Sometimes, turnkey software solutions only partially fulfill a company’s needs and do not always meet its requirements; the company may want to go beyond standard jobs by customising specific processing route. This could see a company engage software developers to come up with in-house solutions that answer their needs – something that is challenging to maintain over the years.
To help clients get over this issue, Geovariances, the global provider of geostatistics-based software solutions, puts a significant part of its development efforts into the customisation capabilities of its flagship software product Isatis.neo.
Isatis.neo implements two powerful functionalities in that respect: recording a series of tasks and their parameters – the so-called batch capacity – and Python scripting for completing the data processing and interpretation workflow.
The combination of batch capacity and Python scripting gives the software almost infinite capabilities, according to the company, permitting the user to go beyond the geostatistical calculations: preparing company resource estimate/categorisation workflows, developing optimisation-based solutions, and more advanced algorithmic approaches for a more powerful use of the software.
Using Isatis.neo batch features, users select tasks, parametrise them, insert loops and conditional statements to set up workflows and tune them to the orebody specificities. Instructions are recorded into batch files that can be launched later on, either interactively from Isatis.neo or as a background process from a command-line interface or a third-party software solution using Python, to automatically rerun the whole task sequence with new data.
Isatis.neo’s Python functionalities allow further process customization, with users able to generate a wide range of variables or execute operations by calling on a wide choice of external Python libraries and functions.
During its last user meetings, held in January, Geovariances presented two of its achievements related to these capabilities.
The first case study was about the work completed for a multinational mining and metallurgy company.
This company called on Geovariances’ expertise to establish a global processing workflow to update the resources of one of its projects: several deposits with similar geometrical, geological and spatial characteristics. A few month’s work was required to define, test and validate the routine on one deposit. Another week was enough to run the routine on the other deposits and get the expected resource estimates. In addition to the considerable time the company’s resource team saved, they also gained insight from the batch file processes that mirrored the expertise of Geovariances’ consultants. The quick model update in the subsequent phases of exploration, or even excavation, is another advantage of this batch system.
The second case study was about the work Geovariances completed for Alcoa S.A. The aim was to rebuild the resource estimation workflows the company set up with the precursor of Isatis.neo, Isatis, into Isatis.neo and make the update routines even easier for the user. The complex original workflow, developed by Alcoa’s resource team, involved ordinary and indicator kriging and geostatistical simulation and resource classification. The batch files were prepared, incorporating Python coding for specific operations not yet available in the software and importing search and variogram parameters from csv files using the Pandas library. In the end, Alcoa had a set of standard batch files that could be used for any deposit, but, at the same time, customised according to its needs.