Software to assist precision, accuracy of lab samples

The MineSight QAQC software contains components for statistical analysis of laboratory assay data, user-controlled set-up of laboratory and shipment information and for migrating samples after they have been validated

SOFTWARE SCREENSHOT The MineSight QAQC software contains components for statistical analysis of laboratory assay data, user-controlled set-up of laboratory and shipment information and for migrating samples after they have been validated

27th November 2015


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Mine design, planning, and operations technologies provider Hexagon Mining has launched MineSight QAQC, a flexible, easy-to-use product to validate and determine the precision and accuracy of field samples, thereby enhancing geology methods.

The Tucson, Arizona-head-quartered company notes that field samples are arguably the most important part of the evaluation and design of a mine, as incorrect assay information can lead to flawed mine plans and the potential for huge financial loss.

Hexagon Mining’s mine planning software platform, MineSight, represented locally by Sandton-based MineSight Applications, is a comprehensive package used to model, design and schedule a mine. MineSight QAQC delivers critical charting and analysis functionalities for analytical samples, standards, blanks and duplicates that return from the assay laboratory.

QAQC is compatible with MineSight Torque (MSTorque), Hexagon Mining’s drillhole managing product. Within QAQC are components for statistical analysis of laboratory assay data, user-controlled setup of laboratory and shipment information, and integration into Torque for migrating samples after they have been validated. Housed in a secure database environment, QAQC delivers a unified toolset for managing assay samples throughout the data life cycle.

“The adage ‘you get what you put in’ is just as true in mining,” says Hexagon Mining planning product manager Alyson Cartwright, adding that a geologic model, mine design and operating schedule are only as good as the data that feeds them. “That is what QAQC addresses.”

The “backstage area” in the QAQC tool allows users to create, edit, import and delete the attributes, labs, analysis methods, measurement methods, blanks and standards.

Attributes are the sample items that will be analysed within the tool, similar to MSTorque sample attributes. Users can import the attributes of interest directly from the sample attributes of an existing MSTorque project.

Using the Labs panel, an opera- tor can create a list of the laboratories used to measure the sample values. Further, the Analysis Methods panel assists users in creating a list of the methods used in these laboratories, while the Measurement Methods panel provides the option to enter the level of detection with a tolerance, the units and the attributes that are analysed by each laboratory and specific analysis method.

A message window provides auditability for the project setup.

Once the project setup is complete, the user can manage all his or her quality assurance and quality control data, which are categorised as samples, shipments and certifi- cates.

Each of these data types can be viewed separately, allowing users to manage their data in an easier workflow.

A feature called Samples View provides a list of all the samples that a user might have in a project; these could be analytical samples, standards, blanks or duplicates.

Duplicate samples are further split into three types – laboratory duplicates, field duplicates and repeats.

In addition to the sample type, Samples View also provides information on the sample details and date.

Shipment View enables users to manage the shipment data, such as shipment name, date, laboratory and the list of samples that are shipped to that laboratory.

With the Certificates View, users can list the name of the certificates, the specific laboratory and its chosen method and the date. This information can be entered manually or imported from an external file using template mapping.

Once the certificates are imported, a user can manage each of these certificates, such as assigning a status, tracking re-ran certificates and monitoring lab scorecards.

Within the QAQC tool, three packages of charts, analyses and statistics are available for each sample type. Each chart type can be filtered by start and end date, attribute and laboratory. Once the chart type and the filters are selected, the filtered data will be displayed in the browser and a chart will be created based on this data. Accompanying the chart, statistics and analysis specific to the data in that chart are displayed.

A blanks chart displays a set of blanks data organised by date on a X-axis, and the resulting grade measured by the laboratory for the selected attribute on a Y-axis. This chart is useful for detecting contamination within a laboratory.

As blanks should have a grade value of zero, any grade measured by the laboratory can be considered a contaminant. The higher the grade value returned, the less confidence there will be in the laboratory procedures and results.

Additionally, users can add a limit of detection line at a user- defined value using the options on the Enhancements and Style tab.

A standards chart is similar to a blanks chart and the measured values of the standards are displayed. In addition to date, attribute and lab filters for this chart, a user can choose a specific standard value to compare the measured values with to establish the accuracy of the chosen lab’s measurement process and practices. Options to display the certified grade of the standard and the confidence range of one or two standard deviations can be accessed from the Enhancements and Style tab.

The duplicates chart compares a set of original values with dupli- cate value pairs plotted as a scatterplot with the chosen date and attribute filters. This allows a user to find a baseline for the precision of the measurement processes of the chosen laboratory.

Edited by Tracy Hancock
Creamer Media Contributing Editor




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