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How geoscience tech enables more efficient, sustainable and humanitarian engineering
Seequent is a Bentley Systems company that provides geo-data software solutions for mining, water management and infrastructure development.
"Minerals are the new oil", said Jo Knight, Chief Customer Officer of Seequent, The Bentley Subsurface Company, during the company’s Breakout Session at The Year in Infrastructure & Going Digital Awards, held in London on 14 and 15 November.
In support of this claim, she provided some interesting facts. For instance, mobile phones contain more than 80 rare minerals - there are more than 7 billion mobile phones worldwide - and electric cars require 1 kg of these materials. The figures demonstrate that the demands generated by increasing electrification and digitalisation are unsustainable for the planet.
"To meet the demands of lithium, we would need 285 new lithium mines by 2035, and to maintain copper resources, we should mine as much copper in the next 20 years as we have in all human history", Knight said.
In this context, Seequent aims to help companies quickly, cleverly and cleanly meet today's challenging needs through technology. Moreover, Seequent's software offers not only mining solutions, but also water management and infrastructure development.
In short, Seequent is a leading software company in earth modelling, geo-data management, and team collaboration software. Less than a year ago, Bentley Systems acquired the company to connect the "built world" with the "underground world" efficiently.
A success story in water management and humanitarian aid
Beyond mining, the company's software can also become a centrepiece in humanitarian emergencies.
To showcase this area of implementation, Seequent invited Geraint Burrows, CEO of Groundwater Relief, a company that works to provide water to vulnerable communities around the world. To do this, it relies on technology to connect hydrogeological experts with humanitarian and development organisations. Seequent's software can perform 3D modelling of the subsurface to detect water resources accurately.
One of the latest success stories was the case of Cox's Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh, the largest refugee camp on Earth with almost 1 million inhabitants. Before the project, water was in short supply due to high demand.
To ensure access to clean water for all refugees, Groundwater Relief has brought five hydrogeologists to Médecins Sans Frontières Netherlands since 2017 to work on the ground. In addition, the company partnered with the University of Dhaka in 2019.
The collaborative work of all entities and the use of Seequent's software enabled the re-mapping of the district's geology, developing the first regional groundwater model and establishing a monitoring programme.