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How to stop wrangling drill contractor data in one easy step

January 28, 2024

How to stop wrangling drill contractor data in one easy step

Digital Transformation
For Exploration Managers
Customer Stories
Written by
Megan Gammie

Are you using multiple drill contractors on your drill program? Is every contractor giving you data in a different format? Does compiling drilling data into a single spreadsheet - or your database - make you question why you ever wanted to be a geologist in the first place?

Drill contractor data wrangling is one of the most time-consuming (and error-prone) tasks geologists must do when running drill programs, distracting them from geology.

It was a problem experienced by the team at Chalice Mining. But they overcame it by implementing one simple step, saving 8-10 hours of site time per week. Time that is now re-deployed to geology.

Here’s how they did it.

The Challenge

After striking mineralisation on the first drill hole of their Gonneville drill program, Chalice needed to rapidly scale their drilling operations from one rig and one contractor to multiple drill rigs and contractors.

Each contractor supplied Chalice with daily drilling reports (plods) in different formats, including paper, spreadsheets and digital. This created a backlog in data processing because their geos had to manually copy the data from all these formats into their master spreadsheet format.

Because of the backlog, a growing amount of valuable field time was being spent on screens, and the team couldn’t make decisions at the speed of the drilling. There was also a growing risk of accidental human error due to manual data handling.

The Solution

Chalice needed a way to speed up this time-consuming and error-prone process so that their geologists could return to the field where they belonged.

Their goal was to bring all of the data into a centralised drilling data hub that would enable the team to make accurate decisions at the rig's speed. But the solution also needed to be compatible with multiple drilling types (diamond core, RC and aircore) and data formats (paper, spreadsheet and digital plods).

How Chalice Mining used CorePlan to do this in one simple step

Before using CorePlan, like most exploration geologists, Chalice’s geos had to:

  • transcribe data in multiple formats into a new spreadsheet
  • manually review the spreadsheet for errors
  • build macros to be able to analyse performance and calculate costs
  • create a new report summarising performance
  • compare plod and cost data against the drilling invoice manually
  • manually update the relevant data if there were errors
  • save multiple versions of the document to a shared drive for upload into the database

….and so on.

Now, the Chalice team uses CorePlan to complete all these processes with one easy step.

Geo's import drill plods from any contractor in any format directly into CorePlan, where the data is centralised and standardised within seconds. All other required processes, like performance and cost reporting, are instantly completed using automation. 

All the geologists need to do is take a few moments to approve or reject the plod, and the rest of the process is taken care of.

The result?

“We have 5 or 6 of our geology team using CorePlan. It saves us around 8 to 10 hours of site time every week.” - Matthew Demmer, Lead Geologist at Chalice Mining

Read the full case study.

CorePlan: plod automation - and more

If you want to get your geos out of the office and into the field, CorePlan can help.

CorePlan is a digital tool that exploration teams of all sizes use to automate drill program paperwork so that they can spend more time on geology.

Discover CorePlan’s drill program management software for exploration teams.

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