Whitehaven drives coal exploration through Micromine data system

Maules Creek. Image: Whitehaven Coal.

Whitehaven Coal has ramped up exploration in New South Wales and Queensland with the introduction of Micromine’s geological data management system, Geobank.

The coal producer has implemented the data system across all of its projects in the two states as global demand for Australian coal escalates.

Senior Geobank data management specialist Ibo Mango said Geobank provided an important tool for coal miners to hone, manage and direct their exploration and production processes.

“Geobank helps companies of all sizes to better record, access, review, integrate and utilise their essential geological data,” Mango said.

“Problems with inaccurate data are often invisible. Loss of data, poor accessibility or quality control issues can cost millions of dollars and cause inaccurate decision making, especially in a high-yield sector like coal.”

Whitehaven, which is undertaking a major expansion project, procured Geobank to provide data collection, validation and depth adjustment to meet browsing and advanced reporting needs.

“Geobank’s fully customisable solution provided Whitehaven with extended functionality designed specifically for their exploration and mining needs, Geobank provides specialised utilities for displaying and managing drillhole data,” Mango said.

Geobank also integrates the Australian CoalLog Standard, which was introduced in 2012.

Prior to its introduction, around 30 different data formats and over 100 different data code translation tables were used in the capture of geological data, leading to major inefficiencies in the collection, transfer and analysis of coal borehole data.

Whitehaven operates six mines in the Gunnedah Basin in North West NSW, with an additional development under way in the region, as well as its first development in Queensland’s Bowen Basin also going through the approvals process.

The company produced 16 million tonnes of coal in 2018, contributing to record Australian coal export results.

In February this year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed coal was the country’s highest earning export commodity of 2018, accounting for $66 billion in export revenue.

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