LeaseControl is a software product designed by Maxwell GeoServices for worldwide land tenure management. At its core there is a reminders and tracking system enabling users to be notified of upcoming required actions and expenses and to track all work both upcoming and completed. The main strength of LeaseControl resides in its flexibility; the user is in control of creating which jurisdictions, regulations, and expenses are significant for them, seeing only the information which is pertinent for their work, and storing relevant data for easy retrieval. With a small amount of time invested in configuring the program for an individual or companies needs, there is a significant gain in tracking, audit ability, and peace of mind which historically could only come from painstakingly diligent tracking of paper and spreadsheet files.

Through many meetings with land managers and discussions as to how they are currently managing their tenures, the usefulness of LeaseControl has occasionally come into question. The logic being that what they’ve been using, whether spreadsheets or a home-grown database, have been working “well enough” so far and hence switching to a more powerful and unified structure such as the SQL-driven LeaseControl is perhaps unnecessary. While “well enough” may be suitable for some, there are a few key questions which come into play when defining what is required of any land management process. These questions must be considered by everyone tasked with the enormous responsibility of land tenure maintenance:

  1. Are you confident that no important dates will be missed with your current system? What barriers are in place to prevent this?
  2. How easy is it to go backwards in time to see what has been done on a specific property or project, to summarize quantities, dates, and people involved?
  3. How far into the future can a projection be made of expected commitments or agreement payments?
  4. Is time most frequently spent reformatting and generating reports, maintaining a “reminder system” in some form, and double-checking for correctness?
  5. Are you limited to the confines of a legacy program or process and restricted in your ability to do things more efficiently?

Inevitably, at least a few of these questions elicit a resigned sigh and the acknowledgement that indeed things could be done better. What works “well enough” may be cumbersome and not very confidence inspiring, but it is what has been done historically. For something as quintessentially important to mineral exploration and mining as maintaining land tenures in good standing, each of the above questions should be positively addressed by whichever process is in place.

Next is the question of ease of use and flexibility. Here LeaseControl can really improve efficiency without hampering existing business processes. There is a wealth of knowledge and industry experience behind the product, derived from years of development and communication with clients to accommodate real world requirements. The goal of LeaseControl is to be stable and efficient in its own right but flexible enough to adapt to a specific business and its processes, seamlessly enhancing confidence and productivity. The user is not restricted to doing work within the confines of a fixed structure. The framework is provided for efficient tenure management, and is then customized by the user through the program interface.

Below are summarized the key modules of the LeaseControl program and features:

  • Reminder System
    • Automatic reminders based on user definitions
    • Colour-coded upcoming actions
    • Easy sorting and filtering by due date, project, manager, and more.
    • E-mail notifications which can be set prior to due dates and escalated to multiple people if no action has been taken.

  • Lease Module
    • Tracking all relevant data including contacts, relationships, financial history, linked documents and maps, upcoming commitments and action dates.
    • Easy filtering and grouping for generating reports and exporting to Excel.
    • Audit history of all additions and modifications including who made the changes and when.
    • Overview of all tenures or detailed view of individual tenures with customizable components.
    • Import of financial data from accounting programs.
    • Ability to link to GIS programs to view data spatially.

  • Contacts and Projects
    • Hierarchical structure can accommodate complex relationships between companies, beneficiaries, land holders, managers, etc.

  • Agreement Module
    • Stores all relevant Agreement data with functionality similar to the Lease Module.
    • Relationships between agreements and other agreements/leases.
    • Reminders section specific to agreements
    • Tracking of documents, payments, royalties, etc
    • Customizable components for storage of all data.

  • Query Builder
    • Powerful yet simple to use tool for creating custom visualizations of data.

  • Report Generation
    • Create templates of common forms and fill them in with the click of a button.
    • Easy export to Excel of raw data as well as summary reporting.

  • SQL Database
    • Security levels and integrity.
    • Communication with other programs through Open Database Connectivity.

  • User Profiles
    • Profiles can be created and switched on-the-fly to have different interface elements for different users or jurisdictions.
    • Add and remove data storage components through a visual drag and drop view.
    • Multi-lingual support

Data management is being embraced throughout the resource industry as we understand that the information generated from exploration and mining is only as useful as what questions can be asked of such large quantities of data, and the confidence in a reliable, verified answer. Similarly, the realm of land management is undergoing an information revolution as companies seek a unified location to store and track all relevant data. LeaseControl provides a system upon which all tracking and storage can be managed with relative ease, at the same time maintaining a stable reminder system ensuring no requirements are ever passed over. The alternative is a lack of reliability and integrity with too much potential for error to dismiss.