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Waiting for assay results is stressful. Here's how to end lab-xiety

April 26, 2023

Waiting for assay results is stressful. Here's how to end lab-xiety

Mining Data Management
Written by
Sachee Perera

You know that feeling when you’ve sent your samples to the lab, and now all you can do is wait for your assay results?

You go from feeling nervous one minute to excited the next - what if you found the one this time? What if it turns out to be a false alarm, and you spent all this time and money to find…. nothing?

As a geoscientist, you know everything hinges on that all-important assay data. But once the samples have been dispatched, there’s not much in your control. The lab could have a massive backlog, a sample could be lost in transit, skipped over by the lab by accident, or you might receive incomplete results - all of which delay how quickly you’re able to start your next round of drilling. Meanwhile, you’re desperate to inform the market, maintain investor confidence and secure that next round of funding.

There’s no doubt that the lab-xiety is real!


How to take the stress out of working with labs

Streamline the sample processing workflow with digital sample tracking

Let me show you how to take the stress out of this process and regain control of the controllables with CorePlan’s easy-to-use digital sample tracking workflow.

Digital sample tracking brings a new level of visibility to your samples’ lifecycle from the hole right through to the receipt of results from the lab. This means less worrying about where your samples are, if they’ve been shipped on time or if they’ve arrived at the lab, and more time analysing your data and preparing for the next phase of drilling.



The digital sample tracking workflow begins once your drillers reach the end of the hole. If you’re importing your plods into CorePlan, the system will mark off each hole as drilled once it reaches the end-of-hole depth based on your drill plan (you can also do this manually if you need to make changes on the fly). 

As each hole’s drilling is completed, it is automatically added to a list of holes that need to be logged and sampled. This acts kind of like a real-time ‘to-do list’ for your geos, complete with a priority list that can be used to direct the order of completion.

As a manager, you can log in anytime and see which holes are outstanding and when the drilling was finished, and use this to monitor your team’s workload and productivity. You can also view all of the holes that have been completed and see who did the logging and sampling and when they did it.

Once your geos have completed the logging and sampling in MX Deposit, Micromine (or any other database), it’s time to ship them to the lab. 


Speed up sample turnaround using automation

Have you ever wanted to get your samples to the lab faster?

In that case, you’ll love how automation found in CorePlan can help your team instantly generate sampling order paperwork and alert the lab that it’s on the way. Rather than filling in paper forms or building spreadsheets, all order data is placed in a sleek PDF template complete with your own branding.



After creating an order, you can generate a new consignment or assign it to an existing consignment group ready for collection by a courier. 

Get notified when samples reach the lab

You’ll be anxious to know when it’s reached the lab by this point. What’s great about this digital workflow is that the lab can alert you as soon as it’s arrived by scanning a QR code and updating the order status in your SDO list. You’ll never be left wondering if it’s fallen off the back of a truck somewhere, never to be seen again!

Once you receive your results, all your geos need to do is mark the results as received to close out the workflow.

Get greater visibility and control of the process

As a manager, you can quickly jump on to CorePlan and see how many of your samples are waiting for dispatch, consignment, receipt by the lab, and results received, along with all of the costs associated with the lab, each tenement and each individual sampling order. 

This also makes it clear when a sample has fallen behind where it should be so that you can follow up with your team, or the lab, to find out what’s going on.

The result? A tidy, organised digital sampling workflow for total visibility across the sampling lifecycle. 


What next?

Assay data is the cornerstone of every drilling program. 

You don’t have time to be waiting around for results - you need to get those samples to the lab ASAP in order to plan the next round of drilling, secure investment, or move on to better prospects.

By bringing visibility into your sampling processes, you’re able to pre-empt any potential blockers and better manage your team's workload. A digital sampling workflow like the one found on CorePlan can help you to do this in a matter of clicks so you can get those samples out of the yard and off to the lab.

If you’d like to find out more about our drill program intelligence software and how it can help you run better drill programs, we’d love to discuss your requirements at a free demo on Zoom or Microsoft Teams.  

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