Tag Archives: Deswik

Deswik opens pit design options for miners with SPD module

Deswik says it has come up with a way to rapidly create practical pit designs from optimisation outputs as part of miners’ strategic planning process with its Strategic Pit Design (Deswik.SPD) module.

Developed in direct response to client needs, Deswik.SPD allows users to quickly generate multiple pit designs for any number of optimisation runs, compare results and select go-forward cases, the software company says. Final pit designs, which took days to create manually, can now be created in minutes, enabling planners to spend less time doing repetitive design tasks and more time analysing results and evaluating options.

Deswik.SPD features the Automated Pit Design tool, which bridges the gap between optimisation shells and a detailed manual pit design. The tool uses a scenario-based approach to rapidly generate, visualise and compare pit designs using outputs from Deswik.GO, Pseudoflow or other pit optimisation software such as Whittle, the company says.

The tool is flexible and, according to Dewsik, able to provide the following features:

  • Supports multiple ramp rules, exclusion zones and geotechnical domains for wall angle and berm width rules;
  • Provides post-processing options to smooth pit designs; and
  • Integrates with Deswik’s manual pit design and reserving tools, for more detailed scheduling, or to pass back into Deswik.GO for high level phase-bench schedules.

Any number of scenarios can be created with Deswik.SPD, according to the company.

Once processing is complete, the output designs are summarised in a table in rank order for review. Furthermore, if the results are not optimal, users can fine-tune options to manually adjust the output designs. There are also options to add a new ramp chain, move ramp chains to close large gaps, add switchbacks, manually adjust the berm shape and split ramps in two.

Tim Rijsdijk, from Glencore’s copper division, said Deswik.SPD produces multiple pit designs in the time it takes a mining engineer to design a single bench.

“By having a multitude of pit designs provided by Deswik.SPD, our mine planning team has been able to tactically implement the most suitable design and consider concepts that could often be overlooked when completing only a single design,” he said.

“Deswik.SPD also allows us to customise inputs that result in practical designs complying with site specific requirements, such as block model-based berm and batter parameters, dynamic ramp widths and gradients, ramp exit positions and exclusions zones. It has eliminated hundreds of hours of pit design work and allowed us to focus on adding value in more opportune areas.”

Polymathian finds funding for automation work at OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena

Polymathian will be spearheading a A$2 million ($1.5 million) industrial mathematics project funded by industry partners and METS Ignited, and focused on OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena mine in South Australia.

This project will form part of the Industry Growth Centre’s latest Tranche 4 Collaborative Project funds totalling a combined investment of A$6 million, METS Ignited said.

The grant was awarded to Polymathian’s project at OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena copper-gold mine where, in collaboration with OZ Minerals, Downer, Deswik and others, the company is applying industrial mathematics to deploy the world’s first highly automated short interval control (SIC) system for the near real-time optimisation of sub-level cave development and production mining.

Project Lead and Partner at Polymathian, Steven Donaldson, said: “This funding allows us to marry industrial mathematics, automation and mine planning to optimise asset value at Carrapateena and explore how SIC can be done going forward.”

By applying industrial mathematics to the SIC process, the project collaboration automates the optimisation of the mine plan and autonomously dispatches tasks to the underground fleet by responding to live data.

Plans can be updated to respond to dynamic changes in the mine, as live data is received and assumptions change, according to the company. For example, at a weekly level, plans are updated as required for a rolling seven-day window, rather than on a set schedule for a fixed seven-day period. This avoids having fixed weekly plans that are at risk of becoming out-dated.

Matthew Fargher, OZ Minerals’ Senior Engineer for Long Term Planning at Carrapateena, said: “This project pursues a world first in mine planning where the mine plan is autonomously optimised and tasks dispatched in semi real-time to the underground fleet. By doing so, we can potentially remove value destroying constraints such as self-imposed time horizons and subjectivity in decision making to deliver the next best decision.

“We are excited to be a part of the team that’s delivering the blueprint for mine planning and executional change globally.”

Donaldson added: “The potential market for this tool is really quite large as the way we are solving the problem is very generic. We see this solution having potential to optimise operations across all hard-rock underground mines in Australia and globally.”

The project also has the potential to create new jobs at Polymathian including accelerating the growth of its newly opened Perth office.

METS Ignited Chief Executive, Adrian Beer, says the quality and capability of the funding applicants is becoming increasingly more sophisticated, with a number of the solutions having broader applicability across a number of sectors.

“This round of project fund recipients demonstrates just how capable our leading global METS sector is, and what is possible within our local technology sector,” Beer said.

“We are extremely proud of what has been achieved by the project fund recipients to date, and this new addition to the project funding shows that we have a huge potential to build upon.”

Deswik teams up with Alicanto Labs to solve mine design and scheduling challenges

Deswik has partnered with Alicanto Labs, associated with Universidad Adolfo Ibañez (UAI), in Chile, to release Deswik.GO, a strategic design and scheduling tool for open-pit mines.

This partnership, which started in 2016, was supported by a grant from the Chilean government and the success of the collaboration was also recognised through the awarding of the Chilean National Prize of Technologic Transfer in 2017.

UAI had previously developed an academic software application to solve the long standing Open-Pit Mine Production Scheduling (OPMPS) problem and the software was successfully used by a number of Tier 1 mining companies, according to Deswik.

“Deswik’s experience in delivering quality commercial mine planning software means that these innovations have been integrated into an easy to use, comprehensive package that will enable the entire industry to realise maximum value from their deposits,” the company said.

Deswik.GO allows strategic mine planners to rapidly optimise the mine shape, phases and sequence for both greenfield sites and existing operations. The fast evaluation time allows planners to evaluate multiple options and see the lifetime effects of planning decisions and thereby determine the mine plan that will deliver the maximum value, the company said.

Supported by their existing in-house optimisation experts and developers, Deswik.GO allows the user to:

  • Rapidly generate optimised pit shells that take into account the time value of money and dynamically determine the best destination for a parcel of material;
  • Generate mining phases using mathematical techniques;
  • Optimise the schedule of the generated or pre-designed phases;
  • Optimise the destination schedule for a mining schedule that has previously been determined; and
  • Analyse the outputs of the schedules with integrated reports and visualiser.

Deswik.GO Product Manager, Catherine Mortimer, said the application made it possible for planners to visualise the cascade of consequences that could result from a planning decision, or a variation to an existing plan.

Historically, obtaining such insights would have been time consuming and expensive – and called for the use of multiple software programs.

“The work that mine planners do involves multi-million and billion dollar decisions,” Mortimer said. “Deswik.GO is a single solution that makes it easier for them to evaluate and audit those decisions.”

Deswik.GO is interoperable with Deswik.CAD and other modules in the Deswik range. Extra value can be unlocked by pairing Deswik.GO with Deswik.SPD – its new automated pit design module – to rapidly generate phase designs with ramps, benches and berms, the company said. It can also be used on a standalone basis.

Deswik Managing Director, Matt Chilcott, said Deswik.GO was evidence of Deswik’s commitment to helping mine planners maximise the value of their projects.

“Our focus is on developing solutions and tools which enable data driven decision making across the mining landscape,” Chilcott said.

“The Deswik team has deep knowledge and lived experience of the mining sector and we continue to translate that into technologies that boost productivity and enable companies to achieve the optimum return on investment.”

Nord Gold begins IT system transition to Deswik platform

Nord Gold says it has started re-platforming its mine planning IT systems to Deswik, the Australia-based mining-focused global technology company.

The move follows a successful three-month test period and will see the company integrating its operating environment from the numerous software applications currently in use, Nordgold said.

“Deswik provides specialist solutions spanning software, consulting, and training,” the gold miner said. “To date, Nordgold has implemented strategic mine planning, pit design, load and haul simulation, survey modules, and is also considering using Deswik’s drill hole optimiser module.”

Nordgold expects to roll out the new software platform in a three-year staged approach. Throughout the test period, the Deswik software has been adopted by the company’s head office, the Gross and Tabornoe open-pit mines in eastern Siberia, the Suzdal underground mine in Kazakhstan, and the Lefa mine in Guinea. Migration to the Deswik platform is expected to be completed at the Bissa and Bouly mines in Burkina Faso in 2021, with all remaining operations following shortly thereafter.

Louw Smith, Nordgold’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “At Nordgold we pride ourselves on knowledge sharing and collaboration across the business, despite the differences between our individual operations. The Deswik platform is a perfect fit as it caters for both underground and open-pit mines, which was crucial for our diversified business.

“We have been particularly encouraged by the software’s ability to circumvent our legacy systems’ constraints, while still supporting older data formats for backwards compatibility.

“As the implementation phase has proven, Deswik’s software allows for optimisation of resources to generate guidance reserve shapes, pit design, scheduling of designs, and optimising schedules. Moreover, schedules can be used to generate equipment simulation to investigate the effectiveness of mining fleet and assist in optimising both operating and capital expense allocation.”

Emesent’s Hovermap to provide Deswik with complete underground mine picture

Emesent has partnered with leading software developer Deswik to, it says, enable mining companies to incorporate high-quality data captured in inaccessible locations into their mine plans and surveys.

Emesent is a leader in drone autonomy, LiDAR mapping, and data analytics. Founded in 2018 through a spin out of CSIRO, Emesent has since built a reputation for delivering high-quality data capture in the mining, infrastructure, survey and mapping industries, it said.

The company’s Hovermap is a drone autonomy and LiDAR mapping payload. It uses the LiDAR data and advanced algorithms on-board, in real time, to provide reliable and accurate localisation and navigation without the need for GPS.

“This feature makes it ideally suited to map hazardous or underground environments where traditional data capture methods are difficult and dangerous,” the company said.

Deswik, meanwhile, is a global consulting and technology company delivering efficiency-focused solutions to all sectors within the mining industry. Its mine planning and management platforms are used in over 500 mine operations around the world.

The two organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to integrate their solutions to provide a more comprehensive solution to the resources sector, Emesent said.

In the first instance, a co-designed, semi-automated workflow has been created to import Hovermap data into Deswik’s design and solids modelling platform, Deswik.CAD. This workflow enables users to translate the Hovermap data within minutes, creating usable surfaces, solids and point clouds for as-built surveys, volume reporting and design updates, Emesent said.

“The data from Emesent’s Hovermap scanner can be imported into Deswik and visualised using any of the attributes that have been captured in the scan,” Stephen Rowles, Deswik Survey Product Manager, said. “The scan can be filtered, modified, and clipped to suit the user’s requirements before being processed in one or more of the dedicated functions for point clouds.”

Emesent CEO, Dr Stefan Hrabar, said the two companies were committed to working together to help mining companies increase the value of their models, by providing surveyors and planners with more accurate data from inaccessible areas.

“We’re excited about collaborating with another market-leading technology vendor in the resources sector,” Dr Hrabar said. “Integrating our respective solutions will assist customers to boost productivity and improve outputs.”

Deswik Partner Manager, Patrick Doig, said recent global events had piqued customer interest in technologies that allowed technical teams to collect high-quality data without the need to be physically present on site.

A partnership between Deswik and Emesent empowers their mutual and future customers to simplify processes, gain additional efficiencies and make value add decisions to their operations, Doig added.

Deswik looks to take guess work out of infill hole placement with Deswik.DHO

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.

Deswik targets open-pit mining efficiency gains with road audit tool

Deswik, noting a growing industry focus on road audit and compliance, is highlighting the use of an application that, it says, semi-automates the road auditing process and reduces reporting turnaround times while increasing consistency.

The company says: “In a large open-cut mine, you will often find 300-plus tonne trucks running in multiple directions on haul roads, together with a mix of light vehicles and ancillary equipment. This means that the construction and maintenance of compliant roads is a crucial element to running mine operations, especially when there is a growing focus on road audit and compliance.”

However, conducting road audits is usually a manual and time-consuming process, according to Deswik. It is also difficult to maintain in an environment where roads and safety bund requirements are changing and labour is expensive, the company says.

A common road audit process involves surveyors or engineers measuring gradients manually in the field. They may also use the combination of a manual CAD and spreadsheet process – by taking periodic slices through the LIDAR or DTM modules and manually measuring the distances and gradients of the road.

“This often takes more than 40 hours of work for a single operation,” Deswik says. “As a result, the process is completed rarely, with high cost and potential disconnection from the current operating environment.”

Deswik has identified this as a high-value area for process automation, enabling faster feedback and reducing cost. This is where the Deswik Road Audit tool comes in.

The tool measures road and bund physicals, compares them with site requirements and highlights non-compliant areas in a single process, according to the company.

“This has seen a reduction in the typical road audit process – what may have taken over 40 hours to complete for 20 km of roadway, is now down to less than 30 minutes,” Deswik says. “The automated outputs of this process include new refined road centrelines, road sections, polygons showing non-compliance for plotting and reporting, bund non-compliance areas, and so on.”

By completing the process using the integrated Deswik solutions, productivity analysis can be run on the outputs to determine the potential production uplift gained by modifying the roads, the company says, with detailed designs created and sent directly to machine guidance systems for rectification works.

“By using the Deswik Road Audit tool, sites can complete the road audit process much faster, allowing operations to get quicker feedback and free up personnel to complete value-add tasks,” it said.

As well as being much more efficient than the standard road audit process, the Deswik Road Audit tool is easy to use, the company claims. The simple, repeatable process requires less inputs and setup time, while producing consistent outputs with much less manual work. “This means that even users new to Deswik can produce the road audit reports required to ensure continued safety on-site,” Deswik says.

BHP’s Alex Rowell, a Deswik Road Audit tool user, backs up the company’s opinion.

“The Deswik Road Audit tool is super simple to use and provides some fantastic outputs,” Rowell said. “I had never used the tool before, but in less than 30 minutes I was able to create the required inputs to audit all of the primary haul routes for a large open-cut coal site in the Bowen Basin.

“All that is needed is rough centrelines for the haul routes to be audited and the design parameters. I was able to run checks on ramp gradients, cross gradients, road widths and bund heights against the design parameters.”

Deswik furthers Latin America mining software presence with MCB deal in Brazil

Deswik, the Australia-based mining software developer, has stepped up its overseas expansion push by taking a minority stake in its longstanding Brazilian reseller partner, MCB Services and Minerals.

MCB has been Deswik’s exclusive reseller partner in Brazil since 2012. Established in 2006 in Belo Horizonte, it sells mining software and services to local customers including Nexa, Vale, AngloGold Ashanti, Yamana, Kinross and many others.

Deswik says it is expanding its presence across South America and opened offices in Chile and Peru in 2015 and 2018, respectively. Sales across the continent accounted for 27% of Deswik’s turnover in 2018.

Deswik Managing Director, Matt Chilcott, said Brazil was a key growth market, which contributed 8% of Deswik’s global software turnover in 2018.

Acquiring a stake in MCB would cement Deswik’s presence in the country and allow it to offer local clients enhanced technical support and greater input into the Deswik development and roadmap process, Chilcott said.

“MCB is a like-minded company with an approach to servicing the mining industry that’s very similar to our own,” he said. “Our culture and values are extremely compatible. That’s why we’ve worked together so successfully for such a long time. We couldn’t find a better partner and we’re delighted to be able to formalise our relationship in this way.”

Chilcott said he was upbeat about Deswik’s prospects in the region: “Brazil is a large and mature market and we think we’ve only just scratched the surface in terms of demand. We’re excited about working with the MCB team to help more customers in the region experience the productivity and efficiency gains the Deswik suite of products can deliver.”

As part of the deal, MCB will be rebranded as Deswik Brazil.

MCB’s senior management, Mauro Servulo, Cesar Machado and Francisco Bittencourt, will remain at the helm of Deswik Brazil and local customers will continue to receive support from the company’s 35-strong team of geology and mine engineering consultants, Deswik said.

Within six years, MCB has grown from six to 35 people, according to Deswik.

In addition to having 11 offices across Australia, North and South America, Canada, Africa and Europe, Deswik works with a select group of technology, education, reseller and certified partners.

Deswik Partner Manager, Patrick Doig, said on these partnerships: “Fostering a healthy eco-system of partners has allowed us to extend the reach of our software internationally and provide customers with a consistent ‘Deswik experience’ wherever they are in the world.”

Founded in 2007, Deswik develops specialist solutions covering all aspects of mine planning. Its flagship suite of products, Deswik.CAD, Deswik.Sched, Deswik.LHS and Deswik. MDM, are used by miners on six continents, across the underground metals, open-pit metals, open-pit coal and underground coal sectors.

Deswik employs a team of 300 across 13 offices worldwide and derives more than 70% of its revenue from overseas markets.

GMG’s Open Mining Format gaining traction in 2019

Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) says 2019 has, so far, been a productive for its Open Mining Format (OMF) and the growing community that surrounds it.

GMG’s Data Exchange for Mine Software sub-committee is committed to making OMF implementation straightforward. To this end, it has developed a support document that, as Project Lead Sam Bain, Partner Integration Manager at Seequent describes, “provides easy-to-follow instructions for making the most of OMF in your chosen product”.

The document illustrates how to use OMF with Deswik, Seequent, and Dassault Systemes products currently supporting it, according to GMG.

Bain explained: “OMF is a straightforward format that is easy to implement…The format can be used to transfer points, lines, meshes and regular block models, as well as the metadata on these objects.”

Gustavo Pilger, Technology Research and Development Director at Dassault Systemes, said the document “shows the community that the file format exchange is real as it is already implemented across a few applications”.

Pilger hopes the document will help improve the format and frame its second iteration, while spreading “the word that there is a file format exchange that supports interoperability across applications”.

The community adopting the OMF is widening, according to GMG. Bane Sullivan, a graduate student at the Colorado School of Mines, created an open source viewer for OMF on GitHub, which, GMG says, offers a way to view an OMF file without having to buy a software package.

Seequent’s Bain said: “It is a great sign of a community developing around the OMF. It can only be a good thing if a format can easily be incorporated in a free viewer by a student working on their own.”

The sub-committee will also be kicking off OMF 2.0 at a workshop in Toronto, Canada, on February 28-March 1. OMF 2.0 will focus on block models, chosen in response to feedback from end users. Bain said: “The end goal of the workshop is to agree on what OMF 2.0 will look like and then share this plan with the wider community for review and comment.”

GMG’s Open Mining Format is an open-source file interchange format developed to enable seamless and reliable transfer of data between mine software packages, which can produce major efficiency gains by eliminating the time required for manual and convoluted data transfer across the mine site, according to GMG.

Deswik and Minnovare team up for integrated underground mine planning

Software provider Deswik has welcomed drill and blast technology manufacturer Minnovare as an integration partner, as part of its commitment to provide a flexible and integrated mine planning platform.

The partnership links the latest version of the Deswik.UGDB with Minnovare’s new Production Optimiser system, further cementing Deswik’s position as a software platform of choice in the underground drill and blast space, Deswik said.

The integration allows the export of ring design data, including images, from Deswik.UGDB in a format easily uploaded directly to the Production Optimiser’s software interface, Minnovare CORE, which features digital drill plans and plods.

The Deswik/Production Optimiser integration helps to ensure ‘what is drilled is what was designed’, while also facilitating greater data capture and visualisation, Deswik said. It also reduces the likelihood for re-work, as the integration ensures feedback on accuracy and compliance is instant to both the rig operator and the technical/engineering team using Deswik.UGDB.

A module of Deswik.CAD, Deswik.UGDB manages the specialised needs of drill and blast designs for underground mines. The tool allows users to:

  • Deliver a comprehensive ring design by rapidly placing rings, slots, drill holes either manually or through sophisticated automated tools;
  • Ensure consistency by incorporating standard design metrics for drill rig parameters, explosives and detonator placement to prepopulate your design;
  • Produce detailed blast designs and solids by defining blast pattern with primers, explosives and timing sequences.

The Production Optimiser is the result of a six-month study of drill data from three underground gold mines in Australia. The study led Minnovare to identify three key factors contributing to blast hole deviation – collar error, alignment error and in-hole deviation. It indicated alignment and collar error account for the vast majority of blasthole deviation – as much as 80%.

The Production Optimiser was then created to reduce blasthole deviation by combining advanced rig-alignment hardware with data capture and visualisation software.

“Linking Deswik.UGDB and Minnovare’s Production Optimiser improves efficiency, responsiveness, reliability and accuracy, as well as streamlining the entire drilling operation to provide managers and engineers with the drilling data they need to drive decision-making,” Deswik said.

The Minnovare announcement follows the integration of Imago geoscientific imaging software with the Deswik.GeoTools Mapping module.

“These partnerships are part of Deswik’s commitment to creating an open and integrated software platform that allows data to flow seamlessly across all core mining functions,” the company said.