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Drilling at Mount Flora

Published on December 12, 2019, by Genevieve

Drilling at Duke Exploration’s Mt Flora copper prospect within their Bundarra Project in Queensland has finished and the laboratory results are beginning to come in and are looking very positive. Initial results are showing significant zones with copper grades higher than measured by the PXRF. The official lab results from ALS Townsville are eagerly awaited, and will be reported as soon as we have them.


Associated Exploration Drillers (AED) were contracted for the drilling, which took place over 27 days and 10 nights in October. Three diamond holes for a total of 550 m were drilled using their track mounted rig. Kenex representatives were there for the duration, logging core and managing the programme.


Historically, five main lodes were worked at Mt Flora: Douchang, Essie, Flora, Green Outcrops and Eastern Lodes. Numerous shafts, to a maximum depth of 38 m, adits and surface workings were developed, many of which are still open and evident today. These lodes were drilled by Endeavour Oil in 1975 with very encouraging copper, silver and gold mineralisation. Duke planned to follow up these historical results, aiming to intersect all the main veins, sample continuously across the vein systems, and to get a better idea of the widths, extents and grades of the mineralisation.


The lodes were intersected very close to the predicted locations (Figure 1). This has given confidence in the existing data, and has confirmed that the lodes are depth extensive.

Figure 1. Cross section through DFD001, showing mapped lodes (green), preliminary block model (background), drillhole lithology and copper intersections (red).


Drilling intersected a large sequence of hornfelsed metasediments (siltstone and sandstone), which are the host rock to the lodes. All three drill holes intersected bedrock from surface, with the base of complete oxidation between 18 and 26 m vertical depth. A microdiorite dyke was intersected in DFD001 and DFD002, and tonalite was intersected at the bottom of all three holes. This is cut by multiple dykes, variably aplitic, pegmatitic and porphyritic. Petrography and geochemical analyses are planned to confirm the intrusive rock types. Alteration in the holes presents almost exclusively as vein selvedges. Intensity of alteration varies, and is related to vein intensity. Alteration is sericite-silica-chlorite in varying proportions, which results in bleaching of the hornfelsed siltstone surrounding the veins (Figure 3). Pervasive silicification or pervasive chlorite or sericite alteration is present in small intervals, which are generally intensely veined.


Figure 3. Silica-sericite alteration around quartz-sulphide veins in DFD001


Figure 4. Intense silicification around chlorite-sulphide veins in DFD001


The mineralised lodes are almost entirely vein hosted. In the weathered zone mineralisation consists of veins of iron oxides (hematite, limonite) with chalcocite or malachite. Chalcocite is also found on most fractures in the weathered zone.


Copper below the base of oxidation is hosted in veins, almost entirely as chalcopyrite (Figures 5-7). A number of different types of veins are present, including pyrite-chalcopyrite veins, quartz-sulphide veins, chlorite-sulphide veins, and calcite-sulphide veins. Pyrite and chalcopyrite frequently occur together, and there are also veins with the only sulphide being pyrite.


The mineralised veins occur as massive sulphide veins up to 30 cm wide down-hole, as well as in clusters of smaller 0.1-0.5 cm wide veins. Increased alteration and quartz and chlorite veins are present around the massive chalcopyrite veins.


Figure 5. Quartz-chalcopyrite-pyrite veins


Figure 6. Chlorite-chalcopyrite-pyrite vein, cut by a calcite vein, with silica-sericite-chlorite alteration


Other sulphides include molybdenite, which occurs usually in trace amounts in quartz veins and disseminated in tonalite, and sphalerite in trace amounts in some veins. Trace amounts of bornite, cuprite and pyrrhotite are also present.


Figure 7. Quartz-chalcopyrite-pyrite-chlorite vein


Wireline logging by Borehole Wireline has given additional vital data, with optical and acoustic televiewer, density, magnetic properties, natural gamma radiation and resistivity all measured. Structures can be logged from the images (Figure 8). The physical properties of the different rock types, veining, and alteration can be characterised, and will provide critical information for future RC drilling. The wireline logging has shown a correlation between copper (sulphide) mineralisation and conductivity, and it is hoped that a 3D IP survey will image the veins, reducing the risk and expense of drilling. The 3D IP survey is being planned for January-February 2020, and following this, a large RC drill programme will be planned with the aim of delineating a resource.


Figure 8. Optical televiewer images with logged structures, compared to an image of the drill core

Land Use Classification Demonstration at the PLACE 2019 Maori Conference

Published on December 4, 2019, by Suzanne

I was invited to do a demonstration, using open-source software and free data at the PLACE 2019 conference. The conference was held from the 13th to the 15th of November in Rotorua, New Zealand and is held to improve the way GIS enables iwi to drive initiatives and to promote services, software and programmes to support iwi aspirations. This was my first time doing a live GIS demonstration, so I (the South African) was very relieved when the (All Black supporting) audience laughed at my two or three rugby world cup jokes.


 The conference was well attended by more than a hundred people with many Maori iwi representatives as well as professionals across the GIS industry. I had numerous discussions with various people at the conference and learnt a lot about the needs and issues that most iwi are facing. A lot of people expressed that their daily data administration can feel overwhelming and I explained that an efficient GIS system and well-structured database repositories will help improve their decision-making processes and optimise the way they work.


The aim of my talk was to demonstrate that land use classification doesn't need to be expensive and complicated: you can get a good high-level representation of current and potential land-use for a land block using freely available data and software.



I used QGIS (Professor Hulk of the geospatial industry) and freely available data to create a land cover classification from satellite images, slope analysis from the terrain model, and a land capability classification using LandCare Land Use Capability (LUC) database. The aim of the classification was to identify areas suitable for horticulture. A land block within New Zealand was chosen as a study area and three maps were made to identify areas best suited for horticulture:


  • Terrain: All the areas with a slope of less than 10 degrees were selected using a slope analysis from the terrain model (downloaded from the LINZ).
  • Current land cover: All the areas with grassland and crops were identified from current Sentinel 2 satellite imagery.
  • Land Use Capability (LUC): Selecting areas within the study area that fall within LUC classes 1 - 4 and are indicative of being versatile and arable.

I then combined the results from the three maps to find out which areas within the land block would be best suitable for horticulture. As a final step, I showed the audience how they can view their results in 3D, using the terrain model used to make the first map.

My demonstration was well received and encouraged conversations around free open source software and data. All the presentations at the conference were really interesting: several presenters announced exciting news about new features, software, and data soon to be released, and others showed how GIS helps them solve everyday problems and create new opportunities. Overall it was a fantastic experience where I met a lot of new people, shared some of my own knowledge and had the opportunity to learn from others.

My first experience at the FOSS4G Oceania conference.

Published on November 25, 2019, by Elisa

Last week I had the pleasure to attend the second edition of the FOSS4G SOTM Oceania conference, held here in Wellington. In case you're wondering, FOSS4G stays for free and open source software for geospatial...quite a mouthful! The conference was organised by OSGeo Oceania in order to gather all members and people interested in understanding more about free and open source software (FOSS) for the geospatial industry. All the events of the OS Geo community are run by volunteers and for this reason the main conference was strongly focussed on helping and growing the OS community, with a commitment to diversity, both of gender and ethnicity. Such a different and refreshing atmosphere compared to other more commercial or marketing focussed events!

The conference was a success, with participation and interest exceeding all the expectations. The event was sold out with more than the expected 200 attendees showing up during the four days, which included a day of workshops, two of conference and a very interesting last day entirely dedicated to community building. People from the Pacific, Americas and Europe travelled to Wellington to attend the conference.

I greatly enjoyed all the talks I saw at the conference, which were very interesting and well delivered (would you believe that nobody ran over time? That must be a record!). The workshops I attended have given me a good insight into simple web mapping tools with QGIS and how to create complex processes using the QGIS model builder and python scripting.

Above all, I loved being introduced to the community that is behind the conference and other FOSS events. I met many GIS professionals and developers who are truly passionate about growing and nurturing this community, often spending a huge amount of their spare time in order to make things happen, organise events and meetups, support the newcomers and, of course, develop new tools!


All the people I spoke with share my ideas on GIS, that GIS should be accessible to everyone and that more experienced people should help with training and support for newcomers where possible. For this reason, one of the most recurring discussions I had at the conference was about introducing the Indigenous Mapping Wananga (IMW) to the FOSS community, as I personally see the two as a match made in heaven. I hope to see more FOSS at the next IWM conference in 2020!

In order to promote diversity, OSGeo Oceania funded a Travelling Grant Program (TGP) to help people attend the conference by paying all or part of the conference and travelling costs. Because of my involvement with QGIS and the IMW (and well, also because I'm a woman in STEM, which unfortunately makes me a bit of a rare animal), I applied for the grant to cover only the conference costs and I was lucky to be selected as one of the winners of the TGP. That has proved to be critical for attending the conference, as I prioritised the event over the Maori GIS conference, Place19, which was held on the same days in Rotorua.


I'm sad I had to choose between two interesting events, but still very glad I could attend the FOSS4G conference. Participating, especially as a TGP winner, has been important for establishing new contacts with the OS community as well as learning more about the capabilities of QGIS and other OS software for GIS. Therefore, I'd like to finish my post by thanking with all my heart John Bryant, Daniel Silk and all the other organisers who have given me, along with another 12 travel grant recipients, the opportunity to attend the conference and discover more about the fascinating world of free and open source software for the geospatial industry. I really hope to see you all at the next event!

Kenex at the PACRIM 2019 conference

Published on April 10, 2019, by Arianne

Kenex attended the #PACRIM2019 conference in Auckland last week, with Senior Geologists Simon Nielsen (presenting on Lithium potential in the Taupo Volcanic Zone), and Genevieve Luketina (presenting on the porphyry mineral potential at the Bundarra Cu-Au project in NE Queensland) highlighting different spatial data modelling approaches Kenex uses for mineral exploration. Senior GIS Analyst Arianne Ford attended the conference for networking and to hear about new advances in the understanding of mineral systems and spatial data analysis. Copies of Simon and Gen’s talks can be downloaded from Slideshare here:

simon presenting his talk

Simon presenting his talk

Genevieve presenting her talk

John Greenfield from the Geological Survey of New South Wales presented a talk on the mineral potential mapping project for NSW Zone 54 that was undertaken in collaboration with Kenex in 2018, highlighting how the results can be used for both mineral exploration targeting as well as strategic land-use planning by the government. For those interested in the results of the project, the data package can be downloaded from here:


The buzzwords for the meeting were definitely "machine learning"! It was curious to note the occasional misuse of the term however, as advanced spatial data analysis using a computer does not necessarily mean that the approach involves machine learning. Semantics perhaps, but it is important to distinguish whether the data analyst retains full control over the algorithm or not.


Overall, the quality of talks at the conference was excellent, and there were some very interesting presentations on everything from mine-scale geology and geometallurgy, to regional-scale exploration, and even a forward-looking wrap-up talk on space mining!

My first attendance at the Pacific GIS and Remote Sensing Conference in Suva, Fiji

Published on December 7, 2018, by Elisa


 Last week I attended for the first time the Pacific GIS and Remote Sensing Conference (PGRSC), which was held at the University of South Pacific in Suva, Fiji from Monday the 25th to Friday the 30th of November. The conference includes four full days of talks and panels and a half day of workshops on remote sensing and open source software.


The PGRSC is the biggest conference for GIS and remote sensing in the Pacific region and represents a great occasion for GIS professionals that operate in this area to catch up and learn about the projects going on in the various countries. It focuses particularly on topics relevant to the Pacific, such as hazard modelling, disaster planning, response and management, climate change and eventual consequences for the various islands, and land use and optimisation.


The PGRSC this year had around 100 attendees, with representatives from almost all the Pacific regions, working for private companies, government and institutions, and academia. The workshops had an average of 5 to 10 attendees.


The official shirt of the conference, given to all the presenters


During the second day I presented two talks: on polymetallic nodule deposit modelling in the Cook Island EEZ that we completed for the Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority, the other on a land use optimisation project we have undertaken or a Maori iwi in New Zealand . The presentations were well received by those in the audience and had positive feedback after the talk. I had quite a few discussions with other attendees about seabed mineral exploration and what benefits it could bring to the Cook Islands, and about capability building for indigenous communities, especially in the geoscientific sector.

All the presentations have been recorded and are freely available on the PGRSC Facebook page.



Five different workshops were run on the last morning of the conference. The topics covered were remote sensing, cloud image processing, radar and UAV techniques and QGIS (basic and advanced). I attended the QGIS advanced workshop, led by Marco Bernasocchi, QGIS Co-Chair, and enjoyed it thoroughly….and got some good tips and tricks to enhance our use of QGIS at Kenex!


Another important – and really pleasant! – aspect of the conference was social networking: the conference encouraged it by organising multiple social events during the week and keeping a relaxed and informal environment. It is an effective way to get to speak with most of the attendees, especially the ones that have presented projects of interest. I met many interesting people and enjoyed listening to their projects and everyday challenges in working with GIS in the Pacific, which has such a vibrant and active geospatial scene right now.

The Kava Ceremony, one of the many social events organised for the attendees


Overall, I really enjoyed the conference and I think most of the talks were of high interest and quality. I loved the relaxed environment and I feel I have made new friends and long-lasting connections. And I’m also happy to announce that Kenex has become a founding member of the newly formed Pacific GIS and Remote Sensing Counsel!


See you next year at the PGRSC 2019!

Indigenous Mapping Waananga - Kirikiriroa 2018

Published on September 28, 2018, by Emory

I had the privilege of attending the IMW2018 in Hamilton, a four-day conference and workshop event aimed to promote the importance of GIS for iwi and indigenous communities to assist with identifying historic and cultural sites of significance, optimise and monitor their land, and more. The conference gave communities a rare opportunity to connect with experts and resources that they would not otherwise have access too.


The workshop involved four days of hands-on GIS training, delivered by world-leading technology companies and expert trainers/mapping experts from; Digital Navigators Ltd, the Firelight Group, Land Information New Zealand, Google Earth Outreach, Eagle Technology, Mapbox, Journey GIS Ltd, Stanford University, Inlailawatash Ltd and Kenex Ltd. Each day featured multiple keynote speakers who shared their work and experiences with indigenous communities across the globe.


Training involved lessons on; Tourbuilder, StreetView, Google Earth, ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS, MapBox, UAV drones and software, building capability, costing and project planning, and QGIS.


I was involved with the QGIS sessions as a trainer with Pano Skrivanos from Inlailawatash Ltd, teaching some of the useful applications of QGIS, including; navigating the interface, adding, manipulating and analysing data, and creating a map. The sessions were aimed at both beginner and intermediate GIS users, and we were able to adapt the sessions to meet each participants goals. The workshop went very well, and we received positive feedback from the participants.


This event is for a great cause and I am very fortunate to have been involved. Moka Apiti, Duane Wilkins, and the other organisers managed to make each day fun, extremely worthwhile, informative, and experience-fulled.

Hopefully all the knowledge shared from this global network of mapping experts was useful for introducing and developing the GIS capabilities of iwi and other indigenous organisations.


Kenex is pleased to be able to provide ongoing support and sponsorship for this worthwhile event. The participants, trainers and organisers all contributed to a friendly and non-threatening environment to learn in. I am truly lucky that I got to meet everyone that I did. I have taken a lot home from this conference including; the welcome, kindness, gratitude, willingness to learn and more expressed by everyone involved.

Land cover analysis with ArGIS Desktop

Published on April 24, 2018, by Emory


Image interpretation is the application of GIS that I find most interesting. It gives us a snapshot of the real world at the moment the picture was taken and allows us to build an accurate dataset of information about an area. Analyses of temporal imagery can show changes to land coverage over time and can highlight the relevant processes underlying these changes. Analyses of contemporary imagery can aid and/or optimise land management decisions, especially now that finer resolution and higher quality data is increasingly available. My studies at Victoria University of Wellington and recent work at Kenex Ltd provide good examples of the image analysis process, and the potential applications of image interpretation and classification.


My major assignment in my third year GIS course at Victoria University was to determine the surface area change over time for a number of glacial lakes in the South Island of New Zealand, undertaking GIS analysis of remotely sensed imagery. My group and I developed a method for processing Landsat imagery using ENVI image analysis software. A workflow was established to effectively classify the extent of glacial lakes and their related features. It was determined from this project that all glacial lakes studied had decreased in surface area over a fifteen year period.


When I started working at Kenex, I was eager to apply the theoretical and practical knowledge gained from my University studies. With my existing knowledge and with further research, I developed a multi-step work flow for classifying images in Arcmap which Kenex has used to effectively interpret land coverage for multiple projects. This process involves cleaning the image, applying a classification scheme and then cleaning/generalising classifications, all using the Image Classification toolbar and Spatial Analyst tools in ESRI's Arcmap.


Each project involves a different approach to analysis, and each output was adjusted to meet the needs of each project. As part of a land optimisation project, we classed an image into areas of forest and non-forest land cover. Kenex analysed specific land blocks in areas of non-forested land to determine its capability, production potential, economic potential, and various other parameters that were the focus of the project. Kenex was then able to advise the client of the most beneficial use for their land.


Other land capability projects needed more detailed information about the land cover, so I had to classify the images into more specific classes. These classes include dry grassland, wet grassland, healthy vegetation, unhealthy vegetation, mixed forest, native forest, exotic forest, rivers, infrastructure, and in one particular case, the identification of specific tree species. Specific areas were analysed further, and feedback was given to the client that allowed them to make effective land management decisions.


As discussed above, Kenex has, and is continuing to use image classification techniques in projects involving land use capability and optimisation. We are also looking to apply the techniques in the renewable resources and mineral sectors. I am pleased that I have been given the opportunity to develop my knowledge of these techniques further and to apply them to projects that give people a better understanding of their land.

Attending and Presenting at the EUGNZ Regional conference in Wellington

Published on April 3, 2018, by Elisa


Suzanne, Emory and I attended the NZ ESRI User Group regional conference in Wellington last week. The conference is a 1-day free event organised by the User group and is a good forum for receiving updates on the latest news from ESRI, listening to GIS case studies from government agencies and private companies and networking with other GIS users in Wellington.


All the presentations were really interesting: several presenters announced exciting news about new features, software, and data soon to be released, and others showed clever and stimulating ways to apply GIS to everyday problems, from transport accidents to conservation issues and QA/QC of data.



I was invited to present our pilot study about using GIS to help Iwi groups enhance their knowledge of their land, especially in term of land use, potential and eventual profit. This pilot study is one of a series of similar GIS studies that we're developing with a couple of local Iwi groups. The final scope of this work is to help Iwi to create their own GIS platform, build up GIS capability and at the end be able to run, manage and create similar GIS projects in house. The project has been going for several months now and we are very satisfied of the outcomes and feedback so far.



The pilot study we presented aims to create a simple but consistent modelling workflow to help groups or individuals identify the most profitable land use for a particular block of land. We created a spatial model for each of these four broad landuse categories: Forestry, Agriculture, Pasture and Honey production. Each model identifies all the areas suitable for the landuse analysed. In order to compare the results of each model in an economic analysis, every land use was assigned a profit/ha value (except for honey production, where we used industry average production and sale values). The areas were then overlaid to create a final Land Capability Map where each polygon represents an unique combination of possible landuses with their respective profit/ha values.


We also learned about two interesting GIS volunteering programs that we are considering participating in, Geomentors and GIS in Conservation. Geomentors aims to help primary and secondary schools with GIS capabilities with upskilling of their students by having GIS professionals to help the teachers using the software, preparing lessons, and directly speak or train the students. GIS in Conservation is a registered not-for-profit charitable organisation set up in 2012 to foster and support the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by volunteer conservation groups and iwi working in conservation throughout New Zealand.


Of course at the end of the day we did enjoy mingling with the other GIS professionals and sharing a few funny anecdotes from our work and experience with a well-earned free drink in hand! And guess what? The question we all still fear the most is still "What do you do?"



Our First Overseas Training Experience for Kenex - Geology of Gold Course at Melbourne University 2018

Published on March 28, 2018, by Emory and Suzanne


The course placed most emphasis on greenstone-hosted and sediment-hosted orogenic gold mineral systems and also covered IOCG, Epithermal, VMS, porphyry, Carlin, hydrothermal and placer gold systems. All lectures covered aspects of geochemistry, structural geology, metamorphic geology and processes behind the formation of gold in each setting. We touched on many different examples from across Australia, China and the US, with a look into the world’s largest deposit, Witwatersrand goldfields in South Africa.


Mid-week we ventured to Fosterville, one of Australia’s largest producing gold mines where company geologists provided an overview of the mine’s current and historical operations, the context in which gold is found at the site and the methods of gold extraction. This was a highly informative day and provided great insight into the extent of gold mining and how it relates to other gold deposits worldwide.

The knowledge gained about the different mineral systems and the geochemical processes that form deposits within them is relevant to the mineral potential mapping and targeting work undertaken by Kenex. An expanded knowledge on the controls on generation, the preservation of ore and the processes that cause metals to be mobilised from source to trap has left us eager to apply the theoretical knowledge gained during the course to add value to current and future projects that Kenex is involved in.


My first experience as QGIS trainer at the Indigenous Mapping Wananaga 2017

Published on June 20, 2017, by Elisa



A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in the Indigenous Mapping Wananga 2017, a three-day conference and workshop event in Hamilton aimed to showcase the importance of GIS for indigenous organizations.

Many Maori Iwi were represented at the conference and workshops including more than a hundred people of all ages and skill levels who showed an enthusiasm for learning GIS that was almost overwhelming.


imw2017 attendants


The workshop part of the event was subdivided into three concurrent streams based on the three main software we wanted to showcase: Google, ESRI, and QGIS. My role was to run the 8 hours’ workshop about QGIS, a powerful, free and open source GIS software that probably many of you already know of. I’ve been using QGIS in my day to day GIS tasks at Kenex, along with ArcMap and MapInfo, and I was glad to have the opportunity of teaching the basics of this software to the people who attended my sessions of the workshop.

The sessions were aimed both at beginner and intermediate GIS users and covered the basics of a GIS project developed in QGIS: opening and visualising data, capturing and editing data and attributes, working with raster data, creating data depositories and working with open source databases like SpatiaLite, accessing, organizing and managing GIS data, and finally creating and sharing maps.


I ran the sessions with the invaluable help of Pano Skrivanos, who came to New Zealand from Canada especially to be part of the event and to share his knowledge and experience.

Many of the other trainers came from overseas to participate, present and teach at the conference and most of us volunteered our time to help run the workshops. This created a unique atmosphere and I’m glad to have been part of such a great group of people, who have the same passion for GIS. There was a common belief in the importance of using spatial data and GIS models as a necessary tool for a wide range of organizations and companies.


We received numerous and very positive feedback from the attendees, who truly were the soul of the event. As already mentioned before, they showed an absolute interest in GIS and a great enthusiasm for learning new tools and techniques, asking questions and participating actively in the workshop sessions. More than once we carried over into the breaks, with the attendees happy to skip lunch or refreshments to finish up their exercises!


Having learned more about the needs and issues that most Iwi are facing in their daily data administration, I’m convinced that an efficient GIS system would greatly improve their decision-making process, especially around land management, historic sites preservation, infrastructure implementation, health-care planning and business development.


Furthermore, a complete GIS database would be the best solution for storing and managing the confidential spatial data that make such an important asset for many Iwi. For this reason, I was so glad that Moka Apiti, Duane Wilkins, and the other organizers managed to create such an intense GIS packed event, allowing the participants to learn and play with the most advanced GIS software and tools. Hopefully, all the knowledge we have shared will be useful for introducing or improving the GIS skills of Iwi and other indigenous organizations.


 Overall it was a great experience, I came back to the office with a renewed passion for my work in the spatial world and I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to meet so many interesting, prepared and passionate people. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference!


 imw2017 trainers

Inspiring the Next Generation of Geologists

Published on October 18, 2016, by Katie

I attended the Women in Mining Lunch at the recent AusIMM New Zealand Branch Annual Conference in Wellington. I was particularly inspired by Hon Louise Upston, the Minister for Women, who commented in her talk about how important it is to spark children’s interests in a variety of fields and at an early age. One of her suggestions was to get more industry professionals sharing their knowledge and passion for what they do with children.


In August I got the opportunity to contribute to a ‘Passion Ignition Workshop’ for senior children at Konini Primary School in Wainuiomata. The aim of the workshop was to bring in professionals or hobbyists from many fields exposing the children to a wide range topics prior to deciding on a topic for their passion project. For this workshop the topics included hat making, coding, bee keeping, Japanese calligraphy and a Te Papa scientist even came in with his collection of giant crabs. The workshop ran as three half hour back to back sessions.


I took in a selection of rocks from my collection at home and the Kenex office collection to talk with the children about the three main rock types. I introduced the topic of geology and described the characteristics of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. I then set them the task of dividing a selection of rocks from my collection into these three groups. This gave them the chance to analyse and categorise the rocks providing a very hands on experience. They then got to look at some of the other rocks I’d brought along. They were particularly fascinated by clusters of quartz crystals I’d collected from the Southern Alps, obsidian from the Taupo Volcanic Zone and fossilised kauri gum. It was great see the children’s enthusiasm and desire to learn and hopefully to have inspired some future geologists.


I see this experience as a very valuable use of my time as an industry professional passing on my knowledge and passion about geology and if given the chance I will definitely do it again.


Kenex at the AusIMM Conference 2016

Published on August 24, 2016, by Nat


This year the Kenex team will not be travelling far to attend the AusIMM New Zealand minerals conference, which will be held at The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa, in Wellington from 3rd - 6th September. Our team will forgo our beach-side Eastbourne office, for a booth at the conference, providing a space to connect with new faces, old friends and everyone in-between. The conference organising committee has developed an excellent looking technical and social programme again this year. In the lead up to the conference here are five topics we as a team are looking forward to:


1. Seabed mining and exploration

Despite the challenges potential seabed miners Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) and Chatham Rock Phosphate (CRP) have had in recent years we look forward to hearing their talks and the views of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). TTR have recently submitted their application for marine consent in relation to their Taranaki Project, and Shawn Thompson (Project Director for TTR) will be discussing the methodology employed regarding their proposed mining operation. CRP director and Chief Science Advisor Robin Falconer will be covering the history of the Chatham Rise project in the aptly entitled talk ‘Chatham Rise Phosphate: Will 50 years of effort succeed?’. The views of Richard Johnson from the EPA on the subject of seabed mining are also eagerly awaited, given the EPA’s significant role in enabling, or otherwise, the emerging seabed mining and exploration sectors ability to grow and contribute to the New Zealand economy. Another key development which may be addressed is that TTR have recently been awarded a seabed prospecting permit off the West Coast of the South Island. This permit, however, sits within the 12 nautical mile limit which means the EPA has no jurisdiction and it is up to local councils to decide the environmental consenting conditions. It will be interesting to see what develops in this space, and whether further opportunities will arise from the ongoing work of these companies.


2. How the Minister of Energy and Resources is treated

Hon Simon Bridges MP will be addressing the conference in a key session on Monday morning, and will likely focus on initiatives the government is working on while acknowledging the tough economic climate the industry is facing. The Q & A session after this annual speech is often colourful, and worth watching out for.


3. Presentations from the West Australian Contingent

We are looking forward to the presentations from the scattering of delegates from Western Australia and the perspectives that they will bring to the conference. The collation and use of legacy (historic) data is a key competency of Kenex so we look forward to hearing from Julian Vearncombe (SJS Resource Management) on ‘Value from legacy data’. We are equally looking forward to hearing from John Sykes and Allan Trench from the University of Western Australia – an institution that Kenex has a long association with, and finally from Karl Simich from Sandfire Resources. Kenex has close ties to the West Australian scene due to the location of our Australian office (the base for our directors Dr Greg Partington and Michelle Stokes) and several recent and current clients working in WA. The health of the WA minerals scene is a good gauge on what is happening globally from both an exploration and mining technology and project financing perspective.


4. Looking back at Fifteen years of Prospectivity Modelling in NZ

This year our very own Katie Peters (Senior Geologist) will be presenting a talk reviewing the past and future use of mineral prospectivity modelling in the exploration industry in New Zealand. She has also written a paper on this theme which will be included in the new AusIMM Monograph volume to be released at the conference. Obviously a passion, key service and business development tool of ours at Kenex, we always look with interest to any papers or presentations that follow the theme of data driven exploration and the use of predictive modelling to define exploration targets. We firmly believe that the use of this type of approach can add value to exploration projects, whether at the regional scale or for planning a drilling programme, by cutting costs and increasing the chances of discovery by focusing on the areas of greatest geological potential. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our approach with conference delegates at our booth.


Senior Geologist Katie Peters presenting at FUTORES conference in Townsville in 2013


5. Delegates spinning yarns

And finally, what would the AusIMM be without the many, many conversations between like-minded people, some of whom have known each other for years. Look out especially for the delegates who have been around the block a few more times than the rest, discussing old and new discoveries and techniques as well as long-forgotten pieces of exploration and mining history. It is always worth while keeping your ears open and joining in the conversation, to find out snippets of the past you didn’t know existed, and that may be the key to your next discovery or breakthrough.


So we hope you enjoy this year’s conference in the coolest little capital in the world. Please stop by at the Kenex booth and introduce yourself to one of the team, we look forward to seeing you there.

Nat Carey Geologist & Permit Manager



New Zealand Mineral Explorers - Three Tips on working well with the Government

Published on August 3, 2016, by Nat

It’s common knowledge that many minerals explorers and miners want to get their boots on the ground, their rock hammer out or plant operating rather than wading through paperwork and policy. In New Zealand, as with most jurisdictions, the two go hand-in-hand; navigating government regulation is as important as driving the digger and feeding the plant. This is not always well understood and every year miners, explorers and quarry workers fall foul of some piece of the permitting puzzle, sometimes to the detriment of their projects.

In recent years, New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (NZP&M) have endeavoured to streamline their system, rolling out a new online system called RAPID, as well as new guidelines. The ministry has also called for higher quality applications, with a tougher stance on incomplete information and a higher likelihood of outright rejection. So in theory things should be getting easier, but at the same time more is expected from applicants to get it right first time.

So how does an explorer or miner navigate these sometimes confusing waters, keeping administration and aggravation to a minimum while staying on the government’s good side? Based on our experience working for clients of all sizes over the last 13 years here are three tips to streamline your dealings with NZP&M:

Number One – Know what information is required for a new permit.

One of the key problems with new applications is incomplete or missing information. Some of the key questions to ask yourself:

  • Does the financial capability I’ve supplied actually show that I can fund the work programme?
  • Have I shown evidence of this (bank statements, financial reports etc.)? This is one of the major issues junior explorers face in applying for new permits, proving financial backing in an industry climate where capital raising often occurs after permits are secured.
  • Does the written technical expertise I’ve provided actually show relevant skills? Your operations manager may have experience on large projects in other industries, but can you show that anyone in your company has experience in gold extraction?
  • Have I demonstrated an understanding of the geology of the area, and can I match this with exploration/extraction techniques that will likely work in the environment? This is a crucial step that needs to be explained in a proposed work programme.

At Kenex we regularly work with small and large explorers and miners to tailor applications to encompass all the aspects we know NZP&M are looking for, and the regulation requires. It’s something we’ve learnt through years of dealing with the government and participating on industry panels.

Number Two - Keep track of the important dates.

Knowing when annual fees, annual reports, and change applications are due is crucial to displaying to the Government that you are a competent operator. The complex thing here is that different types of deadlines are not always the same, with some falling either side of the permit anniversary, and others at set times of the year. Keeping an updated calendar with reminders of these is important.

Kenex keeps working calendars for a number of clients, advising them well in advance of important dates and helping them to complete work within the required timeframe

Number Three - Know your Work Programme requirements, and how to change them.

New Zealand has a permit allocation system which is different to many other jurisdictions when it comes to minimum work programmes. In New Zealand, the permit holder is bound to specific obligations that are set in the permit conditions, rather than spending a specified amount of money (i.e. expenditure based). This also means you cannot necessarily change your obligations last minute; there is a process to go through.

For a variety of reasons, we have seen clients both domestic and from overseas not follow their work programmes as closely as the government would anticipate, and get into hot water when anniversary dates loom.

Hitting drilling metre targets and completing certain types of sample programmes are important to NZP&M, as a key tenet of their allocation process is ensuring that further knowledge of the mineral estate is generated. A change of conditions application must be made to amend these if, for whatever reason, they are unable to be met. Changes to exploration programmes, for example, must be submitted at least 90 days before their due date.

Keeping track of client’s exploration programmes, minimum targets, and due dates is something which Kenex monitors throughout New Zealand. It is part of the permit management package we offer to clients to make sure they are free to focus on what they do best, get their boots on the ground and explore for minerals.

For more detail on the application for, and management of, minerals permits in New Zealand contact Nat here. We will also be attending the AusIMM New Zealand Branch conference in Wellington from 3-6 September. Please come and see us at the Kenex booth.

Where do all the Pokemon GO?

Published on July 12, 2016, by Nat and Connie

You’ve probably heard of the latest craze to reach our phones, Pokemon GO. It’s an augmented reality game that takes you on a real-world adventure encouraging users to search and discover Pokémon in… The real world! That’s right, a game that encourages you to actually use your feet and leave the house. The game does this by seamlessly combining your phone’s camera, GPS and mapping systems. What you may not realise is that the backbone behind this great game is GIS (that’s right, it’s everywhere). Without a GIS that includes the terrain, location of important landmarks and road maps, as well as GPS localisation, this game could not exist. How can we use GIS to help catch specific Pokemon? With the right information we can use GIS spatial modelling to create a target map highlighting the best conditions (e.g. time, weather, terrain relationships) for every kind of Pokémon. We all know that there is more likelihood of catching a Water-type Pokemon near the water, but how big does the water body need to be to catch a rare one, like a Gyarados? Are you more likely to catch one at the duck pond, or the lake? Perhaps there are additional requirements that need to be fulfilled (e.g. they may prefer to hang out where the population is less dense or perhaps they prefer man-made lagoons over natural swamplands). If we are able to collect information on the Pokemon that are caught, and details about how and where, then we could work out which Pokemon are the rarest, and where the best places to catch the different types of Pokémon are using GIS analysis and spatial modelling techniques!


What else is GIS analysis useful for? If we replace Pokemon with any spatial target, say a mineral deposit or windfarm, we can apply the same modelling techniques to pin point the best locations to find or set up your target; information that can prove invaluable for the advancement of your project. At Kenex, this is what we specialise in, modelling and targeting for mineral deposits, environmental projects, energy sources and water resources. With any sector (including augmented reality games like Pokemon GO!) using spatial data to inform your decision making significantly increases your chances of success, and is much more cost and time efficient than wandering blindly and hoping to stumble across a ‘rare’ find.


Our past successes in spatial modelling include defining drill targets to find gold mineralisation in Oman and Australia for example, modelling the best locations for wind turbines in New Zealand and Argentina, and targeting where best to develop new infrastructure in Canada to enhance regional economic development. With all these things, and countless other applications, it’s about using GIS data and spatial analysis to help you find the best probable outcome more efficiently.

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