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An integral part of the exploration and mining workflow is the collection and submission of drillhole samples. Regardless of the drilling method and stage in the project life cycle the collectionintegration to the data management system and dispatch of samples should be a seamless and efficient process. At maxgeo we find a common problem in the industry is that collection procedures allow for the introduction of many errors at various stages of the workflow.

“We improve data management workflows around drillhole sampling and submissions. Our robust set of tools promote and enable efficiencies in the sample collection, integration and dispatch process.”

by Lerelle BomSenior Data Management Consultant
Some of the problems we commonly identify in the sample collection process are:

  • All relevant metadata for each sampling interval is not collected
  • Processes to capture sample details are time-consuming. This is especially relevant when you have fast drilling types such as grade control
  • Manual recording of sample numbers leads to the introduction of data entry errors
  • A lack of automation around the insertion of QC data.

The sample collection workflow process must prevent the introduction of unnecessary errors and thus eliminate the chance of missing and / or inaccurate data. Data must be validated at the point of entry to identify overlapping or missing sample intervals. It is important to have time-saving processes to simplify the generation of sampling intervals and automate the application of the QC samples according to your company QC policy.

Once the collection process is complete, sampling information should be integrated into the central data management system. Often this is a manual data entry process that is time-consuming and again leaves room for error. The maxgeo Sample Cutsheet App allows sampling data to be synchronised seamlessly from collection point into the data management system. This prevents any delay in relating the sample intervals with the assay results so decision making can be timely.

One of the final stages of the sampling process is submitting / dispatching the samples to the laboratory. It is common for maxgeo to identify the following for our clients:

  • Sample submission information is not kept in a digital format, making reporting and reconciliation against returned batches difficult
  • Samples are omitted from sample dispatches or sample numbers transposed on entry, forcing the lab to return as Listed Not Received (LNR)
  • Laboratories are required to do manual data entry into their LIMS systems creating further opportunities for error.

To alleviate these errors a digital sample submission process is required. Details of each submission are stored, so readily accessible by various search criteria for reference and reporting. All sample numbers are captured from the collection point and sample lists can be generated and dispatched with ease by hole_id. Different assay suites can be grouped and submitted easily, for example, BOH muli element sampling. As assay contract information is also stored, submission costs are automatically calculated and financials readily available.

To conclude, the capture and storage of sampling data should be a simple bi-product of core activities. Integrated systems should allow for data to be streamed from the capture point and be readily available for dispatch effortlessly.

At maxgeo we have been working very hard to improve data management workflows around drillhole sampling and submissions. We have a robust set of tools that promote and enable efficiencies in the sample collection, integration and dispatch process.

Our improvements eliminate time-consuming processes and generate a superior quality of data.

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