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New Zealand Innovation Awards: Export Innovator of the Year, ARANZ Geo

Note: Following the Innovation Awards, ARANZ Geo announced it had changed its name to Seequent.

Best known for its Leapfrog 3D geological modelling software, the Christchurch-based ARANZ Geo turns complex data into something geologists can easily understand, which in turn can lead to better decisions around mining, granting resource consents, and more. Able to map environments in just hours rather than days or weeks, ARANZ Geo’s Leapfrog software is already used by the world’s ten largest mining companies. It has also helped with construction of the world’s first final repository for nuclear waste in Finland, geothermal energy projects in Africa, transport tunnels in Europe, and global water quality and resource management projects. 

As the company says: “Complex data needs to be transformed into clear geological understanding to enable critical decisions for earth, environment and energy projects, i.e. for mining – where to excavate, or for the final disposal of spent nuclear waste – where stable geology is 400m underground”

The business case for Leapfrog was readily demonstrated in mining: the significant costs involved in exploration (up to $1 billion spent in Australia alone) were impacted by modelling time, and depressed commodity prices forced the industry to look at efficiencies and costs savings. “A mine operation using Leapfrog could literally save millions due to efficiencies and new opportunities.”

For earthworks, hydro, and geothermal mapping alone, ARANZ Geo estimates it has the potential to be pulling in $2 billion. 

ARANZ Geo managing director Shaun Maloney says: “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do, and we’ve been growing rapidly around the world as a result.”

The company’s footprint includes offices in Australia, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Canada, Denmark, South Africa and the United Kingdom. In fact, around 99 percent of ARANZ Geo’s software is exported to more than 80 countries. As Maloney says: “We developed a reputation as an innovator in the mining industry with Leapfrog. Today we’re also taking that learning and contributing to a wider variety of projects that target some of the major global environment and energy challenges we face.”

Evaluator comments:

This is a compelling innovation and a very impressive track record to date. It’s great to see a Kiwi company doing well on the world stage with a high-tech and slick solution that provides value to a number of industries. ?

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