Effective Geological Training and Data Management

James Gilbertson and Bill Kellaway
Saturday, June 16, 2012
First presented: 
SRK Exploration Geology Newsletter #47

In recent years SRK Exploration Services noticed that the fast pace of modern exploration often occurs at the expense of quality data management and geological training.

The current demand for experienced geologists shows little sign of abating and the need for training has never been greater. University curricula are stretched and training in the field is often left to industry, where in-house training programs are now a thing of the past.

At SRK ES, we recognise that many of our clients rely heavily on under-trained staff, supplemented only periodically by expatriate technical managers, and training now forms an intrinsic part in many of our commissions. While geological training is most apt for new and young recruits, SRK ES recognises the need for continual training at every level to ensure competency in all aspects of project work.

SRK ES has developed structured geological tuition programs revolving around a Training Checklist designed to assess current competency and identify training needs. These programs are run as informal workshops for individuals or groups and ideally form part of annual assessments of an individual’s continuing professional development. A Training Manual accompanies the workshops, outlining standardised procedures for all aspects of exploration activities ensuring industry best practices.

Recent training programs were run on three levels: basic geological techniques, design and implementation of standard protocols, and exploration management and logistical support. This approach is most effective when pitched at the right level, where there is continual feedback and a proper mechanism for ongoing assistance and support.

In many current exploration projects,SRK ES has identified another area that would benefit from training: effective data management and interpretation. The adage “data rich, but information poor”’ is particularly true for early stage exploration projects where true geological complexity is yet to be understood.

To address this need, SRK ES has developed specific capabilities for client data storage, management, interpretation and visualisation, along with assistance in selecting and developing tailored in-house programs for effective data utilisation.

As exploration projects are fast-tracked towards resource projects, exploration teams with robust systems and protocols in place, and effective tools to deal with their data, are best positioned to benefit from any corresponding addition in value.

James Gilbertson: jgilbertson@srkexploration.com

Bill Kellaway: wfkellaway@srkexploration.com

SRK North America