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Safeguarding your data from inaccuracies and input errors will set your exploration on a truer course. For TÜMAD, it helped clear the way to becoming one of Turkey’s most successful gold mining companies.

“Not only has data entry never been so easy for us, but it also gives us improved confidence in our decision making.”

Exploration is not the place for error. It can leak in at almost every stage of a mining project, misleading teams, threatening deadlines, and potentially denting profits.

By 2020, after three decades of ambitious expansion, TÜMAD (Tümad Mining Industry and Trade Inc) had risen to become Turkey’s 4th biggest gold producer. Across the previous eight years it had commissioned two gold mines in western Turkey, and had forged a reputation for creating sustainable mining projects – ones that combined economic and social growth with environmental protection. Alongside its existing work in both valuable and base metals, exploration was also well underway for a third major gold investment and beyond.

Tumad’s Ivrindi Gold Mine - Open Pit

But successful though the company had become, it was acutely aware that data errors and inaccuracies were starting to hold it back.

Errors, frustrated geologists, and confusing results

“From 2013 we had been using Excel spreadsheets for data entry and Access Database for validation and storing of exploration inputs,” said Hakan Aslan, Deputy General Manager, Mine Geology and Exploration.

“Although using spreadsheets was practical and easy, ensuring the accuracy of the data entry was always the missing part of the equation.”

Geologist were unknowingly inputting errors, with no easy or reliable way for them to check their work. It was frustrating, problematic and regularly lead to results no one expected, or wanted. “It was a complicated problem”, confessed Aslan, “and it was one we had to get on top of.

“Our company prides itself on carrying out all activities with the best available technologies to sustain ourselves as being among the best performing mining companies in Turkey and the world. So the accurate management of a geological database remained a critical issue for TÜMAD at that time.”

Exploration Diamond Drilling

The search for user-friendly data management

In late 2018 TÜMAD had taken the decision to get a robust geological data management solution in place for the company, but after a year of searching, they remained daunted by the sheer complexity of the software they’d examined.

“The lightbulb moment came for us when we had a demonstration of MX Deposit,” remembers Aslan. “We quickly recognised the ease of use and user-friendly nature of the interface and how that would help our teams.”

“The move to a central geological database management platform with MX Deposit was such a pivotal decision for TÜMAD in the last quarter of 2019”, reflects Egemen Oguz, Seequent Account Manager.

Letting field and database geologists work as a stronger team

“Data analysis is easier, and it improves the strength of our business.”

“When so much data is being captured in the field by our exploration geologists, one of the key benefits a geological database brings us is in maximising the collaboration between field and database geologists,” notes Deputy Database and Resource Manager, Halil Tatayoglu.

MX Deposit’s cloud hosted database supports that collaboration by making data easily accessible for everyone, everywhere, ensuring its security, and automatically taking care of version control. All team members are on the same page, working from real-time updated data, held in a single, secure location.

“Our geologists are working on different projects from so many different locations, so this can be a major problem in our explorations,” reveals Hakan Aslan. “When they can work with the same trusted and validated data, that makes data analysis easier and improves the strength of our business.”

Data Capturing in the Field by Exploration Geologists

Designing workflows to fit the challenge of the moment

Different projects call for different workflows. MX Deposit’s tools can be easily configured to match company requirements and the job in hand. Because the system can be rapidly scaled up or down, TÜMAD has been able to stay agile and react to shifts in operations, while only paying for the software the business needs, when it needs it.

Validating data with minimal effort and maximum confidence

“Data entry has never been so easy for us.”

The quality and integrity of geological data can be critical to a project (for example, in supporting TÜMAD’s Ivrindi Gold and Silver mine, expected to have more than 10-years’ productive life). Validation rules ensure this happens, whether it be checking the data captured, or preventing incorrect data from being stored. “Not only has data entry never been so easy for us, but it also gives us improved confidence in our decision making,” says Halil Tatayoglu.

Figure 1. Validation Errors During Data Entry

The day-to-day workflow

“MX Deposit provides a clear and reliable workflow via a system that can be easily customised to how we work.”

Exploration data sits at the heart of a mine’s success and it has to be handled carefully. How fluently and conveniently team members can do that will have an enormous impact on their productivity and the project’s smooth running. “For us MX Deposit provides a clear and reliable workflow via a system that can be easily customised to how we work”, continues Tatayoglu.

Figure 2. Home Feed Screen of MX Deposit

“For example: direct laboratory certificate import and automatic control of standard and blank samples within specified confident intervals; ranked columns help us see different analysis types or over limits in one column; creating export templates makes data easier to open in different software; exporting QA-QC reports with specified filters, maps views of sample, or drillholes with Google Earth images….these are all examples of how MX Deposit makes data management easier for us.”

Figure 3. Projects Summary Interface - MX Deposit

Keeping in touch

With the pandemic changing how companies locate and stay in touch with their people, MX Deposit’s Home Feed Screen has become a key tool in keeping everyone up to date with changes in different activities.

TÜMAD uses it to post comments to specific members by tagging individual drillholes or samples, and has seen it become a faster and more reliable solution than corporate emails.

Figure 4. Editing User Permissions in MX Deposit

The most important component of any geological database is trust

One of TÜMAD’s key ambitions is to enlarge its mineral resources and discover more projects to add to its portfolio. MX Deposit is supporting this by making its geological database more reliable and consolidated, and therefore a firmer foundation for future projects.

Detail Geological Logging of Diamond Drill Cores

“MX Deposit has had a distinct impact on decreasing the total error percentages in our geological database,” concludes Halil Tatayoglu.

“We’ve also seen easier data integration and better collaboration between our geographically scattered team. There’s no doubt this significant amount of improvement reduces the time we spend during data validation for data analysis and mineral resources estimates.”

Core Shack of Exploration Team from Ivrindi Gold Mine