The late Dr Harry Parker (1946-2019) contributed a considerable amount to standardising reconciliation nomenclature, as well as working on the CRIRSCO reporting code. The Parker Challenge culminates the work Dr Harry Parker achieved in his life to create something that he would have been equally fascinated and perturbed by.
Presented by Scott Dunham, The Parker Challenge set to find out if:
Given the same dataset, will geo-statisticians, geoscientists and geologists achieve the same estimation? What is the variability?
4 issues with The Parker Challenge
Even though there were some great takeaways from The Parker Challenge, and the challenge was a success, that doesn’t mean there weren’t problems that can be fixed for next time. Some of these problems include:
Significant dropout rate
The first problem that occurred was that there was a significant dropout rate. From the 306 downloads, only 29 submitted entries – that’s hardly 10%. Some of the reasons for this might include:
- It was the first time running the challenge.
- It was running over Christmas and New Year’s so the timing was poor.
- It wasn’t exactly what people expected.
- It probably asked too much from participants (multi-element, multi-domains, reports etc).
The challenge was subject to too much variability
If the challenge was to be run again, it could include isolating some of the key steps to better understand how much variability comes from each step. For example, if everyone started with the same geological ‘skeleton’, there would be more clarity about the impact of downstream processes on the variability between estimates. Another alternative would be for participants to be instructed to use the same estimation method.
Classification process itself
The classification process itself is a key step with significant room for the practitioner to exercise personal judgement. It would be interesting for the next challenge to isolate the classification process by providing participants with the same estimated model to classify. This approach would enable transparency of the variability associated with classification alone.
Not enough industry experts were involved
Lastly, there were many academics in the challenge, which is good, but it would be even more useful if more highly experienced industry experts were involved. Industry experts would not have found the $55k prize money worth a serious attempt and so many probably had better things to do with their time. Arguably, if the prize pool was increased, highly experienced industry experts would find the challenge more worthy of their time and would be more likely to participate – which means there would be more experienced judgement involved, better reflecting the true state of competence in the industry.
Ways to limit these issues for The Parker Challenge 2024
Of course, as with most things, there will always be some issues with The Parker Challenge – it is simply the nature of statistics and surveying. However, that being said, it doesn’t mean that The Parker Challenge can’t be improved. Here is how we think the issues with The Parker Challenge can be addressed in 2024:
Addressing the dropout rate:
- Choose non-holiday periods for the challenge to prevent distractions.
- Refine challenge description to align expectations and expertise.
- Clearly outline requirements and set achievable goals.
- Provide a standardised geological framework for all participants.
- Direct entrants to use a specific estimation method.
- Enhance comparability by controlling initial elements.
Enhancing classification transparency:
- Supply pre-estimated model for classification, isolating this process.
- Highlight classification impact, independent of individual judgment.
Incorporating industry expertise:
- Increase prize pool to attract experienced industry professionals.
- Foster partnerships to engage diverse industry experts.
- Align rewards with expertise level to encourage participation.
Summary of results from The Parker Challenge
If you want the full breakdown of the results of The Parker Challenge and our findings, read our blog on the matter. To give you a brief overview, The Parker Challenge showed that there was variation in classification, volume and time spent on estimate. It showed that given the same data set, people will almost definitely reach different results.
There were three main takeaways from the challenge:
- Classification and estimation are very different things.
- Mineral resource estimation software does not replace expertise.
- Evidence based geology is important.
What this means for resource disclosure
So then, what does this mean for resource disclosure? The Parker Challenge has expressly shown that governance is key. As we can see, when it comes to project resource estimation methods and results, it is very easy to arrive at different opinions.
If your team is not on the same page about your resource disclosure and reconciliation, it can be very easy to land yourself in hot water and waste a significant amount of time and money.
You can limit variability in your team by limiting the chance for people to have different estimations which can be done with a resource disclosure and mine reconciliation platform to assist with your governance.
Which platform should you trust for your governance?
If you’re looking for the right Resource Disclosure and Mine Reconciliation governance solutions, you can be sure to remove subjectivity over your mineral estimates and public reporting with K2fly. K2fly allows you to coordinate your reporting process on a single standardised platform so you will never have to experience the difficulty of trying to find or follow up information from your team – you will already know exactly where to find it.
K2fly’s proprietary software services some of the largest tier one miners in the world, helping them achieve their ESG goals through governance platforms that provide a companywide single source of truth. Spanning over 500 sites in more than 62 countries, we’re sure our solution will be able to service your needs. Get in contact with our team and find out how we can solve the issue you’re having today.