Tempest Minerals is a mineral exploration company based in Perth, Australia, with a team of 20 geologists on staff, led by Chief Executive, Don Smith. With 7 projects spread across Western Australia, Don and his team recognized the importance of accurately capturing the data they were collecting as they ran surveys and sampling exercises across their minefields. Don has been a huge advocate of paperless operations and databasing.
As a technologically-minded person, Don used a SQL server and an open-source geographic information system (GIS) tool called QGIS to analyze the data that geologists were collecting in their older apps, but they faced a crucial challenge: how to ingest this data, which was often in the form of spreadsheets scribbled notes and then entered on data collection apps, directly into their systems, from the field. That's where Grid comes in.
Tempest Minerals's Challenge
The team at Tempest is world-class: they have the skills and expertise to run large-scale surveys of their mining fields, looking at diverse indicators and variables, from outcrops, to soil and rock samples, evidence of tectonic activity and even the flora, fauna and archaeological data of the region to determine optimum drilling sites.
However, that knowledge and expertise needed to be captured, quantified and eventually mapped out using modeling tools, and that's where they were looking for an appropriate technology to save the time spent on data cleaning and standardization. Due to a lack of integrations and options and reliance on other tools, the team were forced to resort to manually ingesting their field notes into Open Data Kit (ODK), an open-source software for collecting, managing, and using data.
This solution was less than ideal; apart from the large amount of time being spent digitizing the field data, there was no direct integration between the data entry platform and their modeling database. From ODK, using third-party tools like Zapier, Tempest Minerals would have to export their data into a spreadsheet software like Google Sheets or MS Excel, then once again use Zapier to transfer the spreadsheet data into their SQL database and then into QGIS.
Grid offered a better solution to optimize their frontline operations and unlock the profit potential of their highly qualified team, not to mention, also give them the ability to build more applications for their project monitoring needs.
Once the data is ingested into the system, it can be visualized using Grid's dashboard in real time for reporting and progress tracking, for analysts to plan where the drilling sites can be located and to plan out the patterns of work. The data is also easily transferred into SQL and into QGIS via a direct integration, which further helps in analysis and visualization. The amount of time and money thus saved is incredible.
The geologist teams alone save over 60% of their time, which would otherwise be wasted on activities like transcribing notes, sanitizing and standardizing the data and feeding it into ODK or spreadsheets. Not to mention, their geological library is also standardized on Grid and is used as a single source of reference for all their projects.
Tempest Minerals x Grid: The Future
Because Grid is a no-code platform, it is infinitely customizable, which means that Tempest Minerals can use Grid to power far more than their mapping and survey processes. They've already started using Grid to power their Core Processing functions, where data on the core samples taken by their drilling rigs are now being ingested into Grid to monitor daily progress. This enables teams to move most of their project management functions into Grid as well, and even track how each individual drillhole is performing.
Grid also regularly releases new types of data visualizations, such as strip-logs, which help in visualizing continuous flows of data from boreholes - such as core lithology data, showing different lithology, and other structures of the core, etc. Again, this data is visible to view in real time, as the geologists enter it into the system.
Creating new applications and integrating them with existing workflows is incredibly easy and quick. In fact, we can see that it takes no more than 30 minutes on average to create a soil sampling application similar to the type that Tempest Minerals uses in the field.
Using Grid has clearly been a game-changer for Tempest Minerals. With the improved time efficiency, they're free to unlock profitability and work faster than ever before. Moreover, Don has been instrumental in shaping the Grid's capabilities and it has been amazing to work with him and his team.