Bara Consulting was recently contracted by Ferrexpo, a major LSE listed mining company with producing iron ore mines in Ukraine, to produce a Competent Persons Report. The report was due for completion in March. As you may know, according to the JORC Code a site visit should be conducted or a reason given why not. The CP’s covering the Reserves had been to site many times, but the CP covering the resources, Matt Mullins, had not. Suffice to say a physical site visit was not possible at the time due to the COVID-19 virus, and some delay occurred while we deliberated with the client what to do. Ultimately we came upon the concept of a virtual site visit as Matt was insistent he needed to witness several key items at the operation. A visit was duly planned, and executed in August, incorporating live drone footage, pit edge cameras, and video interviews with senior management. It proved extremely successful. The feature video here shows the GPL pit from a drone, whose overflight could be controlled by Matt from his London office.
Drone footage was supplemented by a camera at the pit edge. By this means a significant amount of detail was viewed and interactively interrogated during the virtual site visit. Details of stratigraphy, structures and the mining configuration were readily apparent, and although detailed close-up investigation was not possible, this was more than compensated by the excellent bird’s-eye view and flexibility that was afforded by the drone. On reflection, we consider the outcome so successful that consideration should be given to holding more site visits in this way, even when the pandemic is over.