Tag Archives: IMDEXHUB-IQ

IMDEX evaluates the mining industry’s emerging trends

IMDEX says its global footprint in key mining regions throughout the world gives it an important glimpse of the some of the emerging trends and challenges facing the sector, trends that were taking shape prior to the onset of COVID-19.

Leveraging technology, or, more specifically, the cloud, is one development the Australia-based company has noted in recent years.

“The global minerals industry has turned to technology to improve safety, enhance efficiencies and reduce the cost of exploration and extraction,” it said.

When people think about innovation, most minds turn to autonomous haulage or remote operations, but there is an enabler to this innovation, according to IMDEX: the cloud.

Companies, not least of which those in the mining services and resources sector, are utilising cloud platforms to store data remotely and retrieve it via the internet. Remote mining operations using an array of software, sensors and communications are becoming routine because of these systems, IMDEX says.

But the cloud also provides the opportunity to improve productivity.

IMDEX General Manager, Product Development, Dr Michelle Carey, said clients were increasingly wanting to use the cloud because it enabled them to get data faster and in real time.

“We refer to it as the single source of truth,” Dr Carey said. “Accurate, reliable data delivered in real time that can be seen simultaneously by many people, which then enables real-time decision making.

“It also means there are no issues about the chain of custody. Using the cloud gives clients the confidence that no-one has tampered with the data so they can make decisions based on data they trust.”

Business’ enormous appetite for the collection and storage of data is making these platforms increasingly popular, according to IMDEX. A decade ago, it would have been unthinkable that companies would be sharing computing and IT resources over the internet. “Today the cloud is a business imperative,” it said.

The resources sector, once satisfied its concerns regarding access and data security were met, have been quick to capitalise on cloud computing.

Cloud computing of course does have its downside (similar to any technology). To work properly, cloud systems require reliable internet access. That is increasingly becoming essential on even the most remote mine sites.

EY’s September 2019 poll of mining executives indicated that ensuring digital (and data) effectiveness continues to rank within the top risks for their respective organisations. EY also noted further that cloud-related investment will account for the largest share of technology spend (over the next two years) in more than 50% of companies.

IMDEX has been in the cloud for over 10 years and is renowned for its real-time, subsurface intelligence solutions with numerous sensors on the drill site, at the core farm and increasingly on the bench collecting high-quality data, it said.

These technologies can be connected to IMDEXHUB-IQ™ – a cloud-based web portal that collects, stores and provides critical operational data. This data is protected through a validated chain of custody and a secure database, accessible from any internet connection to smart phone, tablet or PC, according to IMDEX.

Social licence to operate

According to IMDEX, the notion of licence to operate is evolving, with society expecting more from organisations.

“Once, companies in the minerals and resources sector focused primarily on ensuring compliant operations,” IMDEX said. “Today, compliance is just ‘step-one’… the minimum standard.”

The company added: “External stakeholders are scrutinising companies more than ever; how an organisation is managing environmental responsibilities and the health and safety of their workforce. They are insisting on local content and strong community investment; ensuring there’s support for local indigenous communities and that a company is committed to addressing climate change.”

The effective management of these requirements ensures the community will have confidence in an organisation, granting their social licence because they trust the company.

Earning trust and confidence is seeing a shift in how organisations structure the management of community stakeholders, according to IMDEX.

IMDEX said it will include additional economic, environmental and social impacts of its activities in its 2020 annual report, with the aim of preparing a sustainability report in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative standards within three years.

Dr Carey said IMDEX already had a suite of products and services that supported the sustainable operation of mining industry stakeholders.

“Our technologies improve productivity by providing information that affects decisions throughout the life of the mine, but they also have sustainability and environmental benefits,” Dr Carey said.

“The technologies enable clients to understand material properties accurately at a finer scale, and in real-time, enabling them to mine with less waste and process ore more effectively.

“Improved precision in exploration, drilling programs and mining means a reduction in waste. Things like our Solids Removal Units and BOS tool means reducing the use of water during the drilling and the size of the footprint disturbed during drilling.”

Making the most of cloud-connected drilling tech during COVID-19

Drilling contractors and resource companies impacted by COVID-19 restrictions can continue to operate by using cloud-connected sensors that deliver and analyse critical data, according to IMDEX.

Despite restrictions disrupting travel and work, IMDEX says key staff can still make time-critical decisions backed by accurate data delivered in real-time.

IMDEX says most of its clients have indicated they intend to keep operating while working within government-imposed restrictions in each region globally, and with the main priority of keeping their workers safe.

“People are still trying to work,” IMDEX Structural-IQ Global Product Manager, Nick Payne, said. “We are working with all our clients to find solutions to keep them operating and safe in these difficult circumstances.”

Existing IMDEX clients using a range of instruments already have access to the IMDEXHUB-IQ™, which the company says is a secure, cloud-based portal for validating field data transmitted from the drill rig.

IMDEXHUB-IQ Global Product Manager, Tara Bennett-Connell, said this was the perfect time to access, review and take time to analyse data, using IMDEXHUB-IQ.

It is ideal for applications across the exploration life cycle, providing efficient drill hole and sample data management, from daily reporting and QA requirements to structural logging, survey, and geochemical analysis, according to the company.

While IMDEX HUB-IQ was available free to clients already using IMDEX tools, some companies were still opting to use tools where data was being transferred via email and USBs, according to Bennett-Connell.

“More secure, efficient and reliable methods are available, and when you can’t get access to the data through those old methods, it’s time to change,” she said.

IMDEX clients were assured of data security, it said, with IMDEX HUB-IQ having been certified against the rigorous standards of ISO/IEC 27001:2013, an international information security standard recognised in 161 countries.

Other IMDEX technologies that can keep clients working from home include geochemistry and structural geology analytics instrument IMDEX ioGAS™. This is an exploratory data analysis software application that enables users to perform exploratory data analysis, machine learning and predictive analytics, according to the company.

The software can be used in conjunction with REFLEX IQ-Logger™ and IMDEX MUD AID™, IMDEX says.

Payne said now was the right time to consolidate and verify structural data collected by the Reflex IQ-Logger and available in the IMDEXHUB-IQ, and conduct a rigorous structural assessment using IMDEX ioGAS, all of which can be done while working from home.

“Drill programs can be re-assessed and modified, with the new plan available in the IMDEXHUB-IQ for when drilling resumes,” IMDEX said.

Payne said the critical difference for clients using IMDEX ioGAS was that licences could be altered to allow operators to use it on PCs.

“More than half of the people who have IMDEX ioGAS have a server-based licence,” Payne said. “If you cannot access your server, we can change the licence to your PC, and you can keep working.”

It is not just geological data delivery and interpretation that IMDEX solutions can provide for remote scenarios, the company says. IMDEX MUD AID is a remotely monitored, automated in-field diagnosis unit which enables remote assessment of drilling fluids, negating the need for a mud engineer on-site, according to the company.

IMDEX urges miners to explore cloud-based options

IMDEX’s Dr Michelle Carey and Gervais Perron say the mining technology company’s focus on providing companies with the tools to make real-time decisions in the field can offer improvements across the entire mining value chain.

The company is leveraging developments in communications, data storage and cloud technology to provide the mining industry with applications that can fundamentally improve their operations, it says.

Dr Carey, IMDEX General Manager, Product Development, and Perron, Principal Geoscientist – North America, used a workshop at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention, in Toronto, in March, to focus on real-time decision making in exploration.

“Our technologies are based on increasing rock knowledge by providing trusted data in real time, to allow clients to make the right decisions at the lowest cost possible,” Dr Carey said.

“That is achieved by enabling clients to drill faster and smarter, receiving accurate subsurface data, having our tools linked to the cloud, and by using the power of the Internet of Geosensors.

“IMDEX is working across the mining value chain in order to change the equation.

“What if your team test more targets and/or decrease the time it takes to define a resource? “Would that be a game changer?”

IMDEXHUB-IQ is at the centre of the company’s solutions – from navigation to driller operable geophysics – and enables the efficient transfer of data from the field to the office, according to the company. It provides secure access to validated data, seamlessly transmitted from a range of sub-surface instrumentation, analytical instruments and mobile form data inputs, IMDEX says.

IMDEX recently said miners were starting to see the benefits of this cloud connectivity, with, at the end of December, 58 of IMDEX’s top 100 clients “HUB-enabled”, up from 49 clients as at June 30, 2019.

Perron said: “Drilling data is the primary source of information used to inform the major investment decisions made by a resource company.

“In our opinion, this needs to be done right from the beginning. Not doing so, can lead to misunderstandings that can have major repercussions down the road.

“The technology is available. Real-time data enables better, faster and more confident decisions to be made.

“At IMDEX, our vision is that all our geoscience sensors we put out there are connected to the cloud for easy and fast access, anywhere, anytime.”

IMDEX continues to connect with clients as new tech trials gain momentum

A record half-yearly revenue and progress with new technologies such as COREVIBE™, XTRACTA™ and MAGHAMMER™ has IMDEX riding a positive wave.

The company recorded revenue of A$127.9 million ($86 million) in the six months ending December 31, 2019, up from A$125 million a year ago.

IMDEX said it was present on around 70% of drilling programs globally, providing an opportunity to market a wider range of products to clients. Some 35% of its revenue in the six-month period was generated in Asia Pacific, 45% in the Americas and the balance in Africa and Europe, it explained.

And the company also singled out its cloud connectivity platform IMDEXHUB-IQ™ – which provides secure access to validated data, seamlessly transmitted from a range of sub-surface instrumentation, analytical instruments and mobile form data inputs – during the results. At the end of December 2019, IMDEX said 58 of its top 100 clients were “HUB-enabled”, up from 49 clients as at June 30, 2019.

The company completed its acquisition of Flexidrill in January and it provided an update on the status of the patent-protected drilling productivity technologies that came with this addition, COREVIBE and MAGHAMMER, in its results.

It said successful client trials with COREVIBE were undertaken throughout its financial year first half. “These trials continue to validate the significant benefits of this unique technology, including substantial increases in productivity,” it said. For the balance of its 2020 financial year, IMDEX said it has a full pipeline of client trials and was confident of converting trials into active rentals.

XTRACTA, which complements COREVIBE and MAGHAMMER by allowing drillers to change the bit when core is retrieved, has been extensively trialled at IMDEX’s test site in New Zealand for the past 12 months and client trials are scheduled to commence late in the March quarter, it said.

Development of the MAGHAMMER at its test site is also progressing well, IMDEX said, and the company intends to commence client trials in the June quarter.

IMDEX data security processes receive ISO/IEC recognition

IMDEX has received recognition for its information security management system and processes, being certified against the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard recognised in 161 countries.

The certification demonstrates the company operates an information security management system that is compliant with its mandatory requirements, has systematic processes for managing information security risks, and has implemented controls mandated by the standard, IMDEX said.

The news is of particular importance considering the rising popularity of IMDEX’s cloud connectivity platform, IMDEXHUB-IQ™ – which provides secure access to validated data, seamlessly transmitted from a range of sub-surface instrumentation, analytical instruments and mobile form data inputs.

“With cyber threats recognised by consultancy experts EY as one of the top 10 business risks of 2020, IMDEX’s certification means its clients’ data will be safe from security threats,” the company said.

“IMDEX’s certification through SGS – a globally renowned inspection, verification, testing and certification company – comprises a comprehensive range of activities including:

  • “Software development processes;
  • “The product development lifecycle for its real-time subsurface intelligent solutions;
  • “Manufacturing and deployment of products and technologies;
  • “Client support processes; and
  • “Information technology systems for supporting these activities and digital functions.”

Commenting on the achievement of ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, IMDEX Chief Operating Officer, Paul House, said: “We know cyber safety is a growing problem globally and IMDEX has worked hard to ensure our information system is secure to provide a solution for our customers.

“It is a significant milestone for our company and provides additional assurance to clients regarding the end-to-end security of their information – for example, ordering and dispatch using our global digital rentals platform, critical data collection and secure transfer with our award-winning cloud solution IMDEXHUB-IQ and ongoing support via our 24/7 Customer Care portal.”

He concluded: “All our stakeholders can be confident we have robust systems and processes in place – which meet the highest industry standards – to protect their data and sensitive information.”

IMDEX’s Chief Information and Transformation Officer, Mathew Regan, added: “The certification demonstrates our company’s commitment to maturing and enhancing our information security posture in line with IMDEX’s growth as a leading global mining-tech company.”

IMDEX showcasing real-time and downhole exploration solutions at PDAC

IMDEX is showing off its exploration drilling wares at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) annual bash in Toronto, Canada.

IMDEX’s booth – incorporating the REFLEX and AMC brands – is showcasing the company’s integrated solutions and latest technologies including its AMC ULWSRU™ featuring the IMDEX MUD AID, IMDEX MOBILE software, drilling optimisation and downhole navigation solutions, and real-time 3D visualisation solutions for downhole and structural geology data, the company said.

The AMC ULWSRU, featuring the IMDEXMUD AID, has seen IMDEX combine the benefits of its ultra-lightweight solids removal unit and automated in-field drilling fluid diagnosis unit – including remote tracking technology – to optimise penetration rates, core recovery and metres drilled per bit, according to the company.

IMDEX MOBILE, meanwhile, has seen the company work closely with clients to create more than 20 ready-to-use forms and reports including daily drill reports; pre-start inspections; verified cost reports; and rig productivity reports.

All of these are available via the new off-the-shelf software, according to IMDEX.

General Manager, IMDEX Product Development, Michelle Carey, said: “We are committed to being at the forefront of dynamic solutions that deliver accurate data, whilst saving time and money for clients.”

A good example of this is the company’s IMDEX Downhole Navigation solution, according to Carey.

The company said of this solution: “As pioneers in downhole navigation, IMDEX has further enhanced its solution to support clients’ complete downhole needs. The latest integration of IMDEXHUB-IQ™ with Seequent’s Central software (pictured) means clients can now have real-time 3D visualisation of the drill hole.”

IMDEX Chief Geoscientist, Dave Lawie, said: “Increasingly, geologists are wanting to make decisions in real-time, however, they need to have the right live data available. We’re excited to be part of this industry-first to deliver real-time 3D data, which will dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of decision-making for drilling projects.”

The company’s REFLEXGYRO SPRINT-IQ™, officially launched at last year’s PDAC event, also integrates with IMDEXHUB-IQ™ and Seequent’s Central software. This technology surveys three times faster and two times more accurately than traditional gyros, according to the company, and can survey holes at any angle and operate in single, multi-shot and continuous modes.

Inmarsat and IMDEX collaborate in the cloud for drilling intelligence solution

Inmarsat has said it and IMDEX, a leading mining equipment, technology and services provider to the global minerals industry, are working together to enhance a drilling intelligence solution with satellite connectivity.

Now combined with Inmarsat’s L-band satellite connectivity as standard, IMDEXHUB-IQ™ gives mining and drilling companies the ability to analyse and upload field data in real-time from the most isolated locations around Australasia without the need to procure their own communications, Inmarsat said.

IMDEXHUB-IQ (formerly REFLEXHUB-IQ) provides secure access to validated data, seamlessly transmitted from a range of sub-surface instrumentation, analytical instruments and mobile form data inputs, according to IMDEX.

Inmarsat said: “IMDEX’s innovative, cloud-based solution aggregates and transmits vital field data collected from a range of subsurface instrumentation and mobile units. IMDEX’s instruments and systems can connect to IMDEXHUB-IQ to instantly upload real-time field data to headquarters.”

Michelle Carey, General Manager IMDEX Product Development, said: “For mining and exploration operations to be successful, accurate subsurface data needs to be quickly collected and analysed to provide teams on the ground with intelligence to maximise the value of their decisions. This collaboration will allow our IMDEXHUB-IQ solution to connect to the cloud via Inmarsat’s highly secure and reliable network, meaning that the data obtained can be uploaded for analysis in real-time, even in areas with no terrestrial coverage.

“In the first instance we expect to take the solution to market on a regional basis to mining organisations across Australia and New Zealand, with worldwide distribution following closely behind.”

Joe Carr, Director of Mining Innovation at Inmarsat, said: “Inmarsat is committed to enabling the connected mine. We are working closely together with IMDEX to power its IMDEXHUB-IQ drilling intelligence solution, making it accessible to resource and drilling companies across Australasia by providing access to our L-band network.

“By building our global mobile satellite connectivity into the solution as standard, end-users do not have to spend time and considerable effort to reduce the complexity of procuring their own network providers on a project by project basis.”

Earlier this month, IMDEX and Seequent announced an ongoing partnership to deliver a real-time 3D visualisation solution for the mining and exploration industry, aimed at dramatically improving the speed and accuracy of decision-making for drilling projects.