One small click by You, one huge leap for geological understanding

Jun Cowan
Oct 19, 2012

FREE Leapfrog Mining Tutorial Videos!

Since 2001 I have taught countless geologists how to use Leapfrog software effectively.

This video is a 5min demonstration of what I teach in a series of 6 high-resolution desktop capture videos.  The models are built from Leapfrog's Marvin tutorial data which comes with the sofware, and I cover basic grade and lithological modelling which can normally be completed in about 30 mins.

The instructions contained in these videos are essential knowledge and you really need to know them very well before you can analyse real deposits efficiently.  The Marvin dataset is great for learning because this dataset is manufactured* and it behaves perfectly, unlike real deposits!  There are more complexities in real datasets, and the approach to modelling every deposit is different from each other.

Real data also reveals structural characteristics that are simply not present in manufactured datasets. In order to analyse deposits not just efficiently, but also effectively, you need to know much more than how to press the right buttons in Leapfrog Mining.

Two essential skills

Really effective geological modelling requires two essential skills:

  1. The ability to use the software efficiently.  That is, be familiar with what the tools within Leapfrog can actually do, and to be able to apply them to various deposit types and data conditions..
  2. Be able to assess the structural geometrical characteristics of deposits, before they are modelled. This process is essential in forming a strategy for geological modelling.
Anyone can learn Skill 1 from using Leapfrog repeatedly on many deposits, and these tutorials will help you achieve to take the first steps in the right direction.  You effectively do not even have to be a geologist to be able to do this.

Skill 2, however, can only be achieved from application of well established structural geological theories to the interpretation of deposits, and this can only be achieved by an experienced geologist with the right skills and background. Such a geologist must have a strong background in structural geology and mapping experience.  The importance of this particular point is not published in the literature, and it is counter intuitive to most geologists, so I will be discussing in blog posts in the future about the application of structural principles to 3D modelling of mineral deposits.

Ironically, resource geologists who are tasked with modelling deposits for resource estimation, are not usually skilled in structural geology

When only Skill 1 is only present, then models which are produced can be wrong.  Yes, this is not just a matter of opinion of interpretation, but just plain incorrect.  These examples of Leapfrog geological models are springing up in the industry simply because the people who are tasked to build these are not familiar with structural geological principles, and they can end up breaking very simple rules.  I will be discussing these issues in future posts.

I do not run stand-alone introductory Leapfrog courses anymore, unless it is part of a consulting project where training is part of the scope of works, so I am giving away these videos.  I will update them, as required, in the future.

Your next step?

All you need to do is to become a registered member of, and then you can download the videos from here.

Happy modelling!

*Thanks goes to Norm Hanson (Visionary Earth Science P/L) who kindly provided me with his Marvin data which Norm created for his Whittle software training course.  A lot of people have practiced Leapfrog over the last decade using your data, so thanks Norm!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in the Orefind blog posts do not represent the views of any hardware or software manufacturers, or their staff.   The opinions and recommendations expressed are completely independent, and are based on the practical experience of Orefind staff. Orefind does not have any referral or financial arrangements with companies that are mentioned in our blog posts.

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