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How to run a geology-led drill program as a Junior explorer on a tight budget

July 4, 2023

How to run a geology-led drill program as a Junior explorer on a tight budget

Customer Stories
Digital Transformation
For Juniors
Written by
Megan Gammie

Is it possible to successfully run an iterative, geology-led drill program as a Junior explorer? How do you control the complex logistical processes required to execute such a strategy - without draining your drilling budget?

Running an agile drill program is a proven strategy for Juniors because it allows for better control over costs and improved drill hole targeting. However, it’s been historically complicated to execute without the right tools. Tools that are often out of reach of small teams. 

But the exploration team at Junior company, Maronan Metals, weren’t ready to resign themselves to settle for less.

Here’s how they did it - and covered their costs in the process.

The Challenge

With drilling being the biggest expense in a Junior explorer’s budget, every drill hole must get you closer to your big hit.

The problem is that it can be challenging to react to what the drill core is telling you and be confident to take the next steps when:

  • Data is delayed and decentralised, slowing down your reaction time and making it difficult to understand exactly what’s happening on the ground and how much it’s costing you.
  • It takes ages to turn your samples around, holding up the next round of drilling and delaying being able to inform your investors to acquire a cash injection.

How can you speed up these processes and run a more responsive drill program when a small team is tasked with running the entire show?

The Solution

Maronan Metals needed a faster way to turn around data transfer from the rig to respond to what was happening down every drill hole and trigger flow-on processes like sample dispatch.

But, the Maronan team were conscious that any investment they would make needed to be ‘cost neutral’ to their overall operations. 

Losing cash that could be spent on drilling holes was not an option.

How Maronan Metals uses CorePlan to do this - and more

Speeding up data transfer

Maronan Metals implemented CorePlan to create a central project management space for their field operations.

Using CorePlan, the Maronan team can access powerful automation that speeds up complex and time-consuming activities like drilling data upload and review, cost, penetration rate and cost per metre calculations. Then, it centralises all of the data into one digital hub that gives decision-makers complete visibility of everything happening on the ground. And these processes can be done in seconds, not hours or even days.

In fact, implementing the CorePlan’s drill program automation has saved the Maronan team so much time doing manual paperwork that it pays for itself in geo time.

“The cost of CorePlan is less than the cost of our time previously spent having to manually count our costs and chasing up drill plods from all over the place,” says Andrew. “It’s paid for itself, really!”

Streamlining sample dispatch

Whilst explorers can’t control how long it takes for the lab to process samples, they can control and optimise their process for dispatching samples to get them to the lab faster. 

Maronan Metals also use CorePlan to instantly bring a structured process to their sample dispatch coordination.

Using the drill hole lifecycle workflow, they can see which holes are sampled and ready to be shipped. Plus, they can automate all the paperwork they need to dispatch the samples in seconds, right from the core yard. 

The kicker? It’s all trackable, ringing complete visibility to every sample’s journey from logging through to receipt of assay results.

And, because they can now dispatch their samples faster and get them to the lab sooner, the team are putting themselves in the best possible position to get those assay results back ASAP. This is increasing the team’s opportunities to be able to respond to what’s happening down the hole and make more informed decisions on where to spend their drilling budget.

Read the full case study.

CorePlan: a digital tool that enables Juniors to follow the geology

Arguably, Junior explorers stand to gain the most benefit from running an agile workflow. And yet, there are so few digital solutions to cater to these needs - at an affordable price.

It shouldn’t have to be this way, which is why CorePlan has built a flexible drill program management tool that is configurable and affordable for exploration teams of all sizes. 

Unlock the power of automation for your Junior exploration company and give your team the tools they need to follow the geology with CorePlan.

Discover CorePlan’s software solution for Junior exploration teams.

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