Australia-based mining software developer Deswik says it has launched a new tool to help automate infill drill hole planning.
Deswik Drillhole Optimizer (Deswik.DHO) is a module for the company’s Deswik.CAD design platform, which optimises the position of infill drill holes to maximise the uplift in resource classification within a given budget, the company says.
“Deswik.DHO allows geologists to apply an automated, optimised process to planning their infill drilling programs, for both open pit and underground operations,” the company says. “By quickly running multiple scenarios, geologists have more time to analyse the outputs and select the highest value drilling plan.”
New drillhole designs are created based on parameters including drilling budget, orebody characteristics, location of existing holes, available drilling locations and the projected per meter drilling cost.
The application is user configurable to assist the optimisation process, with settings including:
- Simple geometric, ellipse or Kriging-based sample selection criteria;
- Specified anisotropy for each domain to influence the direction of drilling;
- Drill rig physical characteristics and costs;
- Support for pre-collaring and wedge holes; and
- Availability of surface or underground pads.
Deswik.GeoTools Product Manager, Nick Anderson, said Deswik.DHO automates what was, historically, a very manual and subjective process.
“Geologists would typically look at their resource model to see where drilling had previously taken place and make an educated guess, based on previous experience, as to where it should be carried out next,” Anderson said.
Deswik.DHO adds rigour and reliability to the process, by using data in the resource model to pick ‘gaps’ where confidence in the model is low, the company says.
Anderson added: “The tool assists mining companies to maximise their return on drilling programs, by placing new holes in locations where they’ll improve the value of the model, while ensuring the program remains within budget.
“Once an optimised program has been selected, with one click users can create a schedule for the drill program. Creating a schedule allows us to turn the design into a practical program where users can model drilling rates, assign specific resources and create dependencies which all contribute to creating a realistic drill program ready for execution.”
Deswik Managing Director, Matt Chilcott, said Deswik.DHO reaffirmed Deswik’s commitment to developing value-boosting tools for technical services teams.
“We’ve seen significant market demand for geological mapping applications which integrate with Deswik’s mine planning and management solutions,” Chilcott said. “Our focus is on working collaboratively with the mining sector to ensure all our tools have a strong use case and will deliver a measurable return on investment, in terms of productivity, efficiency and profitability.”
Deswik.DHO will be launched in June 2020, the company said.