Scalable is saleable in data management solutions

Data is very undervalued in the industry, says Atkins.

The resources sector is about much more than digging dirt from the ground and processing ore; it’s built upon the foundations of numerous niche organisations who maximise efficiency and productivity across the industry.

Geoscientific data management specialist acQuire is one such company that supports the industry by ensuring businesses are getting more bang for their buck during exploration and mining.

The company has reached 25 years of business developing geoscientific data management solutions, which will be on show at the Austmine 2021 Conference & Exhibition in Perth this month.

Alison Atkins, chief executive officer of acQuire, says mining businesses can hardly afford to go without the sort of solutions that the company provides.

“Considering how much mining companies spend on collecting data and the criticality of the information they use and the decisions they’re making from it, (data is) probably one of their primary assets, yet it’s definitely undervalued in the industry,” Atkins says.

“Primarily, it’s a tool for quality, compliance and assurance, allowing clients to have confidence in the data they’re collecting and to then serve that data to third parties to do mine planning and modelling.”

Atkins has been involved in the industry for 30 years across Western Australia’s Goldfields region and in western Africa.

She’s pursued a number of explorative and geological roles in her time, moving through the ranks before eventually settling at acQuire just over 20 years ago.

Atkins finds acQuire to be a company with a growth-driven culture that promises to keep a career interesting for decades.

She says the competitive advantage of acQuire is in the scalability of its solution. Internally and externally, acQuire encourages and allows people and businesses to develop on their own two feet.

“We have a scalable solution that grows with the customer. That’s from greenfields exploration right through to feasibility into mining, but also the rehabilitation on the other side,” Atkins explains.

“We have a solution they can buy at any phase throughout their mining lifecycle, and it will scale with them.

“It’s also scalable from a commodity and domain perspective. We have customers in exploration, underground mining and a variety of different commodities and we’re the one enterprise solution that is fit for a variety of different needs.”

While acQuire focusses less on aftermarket services, the company is confident in its partnership program with Nova Network consultants to support customers through the ownership of acQuire’s broad range of solutions.

“We’re primarily focussed on deploying the software solution and getting it implemented correctly. Then, through different strategies, we’re empowering the customer to own the solution, while giving them options with the Nova Network as well,” Atkins says.

The latest addition to acQuire’s geological data management solution – GIM Suite – is its web and mobile capabilities. The update allows operators to work more effectively in a time-pressured environment, logging geological data for sampled and unsampled blastholes using a mobile app.

“With the newer releases of the technology, moving into web and mobile also gives us a strong competitive advantage. There are a lot of mobile apps out there, but none have the truly integrated synchronisation that we have between the core solution and the mobile app,” Atkins says.

Atkins says the company is excited to see people in-person at the Austmine 2021 Conference & Exhibition to teach and learn about the latest developments in the industry.

“It’s one of our flagship events that we attend in Australia. It’s a great initiative and it’s something that we really want to be associated with,” she says.

“I actually participated personally in the mentoring program a few years ago as a mentee, which I got a lot of benefit from, and that in itself creates a great network of people within the industry.

“Governance and compliance are coming to the forefront, so we will be showcasing and focussing on the importance of the data asset and what that means from a confidence perspective for compliance and regulatory reporting.”

Atkins laments the industry trend of treating people disposably, especially during challenging periods like COVID-19 or the global financial crisis.

Across acQuire’s six offices in four countries, Atkins says a culture of empowerment to succeed is key to accomplishing such an overarching grip on the market.

“We’re a successful organisation that comes down to the criticality of the people in it. We work extremely hard to retain our staff and we have a lot of initiatives in place to ensure the right environment and culture to ensure everyone succeeds,” Atkins says.

 

This article appeared in the May edition of Australian Mining Magazine.

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