Tag Archives: Datamine

Vela adds geostatistics leader Geovariances to mining software mix

Vela Software Group, owner of Datamine, acQuire, Minemax, Centric and Snowden-Optiro, has announced the acquisition of Geovariances, a leader in geostatistics with over 30 years’ experience.

Headquartered in Fontainebleau, France, Geovariances is the developer of Isatis.neo, a leading solution for complex geospatial challenges in mining, oil & gas, nuclear decommissioning, contaminated soil and air & water quality, Vela said.

Dylan Webb, CEO of Datamine, said: “The Geovariances acquisition is a highly complementary addition to Vela’s mining software portfolio. Adding the renowned Isatis.neo application to our natural resources and environmental modelling solutions will deliver even greater value to customers.

“The opportunity to work more closely with the Geovariances team will enable us to deliver the most advanced geostatistics solutions to our customers and constantly incorporate the latest research.”

Geovariances CEO, Jean-Paul Roux, said: “By joining Vela Software, Geovariances will become closer to Vela-owned companies operating in the mining industry, such as Datamine, acQuire, Minemax, Centric and Snowden-Optiro. We are confident that this connection with firms similar to ours will allow us to develop synergies that will benefit our customers. We’ll also benefit from Vela’s presence in 20 countries to provide our clients with more efficient local support.”

Amira Industry 4.0 interoperability project highlights ‘digital mine’ opportunities

Independent global not for profit organisation, Amira, says its global members are set to reap significant benefits from the finalisation of the Industry 4.0 interoperability project P1208 undertaken in Perth, Western Australia.

The Interoperability Enablement for Natural Resources project concluded in November and was sponsored by miners South32, Fortescue Metals Group and Gold Fields Australia.

The Amira project, which was conducted at the University of Western Australia’s Energy & Resources Digital Interoperability Industry 4.0 (UWA ERDi I4.0) TestLab, was designed to realise “the digital mine”, which requires mature interoperability standards to improve information flow.

The project ran multiple proofs-of-concept using interoperability standards (ISA-95/IEC 62264 and B2MML v7.0 (plus process centric event extensions)) that were originally developed to support the manufacturing industry.

These standards had benefited from many years of work (originally with contributions from BHP and continued by ETP and vendors such as RPMGlobal) in enhancing the standards to support mining requirements.

The resulting updated standards were used in P1208 as a means of exchanging information between common mining software packages from Datamine, ABB, AVEVA, RPMGlobal, Wenco and Manufacturing Intelligence. Each of these vendors played a critical part in the project’s success, according to Amira.

Managing Director at Enterprise Transformation Partners (ETP) and the P1208 Project Lead, John Kirkman, said the project was highly successful, demonstrating manufacturing standards could be adapted and used across various mining methods and commodities.

“In terms of benefits, miners should first note ‘interoperability’ is simply a means to an end, with that end being optimal management of their operations,” Kirkman said.

“By enhancing the core specialist software packages used by geologists, mine planners, mine execution/control, materials tracking and maintenance personnel, etc to work together as if they were always engineered to do so, you are thereby implementing the cornerstone of automating and optimising the processes used to manage your mining operations.

“This is just one of the reasons why interoperability is one of only three core pillars of the Industry 4.0 vision as the idea of achieving highly automated and optimised operations without interoperability is simply not viable.

“Industry 4.0 also recognise ISA-95/IEC 62264 as the standard for supporting modular operations management interoperability, while also recognising OPC-UA as the standard for level 2 (machine/process control) interoperability.”

Benefits of Industry 4.0

Kirkman said Industry 4.0 solutions remove a significant amount of manual effort that are currently an accepted part of the mining process.

“This, in turn, increases data quality by eliminating manual entry errors and aligning semantics, improves timeliness of access to new information and enables users to spend more of their time on the quality of their work,” he said.

“This enables the automated capabilities of the software packages to be fully utilised and opens opportunities for the vendors to develop additional high value automated decision support capabilities within their software packages.”

During the course of the P1208 project, this was most clearly and broadly demonstrated via the materials inventory tracking/management software packages, which were able to automatically receive material movement events (from fleet management systems and fixed plant) and material sample analysis results events (from a Lab Information Management System) and update block and stockpile quantities and grade, then send the updated block and stockpile quantities and grade to a mine planning software packages and data warehouse, all without any user intervention.

“With respect to major successes, the fact that we have been able to demonstrate that standards exist that are able to be applied to mining software packages that can exchange information regardless of what commodity you are mining, by whatever mining method, using whatever equipment, whether you are an open pit or underground mine and also supporting multiple areas of the value chain (ie geology, drilling, blasting, mining, processing, railing, port and shipping) is significant,” Kirkman said.

“With P1208, we have successfully demonstrated that standards do exist and that they can be applied to mining with great success and that miners can now begin to include the application of interoperability in their improvement/transformation strategies and, as a result, maximise their return on investment from future technology projects.”

Interoperability in action

Kirkman said this was exciting news for mining companies looking to make technology investments that have a much higher likelihood of achieving a meaningful return on investment.

Project sponsor Gold Fields Australia took part in the AMIRA P1208 demonstrations sessions at the UWA ERDi I4.0 TestLab in Perth, Australia, recently, examining how interoperability in the mine plan, scheduling, execution, and materials and tracking functions can improve performance.

One of the sponsors said: “I don’t think many mining companies really appreciate the magnitude of the inefficiencies and lost opportunities that exist in a typical mine as a result of systems not working together; I think it’s almost just accepted as we have no other choice today.

“The Amira project has really shone a light on this area and demonstrated how interoperability can significantly improve the way of working across the business.

“To witness schedules being published from one vendor’s software and being received by multiple other vendors’ software, and the same again with actuals and inventory balance updates in real-time, is quite exciting and even more so when you consider that none of the vendors worked directly together; they just applied the standard interfaces to their software under the guidance of the ETP/ERDi team and it all works.”

The ETP team and various vendors involved in P1208 are already implementing these solutions into an open-pit and an underground mine further validating the work, with case studies likely to be produced through 2022.

The ERDi TestLab has noted a recent uptick in interest from both Australia-based and overseas mining companies, which bodes well for the vendors whom can now take advantage of their investment in interoperable solutions.

The ERDi team has already commenced work to extend these solutions across asset management and maintenance, fleet management/autonomous haulage solutions to machines and open process control interoperability via integration of OPAS-based solutions from the Coalition of Open Process Automation (COPA), who have together built the world’s first commercially available OPAS-based control system.

Project findings

Some of the key findings from the project include:

  • There were no instances of an information type required by the end customer or other systems not already catered for by the B2MML v7.0 + process centric events schemas;
  • All vendors were able to enhance their software to support the standards successfully;
  • Software performance would likely be the limiting factor in how much data could be exchanged, not the standard itself, which can be addressed by vendors through various approaches;
  • That being able to receive accurate, real-time information from other systems exposed opportunities for vendors to implement new and advanced features that would not have been useful in a manually updated solution;
  • Though the standard supported all requirements and was able to be implemented by vendors, a number of areas were identified in which the standard could be improved to make it much easier for vendors to implement, maintain and update over time as well ensure it is sufficiently explicit to certify products. ERDi has already kicked off work to address these improvement opportunities;
  • Education is likely the greatest barrier to adoption today. As these Industry 4.0 approaches and opportunities are not yet commonplace in the mining industry, miners will need to make an investment in upskilling their workforce to be able to successfully implement and take advantage of these solutions. Industry 4.0 education and workforce enablement has also been identified by platform I4.0 and the world economic forum as major factors in successful industry 4.0 adoption; and
  • It is possible to establish standards management and governance processes to enable more rapid and frequent update of standards.

Datamine establishes dedicated mining ESG business unit

Datamine says it has established a dedicated environment, social and governance (ESG) business unit focused on the specific needs of the mining industry.

The new ESG business unit will bring together existing technologies and services under the leadership of Chris Parry.

Dylan Webb, CEO of Datamine, said: “We’ve observed that our customers are increasingly interested in managing ESG and its component systems as part of a single scope, led by senior executives.

“By establishing a dedicated business unit for ESG, we can now work closely with our customers on transformation strategies across the ESG spectrum, drawing on our deep domain knowledge to ensure the solutions provided are tailored to the mining industry.

“We are excited to have a leader of Chris’s calibre engaging with our enterprise clients to deliver improvements in ESG performance.”

Parry said he was impressed with the breadth of technology Datamine already has addressing the ESG needs for the mining industry.

“I look forward to working with Datamine’s global customer base to develop comprehensive ESG strategies underpinned by proven technologies,” he added.

Some examples of Datamine’s ESG technology portfolio include:

  • Discover GIS solution for geochemical, water, erosion and vegetation modelling and management;
  • Strategic planning tools to optimise extraction plans with minimum rehandle and intelligent waste dump design;
  • Qmed for workforce health management, COVID testing and vaccine administration; and
  • Centric Mining Intelligence for real-time transparency and governance across multiple sites and systems, including ESG key performance indicator reporting.

Beyond its technology suite, Datamine’s Snowden advisory division recently developed an in-pit crushing and conveying mining strategy for a customer that saved over 1 Mt of carbon emissions and A$700 million ($499 million) in cost savings, according to Datamine.

Webb said Datamine will continue to expand its ESG technology suite by investing in R&D and acquiring complementary solutions.

“It’s satisfying to see real momentum and desire by industry participants to improve ESG performance,” he said. “The community is increasingly realising that mining is essential for a low carbon future, but there is more we can do to minimise our impact along the way.”

Centric partners with SFTP Mining to unlock key mining metrics

SFTP Mining, a Côte d’Ivoire-based mining contractor, has partnered with Centric Mining Systems, part of the Datamine family, to, it says, provide efficient access to key project metrics not only for SFTP but also for its mining clients.

Centric Mining Systems has now been implemented at two SFTP projects, with plans for continued expansion. Further partnerships and integrations are planned, as existing Centric mining clients, including Perseus Mining (part of the fleet at the Sissingue mine pictured here), look to collaborate with their contractors to further access and share data.

“Working with Centric Mining Systems on this project is not only beneficial to SFTP given Centric’s demonstrable track record of success across Africa, but also to the wider contract mining services sector as it continues to develop in Africa,”  Hendrik Kruger, Country Operations Manager at SFTP Mining, says.

Centric’s data collection and management solutions eliminate inaccurate reporting and wasted time. Instead of hours of paperwork, unreliable spreadsheets and uncertainty in data accuracy, Centric helps bring mining operations into the 21st century, the company says.

Chris Novak, CEO of Centric Mining Systems, says: “SFTP knows that productive mines and projects depend on proven solutions that standardise workflows, ensure accountability and improve collaboration. We are confident that Centric will unlock significant value for SFTP Mining by ensuring end-to-end visibility of the entire production process and the ability to adapt faster to changes and opportunities.”

With a focus on health and safety, production metrics, and equipment utilisation, staff at the project site can accurately track and report all production-related activities, anticipate risk and foresee opportunities to enhance performance, Centric says.

Novak added: “In today’s mining industry, access to information is essential to achieve operational excellence. The value of a digital mine lies in the wealth of data available across the value chain and the insight to make decisions that will affect the short-term and long-term future of your business.”

Centric is a global software solution provider that specialises in data acquisition, systems integration, data warehousing, knowledge generation and decision support solutions specific to the mining industry.

Snowden’s Supervisor geostatistics software receives an upgrade

Snowden has released new features and enhancements for its advanced geostatistics software, Supervisor.

Supervisor v8.14 now comes with a new Multivariate Conditional Simulation component that, the company says, allows users to perform conditional sequential gaussian simulation over multiple variables while maintaining complex compositional correlations.

It added: “A feature-rich workflow allows for multiple compositional and gaussian transformation techniques with automated data handling and validation plot generation to ensure robust results for all data types.”

The software also comes with enhancements to its GCoS Grade Tonnage Curves, which can now be displayed at once on the Predicted Grade Tonnage Curve component. Alongside this, the theoretical grade tonnage curve can also now be displayed on the Conditional Simulation Grade Tonnage Curve component.

Other enhancements to Supervisor include the ability for the Conditional Simulation QQ plot to be filtered by domain, and updated help documentation for several components.

In terms of user interface improvements, Datamine listed off “Global Topcut Analysis”, “Contact Analysis” and a “Model Validation stats table” as examples.

Snowden, which was recently acquired by Datamine, says Supervisor helps solve practical geological issues in the shortest possible time, providing geologists with everything they need to optimise resource estimates.

Datamine adds mining consultancy expertise to portfolio with Snowden buy

Datamine, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vela Software, has acquired mining consultancy and software business Snowden.

As part of the transaction with Datamine, the Snowden brand will be retained, it said, with the company explaining: “We are dedicated to maintaining consistent high levels of expertise and support that you have come to expect from Snowden.”

Being part of the Datamine group will provide long-term benefits for Snowden, its staff and customers, according to the company. “We will have the opportunity to strengthen and grow our business by leveraging resources including an office network across 20 countries, and deep software expertise.”

Tarrant Elkington, Global Manager, Snowden, said: “Snowden has a proud 33-year history, evolving from a geological consulting company to a diversified advisory consulting, software and training business. This acquisition marks the next step on our growth journey.

“The software expertise and global footprint of Datamine offers tremendous opportunities for the growth of our business and to improve the experience of our clients. For example, we will now be able to offer in-country support to our supervisor clients in South America. And we can easily and cost-effectively expand our consulting business to other countries.

“This is a great day for our business, and our people, and we look forward to exploring the synergies that Datamine offer.”

John Bailey, Executive General Manager at Datamine, said: “We are excited to acquire the Snowden business which aligns closely with our existing offering to the mining industry. Snowden has a strong, expert brand with a wealth of experience and has developed industry-leading products that complement Datamine’s software portfolio.”

Snowden refers to Datamine as the world’s leading provider of technology to seamlessly plan and manage mining operations.

“With operations in 20 countries, Datamine provides solutions spanning exploration, resource modelling, mine planning, operations, logistics and marketing to over 6,000 companies worldwide,” Snowden said.

Supervisor is a complementary solution to Datamine’s existing resource estimation suite, offering a simple intuitive interface and workflow, advanced local and global estimation optimisation functionality and compatibility with all major mine planning software packages.

Reconcilor provides a robust system to identify differences between grade and tonnage estimates, plans and actual mine production. The Reconcilor solution is highly complementary to Datamine’s inventory tracking and metal balancing solutions, with several customers already using the combined systems.

MMC-2019 showcases Morocco mining sector

One of the largest mining events in Morocco, Marrakech Mining Convention (MMC-2019), was recently held, bringing mining ministries, international & national companies, investors, and key industry professionals to the Palais des Congres, Marrakech.

The event, held on April 17-19, had enormous support from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development, Morocco. It was dedicated to expanding the country’s mining sector, providing knowledge about Morocco’s new mining code, development plans, and standout investment climate, according to Valiant Business Media, the conference organisers.

Over a period of three days, the event witnessed participation of 19 international mining ministries, 90-plus international and national companies, 50-plus renowned speakers, and 400-plus delegates – representing 30-plus countries – all of whom delved into the potential opportunities and growth prospects the mining sector in Morocco has to offer.

The conference included a ministerial/CEO forum, country investment session and panel discussions where emphasis was on several important topics like mining laws & policies, local content development & social acceptability, women in mining, the latest trends in equipment & technology, and transparency in the mining sector.

These sessions featured renowned speakers, think-tanks, government dignitaries, etc. In tandem, a parallel session, “Mining Challenge”, was hosted by the OCP group, the strategic partner for MMC-2019, as a part of its digital transformation and start-up development initiative.

“Alongside the conference, the exhibition at MMC-2019 provided an ideal platform for various international and national companies to display their products and services to the target audience, helping them increase their brand visibility,” Valiant Business Media said. “The event witnessed the presence of a multitude of international and national companies with OCP as Strategic Partner; BKT as Gold Sponsor; JESA & Managem as Silver Sponsors; VIST as Bronze Sponsor; Yantai Huize Mining Engineering Co Ltd, Datamine, Gold Pyramid Group, Maya Gold & Silver  & JK Tyre as Associate Sponsors, along with other big names in the mining industry.”

The Honorary Minister of Energy, Mines & Sustainable Development, Morocco, along with other international ministers and dignitaries visited the exhibition. The exhibition was concluded with a visit to Mohammed VI Polytechnic University and Benguérir mine site by the OCP Group.

Valiant Business Media concluded: “Marrakech Mining Convention culminated with successful business deals, knowledge-exchange and networking sessions in the presence of hundreds of global attendees, giving a boost to Morocco’s mining sector. With the exemplary results from the first edition, the next edition of Marrakech Mining Convention (MMC-2020) is anticipated to be the largest event, not only in Morocco but across the African continent.”

International Mining was a media sponsor for the Marrakech Mining Convention 2019

Datamine to boost short-term planning and operations management offering with Flairbase buy

Datamine has announced the acquisition of Flairbase Inc as it looks to further integrate the company’s Amine short term mine planning suite into its software offering and start global distribution of its SIMS production planning and reporting system.

The deal follows a partnership to distribute the Amine short term mine planning solution (pictured), Datamine said.

Based in Montreal, Canada, Flairbase has been providing its flagship software solutions to customers in the Americas since 1993.

“Amine is an established, world-leading solution for detailed design, short term planning and survey. Its user-friendly visual interface allows you to manage your drawings, design layouts, evaluate resources, work in 3D or with 2D sections, perform automated surveys, and much more,” Datamine said.

The SIMS solution is a mine production management system that keeps track of all mining activities, equipment, locations, people, and consumables, allowing customers to take control of costs and resources. “Real time transparency and reporting provides mine operators with the essential tools to make informed decisions to optimise short term operational performance,” Datamine added.

Dylan Webb, Technology and M&A Director at Datamine, said: “We are excited to further strengthen Datamine’s software portfolio for short-term planning and operations management. Through our previous distribution partnership, we know that Flairbase has a high quality, committed team. We are excited that the entire team, including the founders Gaetan Leonard and James Leung, have decided to stay with the business and work even more closely with Datamine to take the Flairbase technology to our global customer base of more than 2,000 sites.”