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Project Definition

Debswana’s electronic / digital geological data management began with the MINSAMP data management solution. This was developed in-house by Debswana, and the De Beers Group as a whole, and consisted of a Microsoft Access database and Front-End. A version of this solution existed at both the Jwaneng and Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa operations.

Debswana decided, in 2005, to move away from their in-house solution and implement the maxgeo LogChief data management solution and has been using this ever since. This industry-leading software allows for both Offline and Online logging with data either being captured directly into a centralised, secure, Microsoft SQL database, or captured in the field, core-yard, or plant and then synchronised to the central database.

The Client

Debswana Diamond Company was established in 1969 and is owned in equal shares by the Government of the Republic of Botswana and The De Beers Group of Companies. It is one of the world’s leading diamond producers by value and volume. Debswana operates four diamond mines in Orapa, Letlhakane, Damtshaa and Jwaneng.

The Challenge

As the original MINSAMP solution was built on Microsoft Access there were limitations to the resources that can be allocated to such a solution. Upgrade and enhancement was also limited to individuals with a very specific skill set.

Outsourcing of the development, support, and maintenance of the Debswana data management solution allowed for streamlining of the management of the solution.

The LogChief solution allowed for verification of data either manually after being captured or via an automated process that notifies administrators after a specific period of time that data has not been verified. The ability to save images on LogChief Forms also added significant value to the solution. Various basic reports were also available via the LogChief interface using SQL Server Reporting Services.

Whilst the LogChief solution was fit for purpose and included basic reporting functionality there was a desire to have an interface that is better suited to both administration of the solution, the management of large volumes of data, as well as accessibility of advanced reporting, customised functionality, importation of historical non-standardised data, and extraction or download of data.

Debswana requested that maxgeo futureproof their solution by making a number of changes to how their solution is managed and by adding various functionality to the standard maxgeo solution. These changes included the amalgamation and centralisation of the two site-based databases, the standardisation of logging codes across the organisation as well as internal data structures, the addition of functionality in geotechnical calculations to eliminate the potential human error, and the integration of data streaming functionality from 3rd party Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

The Solution

maxgeo proposed the implementation of DataShed5, the latest platform-independent browser-based software solution from the maxgeo software stable. This brings many benefits such as no standalone software installs, or reliance on 3rd party applications, and means that all data processing happens on the database server, where resources are more robust and readily available, instead of locally where trade-offs normally must be made on hardware to allow for portability or cost-effectiveness of user interfaces.

The centralised management of DataShed5 allows for immediate availability of updates and deployment of additional functionality and streamlines the administration of the solution and related infrastructure.

Upgrading to the latest maxgeo Data Schema (MDS) allowed for futureproofing of the Debswana SQL database including enhanced data integrity and data auditing, 2D data visualisation, and automated reporting.

maxgeo then designed a custom integration to interface with the Terracore Hyperspectral API to allow for the streaming and storage of Hyperspectral data from this source API directly into the Debswana database.

Furthermore, a custom geotechnical engineering calculations interface will be developed as a Module in the DataShed5 interface which will allow Debswana’s geotechnical team to determine which parameters to apply to geotechnical logging to allow for calculations of Rock Mass Rating, Mining Rock Mass Rating, Q Rating, and Geological Strength Index. These calculations may then be exported into formats to be used in 3rd party applications.

By implementing the updated Debswana-maxgeo solution, the Debswana team have centralised, standardised and created a more transparent environment for users on the two operations. This allows geoscientists to have access to the data when needed. Database administrators can now concentrate on the task of administrating the system and not get bogged down in the day-to-day data import / export routines.

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