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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  14 Jan 2010

LOGISTICS: Anglo Platinum Selects JMP Tool for Data Analysis


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The Anglo Platinum Group recently identified a pressing need to implement more efficient ways to analyse its geological assay data, and turned to Octoplus and the SAS JMP data visualisation tool.

Anglo Platinum is listed on the Johannesburg and London stock exchanges and drills between 600 and 700km of exploration boreholes per year, with samples taken at regular intervals across reef intersections. These samples are used to evaluate the potential of future mining at various sites around the Bushveld Complex.

“Each sample received is sent to one of our laboratories and analysed for elements such as platinum, palladium, rhodium, gold etcetera. This is done twice in what we call a Twin Stream format,” says Markus van der Neut at Anglo Platinum. “Every month thousands of results are sent to the central database and then used for resource estimations and mine planning. It is of utmost importance that the quality of the data is assured for precision and accuracy prior to being used for any resource evaluations.”

In the past, each laboratory made use of Microsoft Excel to help analyse the data it generated. However modern governance controls require that the end user must verify the acceptability of the data prior to its use.

The data limitations, particularly with the Excel 2003 version, was the reason that Anglo Platinum began the process of identifying a technology tool that could assist it with its data analysis. It turned to Octoplus as a technology partner with the SAS JMP data visualisation tool.

The first application of the JMP tool provided Anglo Platinum with a simple tool based on a number of primitive scripts, which covered a very basic set of calculations such as a single outlier method, precision and basic statistical parameters. While all the results could be recorded in a Journal file, it was not compulsory to do so in order to move to the next script - this meant it was possible to forget to journal, in which case one had to start over again.

This process was subsequently replaced by Octoplus with a customised set of scripts and tools, all grouped under an “Angloplat Button” on the toolbar. With JMP every action by a user is now menu based and involves four separate components: evaluation of assay data; evaluation of Blanks and Standards; a set of useful tools and lookup tables (which can be edited by the user); and an extraction utility which allows the user to extract data from SQL based databases. The menu system also provides an audit trail with the evaluation facility recording every action that the user makes and storing these in a separate journal file.

A user-friendly interface allows the user to extract data directly from the Anglo database into JMP, the almost limitless number of records JMP can handle sets it apart from Excel. Often data from one particular laboratory over a number of years needs to be extracted for evaluation purposes in JMP, these datasets can easily reach several hundred thousand records.

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