Enhancing Soil Sampling | The Grid Automation Solution | Grid

Shariq Ansari
February 17, 2023
5 mins to read
By digitizing rock samples, geologists are unlikely to miss even the smallest details during analysis.

Soil sampling is the backbone of a business's mineral exploration efforts, and by collecting and analyzing data obtained from this process accurately, miners can determine the precise mineral distribution. This can save exploration companies a significant amount of capital, as they can utilize resources and manpower totally in areas with high-potential mineral deposits. Mistakes in this industry can cause huge setbacks, and incorrect estimation of mineralization likelihood can be a huge blow to juniors who need their businesses to be as lean and efficient as possible.

In order to get the sampling process right, engineers and geologists have to work together on scrutinizing the various stages to create a faultless uninterrupted workflow, namely:

  1. Selection of Sampling Location based on existing geological maps, surface features, or thorough geophysical surveys.
  2. Preparation of Equipment and Resources which shovels, augers, or hand trowels.
  3. Collection of Rock Samples from the surface or a certain depth once a suitable location has been ascertained.
  4. Laboratory Analysis for determining the mineral/metal potential of the site.

Exploration managers need to ensure the above sequence is carried out with real-time data collection, to produce the desired results. But hold on, the important concern to be addressed now is, how is the data collected in real time. If the answer is a physical checklist, you can be certain that the time spent on a daily basis transferring data to a digital medium adds up to thousands of dollars in productivity losses over months. Even worse, a lot of companies then transfer data to spreadsheets, turning overall data management into a slow and error-prone process, thus missing out on real-time insights for faster decisions. When we consider metrics like sample type, size, or quality, which have to undergo multivariate analysis for determining the deposit's economic viability, spreadsheets are simply too complex and time-consuming a solution. With developing tech, exploration companies can access detailed automated analysis for all their data collected, with just a single click. Grid is one platform that unifies all of your mining processes, including rock sampling, to create a single source of truth.

How does Soil Sampling work on Grid?

Miners can use Grid's Soil Sampling template, which is pre-built but completely customizable, to create a unique sampling process for their business. With the Grid mobile app, users can easily collect information during and after sampling using digital checklists or forms. The geologists use worksheets to store all the data they collect and then evaluate the data based on a wide range of criteria. Here are some examples of the different criteria that the worksheet contains:

  1. Project: Mining companies handling multiple projects can easily categorize the samples into their respective projects.
  2. Type of soil: Users can make a list of the different mapping methods in use, soil, silt, MMI, or basal till. When filling in the sampling checklist, they can refer to the list and select the type with one click.
  3. Sample Type and ID: A similar list can be created for Sample Type, whether it's a blank, original, duplicate, or standard sample, in the References sheet. At the time of collection, just select the option from the dropdown list.
  4. Location (GPS): This field automatically pinpoints the location where the sample was collected via GPS, with precise latitudinal and longitudinal values up to seven decimal places.
  5. Depth: Geologists can record the depth at which the soil was used for sampling, while they also have the open to specify depth intervals in case of multiple samples.
  6. Soil Quality: Geologists can fill in the soil quality after inspection, and select pre-entered grading for the same, like Bad, Poor, Average, Good, or Excellent.
  7. Horizon and Master Horizon: These columns let users enter descriptive notes about the characteristics of the soil master horizon and horizon, along with their respective codes.
  8. Grain Size: Users can enter the soil grain size here, specifying the range of fineness or coarseness.
  9. Moisture: During the inspection, you can also enter the moisture content of the soil sample, ranging from dry to saturated.
  10. Soil Color: The template provides you with a list of sample colors to choose from as provided by our industry experts, along with a color modifier that lets you choose the shade of each color, ranging from light to medium to dark, and so on.
  11. Photos and Remarks: Grid owners can build multiple photos and remarks columns in a single worksheet in order to validate or expand on their column-wise or overall findings.

Since Grid takes care of all the heavy lifting when geologists input the data, they don't have to manually handle it anymore. Once entered, the data is retrieved by Grid's automated analytics dashboard and reporting system for real-time insights. This keeps geologists on top of technicalities and management confident that operations are on track. The time and effort required to handle different tools are completely eliminated when data collection, storage, management, analysis, and reporting are all done in one place. All you need to do is have one master program that handles all of your demands, and you can dedicate as much time to your mining operations as feasible.

If you'd like to speak with an expert to learn more about how to set up a digital Soil Sampling application to turn your exploration more efficient, don't hesitate to reach out!

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Shariq Ansari
Digital Marketeer
“Using Grid to track drill program progress and day to day expenditures has allowed VR Resources to make better decisions more quickly. The highly customizable and elegant interface allows me to track and manage all aspects of our field work and it’s clear after just a few weeks that the possibilities are nearly endless. Cost tracking estimates were consistently within expected variance of invoices received giving me further confidence in managing agile drill programs. Further the development team and customer support have been top notch!”
Justin J. Daley
PGeo, MSc, Vice President Exploration
VR Resources
VR Resources
“Grid has been extremely helpful in changing the course of multiple operations, here at U-Solar. We started with one module for Materials Management, and have now adopted Grid for 3-4 more processes, all of which have been smooth and quick to implement.”
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