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The Digital Mapping Revolution: How to get the best of data capture in the field

Bert De Waele and Jason Beltran
Friday, September 6, 2013
First presented: 
AIG Advances in Exploration Conference, September 2013

Geological (Structural) mapping and data collection in the field form fundamental components of any effective exploration programme, regardless of commodity, mineralisation style or geological setting. The early adoption of effective mapping and field data collection strategies, from regional/prospect scale to focused 3D mapping/sampling of mineralisation targets, not only improves the chances of exploration success, but provides the basis upon which exploration strategies can be developed in a cost-effective manner.

Whereas the fundamental concepts of geological and structural mapping and sampling have not dramatically changed over the years, the technologies available to the field geologist to conduct mapping and sampling have. Recent advances in portable mapping devices and GIS software for the first time allow the development of paperless workflows that allow effortless capture, integration and interpretation of data in the field, and seamless integration of the field data in centralised exploration databases. We present three specific studies that have successfully implemented paperless workflows.

Feature Author

Bert De Waele

Bert De Waele has over 23 years of structural mapping experience, mostly in African Precambrian terranes.  Bert’s regional mapping experience includes mapping 1:100,000 and 1:250,000 products in Zambia, Mauritania, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea, and prospect or tenement-scale mapping in Australia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Lao PDR, Liberia, Mauritania, Morocco, Philippines, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Western Sahara. Much of his work has included on-the-job training of sampling teams and mapping geologists using cutting-edge paperless mapping technologies

Principal Consultant (Structural Mapping)
PhD (Geology), RP Geo (Regional Geology, Mineral Exploration)
SRK Perth
Jason Beltran

Jason Beltran has over 14 years’ experience in the GIS industry. His expertise in GIS project management includes implementing procedures for digital map creation and best practices in GPS field mapping. He currently manages all GIS data within SRK, developing systems using ESRI’s ArcGIS Server technology to publish and share digital mapping data across the organisation. Since joining SRK, Jason has worked on projects that require map production for publicly released reports, providing technical GIS support and database administration for smaller junior miners. He also specialises in closure cost estimations utilising the closure cost modelling Standardised Reclamation Cost Estimate (SRCE) model. In addition,m Jason has experience in design of geological maps, and has worked on various mapping projects that require the use of analytical GIS, such as viewshed analysis and floodplain mapping.

Senior Consultant (GIS)
BSc (Geographical Information Systems)
SRK Perth
SRK Africa