Quakes a gear shift for geology software firm

TAMLYN STEWART
Last updated 05:00 23/11/2012

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A Christchurch software firm that lists global mining giants Rio Tinto, BHP and AngloGold Ashanti among its clients has more than doubled in size since the first Canterbury earthquake.

Three-dimensional geological modelling software development company Aranz Geo chief executive Shaun Maloney said the firm's productivity had "gone through the roof" since the first Canterbury quake shook the firm out of its St Elmo Courts building in September 2010.

Aranz Geo has now signed an eight-year lease for new offices, which were officially opened yesterday by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.

It is the company's sixth move in two years, but despite the many shifts it has doubled its revenues in each of the past three years and is now turning over about $8 million a year. Staff numbers have risen from 16 in 2010 to 40 and the firm is still hiring.

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 has since used the software to model the ground conditions and map the fault lines underneath Christchurch.

Maloney said staff had maintained the high levels of productivity experienced since September 2010.

"The thing about a disaster is that it's like one big team-building exercise for Canterbury. You don't sweat the small stuff anymore.

"You don't worry so much about whether you have a car park, or the coffee . . . the petty office politics, you were just lucky you had a desk."

The firm focuses on research and development of algorithms that turn data points into sophisticated 3D images.

"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 time frame, 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."

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- The Press

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