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VIC tech night: Loop – an interoperable, integrative, probabilistic 3D geological modelling platform.

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Event Date

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Event Location

Event Address

The Kelvin Club, 14-30 Melbourne Place, Melbourne, VIC 3000

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Event Details

ASEG Victoria 2022 Technical Meeting Series


Title: Loop – an interoperable, integrative, probabilistic 3D geological modelling platform.

Presenter:  Dr. Laurent Ailleres

Date: Tuesday 15th March from 6pm

Location: The Kelvin Club, 14-30 Melbourne Place, Melbourne, VIC 3000


With the current need for critical metals (including Cu), the ability to be predictive undercover and to improve mining of known resources, requires the ability to better predict sub-surface geology at multiple scales. Geologically consistent mine models should equate to better resource models and consequently a more economical way of producing the required resources for a greener future with increased recovery rates and reduced number of resources required and waste produced.

We present the current state of the Loop project, an open-source interoperable, integrative, probabilistic 3D geological modelling platform. We have implemented the use of all structural geological data (e.g., fault kinematics, fold axial surfaces, fold axes, deformational overprinting relationship) in the modelling process. We have automated the building of 3D geological models from geological survey served geological data including automatic geological map topological analysis and geological history building. As a proof of concept, users can now draw a polygon on a map and generate 3D models in just a few minutes using the map2loop and LoopStructural libraries ( We are integrating geophysical constraints and modelling as early as possible in the modelling workflow. Model uncertainty is characterised and an integral part of the modelling process.

The main outcome of the development of the structural modelling method (LoopStructural) is the definition of structural frames which allow the definition of a curvilinear and conformable to layering, rectangular coordinate system throughout the models. We present the concept for LoopResources, the property modelling library for the Loop platform. Using this deformed cartesian coordinate system, we propose to adapt geostatistical and interpolation methods to curvilinear coordinate systems using classical approaches of UVW transformations. This will ensure that lithological anisotropies are enforced during resource estimation and property modelling.

Loop is a OneGeology initiative, initiated by Geoscience Australia and funded by Australian Territory, State and Federal Geological Surveys, the ARC and the MinEx CRC with the participation of BHP, Anglo American and GSWA. The project is led by Monash University and involves research groups from the University of Western Australia, the RING consortium at the Universite de Lorraine, Nancy, France and RWTH Aachen in Germany. In-kind research is also provided by Natural Resources Canada (Geological Survey of Canada), Geoscience Australia and the British Geological Survey. Other partners include AuScope and the USGS


Initially trained as a structural geologist, Laurent was awarded his PhD in 1996, in structural geology, having worked in the French Alps and from an office only meters away from the development of the Gocad 3D modelling package. Since 1996, he has been a research fellow at Monash University. He introduced Gocad to the Australian mining industry, academia and many governmental organisations. Laurent is interested in the evolution of tectonic processes through time and their effect on multi-scale mineralisation processes. He specialises in structural geology and geophysics as well as multi-scale 3D geological modelling applied to tectonics and minerals exploration. He teaches field mapping at undergraduate level in poly-deformed metamorphic terranes and advanced structural mapping and structural geophysics at postgraduate level. His geological experience spans multiple scales across Africa, Europe, Australia and the Americas. He leads the Loop initiative to develop the next generation of 3D geological and geophysical modelling tools and champions structurally-ruled probabilistic geological modelling. Laurent is also managing director of PGN Geoscience Pty Ltd, a small consulting company providing services to the minerals exploration and mining industries, from global scale project generation, to litho-structural interpretations of geophysical data, to smaller-scale structural analysis of mineralisation controls at the deposit scale.

Note: Light refreshments will be served during the evening.