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In this webinar, we will demonstrate how technology enabled customers to continue with their exploration projects through a global pandemic.

Companies were able to continue working because they had the right tools to get the job done.

MX Deposit simplifies how drilling data is collected, managed and shared. Imago is a Geoscientific Image Management Solution. Together helping mining and exploration companies maximize the value of their data and photo imagery. In this webinar you will see first hand live and in action, with an active Imago subscription how you can connect Imago to your MX Deposit account and integrate the images stored in Imago with your MX Deposit data!

In this webinar we will discuss:

  • How mining companies are using images in their day-to-day to add value to their projects
  • Integration of drillhole data and core photographs
  • The current challenges and opportunities we face with photography in exploration
  • How to get the most from the photos you are capturing
  • Increasing the speed of access to information
  • A case example from Freegold Ventures

Santiago Cuartas, Business Development, Seequent
Santiago Cuartas is a Geologist working in Business Development at Seequent. As an English / Spanish speaker he has been serving companies in the North America & Latin America regions. Santiago has been working with Imago before it was acquired by Seequent in mid-2021.

Kristina Walcott, President and CEO, Freegold Ventures
Ms. Walcott has worked in various capacities in the mining and mineral exploration industry for the past 20 years. Ms. Walcott has held administrative and field positions including General Manager of Orex Laboratories, a diamond sample processing facility and Mines Land Manager for Pacific North West Capital and CanAlaska Uranium Limited, both Vancouver-based mineral exploration companies with extensive land positions in Canada and the United States. Prior to her appointment as President and CEO, Ms. Walcott was the the Company’s VP Business Development since March 2005 where she was responsible for identifying and acquiring new business opportunities in the mining sector.


28 min

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Video Transcript

(gentle music)

<v ->Hi, everyone.</v>

Welcome to our webinar on uninterrupted explorations

through a global pandemic.

The past couple of years have been challenging

for everyone to say the least.

And today we’re going to discuss how one company

was able to overcome these challenges

and continue its exploration activities

with the aid of a couple

of very useful technological solutions.

So a bit of housekeeping before we get started,

as Sequent is now part of Bentley Systems,

and as a public company,

I need to briefly share this statement of confidentiality

and disclaimer, and ask that the audience,

please respect the intentions it expresses.

You’ll be able to use the questions tab

to ask questions throughout the presentation,

which we will then ask to the presenters

during the question period at the end.

Also, if you can, please stick around at the end

for a brief questionnaire

to let us know how we did and to request more information,

if you so desire.

So my name is Stephanie Vanos and I’m a project geologist

and data management specialist for Sequent North America.

Joining me today for the discussion are Santiago Cuartas,

a geologist with the business development team at Sequent

and Kristina Walcott,

president and chief executive officer

of Freegold Ventures Limited.

Welcome guys.

<v ->Thanks Stephanie.</v>

<v ->So let’s rewind time a bit back to the beginning of 2020.</v>

What was exploration like

for Freegold Ventures at the time?

<v ->Stephanie, in midst 5th February of 2020,</v>

we just started our winter drill program

on our Golden Summit project,

which is near Fairbanks, Alaska.

Golden Summit is about 30 kilometers

outside of Fairbanks.

So it’s about half an hour,

40 minutes drive for our drill crews.

So the drill crew was staying in Fairbanks

commuting to the project.

We were using the ALS facilities for logging.

We were using Excel and we’ve pretty much engaged ALS

to do all of our core photography for us.

<v ->So Christina, that was kind of the process in that moment,</v>

but then March 2020, pandemic was declared.

What was your initial reaction?

Where were you at at the moment?

<v ->Well, I think what we’d been doing</v>

in our previous programs,

we were always taking our photos manually,

renaming the file,

saving them in folders that everybody’s familiar with,

renaming box to,

from whole number on each and individual photo.

So we had a reasonable system that was working pretty well.

At ALS, they were doing it much the same way.

However, they had a better web view

in order to view the core down hole,

which is why initially we had them doing the photos.

We were logging either using handwritten logs,

transcribing into Excel, or logging straight

into an Excel spreadsheet,

but we always really struggle to fully use the data

we were collecting.

So many hours go into data collection.

It often felt like we weren’t really honoring

all of the data collecting

and all the time our CIOs were putting into the logs.

<v ->Yeah, and I assume the pandemic</v>

was whole a suite challenge for you not to be able

to go to the core shack with the same frequency.

So how did you move forward when COVID hit?

<v ->Well, so about March, of course, the pandemic hit,</v>

we were still drilling at Golden Summit.

So we kept drilling probably till about mid March.

It became increasingly apparent that this was a bad idea

and we needed to shut down.

So we actually stopped drilling partway

through our second hole

and really focused on getting our people home safely.

<v ->So there was a period in time where you were trying</v>

to log with the masks.

And then how did you,

what was the main motivation for looking for a solution

like MX or IMAGO at this point?

<v ->Well, it was interesting</v>

because we had already started

to look at different logging software.

So we were fortunate to have actually done

a bit of investigation

into the different ways we might be able to do things.

So I think it’s fair to say in our wildest dreams,

we never thought it was going to turn out like this.

So we had a lot of challenges to get wrapped back up.

After we shut down, we spent a lot of time

developing community safety plans,

but I think over the last year and a half,

we’ve really streamlined our information gathering

and improved our efficiency and utilization

of the data tremendously.

And that’s largely been as a result of using the MX

and the IMAGO systems.

<v ->So to this specific solutions that you identified,</v>

but can you tell us a little bit more about the story

of how did you become aware of the solutions

or how this conversation started?

<v ->So, as I mentioned,</v>

we were drilling at Golden Summit in March,

RVPs and myself.

We were down at PDAC I guess, early March.

And we had already been interested in trying to improve

our logging systems.

We had demoed another different,

a lot of different software products,

but they weren’t exactly what we were looking for.

They just didn’t have the flexibility

or they were too expensive.

So we actually arranged a demo FMX.

We bought our first license actually,

whilst we were at PDAC.

The guys that I met for super,

they onboard us right away.

By the time we left PDAC we were fully onboarded into MX.

So what we started with the initial idea was we wanted

to bring all of our historic logs into MX

and then expand on that.

I think if I was going to do it differently,

now I would have just started using MX

and left the historical for later on.

By about may,

we were starting to look at what we were going to do

with our Shorty Creek project.

That’s another project we’ve got, our partner is South 32.

Again, here, we were trying to improve our access to data.

We had a significant number of photos uploaded

in the same individual folders

and sharing this data had proved

to be quite frustrating.

So I guess it was May, I reached out to Frederico at IMAGO

after reading about their system.

And we worked with them

to have all of the historic core photos

from Shorty Creek incorporated into that IMAGO platform.

Of course, that’s when I first met you Santiago as well.

So anyway, at the end of that, that meant both us

and South 32 just had great access

to all of the post oratorical photos.

By June, we started to ramp up our program at Golden Summit,

our primary focus to be fair,

was really trying to execute the project safely.

There were new protocols.

We had some difficult drilling conditions

which really occupied us for the first little bit.

We began to use MX on the project

and then we really started to tailor it,

to figure out how we wanted to use it on our project.

And I’ll say

it was a pretty incredible transformation for us.

We no longer were having our geos email the drill log down

to us nightly.

We were suddenly able

to just instantly access the drill logs

and see what we wanted to see when we wanted to see it.

Sorry, Santiago.

<v ->No, I was going to say</v>

that I love the example of collaboration

with South 32.

Where are they based out of Australia or where were they?

<v ->They were based out of Australia.</v>

So we were working with their team primarily

out of Australia.

<v ->Wow, that’s awesome.</v>

(radio interference drowns out speaker)

And it was just really easy to do.

And so we still had ALS taking our core photos for us,

but what we wanted to do then

is having seen what was possible with the old photos

from Shorty Creek was trying to see

if we could do that real time at Golden Summit.

So again, we reached out

to you guys and this time we purchased the system,

so a couple of back and forth conversations,

we were able to get a system built for us

that really worked well for us.

And we had it shipped up to Alaska

and after reasonably quick training, we were up and running.

<v ->Oh, that’s great.</v>

So fast forward, you have now implemented both systems

and now you have them in functioning in the core shack.

So you and your team prepared a video

to share with us today.

Should we play it now?

<v ->Yeah, I think that would be great, Santiago.</v>

Just a reminder to everybody watching here,

you may need to turn up the volume to be able to hear

what our geo was saying.

Sometimes it comes across a little thing.

<v ->Okay.</v>

<v ->Oh, hi.</v>

I’m Mark Ramo working with Freegold Ventures Limited

at the Golden Summit project outside of Fairbanks, Alaska.

We’re here doing a large Korean project.

This is our second portion and others exactly like this.

We’ve been using MX deposit and the IMAGO software app

for about a year now,

and it has improved our efficiency drastically.

Instead of everyone having a computer with Excel

that you have to save and go in and out of a million times,

everyone can be logging this hole at the same time,

as long as you have a different tablet for it.

So here you can see,

I have lithology pulled up and this is top of the hole

to our current position in the hole, which is right here.

And if you come over here, you can see Mike’s over here,

logging mineralization for each interval

that we’ve already distinguished.

And then as you go through, you can continue.

And we even have a oriented log program here.

So we have a tablet for the oriented log structure,

alteration, mineralization, RQD sample,

and there’s everything we do to log this core.

And as I said,

everyone on their tablet can be doing it different tab

at the same time.

So it’s highly efficient.

And then as soon as you pull out of it,

it all auto-populates to every computer

that’s logged into the program at the time.

Our Internet’s very slow right now.

So it can take a little while,

but that’s our only slow down.

And as we’re going, we’re logging.

We’re also snapping pictures at the same time.

And we’ve found that having consistent lighting is key

to being able to capture well lit photos.

So as we go,

you can come over here and see the software.

This is our buddy Hayes.

He’s been helping us a bunch.

So you just type in the new depth

you want to go to 397.3, move the whole thing over

and then just hit the button and you get your photo

right up here and you can see it’s already cropped.

It has this amazing auto cropping feature

that it’ll take each row and crop it individually,

and then once you get uploaded to the software site,

it will lay them all out consecutively

so you get a nice line of your pictures

as the hole is going down.

It’s pretty amazing stuff.

And yes, as you can see,

we have our different holes here and you can go in

and it takes awhile to load,

but this will bring up all the different tabs

as I head out before.

And that’s, about how we log core here

at Golden Summit, thanks.

<v ->Wow, that was amazing.</v>

Thank you very much for sharing it.

So one question here,

how was the process of incorporating new workflows

around data capture in the core shack?

<v ->Well, Santiago, I’m sure you can imagine</v>

with anything new,

there’s always a little resistance, but overall,

the integration went fairly well.

I think initially there was some concern

about how long taking photos,

what it was going to add to the workflow,

but at the end of the day, as you can see,

it’s a fairly quick process,

you just move the tablet camera

and the frame down the box.

Now the other thing that’s nice,

of course, you’re no longer handling the core,

taking it into a little photo booth there.

So you’re able to sort of,

it saves everyone’s back, right?

The quality of photos has been super, as Mark mentioned,

we really just had to make sure

the light was pretty constant.

That was something initially we struggled with a little bit,

but once we got that figured out, it was pretty simple.

So we’re now actually using two IMAGO systems,

one in each core shack.

Just as another example,

we did some relogging of our Shorty Creek core last year.

And one of the things with that is we were able to,

having the historical photos up with the split core,

it was a really great cross comparison.

The other thing that really sort of showed us was just

how much better the quality of the IMAGO images was

compared to what we had been doing.

And I mean,

we were pretty fussy and it took us a fair bit of time,

but these photos were just far superior.

With next, probably the biggest resistance

came from the use of tablets over laptops.

Ironically, our guys all wanted

to log with laptops initially,

and we had to push hard to get them to use the tablets.

So what we see now of course is nobody wants

to go near a laptop.

<v ->Yeah, there was a bit of resistance,</v>

but when they realized it was much kind of efficient

to do it with the new systems,

kind of worked out, and now let’s jump

to the usage and the integration of the data.

Can you describe us how are you using both systems now?

<v ->So yeah, with the IMAGO,</v>

we’re using IMAGO for all of our drilling images and MX

is the geo database.

So we’re using them all the time.

We’re able to quickly pull up the drill logs,

corresponding photos,

and we’ve also been using it as a tool

to store additional project information.

Last summer, as I mentioned, that we’re having

real challenges with the drilling conditions.

We put together a mud tab in which we were just recording

the pH and the viscosity.

So it allowed us to integrate sort of

what we were seeing in our drilling conditions

and mud in an effort to predict when we might either expect

to encounter difficult conditions

or we use as a reference tool.

So it’s proven to be a very effective reference library

for guys to go back to and say,

look, we were seeing this here.

This is what we were doing here,

and this helped us get through it.

As I mentioned earlier,

we’re partnered with South 32 on our other project.

We did a Joel program at Shorty Creek this summer.

Most of their team was in Australia

and unable to travel to site.

So we needed a way that we could quickly see the drill core

of the data.

So again, here we built, just quickly built a quick Glock,

a tab in MX.

So we were able to view the daily log and get a feel

for what we were seeing as well.

So often we were able to get the photos up the same day.

So by the time they were getting up the next morning,

they were looking at drill core drilled the previous day.

So I think the one thing and the big selling point for us

with that was MX was we can build your own tables and less.

So if you want to make changes,

you can make the changes internally.

You don’t need to go and have somebody else

make the changes, so you can do it very effectively.

So if you wanted a new pull down tab to describe bane types

or add another tab in there,

you can just build it in and it becomes,

it’s very user-friendly for us.

<v ->Oh, wow.</v>

I’m still loving that example.

So about the systems integration

as IMAGO and MX are connected,

was this like connectivity feature part of the plan,

or was it something that took you by surprise

when you started using the platforms?

<v ->Well, no, actually that was another one</v>

of those key things we were looking for.

Again, I think it’s tremendously helpful,

especially when you’re looking at things from afar

to be able to look at a drill log

and look at the photographs

and see what people are calling things.

We’ve got a lot of different experience on the project,

a lot of senior guys.

So they had different ideas

and this really allowed them to look at the drill core,

then look at what the guys were logging.

And we were able to have a very iterative conversation

about what we were doing here.

So it became,

so we really were able to have the input

as to what was being logged real time.

<v ->Oh, wow.</v>

And now when we were talking

about putting these webinars together,

you were very excited about sharing

your QATC workflow with the audience.

So yes, can you tell us

why are you excited about your QAQC?

<v ->Well, I think anybody who’s ever tried</v>

to sort of kind of marry assays to databases

or assays and Excel logs will know

sometimes it’s a horrible, tedious process.

So with MX, it’s really a very straight importation process,

especially, in our case,

we’re working with two different labs

to print analytical methods.

So it really

(radio interference drowns out speaker)

So you’re able to set the workflow up.

You can simply import the specific labs workflow.

You can store all your certificates for the standards,

the CSV files and the corresponding labs certificates.

So being able to set the standards and the values

of the tolerance as to what’s acceptable pass, fail,

it really simplifies the QAQC process dramatically.

So you quickly plot out,

you put a good plot there, a Santiago there,

you can quickly plot out where your standards are reporting

and the duplicates.

So you get a really good feel

for the quality of analysis very quickly.

So it’s, again, it’s a huge time-saver for us.

<v ->Yeah, very useful.</v>

Now I remember when you reached out,

you had a big amount of historical images,

do you think there was some value in those images

that you weren’t using to its full potential?

<v ->Oh, absolutely.</v>

And I think that’s probably true of most companies,

you take all these images and you store them on a drive

and you really don’t look at them.

I mean, this allowed us

to sort of have kind of real-time access to them.

So if we wanted to go back

and look at a hole that was drilled in 2010,

we were just now able to go and pull up those photos,

again, it’s really just it’s contributed

to the overall quality of our datasets.

<v ->And related to the topic</v>

of having all the systems connected,

how are you using this

on a modeling tool such as leapfrog?

<v ->Well, so a couple of things, of course,</v>

we’re using leapfrog for modeling we’re using target again

for our sections.

Again, it’s a very simple process.

You’re able to export the CSV files

and then just quickly bring it in.

I think you said you’ve got a video here that maybe

we can take a look at how the leapfrog

integrates very well with IMAGO.

<v ->Yeah, so Steph is playing the video right now,</v>

and that shows how you can go and basically

cake on a specific interval and get the correspondent image.

<v ->Yeah. Now again, it’s a fantastic visualization tool.</v>

So if you’ve got some questions about what you’re seeing,

you’re able to quickly verify it.

We’re doing a lot of oriented core again at Golden Summit.

So again, it’s a great reference tool.

Go back, look at it.

So, it really, it helps to be a data storage tool as well.

<v ->Well, Christina,</v>

thank you very much for sharing all this useful information

with us today.

Now to wrap up,

if you have to identify some key lessons

from this whole process and journey

you have being involved, what would they be?

<v ->I think, you always have to remember</v>

to try new things, right?

Sometimes everything feels really daunting,

but I think you have to sort of approach it logically

in a sort of a step-by-step fashion

and you have to figure out what the technology

or what this new thing is actually going to do for you,

and how you’re really going to use it.

So I think, what we did by starting with MX,

then integrating the IMAGO

and now bringing it into sort of the target

and the leapfrog,

it’s all very much a sequential step and it allowed us

to build on it logically

without being overwhelming at first.

<v ->Well, yeah, that’s a great lesson.</v>

And another lesson that I will like to mention here is that,

you and your team are an example of how a company

in an exploration stage

can adopt these cutting edge technologies

in order to make their work more efficient.

So I think that’s great and worth mentioning.

<v ->Yeah, and I think to that,</v>

I do want to speak about the actual affordability

of both of that technologies because they’re cloud-based,

they are reasonably affordable, as a junior company,

we’re always watching our budgets and don’t necessarily

have a huge budget for software.

So the way it’s been done,

sort of being able to sort of buy MX licenses individually,

the platform, it actually fit our budget as well.

So not only was it functional,

it didn’t have a huge learning curve,

but it was also affordable.

And I think for junior companies,

that really has to be at the forefront too.

<v ->Absolutely great.</v>

So again, thank you very much for your time

and sharing all of these great information with us,

hand over now to Steff,

to lead the question panel.

<v ->Yeah, so thank you both for that awesome discussion.</v>

And if anybody has any questions,

please drop them in the questions tab.

I can get us started

while we’re waiting.

So here’s one, has the introduction of this new way

of working helped with employee morale,

and do you think it will help you in recruiting new talent?

<v ->I think it’s been a tremendous help.</v>

I think, we have a fairly young team,

mixed with some more senior people.

And what we’re seeing from them is they’re really keen

to embrace the technology

that the first ones to email saying, well,

what if we have this, what if we do that?

We could look at this as well.

So, and I think in turn,

what we’re finding is a lot of word of mouth referrals,

the guys were saying, “Hey, you know what,

this is what they’re doing, come and check it out.

I know they’re hiring.”

So we’ve had great success I think,

in using this technology.

<v ->Awesome.</v>

So we have a question from James Andrew, it says,

does this integrate with Acquire?

<v ->We haven’t used Acquire.</v>

I mean, again, so that’s, we looked at Acquire,

but really we just stick with the MX, Steph,

do you want to speak to that?

<v ->I can share MX deposit</v>

is its own logging database and software.

So Acquire is really a competitor of that,

but Santiago, do you want to mention how IMAGO connects?

Did we lose Santiago?

<v ->I think we may have.</v>

<v ->I’m sorry, I was on mute.</v>

I was on mute, I’m sorry.

So I’ll say thanks for the question, and the answer is yes,

it does, it does connect with Acquire.

It does also connect with Aqua arena as well.

So yes, it does connect.

<v ->Awesome.</v>

So another question we have here

is for linking the core box intervals and MX deposit

and the images in IMAGO.

Is this something that you have to do manually

or is this done automatically?

<v ->So it’s pretty much just clicking</v>

on the integration tab

and it automatically populates.

So once you’ve got your log up,

you can just have, once the integration is turned on,

you’ll see the core photos right away,

which again is just very helpful.

<v ->Okay, and we have a question from Miguel, I’m sorry.</v>

I don’t know how to pronounce your last name,

but what is the price of IMAGO and how do the licenses work?

So I guess that one’s for you, Santiago.

<v ->Yes, so the price of IMAGO, it’s going to depend</v>

on the project,

basically the project size and the license is per project,

is site-based and it is an annual license

and gives you access to unlimited users.

So in order to get more information

about a specific pricing that may apply for your project,

please reach out to our team.

But basically, what you get

with the license is you get the ability

to capture the core as Christina is doing in the core shack.

Then the core is going to be organized,

the core images that are going to be organized

in this central platform.

And when they are in the central platform,

they can be connected with these softwares

such as leapfrog, MX, among others.

<v ->Awesome.</v>


What was the largest hurdle

to implementing this on site, Christina?

<v ->I think again,</v>

it’s probably just a little bit of human resistance.

They’re not used to doing something in a different way,

but I think,

once we were able to demonstrate the efficiency,

everybody really jumped on board very quickly.

And I think also part of it is just the scale of tasks

that we were sort of embarking upon is like,

how are we going to start to automate this?

And I said at first it’s very daunting,

but we just sort of took it piece by piece.

<v ->Awesome.</v>

And do you think you would have been as successful

with your exploration efforts

if you wouldn’t have had IMAGO and MX deposit?

<v ->I think after the last year, no.</v>

I mean, it really, really allowed us

to have sort of that real time access to data,

especially, we obviously have a tremendous backlog

in assays right now.

So being able to have the photos and the logs

really have helped guide our project

and our exploration as we’re going forward.

So we’ve drilled just over about 40,000 meters

using the software right now.

So it’s been an invaluable tool for us.

<v ->That’s awesome.</v>

That’s all the time we have now for questions.

If we didn’t get to yours,

we can definitely, we’ll respond in an email,

but I just want to thank you all so much

for attending today.

I hope this webinar held some valuable information for you

and as always, should you have any questions,

please don’t hesitate to reach out

and get in touch with us through our region representatives.

So thank you all again

and have a wonderful rest of your day.

Thanks so much.

<v ->Thank you, Christina.</v>

Thank you very much.

<v ->Thanks to you both as well.</v>

<v ->Thanks everybody for watching, we really appreciate.</v>

(gentle music)