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Dynamic technology is helping the mining industry cope with accelerating demand for data to be processed and delivered faster, says Measured Group’s Toby Prior.
The Measured Group Director and Principal Geologist, who worked as Maptek Technical Services Manager from 2003-06, says this is the fundamental evolution he’s witnessed during more than 20 years in the sector.
‘The changes really are about how quickly data needs to be processed and information and answers are needed,’ Toby says.
‘Gone are the days where you could sit back and take a couple of weeks to process the data and that’s mainly because the technology’s here now to do it so dynamically.
‘There's an expectation that we can gather the data from the field, we can process it and we can get answers quickly which helps with production, with safety, with a whole range of different facets of operations.’
The University of Southern Queensland graduate says advances in software have improved daily workflows.
‘The dynamic nature of Vulcan appeals to me and being able to quickly load data, interrogate it and get answers and find solutions is key.
‘It has got a lot better and a lot quicker to do this with processing power getting better every year, I think it doubles every year, and tasks that used to take days or weeks now take seconds so you have that ability to get data loaded and get it on the screen and show your engineers and your production people what is happening.
‘From a resources perspective, we can get a quicker turnaround in terms of resource dimensions and you also can get confidence in your resources estimations.’
Toby enjoyed working in geology roles for JB Mining and Xstrata Coal following his time with Maptek.
Seven years into his current role with Measured Group, which offers independent reporting, advice and technical geological services, he says it’s been his career highlight.
‘The satisfaction you get from mentoring others and helping your employees is hard to describe but there’s a certain sense of pride that comes from bringing people on and taking them on your journey and, it may be a bit cliched but by bringing them into the family you are helping them become better geologists.’
He is excited by the group’s pivot from a coal focus into metals such as gold, lithium and critical minerals.
‘We've also gone from being Queensland-focused to international, so now we service clients in Africa and Kazakhstan and all over the world.’
Toby says Maptek reaching 40 years in business is an ‘amazing’ milestone.
‘When I think of Maptek I think of functionality and innovation and the ability to provide solutions to multiple problems.
‘It's great to see you still delivering dynamic products - continue the good work.’
Watch the full interview here.