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Join us on February 1, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver, BC as we present our technical seminar “Creating Project Value through Innovation”. During our seminar our technical experts will highlight how incorporating innovative techniques and an integrated service approach, we deliver testing and expertise that creates project value for exploration and resource development stage projects.


Feb 01, 2019, 08:00


Feb 01, 2019, 12:30


Vancouver, BC, Canada

Session Topics

  • Machine Learning and Big Data, The Future of Exploration Targeting and New Discovery - Marc-Antoine Laporte, M.Sc., P.Geo
  • FAST: Re-inventing the Laboratory for the Digital Age – Hugh de Souza, Ph.D., P.Geo
  • Pre-scoping Metallurgical Performance: An Early Stage Indication of Metal Recovery using Metallurgy and Mineralogy – Sarah Prout, Ph.D.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop an understanding of how selected machine leaning routines may be applied to your entire geological data base to allow recognition of drill targets that may not been apparent with standard methods.
  • Understand how new portable analytical technologies can provide rapid fit for purpose data on drill core from exploration & mining programs.
  • Learn how detailed examination of your ore body using QEMSCAN automated mineralogy methods can reveal mineralogical abundances and associations that can be used to predict metallurgical and environmental responses.

Session Agenda



8:30 am – 9:00 am

Registration and Light Refreshments

9:00 am – 9:15 am

Welcome and Introduction

9:15 am – 10:15 am

Machine Learning and Big Data, The Future of Exploration Targeting and New Discovery

10:15 am – 10:30 am

Coffee Break

10:30 am – 11:30 am

FAST: Re-inventing the Laboratory for the Digital Age

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Pre-scoping Metallurgical Performance: An Early Stage Indication of Metal Recovery using Metallurgy and Mineralogy

12:30 pm to 12:35 pm

Closing Remarks

12:35 pm - 1:30 pm

Buffet Lunch


Sessions Descriptions

Machine Learning and Big Data, The Future of Exploration Targeting and New Discovery

Presenter: Marc-Antoine Laporte, M.Sc., P.Geo.


Exploration expenditure has increased significantly since 2010 shifting to deeper domains as the easy discoveries are progressively exhausted. The industry discovery rate has decreased by more than 50 percent since 2010 raising the question “are we using a fully optimized targeting process?”. In 2016, a SGS Geostat team lead by Guy Desharnais, won The Integra Goldrush Challenge using an innovative combination of mineralized vector load in block model and filter through machine learning algorithm in order to produce the next generation of exploration targets. This approach can be applied to any project and decrease the time and expense for major discoveries.

Following that success, various types of algorithms, including decision trees and stumps boosting enhanced with domain adaptation were adapted by SGS Geostat and used on different projects all over the world for targeting purposes. Phylogenetic algorithms were also integrated in the toolbox to answer questions related to geological uncertainties. Those innovations were possible due to the gigantic step change realized in the computer industry in hardware and software over the last decade that help the application of the rapidly evolving science of artificial intelligence and its application to the mining industry. The exploration framework developed by SGS Geostat, was built to be completely updatable; and this effectively transforms “missed” drill targets into more accurate predictions for the next round of high prospectivity targeting.   


FAST: Re-inventing the Laboratory for the Digital Age

Presenter: Hugh de Souza, Ph.D., P.Geo


As the mining and exploration industry undergo digital transformation for improved value creation there are increasing demands for faster analytical data that underpin operational decision-making. To meet this challenge SGS is introducing a suite of Field Analytical Services and Testing (FAST) packages to complement its existing lab services business. Based on robust field portable technologies it provides rapid chemical or mineralogical data that can be fed to modeling software or machine learning routines for improved exploration targeting or ore characterization.


Pre-scoping Metallurgical Performance: An Early Stage Indication of Metal Recovery using Metallurgy and Mineralogy

Presenter: Sarah Prout, Ph.D.


Due to the limited financial resources and current economic conditions of the exploration market companies look to maximise the value of their exploration budgets on properties within their portfolio; to prioritize, develop and raise financing for overall success.  Obtaining an indication of metal recovery early in the project timeline can help drive critical strategic decisions regarding portfolio management in a faster and more efficient manner. 

To help support this, SGS has developed a cost-effective package designed to provide early stage information on metal recovery and mineralogy (plus ARD potential of the tailings produced) for gold and copper projects. During our session, we will detail how combining specific bench-scale metallurgical tests such as gravity separation, flotation and leaching with assaying, mineralogy and modified ABA can produce enough data for a robust indication of metal recovery and possible flowsheet configurations, far sooner in a project’s timeline which can ultimately assist companies make strategic project evaluations more definitively.


Presenter Bios

Marc-Antoine Laporte, M.Sc., P.Geo

Marc-Antoine Laporte graduated from Laval University in 2008 with M.Sc. in Igneous Petrology and Geochemistry and his specializes in ore deposit geology, geochemistry, exploration targeting using classical and AI approaches.

Upon finishing his studies, he worked as a geologist for Falconbridge Ltd with the Raglan Mine (Ni-Cu-Co-PGE) exploration team. Following that, he worked for Anglo American Exploration during 7 years as project geologist on multiple commodities (Ni-Cu-PGE, Porphyry Cu-Au-Mo, Li-pegmatite, Iron ore, Coal and VMS). Marc-Antoine started working with SGS Canada Inc. as a consulting geologist in September 2016. Since then, he specialized in exploration models and targeting, and is considered a “Qualified Person” for numerous commodities.

Hugh de Souza, Ph.D., P.Geo

Hugh de Souza has over 30 years of experience in the minerals industry. He has a B.A. Honours in Environmental Sciences, a M.Sc in Geochemistry and a Ph.D in Geology. Hugh, currently the Director, Minerals Technical Services has has been with SGS for 20 years, starting as a General Manager of XRAL Laboratories and expanding his skills and experience as Chief Geochemist and Manager, Diamond Services.  He has managed SGS geochemical, mineralogical and diamond labs over the last 20 years and has worked on the development of new mineralogical and geochemical methods for mineral exploration. Prior to that he was with the Ontario Geological Survey and carried out post-doctoral work at the universities of New Brunswick and Geneva.

Sarah Prout, Ph.D.

Sarah Prout is a Senior Mineralogist, Vancouver Operations for SGS Canada based in Vancouver, BC. Sarah received her Ph.D. in mineralogy, petrography and economic geology in 2004 from Camborne School of Mines in the UK. Sarah has over a decade of geology and mineralogy experience. Sarah started her SGS career in January 2007 as a Mineralogist based in Lakefield and joined the SGS Canada’s Vancouver operations in 2010, as a Senior Mineralogist. While at SGS, she has developed extensive experience dealing with the management of process mineralogical projects using QEMSCAN, SEM, optical microscopy, EPMA and XRD analysis. With experience in dealing with global mining projects, she has worked on a wide range of deposits from base metals and iron ore to REE, U-Th and industrial minerals.


Event Location

Hyatt Regency

655 Burrard St.

Vancouver, BC

Floor 3 – Oxford / Prince of Wales Room