Case Study: Snowden

Background

As resource and reserve reporting will be presented to the public and will be used to gauge how well a mining company is performing and where they are heading, the reports have to be accurate and well managed, or else the company will lose credibility with its stakeholders.

Snowden, as a provider of technical consulting services and independent advice to exploration and mining companies since 1987, understands how important resource and reserve reporting is and how difficult presenting the information in a proper report can be.

Data from mining activity is generally kept in spreadsheet programs, like Microsoft Excel, and later manually put into order and reported according to the required regulatory procedures.

Obtaining and consolidating the required data has to be a careful process, especially for a mining company with operations spread around the world, lest the data provided is not the one that is needed or worse, incorrect.

Having known and dealt with the same problem for more than 25 years, Snowden came up with the initiative to create Regulator, a data management system that will help them and their clients with this issue. They enlisted Mitrais’ services to bring the system to life.

Development of web-based mining resource and reserve data management system

Regulator is a data management system that provides systemised, repeatable and auditable resource and reserve reporting. It provides a process that public mining companies can follow in order to capture their resource and reserve data and deliver reports in accordance to major mining codes, including JORC 2012, SEC, and SAMREC.

After deciding to not develop the software in-house, Perth-based Snowden liaised with Mitrais, which is headquartered in Bali, hence enabling a full 8-hour overlap of business hours. Snowden’s Analyst Stuart Trotter was appointed as the team leader and was responsible for bringing the project into completion utilising the captive team made up of hand-picked Mitrais software developers.

During the development project, Agile software development framework Scrum was implemented, dividing the process into several Sprints. At the end of each Sprint, a Sprint Review was conducted to review the objectives; Sprint Planning to plan for the next Iteration; and Sprint Retrospective to ensure continuous improvement.

Mitrais’ team complimented the Scrum methodology with a model-driven development approach that was supported by the Sparx Enterprise Architect. The solution allowed the team to not only capture analysis and design artifacts in a centralized repository (workflow designs, component architecture, etc), but also allowed code generation of the entity model, persistence layer, and database from the designed class model. There were a number of major benefits realized by this approach, such as enforcing that the design be updated before the code, and being able to rollout major changes to entity behavior simply by making a small change to the code generation logic.

Mitrais software developers are experienced in creating web-based solutions. Regulator was built using the latest Microsoft .NET technology, such as ASP.NET MVC 4.0, WCF 4.0, WF 4.5, Responsive Web Design using Zurb and BootStrap, and SQL Server 2008 technology.

The responsive web design framework allowed Regulator to be accessed from mobile devices as well.

Snowden aims to give more efficiency in the reporting process, and provide a secure, integrated system that can be accessed anytime, anywhere to ease the data collection process. With Regulator making the reporting process as simple as possible while keeping to the mining reporting regulations, resource and reserve reporting can become more time and cost efficient, accurate and well managed.

The Regulator version 1.1 has been deployed successfully to Snowden’s first client and both Snowden and the client expressed their satisfaction over the solution.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for working so hard this year and producing such a great product. I value everyone on the team and feel very fortunate to be able to work with you,” Mr Trotter stated.

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