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How does CorePlan work with Micromine?

April 26, 2023

How does CorePlan work with Micromine?

Exploration Software
Written by
Sachee Perera

Are you using Micromine to plan your exploration or resource definition drilling programs? If so, you might be wondering how CorePlan works with your Micromine software workflow and where it can add value.

Let me show you!

How CorePlan complements Micromine

The basis of your drill program is your drill plan, so let’s start here. 

Once you’ve designed your drill program in Micromine, it’s time to prepare for drilling, and this is where CorePlan comes in.

CorePlan is where your entire team go to execute your drill program in the field, including your drill contractors.

The workflow begins by importing your Micromine drill plan into CorePlan as a new project. The drill plan file will populate your CorePlan project with all of the information contained in your drill plan. You can change the details of the drill plan at any time by re-uploading it from Micromine or editing it directly in CorePlan.

From here, exploration managers can tick off regulatory approvals before your fieldies go to work and complete all of the pre-drilling activities that get each hole ready to drill, eg pegging, clearing, sump digging etc. (You can add as many custom pre-drilling activities as you need). 


Your team can check off each activity as completed in CorePlan. They can add photos, documents and more to each hole so that there’s a full digital history to refer back to later. After all of the activities are completed at each hole, they are marked as ready to drill. 

Meanwhile, you’ve hired contractors to execute the drilling. All of your drill contractors’ details go directly into CorePlan, including the conditions of the cost contract, for easy cost tracking and reconciliation. 

During the active drilling phase, plod data in any format can be imported and matched to each drill hole and run against your drill plan and drillers’ cost contract in a few seconds at the end of each shift. This makes it easy to stay on top of costs each day and across the course of the drill program, and it means you don’t need to waste time messing around with spreadsheets or paper plods.

As you’re obtaining samples from the ground, your geos are most likely entering the sampling data into Geobank or a similar database. When it’s time to start shipping those samples for analysis, CorePlan can help you get them to the lab faster. Geos can use CorePlan’s automation to generate sampling paperwork and alert the lab that the samples are on their way. There’s also a sample tracking feature that alerts you when your samples reach the lab so you’re not left wondering where a specific batch is at in the workflow. Plus, you can reconcile all your costs related to sampling within CorePlan and associate them with particular tenements for easy reporting.

Once the plods are imported, if the driller has marked a hole as complete (and this matches up with your drill plan), your field team knows it’s time to take back over and complete all post-drilling activities like environmental rehab. This works in the same way as the pre-drilling activity workflow and closes out the end-to-end lifecycle of the hole.


Where do I go to track drilling progress and access reports, cost and analytics related to the drill program?

CorePlan provides a more user-friendly way to run your drill program reporting than a traditional database.

As you populate your drill program with plod and activity data, CorePlan will produce daily reports to help guide your decision-making, answer questions about the drill program’s progress and performance, and identify opportunities to cut down on costs or increase efficiencies.

For example, the drill production and rig time activity breakdowns bring blockers like high standby time and breakdown time to the fore so that the necessary action can be taken in subsequent shifts. 

Daily drill production chart

Everything is neatly organised in tables, charts and colour-coded maps, making it much easier for everyone to work collaboratively compared to old-school spreadsheets, paper materials or a traditional database interface.

The data collection and validation process is centred around each hole of your drill program, so you only need to consult one place (CorePlan) throughout the drill program to find the entire history and documentation related to each individual hole, including who made changes, when they made them and why. This helps you create a full history for regulatory reporting such as POW disturbance and environmental requirements, complete with photos.

If you need to run more complex or custom reporting, you can export your data anytime to software packages like Power BI or Tableau for additional slicin’ and dicin’.


So, where does all the data collected in CorePlan go once you’ve completed your drill program?

Once your drill program is marked as complete in CorePlan, that’s your single source of truth for everything that happened on the ground during that drill program, including critical reporting details like:


  • How many shifts were run as part of the program - and who worked on them
  • How much you the entire program cost you
  • How much you spent by tenement, including drilling and other costs
  • The number of holes and metres drilled and the actual cost per metre against your original plan


and more.

You can access this anytime in CorePlan, but if you’re using a database, you can make a copy and file it in your database (eg Geobank).

You could upload this data to your database as often as you like during the drill program or at the end once the Exploration Manager has validated the final results. It’s up to you.


But why would you add CorePlan to your workflow if you’re already using a database? 

Great question!

Whilst there is a small amount of overlap between the two systems’ capabilities, the reasons why you use tools like CorePlan and your database are quite different. 

Your database (eg Geobank, MX Deposit) is for all the geological data you need to collect from the drill hole, including your logging and sampling data, whereas CorePlan is closer to a project management tool. 

CorePlan is where you and your team go to manage and execute your day-to-day operations, including processes, progress, performance and costs to make sure you’re tracking to plan.

CorePlan isn’t designed for geologging, core photography or geological modelling. It takes care of all the daily paperwork that comes with running a drill program so that your geos can spend more time working on all of those tasks related to the geology.


Final thoughts

It takes a lot of time and effort to design the perfect drill plan in Micromine, so you want to ensure that the drilling is successful.

CorePlan can help you execute that drill plan to perfection by bringing your field team, geos and drillers together onto one platform that makes it easy to see exactly what’s happening on the ground.

By making daily drilling paperwork quick and easy, your geos can spend more time working on real geology work like logging and sampling in Micromine and your database.

When it’s easy for everyone to collect great data in the field, you can be confident in the quality of the final numbers that go into your database. This means that you can make better decisions and plan more effective drill programs in the future.

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