Why DID you create a geological model?

Working at Maptek gives us the chance to visit a lot of different mining operations, working on different commodities and using different modelling methods. We sometimes find customers who don’t use software for modelling at all, or else just use it for the creation of maps or images, without fully utilising mining software to its fullest extent.

I recently demonstrated Vulcan to one customer, showing off the geological model I’d put together for them. After I’d finished, I was asked “…so how does having these pictures on a computer help us?”.

And that got me thinking. The operation is managing to extract a resource from the ground, so what is it meant to do with this model? We sometimes lose sight of this question.

Why did I make that geological domain?

Why did I make that geological domain?

There are many people in a mine that would benefit from getting something out of the model from exploration to production, but they may be so far away from actually seeing it that they miss out on the benefit entirely. If it takes 2 months to give someone something they need for next week, that person will also not buy into the process of using the model.

So before we sit down to make a model, foremost in our minds should be the questions: Who and what am I making this model for? How am I going to share this with those people? Is what I’m producing justified in terms of time and effort?

If you can’t effectively communicate your model to others in a timely fashion, you may just be left with some nice pictures on a computer.

If you have questions relating to this blog or on geological modelling in general, drop me an email at david.oneill@maptek.co.uk

David O’Neill

Maptek Resource Geologist and Coal Specialist


Comments (1)

One Response to “Why DID you create a geological model?”

  1. Anna Fardell says:

    David, I am looking forward to this. I find when communicating models it is easy for people to get completely lost in the details. However, there are two fundamental problems that seem to regularly occur…The first, that geological models are not regularly reviewed and updated because this work is not seen as a priority until there is a problem. The second, that the uncertainty and risk associated with the geological model is not communicated or understood by the people who are using it. Good luck with your efforts. As a geologists it is very easy to get stuck into rocks and forget about the bigger picture.

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David O’Neill

August 4, 2016


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