academic exploration and mining research is often slower than it should be. Academics must focus on innovation and education. Providing industry with the robust tools, documentation, and support required for day-to-day practical deployment of successful research outcomes can be a difficult gap to bridge.

We have developed an approach, with a successful track record, to this problem. Two recent examples, one from AI/ML and one from advanced geophysics, demonstrate its effectiveness. The technology foundation is Geoscience ANALYST, a free software platform providing general, multi-disciplinary geoscience data visualization. We use it to build relationships with researchers and industry; the common goal is deployment of R&D success.

The first example is the $13m NSERC-CMIC mineral exploration project, “Integrated Multi-Parameter Footprints of Ore Systems: The Next Generation of Ore Deposit Models.”

"The development of Geoscience ANALYST means that the basics of data and model handling and 3D visualization do not have to be re-invented by researchers."

John McGaugheyPresident - Mira Geoscience

An objective of the project was integration of multi-disciplinary data through AI/ML approaches alongside standard statistical techniques. A central challenge was making project data, models, methods, and results available in a useful way to stakeholders. The gap was bridged by creating a centrally-hosted database from where data, models, and documents can be accessed and visualized. Geoscience ANALYST provided a simple and cost-free mechanism to access both data and results directly from the database.

© 2019 NSERC-CMIC Exploration Footprints Network. All Rights Reserved

“We have developed a Python API to run open-source codes including ML/AI tools in Geoscience ANALYST, providing a path to directly implement R&D innovation in exploration programs,” says John McGaughey, President at Mira Geoscience. “Project-generated data are now residing at the Mining Observatory Data Control Centre at SNOLAB in Sudbury, who host the data repository, and will be made available to the public soon.”

The second example is from the field of geophysical R&D. From 2012 to 2019, the University of British Columbia Geophysical Inversion Facility (UBC-GIF) ran a successful project to create “GIFtools,” providing an extensive system of user interfaces to set up, execute, and interpret the results of the advanced geophysical forward modelling and inversion codes developed at UBC-GIF. We recently formed an industry consortium to create a commercially-supported version of GIFtools that could be run from Geoscience ANALYST. This has created a platform that other researchers may now use as a common set of tools for development of new geophysical methods.

“The development of Geoscience ANALYST means that the basics of data and model handling and 3D visualization do not have to be re-invented by researchers. From the examples presented in AI/ML and geophysics, to any computational geoscience and mining research, researchers can focus on innovation that industry can quickly apply.”

Open source codes are now being created across the geosciences. Where useful, we will provide the ability to use these codes from the Geoscience ANALYST interface, with the technical support, documentation, and training that will make them usable by industry as standard tools. The Python API allows open source codes to use the same robust 3D geoscience interface provided by Geoscience ANALYST.

John McGaughey – President

John is the founder and President of Mira Geoscience. He has extensive mining industry experience focusing on quantitative, multi-disciplinary 3D and 4D interpretation for mineral exploration and geotechnical decision support. He currently leads our technology strategy and our geotechnical business. Prior to founding Mira Geoscience in 1999, he spent 10 years at the Noranda Technology Centre as a Senior Scientist in their rock mechanics group. He obtained an MSc in geological engineering and a PhD in geophysics from Queen’s University. John is based in Montreal.

Latest news

Geoscience ANALYST
August, 28 2019

New geophysical tools in Geoscience ANALYST

Coming up later in 2019 is the launch of new geophysical tools. It includes a new interface for the industry-standard UBC-GIF forward modelling...
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Software tips
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Drag-and-drop files into a 3D compilation

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Geoscience ANALYST
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Geoscience ANALYST Pro Geophysics Consortium

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Events
October, 20 2020

e-Chile Explore Congress – Virtual Conference

Jean-Philippe Paiement will present during "Using Comment Field Entries in Drill Hole Database to automatically re-Log Lithologies; Application of Latent Semantic Analysis and Supervised Learning"
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15 tips in 15 minutes

15 Geoscience ANALYST tips on advanced visualization and knowledge sharing...
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Case studies
November, 17 2020

Using magnetic susceptibility measurements to define mineral exploration targets

Combining magnetic survey data with measured drillcore susceptibility data greatly increases the resolution and geometrical accuracy of the magnetic inversion...
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Software tips
March, 06 2020

Area-select in Viewport

In Geoscience ANALYST you can multi-select data in the Viewport to highlight them in the Data Table.
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Geoscience ANALYST
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3D seismic data and survey designer tools

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Software tips
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Reopening selected commands

In GOCAD Mining Suite the Log and Command Messages panel has a new tool to reopen previously executed commands...
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Virtual Lecture – Archive
April, 22 2020

Constrained inversion using GRAV3D

Past event, view here or via our YouTube channel...
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Software tips
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Preview files in the Maps/plans/sections page

See the list of layers of your .dwg and .dxf files. Image sneak peeks are also available...
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Visualize structural measurements

In GOCAD you can visualize strike and dip measurements as tablets, discs, or orientation vectors by initializing Structural Graphics...
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