Speaker Spotlight: Dr June Hill

25 September 2019

In the build up to the International Mining Geology Conference 2019 we will be interviewing the keynote speakers on some key issues related to the conference theme, Mining Geology: 2020 and Beyond.

This month we interviewed Dr June Hill, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Mineral Resources. Dr June Hill has diverse a background with both science and engineering degrees covering structural and metamorphic geology, plate tectonics, mathematics and statistics, machine learning and signal processing.

Q. What technical advances are you monitoring and how do you see them impacting on our industry going forward?

A. The mineral exploration and mining industry is experiencing a dramatic increase in the size and complexity of geoscience data that can be measured and collected.  There is a clear need for data analytics methods that are specifically optimised for geoscience applications, including geological interpretation of drill hole data. Adaption of existing mathematical, statistical and machine learning methods as well as innovative new methods will be required to help geologists deal with the data deluge. The most useful methods will be those that allow the integration of domain knowledge and local expertise into automation algorithms.

Q. How will innovation and technology developments change the day-to-day routine of mining geology in 5-10 years’ time?

A. New data analytics methods will allow the geologist of the future to rapidly analyse and integrate data from widely varying sources. Combining technologies that measure chemistry, mineralogy and physical properties at the drill rig with non-subjective data analytics and updateable 3D geology modelling software, will provide the geologist with the ability to rapidly integrate new data into a geological model, to allow on the spot decision making. In addition, automation of data interpretation will facilitate calculation of uncertainty for geological models, providing crucial information to the mining engineer and guiding future data collection strategies.

Q. What message would you like to provide to the delegates – what do you hope will be the main message they will take away from your keynote presentation?

A. Through the use of examples, I will demonstrate the effectiveness of automated methods of interpreting drill hole data that integrate spatial information and geological domain knowledge.

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