#Vancouver mining#Integra Gold#Virtual reality in mining#S

Virtual reality opens the door to the future

In an economy of implementing cost effective and efficiency measures, mining companies in Vancouver are investing more money in new technologies to full...

Dale Benton
|May 3|magazine5 min read

In an economy of implementing cost effective and efficiency measures, mining companies in Vancouver are investing more money in new technologies to fully realise the potential within their assets.

Integra Gold, a Canadian gold mining company, operates predominately on its Lamaque South project in Val-d”Or, Quebec – one of Canada’s premier gold producing sites.

The company also owns the assets to two defunct sites nearby - as well as 75 years’ worth of mining and exploration data.

With their sights firmly set on their current site, Steve Jong, Integra Gold’s CEO, admits that time – and money – is of the essence. “We don’t have time to go start digging through six terabytes of historical data to try and unlock the value and see if there are targets there,” he said.

In a bid to process this data and determine where best to install drilling programs, Integra held a crowdsourcing contest.

All of the asset data was made public, with Integra calling on geologists and software engineers worldwide to pitch how they can use new technologies to quickly, and effectively, break down this data and develop an exploration plan on the sites.

Following over 1000 submissions and a pitch between five shortlisted finalists, Canada based SGS Geostat were crowned winners, scooping a $500,000 prize for their efforts.

The team, global experts in body modelling and reserve evaluation, won after they had used Oculus Rift, virtual reality technology, to sift through the masses of data.

SGS Geostat team captain, Guy Desharnais, said:  "As a team of geologists, engineers, and computer scientists often bound by certain limitations and boundaries, we relished in the opportunity to channel our collective creativity and curiosity to provide new exploration targets in a historic and famous mining jurisdiction known worldwide,"

“This innovation exercise has been extremely accretive. We have to break this idea that innovation is just going to be a direct expense that might pay for itself years down the road,” added Steve de Jong, Integra Gold’s CEO.

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Read the April 2016 issue of Mining Global magazine