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Acquisitions help expand geosciences footprint

Panoramic view of an open pit mine in Africa

SYNCHRONISED GROWTH Seequent and Bentley are well-aligned and can “hit the ground running” to support local and international investment to help grow African mining communities

13th August 2021

By: Cameron Mackay

Creamer Media Senior Online Writer

     

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The acquisition of software company Seequent by infrastructure software company Bentley Systems, and the former’s acquisition of Danish geophysical software developer Aarhus Geosoftware (AGS), will contribute to Seequent rapidly expanding its geosciences footprint down the value chain with emphasis on mining operations.

Bentley formalised its acquisition of Seequent in June, with Seequent acquiring AGS last month.

Seequent will continue to operate as a standalone business and will retain its unique identity and brand.

“We are delighted to be a part of the Bentley family. Together, we are much greater than the sum of our parts. It’s a privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility to continue our dynamic momentumand high growth rate.With a shared vision of infrastructure for life, we can help our customers unlock the power of connected people and products,” states Seequent CEO Graham Grant.

He explains that combining Seequent’s solutions with Bentley’s will create a “ground-breaking” class of software solutions, which will help solve a wider breadth of complex challenges, and “deepen the potential of digital twins to better understand and mitigate environmental risks and advance resilience and sustainability”.

A digital twin is the creation of a virtual, three-dimensional (3D) replica of physical assets, structures, equipment or the entirety of a mining site.

“Intelligent mining is the new strategic imperative, a departure from siloed legacies towards an agile, value-driven business model. The drive to a digitally enabled, productive, safe operation is now key, and the potential to create a dynamic digital twin is a game changer in mining,” enthuses Seequent mining operations director Pieter Neethling.

He confirms that, in mining, a continuously updated digital twin can incorporate changing subsurface and geotechnical data to consistently evaluate all spatial, numeric and intellectual information of a facility in a visual 3D context.

A continuously updated digital twin – with version control, multiple realisations of the geology and a single “source of truth” – can also provide geoscientists and engineers with options to explore different physical phenomena as a facility evolves.

This can help to prevent a potential disaster, stresses Neethling.

Grant remarks that Seequent can now “leapfrog ahead” with Bentley to align Seequent’s geosciences with Bentley’s infrastructure engineering, resulting in new and improved sophisticated technologies for both companies.

“Bentley’s current offerings enable digital twins to incorporate what is constructed near surface, such as buried utilities, tunnels, roads and rail. The addition of Seequent will now make it possible for infrastructure digital twins to reach full subsurface depths, augmenting environmental resilience against floods, as well as seismic, climate and water-management threats,” he adds.

By attaining a “true intelligent model” of the subsurface, teams can explore, build, monitor and maintain a lifetime digital twin. This can result in a better understanding of the risks and opportunities that can help companies make better decisions, he claims.

Grant emphasises that as geotechnical projects become more complex, mining teams need greater confidence in geoscience disciplines, which support all surface infrastructure. Combining geotechnical numerical and data management solutions brings “exciting new possibilities”.

Bentley’s offerings include MicroStation-based applications for modelling and simulation; ProjectWise for project delivery, AssetWise for asset and network performance, and the iTwin platform for infrastructure digital twins.

“Connecting an expanded portfolio of Bentley and Seequent solutions will enable teams to work together – above and below ground – leading to enhanced project workflows and new insights that lower risk.”

Grant also emphasises that both companies are well-aligned and can “hit the ground running” to support local and international investment to help grow African mining communities, as well as greenfield and brownfield projects.

AGS Acquisition

Seequent’s acquisition of AGS adds more airborne geophysics modelling, groundwater mapping and inversion capabilities to Seequent’s ecosystem, says Grant.

“This brings new possibilities for collective users worldwide and improves lifetime digital twins.”

While the AGS software was originally used to ensure clean drinking water for future generations by mapping groundwater across Denmark, the software is now used in different areas. This includes investigating the impacts of mining on groundwater resources.

 

“Seequent seeks to continue helping miners globally to operate more responsibly and sustainably across the mining life cycle, and supports owner-operators’ and engineering firms’ need to deliver resilient infrastructure safely, on time and within budget while lowering environmental impact,” Grant concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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