Quake hurt and helped software firm

TAMLYN STEWART
Last updated 15:12 22/11/2012

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Christchurch software firm ARANZ Geo has today officially opened its new, larger offices in Riccarton.

The three-dimensional geological modelling software development company has had to move premises five times since the September 2010 quake shook it out of its St Elmo's Courts building.

The firm's new offices were officially opened today by Science and Innovation Minister Hon Steven Joyce.

The company has doubled its revenues in each of the last three years and is now turning over about $8 million per year. Staff numbers have increased from 16 in 2010 to 40.

Its geological modelling software is used in the mining, hydrogeology and geothermal industries.

GNS Science first used ARANZ Geo's software, called Leapfrog, for geothermal analysis, and since the Canterbury quakes began it has also been using the software to model the ground conditions and materials underneath Christchurch.

ARANZ Geo's mining clients include global mining giants Rio Tinto, BHP and AngloGold Ashanti.

ARANZ Geo chief executive Shaun Maloney said the firm's productivity levels had "gone through the roof" since the September 2010 earthquake and staff had maintained that high level of productivity. That had translated into faster turnaround of new versions of its software to meet clients' needs.

It had also recruited new staff, successfully recruiting local people as well as drawing people from other parts of New Zealand and overseas to Christchurch.

ARANZ Geo's focus is in the research and development of algorithms that allow data points to be turned into sophisticated three dimensional images which can be used on standard computer equipment.

"We do for geology what medical 3D scanning has done for medicine," Mahoney said.

"Our software allows senior executives and geologists to make important investment decisions based on resources, geology and safety in a much shorter timeframe, which can have a major financial impact.

"Mining clients for example have the potential to save millions by saving time and resources, reducing risk and increasing accuracy."

ARANZ Geo has 40 staff in Christchurch and another 35 staff located across a network of local support offices including Canada, United States, Peru, Chile, United Kingdom, Denmark, Turkey, South Africa and Australia.

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