Mineral resources are vital to a growing and increasingly urbanized global population. They’re also critical components of the electronics that power our daily lives. Fortunately, early stage mineral prospecting is about to get faster and more reliable.
International Geoscience Services, Ltd. (IGS), a company spun out from the British Geological Survey in 2010 with the backing of the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund, is meeting the challenge with the release of IGS Xplore, a unique software system designed to de-risk early stage decision-making in mineral exploration. IGS Xplore uses non-GIS based, semantically-driven technology that efficiently integrates disparate and complex geological data streams, and delivers the sophisticated reasoning capabilities that prospectivity analysis requires.
Traditionally, the early evaluation stage has been a labour intensive process of assembling and then evaluating data from multiple sources that can take high level geologists weeks. IGS Xplore has already proved itself capable of outperforming experienced geologists on both time and depth of output, making quick initial evaluations much more cost-effective.
Its powerful semantic technology encodes the relevant geological knowledge, allowing the system to efficiently store, model, and analyse a huge range of data. IGS Xplore generates early stage, value-added prospectivity maps for commodities in regions, countries, and geological terranes from this data, and updates them as needed.
A key advantage of the IGS Xplore system is its exceptional capability to house an extraordinary amount of geological knowledge. Geodata is often difficult to obtain, patchy, and available in multiple representation formats. IGS continually sources geodata for regions and countries with significant untapped mineral potential and resources. IGS can also efficiently capture and integrate proprietary client data into the IGS Xplore system, and acquire geodata on behalf of its clients.
The system rapidly tests the different types of data that exist for a region or country, including geology, geochemistry, known mineral occurrences, and other data sources. It tests these datasets against a set of well-established, non-statistical, empirically-based geological rules governing up to 50 known mineralization models. IGS Xplore then generates a portfolio of customized, high-quality prospectivity maps of commodities that are based on actual known geological conditions, rather than theoretical constructs.
IGS has “soft-launched” IGS, showing it only to a selected group of potential clients and partners in early 2016. Interest levels from mineral exploration companies, consultants and investors have been very high and the company will be using the rest of the year to develop its offering and identify which areas of the mineral exploration sector are likely to be the most promising initial markets.