Measured Group & Avantix act on #1 Global Mining Trend

Digitisation has been named the top trend set to shape mining in the year ahead. The Tracking the Trends report, by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, authored by Philip Hopwood, Global Leader - Mining, lists digitisation above other vital priorities such as water management, the  image of mining, changing shareholder expectations and looking to commodities of the future.

“The last 10 years have seen the rollercoaster of highs and lows in the mining sector continue,” outlines Hopwood in the report’s introduction. “During this time, we have seen an emergence of innovative companies adopting transformative practices.”

Measured Group, a mining consultancy specialising in geological modelling, resource estimation, mine planning, exploration services and geotechnical support, has already put into practice changes that the Deloitte report stresses are necessary: “To thrive amid this volatility, companies must rethink the traditional mining model.”

Digitisation has enabled Measured Group to mine data with a depth and efficiency that was not previously possible. This is especially so with previously collected paper-based data which is often poorly stored and archived.

“This becomes dark data,” says Measured Group Principal Geologist, James Knowles. “Incredibly valuable, but hard to access. Once paper copies are located, digitisation is needed to power analysis. Without digitisation, analysis is time-intensive, costly and fraught with potential for error.”

A recent Measured Group project, for a mid-tier Australian-based operation, saw archive boxes filled with data found hidden in the back of a shipping container. “There are very few mining projects where there aren’t issues of missing data,” says Knowles. “Prompted by our questioning, a treasure trove of existing and reliable geological information was able to be used for a fraction of the cost of re-drilling.”

Bringing hard copy-based dark data into the light is the first step in the process. The next step is digitisation.

‘“Hard copy-based data can be made available to resource professionals to build improved and more reliable geological models by the digitisation and incorporation of all types of geological data into modelling databases,” says Knowles.

“Plans, maps, down hole geophysics, and drill-log information can all be accessed through text recognition software. Of particular interest, for some projects, is down hole geophysical curves, which can be digitised, calibrated and loaded into geological modelling databases to assist in improving confidence in historical borehole data.”

“Paper is an impediment,” says Lyon Barrett, Measured Group’s Principal Geologist - Managing Director, whose work is predominantly in the coal industry but includes other commodities such as iron sands, copper and gold.

“Avantix removes this impediment by digitising the Geophysical and Lithology data into a format which becomes usable in our database, in a way that is very cost effective”.

Accuracy and efficiency are key results of digitisation. “Modern digitisation techniques allow you to do the job far more accurately and, in less time,” says Knowles. “I estimate that productivity has increased by 30-50%.”

Digitisation means quicker turnaround times and the ability to deliver more complete data sets.  This results in; higher confidence outcomes, reliable geological interpretations and resource estimates. 

“Being able to access this additional data helps set up mining companies to make good decisions about their resource development and mining strategies at a fraction of the cost,” says Knowles.

Knowles’ words echo those of Hopwood in the Deloitte report - the tenth such report produced over the past decade: "...the real value comes from unlocking the insights within this data. To do so, companies must rethink the way they generate and process information,” the report reads. “Change is coming, and mining companies must find ways to remain relevant.”

The report outlines the choice faced by Measured Group at the outset of their digitisation revolution: "It’s up to individual companies, however, to determine the best operating model for realizing this vision. While some organizations are building in-house analytics capabilities, others are outsourcing their data analysis to third-party partners.”

Measured Group made the decision to follow the latter option. Says Knowles: “We don’t attempt digitisation ourselves, we go straight to Avantix.” By partnering with Avantix, Measured Group are assured of expert digitisation services that are customised to be fully integrated with existing systems and software.

Persons interested in learning more about Avantix’s professional scanning services for mining or other industries can visit the website at