Tag Archives: James Dampney

Hexagon to Augment blast movement offering with AI-based partnership

Hexagon has announced it is partnering with Western Australia’s Augment Technologies to help mines maximise ore yield and optimise operational efficiencies by accurately accounting for blast movement.

The partnership will harness a blend of block model data, artificial intelligence (AI), bespoke movement models and measured 3D movement data to create a blast movement solution that enables mines to unlock significant value, Hexagon said.

The Hexagon MinePlan Block Model Manager enables users to simultaneously and effectively design, populate, manage and share block models while centrally managing the amount of sample points, variables and outputs associated with orebody data.

Augment Technologies, meanwhile, leverages a physics engine powered by an AI algorithm to create a Muckpile Block Model™ that is continuously improved through a machine-learning process. The process uses vast amounts of blasting data to ensure that the model’s controlling parameters and simulated physics are as accurate as possible, resulting in a bespoke solution for each customer, the company says.

The collaboration between Hexagon and Augment will allow customers to view and manage the Muckpile Block Model that retains all the data and fidelity of the grade control model, with high accuracy and resolution. Users will have the option of incorporating Hexagon’s Blast Movement Monitors as an additional measure for blast movement and for training the AI model, with transparency into all the data inputs and output, it says. They can also combine operational data with insights from the Hexagon Block Model Manager API to help optimise upstream and downstream processes, all within its geological modelling software platform.

“The implications for the industry are profound,” James Dampney, Vice President, Resource Optimisation, Hexagon’s Mining division, said. “Ore loss, dilution and misclassification cost mines millions of wasted dollars a year. Our partnership with Augment Technologies will help mines to optimise digging locations and downstream handling of ore, resulting in valuable processing efficiency and reductions in energy consumption.

“Customers will save training time and operation time by remaining in the same software used to model their ore. The incorporation of an industry-first block model manager provides auditability and traceability to reduce errors while managers and corporate stakeholders will see time-stamped changes of the block model.”

Augment Technologies co-founder and Chairman, Greg Hardwich, said the partnership was setting a new industry standard in minimising ore loss and dilution due to blast movement, bringing enormous efficiency to mining processes.

“We’re very excited to be working with global autonomous technology leader Hexagon to inject our AI-powered capability to create a Muckpile Block Model, transforming the way blast movements are modelled and measured to create significant value for our customers,” he said. “Through this partnership, Hexagon’s customers will have the opportunity to realise demonstratable reductions in ore dilution, allowing miners to return more consistent grades, and higher tonnages of ore for processing.”

Hexagon’s Mining division launches HxGN MineMeasure Detect fragmentation solution

Hexagon’s Mining division says it has strengthened its leadership in production material monitoring and measurement by introducing HxGN MineMeasure Detect, a 3D camera hardware, software and data solution.

MineMeasure Detect enables real-time optimisation for plant production with automated digital-image analysis that offers continuous, accurate and rapid measurement of oversize, volume, rock fragmentation and colour analysis, the company says.

The solution has already been trialled at the Pinto Valley copper mine, in the US, owned by Capstone Mining.

Mines demand consistent, predictable, high-volume production with plants intended to operate 24/7, it explained. Changing geologic mineral and structural conditions within mining benches can sometimes mean oversize particles block crushers, chutes and conveyors. Blockages can halt operations, in severe cases resulting in lost operational revenues worth millions of dollars.

MineMeasure Detect minimises production interruptions and costly downtime with oversize detection of large particles, according to Hexagon’s Mining division. It enhances production efficiencies and reconciliation by calculating volume, density and tonnage. Advanced detection reveals an aggregate of previously unmeasured ancillary variables, such as material density and hardness, which are essential to throughput maximisation and ore liberation.

The company added: “The solution’s fragmentation analysis capabilities enable continuous monitoring and improvement of production throughput while managing costs. Industry-leading research and proven algorithms for direct measurements of particle identification and fines identification set MineMeasure Detect apart for its measurement accuracy in mineral processing. It includes the largest set of data availability applied across the international mining industry.

“Colour-analysis data for ore detection empowers operators with additional opportunities to adjust material handling, material blending, clay detection and ore treatment recipes.”

James Dampney, VP-MineMeasure, Hexagon’s Mining division, said: “MineMeasure Detect is built on more than 25 years’ experience partnering with international mining operations, allowing systems to be fully integrated with customer technologies. Combined with our fragmentation tools, the solution’s immediate detection capabilities offer a critical early warning for operators to avoid catastrophic production stoppages.

“With its image-analysis techniques ensuring that fragmentation is managed and optimised, MineMeasure Detect fits seamlessly in the MineMeasure portfolio, which delivers scrutiny and transparency in every step of the ore extraction journey.”

To see HxGN MineMeasure Detect in action at Capstone Copper’s Pinto Valley Mine, click here.