Tag Archives: Gordon Thomas

Micromine helps Indiana Resources plot next exploration steps at Saboussire

Indiana Resources is using MICROMINE’s exploration and 3D mine modelling software to help secure and maintain the integrity of data relating to a sizable gold anomaly, with a value of over 50 parts per billion (ppb), at its tenements in West Africa, the mining software company says.

High-grade soil sample results from the company’s Saboussire site, in western Mali, indicate a large gold anomaly stretching 2 km by 1 km, and a 9,610 ppb (9.6 g/t Au) result from the central portion of the licence which has been earmarked for immediate follow up, MICROMINE said.

The company has identified two new zones of interest and is preparing for the next phase of exploration after assaying 271 anomalous samples, with values over 20 ppb Au. The samples were visually reviewed by geologists with the data, and related information, stored in a validated database and available for further interrogation.

MICROMINE Technical Product Manager, Gordon Thomas, said: “The Micromine application, which is a core component in our integrated suite of specialist mining software, gives users an in-depth understanding of their projects. This means prospective regions like this can be targeted more accurately, which increases the chance of project success.

“Storing key exploration data in a Micromine database enables resource owners to optimise the information they have available and manage exploration and modelling activities all in one place.

“In the early phases of exploration, such as the sampling program conducted by Indiana Resources, the software creates an accurate picture of the results by enabling fast and flexible data import, export, entry, editing, processing and validation.

“This information is safely stored for further analysis, modelling, estimation, design, optimisation and scheduling at a later date, using the range of functional modules included in the latest version of the leading software solution, Micromine 2020.”

Indiana Chairman, Bronwyn Barnes, said the encouraging results warranted further exploration and the company was now focused on kicking off the next phase of exploration on several priority targets.

Micromine 2020 to provide ‘superior functionality’ across mining value chain

Micromine 2020 has officially hit the markets today, with its developer saying it will cover everything mine designers need from intuitive charting and 3D visualisations to rapid geological modelling and precision planning.

The release builds on MICROMINE’s already popular 3D mine design and planning solution, which is used in over 90 countries.

Micromine Technical Product Manager, Gordon Thomas, said: “Micromine 2020 offers intuitive, feature-rich solutions that meet our clients’ needs and delivers superior functionality across the entire mining value chain.

“Geologists, engineers, mine planners and production schedulers can all benefit from the enhanced speed, efficiency, tools and features of MICROMINE’s new software.”

One of the most compelling added features in Micromine 2020 is the new stope optimisation tool, which MICROMINE previously delved into.

“The underground equivalent of Micromine’s existing pit optimiser module, stope optimiser gives mine planners the means to generate optimal stope outlines to meet design and economic parameters,” Thomas said.

“For open-pit miners, the stope optimiser can also generate the optimum diglines to suit minimum mining widths.”

The addition of new implicit modelling tools for geological modelling is another key upgrade promising to make Micromine 2020 users’ workflows even more efficient and reliable, according to the software developer.

“Micromine 2020’s implicit modelling module can speed up the domain modelling process by 100 times, when compared to manual sectional modelling, while ensuring an accurate result,” Thomas added.

“Conveniently integrated into geologists’ workflow, Micromine 2020 ensures all mining exploration and modelling activities can be done in one place, rather than switching between products and systems.”

Upgrades and new functionalities incorporated into Micromine’s existing scheduler tool also means planning engineers can access these scheduling tools.

“Micromine 2020’s scheduling tool accepts sets of tasks with properties presented in wireframes with attributes and criteria specific to each task – and provides facilities for sequencing the tasks to suit requirements,” Thomas said.

“The tasks are then displayed in a Gantt chart, with the option of creating 3D animations and reports. The updated scheduling tool integrates seamlessly with other Micromine functions and supports both the new expression editor and unit conversion facilities.

“Planners can rest assured they will have the means to satisfy specified objectives, maximise net present value and achieve production targets.”

The company said: “With Micromine’s charts being an integral part of its workflow, the addition of a range of new statistical chart and analysis functionalities in Micromine 2020 gives geologists the means to set up charts according to specific requirements, rather than configuring generic chart options.”

The additional charting tools include Multivariate Histogram Analysis, Ternary Diagram, Top Cut Graph, Boundary Analysis, Swath Plot, Search Neighbourhood, Quantitative Kriging Neighbourhood Analysis, and Grade Tonnage Curve.

Each chart is dedicated to a specific geological or geostatistical scenario, according to Thomas. “Together, in an interactive and visual way, they help geologists make informed decisions where there is no clear-cut answer,” he said.

Another key function of Micromine 2020 is the ring design tool for underground engineers, which enables planning engineers to define the size and configuration of the drill rigs to be used.

“The tool allows users to apply constraints, in accordance with rig specifications. This ensures the range and coverage limits of booms are not inadvertently exceeded during the design process,” Thomas explained. “Rings can be created, viewed, edited, mirrored, copied and replicated using the ring design tool, with feedback provided throughout the design process.”

Other noteworthy new additions in Micromine 2020 include:

  • The ability for explorers and geologists to visualise private and government web map services layers in Vizex;
  • User-friendly import and export options for OMF files, from or to, other GMPs; and
  • An import option for ioGas files.

Enhancements made to the existing Micromine product, meanwhile, include faster block model reporting; faster wireframe assign functionality; enhanced draping and visualising images in Vizex; improved block model regularisation features; data selection functionality using a new lasso tool in Vizex; improved wireframe management tools; improved drill hole creation workflow; and major improvements in the creation and management of Python scripts.

Thomas concluded: “A lot of effort has gone into incorporating improvements and additions that will truly add value to our clients throughout the mining value chain – simplifying and speeding up processes, and helping clients deliver the very best results.”

Micromine 2020 to assist mine planning operations with Stope Optimiser

The launch of MICROMINE’s latest version of leading exploration and 3D mine design solution, Micromine 2020 will see the introduction of new stope optimisation functionality, according to the mining software leader.

The new edition is due for release in November and, with Micromine 2020 not only including innovative upgrades to existing modules, but also new functionality added in response to industry needs, according to Gordon Thomas, Micromine Technical Product Manager.

“One of the new modules specifically caters to the needs of underground mine planners looking to optimise mine design to ensure project profitability. Micromine 2020 builds on the success of our Pit Optimisation module and provides an equivalent strategic planning tool for underground mining operations,” Thomas said.

Unlike many competing products, Micromine 2020’s Stope Optimiser uses integrated mathematical programming to produce optimum 3D solutions, instead of stitching together 2D results produced using approximate methods, according to Thomas. This allows it to identify regions within a resource model that can be mined profitably using designs for a range of potential stoping methods. It also assists mine planners in selecting the most profitable combination of method, stope design and mine life.

MICROMINE said: “Suitable for all planning horizons, Stope Optimiser generates the best possible stope outlines that satisfy design and economic parameters. It can also generate optimum dig-lines to suit minimum mining widths for open-pit mining, making it a great tool for open-pit grade control and mining operations too.”

Maximise profits

Stope optimisation plays a pivotal role in underground mine planning and design. The feasibility and ultimate profitability of a mine depend on optimising the layout of the stopes and minimising the cost of the infrastructure required to access and mine those stopes. Proper integration of stope optimisation into a mine’s planning will result in stopes yielding the highest possible return for the given resource model. “That’s why the best possible stope optimisation tools are a necessity, not a luxury for today’s mine planners,” the company said.

According to MICROMINE, Stope Optimiser provides all the tools mine planners need to determine the maximum possible profit for an underground mining operation.

Thomas explained: “The advanced automated stope design tool in Micromine 2020 generates the optimal configuration of stopes to maximise the discounted value of future cash flows, subject to inherent physical, geotechnical and geological constraints over the lifespan of underground mining operations.”

Stope Optimiser assists in optimising the size of a mining operation based on net present value by providing full support for standard long-term planning methodology with provision for mining, processing and sales rates, start-up costs, capital injection and discounted cash flow analysis, according to the company.

“By identifying the most profitable regions for stoping, Stope Optimiser helps mine planners ensure the best utilisation and management of the human and financial resources involved in an underground mining project,” the company said.

Recognising that an optimal layout or 3D spatial distribution of stopes guarantees the maximum profitability over the lifespan of an underground mining operation, Stope Optimiser aims to give mine planners a competitive edge, MICROMINE said.

Saving time and improving selectivity in underground stope design are other key benefits the software provides, according to MICROMINE.

Using the resource block model, minimum stope dimensions, stope orientation, processing options and economic parameters, Stope Optimiser can automatically produce stope shapes that take into account stope geometry together with geological and geotechnical restraints, according to the company. This means mine planners can optimise the stope boundary by fine-tuning desired stope shapes.

The new module automatically generates the highest value stope solids across a wide range of mining method geometries and orebody types, delivering strategic stope designs and pillar location optimisation against complex orebodies. Key features include:

  • The built-in material flow model, which supports material bins can be defined using simple filters or complex expressions. It also derives block optimisation values, which can also be calculated externally and pre-assigned to blocks;
  • Zone and region support – specifies where stopes should be confined to or excluded from using zones defined by polygons/wireframes, and applies different design parameters to multiple regions; and
  • Stope functionality – accepts sizes and orientations of minimum stopes and minimum pillar width, in addition to overlaps minimum stope sizes as required to form larger mining areas to satisfy minimum mineable shapes. At the same time, this functionality constrains stopes to planes, digital terrain models and centreline strings with the option to anchor planes and digital terrain models to a reference point and replicate at regular elevation levels.

Thomas said: “Stope Optimiser allows mine planners to optimise the stope design while satisfying physical mining constraints and maximising the profit from operations.”

Strategic outputs

The stope wireframes and reports generated by the Stope Optimiser functionality facilitate strategic and tactical mine planning, according to the company.

“Stope Optimiser automates stoping design for a range of methods used in underground mines, enabling mine planners to quickly analyse stoping methods and parameters for a defined geological block model to maximise the value of the orebody and develop a strategic plan assessed against a variety of approaches and constraints,” the company said.

Feasibility studies for underground operations can be performed, while also allowing the investigation of stoping frameworks and economic scenarios. Stope Optimiser’s integration with other Micromine modules also provides time and money savings as the outputs can be used in other applications, like scheduling.

“The stope wireframes generated can be directly incorporated into the mine planning process to create the optimum solution, while a full suite of reports can be created to facilitate post-processing and analysis of all input parameters, block processing outcomes and generated stopes,” MICROMINE said.

Reports can be customised, summarised and have unit conversions applied using Micromine’s new Report Generator. Reports integrate with Microsoft Excel and Business Intelligence software, enabling pivot tables and other post-processing datasets to be used.

Seamless integration

Designed for both open-pit grade control and mining, and underground mine planning, the Stope Optimiser seamlessly integrates with the suite of Micromine modules.

Accessible from one integrated platform, Micromine’s integrated tools for modelling, estimation, design, optimisation and scheduling all “talk” to each other, enabling easy data transfer and compatibility, MICROMINE said.

“Stope Optimiser is fully compatible with the Micromine Pit Optimisation module, sharing many common parameters. And, since they share the same concepts and workflow, proficiency with one module translates to proficiency with the other – saving time and money.

Micromine 2020 is due for release in November and in addition to the new Stope Optimiser, it will include advances in the Implicit Modelling and Pit Optimisation modules, and new Report Generator with full support for user-defined fields and unit conversions.