Geodata project update

BGS International has recently recruited Alex Fuentes to work with us in developing a geodata information management system. Alex graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Geology from the University of Leicester in 2013 and started with BGSI in May 2014. Alex has been using a variety of software packages to help manipulate and manage different datasets and has been an important part of the team in helping collate geodata and understand its limitations.

Alex said “Working with a company like BGSI is a great experience for me, allowing me to strengthen old skills and develop new ones. The challenge of being part of pioneering new projects is both rewarding and exciting.”

KTP Associate starts

BGS International is delighted to welcome our KTP Associate, Sławomir (Sławek) Wójcik. Sławek joined BGS International as part of a knowledge transfer partnership agreement of the The Technology Strategy Board with the Department of Computing and Technology, Nottingham Trent University.

He will be responsible for developing a series of innovative geodata solutions for BGSi.

Having experience in academic projects at Warsaw University of Technology as well as commercial background in Samsung Research & Development, Sławek is an engineer of very diverse background, whose interests range from photonics and metrology to desktop and mobile software development. As a KTP Associate, Sławek joins BGSI team aiming to promote innovation with a joint project between BGSI and Nottingham Trent University.

Sławek said: “Joining such an experienced team and going into the world of geology is really exciting, and I am really looking forward to see us make a difference by providing innovation to the world.”

Malawi Project Begins

BGS International (BGSi) has been contracted by the Ministry of Mining of Malawi to provide technical supervision and quality control of a high-resolution nation-wide airborne geophysical survey of Malawi.

The survey will involve joint magnetic and gamma-ray spectrometer data acquisition over the entire country, in excess of 477,000 line-kms at 250m line-spacing, and localised gravity surveys over pre-determined blocks in the north and south of the country at 500m line separations.

The airborne survey is an integral part of the Mining Governance and Growth Support programme (MGGSP) being implemented by the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Mining with support from the World Bank and European Union, with the aim of supporting the development of the mineral and mining sector in Malawi through the acquisition and dissemination of modern digital geodata. The primary objective of the BGSi assignment is to ensure that the airborne geophysical survey is undertaken according to strict specifications and the satisfaction of the Geological Survey Department in representation of the Ministry of Mining.

Additionally a cadre of young geoscientists from the GSD will be trained in the fundamental techniques of airborne geophysical surveys and data interpretation, hence enhancing the technical capacity of the organisation to the benefit of Malawi.

Tanzania Mapping Project

BGS International is contracted to support the Geological Survey of Tanzania in carrying out various components of the US$55M Sustainable Management of Minerals Resources Project, funded in part through a loan from the World Bank.

BGSi is responsible for the technical supervision and quality control of a major, high-resolution, airborne geophysical survey totalling some 612,000 line-km over a large portion of northern Tanzania incorporating MAG-SPEC, EM and GRAV surveys. In addition a BGSi-led international consortium is responsible for the supervision and training of geoscientists from the Geological Survey of Tanzania (GST) as part of a multi-disciplinary geothematic mapping programme being carried out by GST involving geological mapping, geochemical surveys, interpretation of airborne data and laboratory upgrade.

The geothematic mapping project was initiated in April 2013 and is managed by Dr Bob Thomas and is designed to run for two years. The BGSi-led consortium involves staff from the Council for Geoscience (RSA), University of Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), the University of Bergen (Norway) and MINTEK SA (RSA) as well as staff from GST and students from the universities of Dar Es Salaam and Dodoma. Overall responsibility and coordination of the SMMRP-GST programme lies with the CEO GST Prof. Abdul H. Mruma.

Sudan Project Progresses

BGSi’s ongoing project working with the Ministry of Minerals and the Geological Research Authority of the Sudan (GRAS) continues to progress following another recent visit to Khartoum. BGSi have begun to assess the IT and geodata facilities at GRAS and will make recommendations based on these observations as part of their work. Future visits will be regularly taken by BGSi to continue to work with GRAS personnel and ensure effective communication of recommendations.

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Afghanistan Project News

Afghanistan-newsThe Afghan Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Mohammed Barekzai, and the Director General of the Petroleum Department, Jalil Jumriany, discussed a forthcoming project in Afghanistan during their visit to BGSi’s offices recently. This three year project, to be funded by DfID, will provide training and equipment for the Afghan Geological Survey and will help promote the mineral resources of Afghanistan to exploration companies.

BGSi commences major project in Sudan

news-major-sudanBGSi recently visited the Ministry of Minerals in Khartoum to commence a major project designed to develop and diversify Sudan’s mineral sector. The 3 year project will undertake restructuring and institutional reform of the geological survey, develop a metadatabase for the Ministry’s geodata holdings, and upgrade IT hardware and software, including development of a geodata information management system.

Project News

Burkina Faso

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BGS International has signed a contract with a World Bank Funded Programme to provide technical assistance to the Office of Mines and Geology (BUMIGEB) to set up a series of terms of references for geological mapping, high-resolution airborne geophysical survey, geochemical sampling programme and the development of geochemical laboratory facilities and a geodata information management system. This will be followed by a supervisory phase once the contractors have been appointed. BGS International has assembled a team of experts for the project and has made excellent progress.

Republic of the Sudan

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BGS International is pleased to announce its support and assistance to the Ministry of Minerals, Khartoum as part of its drive to reform its mineral sector. This includes a reform of GRAS (Geological Research Authority of the Republic of Sudan) together with the development and implementation of its geodata management systems. BGSi is privileged to assist the Ministry in its ambitious plans to attract exploration investment into the country.

David Ovadia retires but remains the non-executive Chairperson of BGSi

news-davidDavid Ovadia retired from his role as Managing Director of BGSi at the end of August but continues to provide his expertise and knowledge as a non-executive Director on the Company’s Board.

David’s role was pivotal in setting up BGSi as a commercial ‘spin out’ of the British Geological Survey and the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC). His involvement included the drafting of the business case to form BGSi as an independent ‘spin out’ of the BGS along with the all-important phase of attracting start-up investment for the Company. The Company was registered in December 2010 and effectively started trading in June 2011.

David’s extensive network of contacts around the world was and continues to be an important asset for the company. On behalf of BGSi we would like to wish David a pleasant retirement and we look forward to your continued interest and input in the growth and development of the company.

Peter Zawada steps up as new MD

Dr Peter Zawada has taken on the role of managing director of BGS International following on from the retirement of David Ovadia.

A geologist with 27 years of experience, Peter brings with him a wealth of expertise in South Africa, where he was responsible for multi-million dollar programmes and capacity-building initiatives in Africa. He was the Executive manager of regional geoscience and mapping at the Council for Geoscience, South Africa until leaving in September to take up the position as Director in October 2011. His experience in South Africa and across the continent demonstrated the vital link between the development of mineral resources and their positive impact on the continent seeing also, many examples of how mineral development has been a ‘game changer’ for many African economies. Although a ‘Brit’ by birth, Peter seems himself as very much of Africa and is passionate about the growth and development of a continent that will ‘continue to surprise in terms of its people, resources and ingenuity’.

In summing up Peter said that ‘It is a great privilege to have joined BGSi. As managing director I want to lead the company into a dynamic period of growth and development that will make a real and positive impact on Africa, its people and globally in the mineral resource sector’.