Tag Archives: mining software

Bentley’s Seequent adds to cloud-based geoscience software base with Imago acquisition

Bentley Systems’ Seequent business unit has acquired Imago Inc, a developer of cloud-based software for the capture and management of geoscientific imagery.

The acquisition, which comes only a month after announcing the purchase of Aarhus GeoSoftware, will expand Seequent’s technology solutions portfolio while boosting cloud capabilities to help geoscientists and engineers solve earth, environment and energy challenges, it said.

Imago’s cloud-based platform enables the capture, cataloguing and review of drilling core and chip images from any source, to support every aspect of the geological process from exploration to grade control. Continued development of Imago’s machine learning will lead to a step function in the interpretation of geological data, according to Seequent.

Seequent said: “Mining companies around the world apply Imago’s solution in conjunction with geology data management and modelling tools to enable teams to make more confident, profitable decisions using instantly available, high-quality images. Seequent already integrates its Leapfrog, Oasis montaj, Target, and Minalytix MX Deposit with Imago’s solution, making it easy for geologists, engineers and other stakeholders to extract knowledge and learn from geoscientific imagery. The goal is to unlock significant potential for mining and other industries, transforming image data into meaningful insights for geological activities.”

Imago establishes a consistent process for capturing high-quality images, which integrate with existing workflows and allow the application of machine learning

Graham Grant, CEO of Seequent, said: “It’s an exciting step to welcome the Imago team on board to help advance Seequent’s progression into the cloud. We’re continually exploring ways to provide new technologies and solutions to solve workflow challenges, improve operational efficiency and deliver greater value for our users who are working to solve some of the world’s major civil, environmental, and energy challenges. This acquisition demonstrates Seequent’s continued growth and our commitment to make a positive contribution to the industries we serve globally.”

Imago’s Co-Founder, Federico Arboleda, said: “As a small team in Phoenix and Perth, we’re excited to join forces with Seequent, as this will now allow us to substantially scale Imago’s solutions in mining and other markets. We founded Imago to help mining companies manage the high volume and size of geological images and unlock the great value in this geoscience imagery. Image data is an increasingly important source of data across the geosciences – and can come from potentially any source, including core photos, hyperspectral, aerial photos, drones, and handheld devices. It will become even more important to transform image data into knowledge as automation needs increase.”

acQuire future-proofs GIM Suite with latest update

acQuire has advanced its flagship GIM Suite product with a new release that, it says, includes a raft of brand-new features plus a transition to a new cloud-based licence model.

GIM Suite 5 has been built for the future of data management, with the aim to improve the way geologists and miners manage their geological data, acQuire explained. The new release streamlines data collection from the field to sample submission and provides a way to seamlessly manage their entire field data collection workflow across mobile, desktop and web.

Steve Mundell, Director of Product at acQuire, says the company is focused on continually evolving the GIM Suite software to ensure miners are always working with the most powerful geological data management tools on the market.

“We’ve focused on providing dynamic and interactive tools for geologists to match the way they work,” Mundell said. “GIM Suite 5’s new interface is designed for drill hole logging and sampling across a range of drilling methods, from exploration to production, whether you’re collecting data in remote field locations or logging in the core shed.

“It gives you visual feedback in real time when logging geological observations and sample intervals within a graphical log in web or mobile. You no longer need to use multiple software tools for different logging scenarios.”

Geologists working with geoscientific data can use GIM Suite 5 for Reverse Circulation, air rotary drilling or Rotary Air Blast, air core or diamond drilling methods.

Workers in a remote environment with limited or no connectivity, can capture drillhole data using the acQuire Arena mobile app. Alternatively, if they are working online, they can capture data on any Windows device through a web browser.

GIM Suite 5 smoothly integrates all the steps from mobile data capture in the field to creating sample despatch reports on the web, acQuire said. Users can plan, capture, import, monitor and despatch.

“This results in a fast, efficient, and accurate way to manage geological data across an entire field collection workflow,” Mundell explained.

A new web-based tool, Data Discovery, enables senior geologists or anyone on a geology team to discover and access all data stored in GIM Suite.

“We want to give miners a way to dig deeper into their geological data, when they need to” Mundell said. “You can rapidly construct complex queries in our web interface. The data discovery tool lets you create complex data queries and views with a ‘drag and drop’ tool. You can construct queries, filter or aggregate data across data views, and create on the fly calculations.”

Business rules and other parameters governing the quality and integrity of geological data are controlled from a central location in a new, web-based data definition library, acQuire says. This simplifies how data definitions are managed and allows users to apply business rules consistently across all methods of data capture. Configuration times for new projects are also reduced, with users able to rely on previously created data definitions.

With this release, acQuire has overhauled the way it licences its technology to ensure everyone who needs GIM Suite has easier access to the product, it said.

“We’re introducing a simplified and more flexible licence model for all users of GIM Suite technology with this release,” Mundell said. “GIM Suite licences are now managed from a cloud-based licence platform, making it easier to access and manage team licences.”

RPMGlobal adds electric vehicles to the HaaS simulation mix

RPMGlobal says it has further advanced its environmental, social and governance (ESG) software capabilities following the completion of enhancements to its Haulage as a Service (HaaS) simulation product to incorporate support for electric vehicles.

In addition, the company is planning to add hydrogen haulage vehicle technology into the mix later.

As a cloud enabled, service-orientated approach to haulage analysis, HaaS provides mining companies with the capability to undertake haulage calculations in a cloud environment, according to RPM.

The introduction of electric vehicle support will allow users to model energy usage and regenerative braking within HaaS, providing users with the ability to complete travel time calculations programmatically in a cloud-based environment.

RPMGlobal’s investment in both cloud and sustainability has increased significantly in the past year, culminating in the latest release of HaaS. HaaS, which was the first RPMGlobal solution to be released as a true Software as a Service offering, is a native cloud application that gives miners increased operational agility to undertake haulage calculations from any location, the company explained.

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, said the latest release further demonstrated the company’s commitment to support mining organisations on their journey towards environmentally responsible operations.

“RPMGlobal is focused on contributing towards a sustainable future for the people and organisations that we work with and it is great to see the advancements that our software is contributing to in this space,” he said.

With hydrogen now viewed as having an important role to play in the industry’s bid to decarbonise through the integration of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, the next step for RPMGlobal’s haulage simulation platforms will be the introduction of hydrogen vehicle technology to the mix. Foundation work has already started on the offering, with completion planned later this calendar year, the company said.

“This new functionality will allow organisations to simulate hydrogen-powered vehicles and run scenarios with the specific characteristics of the new hydrogen technology,” RPM said. “The simulation platform will then provide a way to assess options and scenarios for diesel, electric or hydrogen powered vehicles in any combination.”

Mathews views the platform as critical capability for mining organisations and original equipment manufacturers as they search for ways to remove reliance on fossil fuels in mining.

“As more and more organisations commit to emission reduction targets, it will be critical to have software that can simulate different outcomes based on what combination of diesel-, electric- or hydrogen-powered vehicles are deployed within the mining operation and allow users to quantify the results of each scenario in a way that assists them to make the best decisions inclusive of sustainability considerations,” he said.

An increasing number of miners have formally set emissions targets while the majors have committed to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Many of the plans to reach these decarbonisation commitments have an element that focuses on haulage of material and the shift from diesel to alternative energy sources that are more sustainable, according to Mathews.

“Whether an organisation is looking to battery-electric vehicles, hydrogen, or trolley infrastructure as a greener alternative, our intent is to ensure RPMGlobal’s simulation solutions can support and enhance those decisions into the future,” he said.

The company added electric vehicle support to its haulage simulation platforms, HAULSIM and SIMULATE, back in May.

MICROMINE deepens mine scheduling expertise with Precision Mining addition

MICROMINE says it has taken its first step on the acquisition trail, signing a deal to purchase Queensland, Australia-based technology company Precision Mining.

The arrangement will give MICROMINE full ownership of Precision Mining, which is best known for its flagship mine scheduling software, Spry.

The acquisition is the first in almost two decades for MICROMINE, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.

Spry expands and deepens the mine scheduling segment in the company’s software suite. Spry provides a dig scheduling, dump scheduling and mine haulage software environment that gives complete results in a fraction of the time, according to Precision Mining.

MICROMINE’s current offering covers the entire mining cycle from exploration to production control, with its products currently used at 2,000 sites in 90 countries.

MICROMINE CEO, Andrew Birch, who took the reins at MICROMINE in 2019 after private equity firm Potentia Capital acquired a majority stake, said Spry would continue to operate as a standalone brand but would also be closely integrated with the MICROMINE suite.

“Precision Mining really stood out, not just for the quality of its software but also for the team’s experience and reputation as consultants in mine scheduling and haulage,” Birch said. “We looked worldwide for a company that was best in class and had the potential to scale globally. Finding an Australian company like Precision that is building innovative technology solutions suitable for the global mining market made the acquisition really attractive.”

Birch said MICROMINE’s focus for the past two years has been on accelerating organic growth and ensuring its product, distribution and customer service are “on point” and the company’s product roadmaps and vision are pushing into the next generation of both technology and mining.

“We are now expanding our reach and depth of expertise in a market we know well,” he said. “This is a very synergistic addition to our business and an important part of our growth strategy.”

The Precision Mining team, led by founders Glen Barnes, Craig Morgan and Zim Chan, will continue working in the business, bringing specialist scheduling and mine production expertise to the MICROMINE stable, according to MICROMINE.

Barnes said: “Joining MICROMINE will give us the experience, resources and global distribution network that are critical and together we will grow the business. The company has been growing quickly since 2007, and we reached the point where we need the expertise and support of a global business like MICROMINE to take it to the next level.”

RPMGlobal seeks to align short- and long-term mine planning with Attain

RPMGlobal has broadened its software optimisation suite with the launch of Attain, a solution that, the company says, helps mine planners maintain alignment between their long-term and short-term production schedules and improve the net present value (NPV) of their operations.

The company explained: “The dynamic nature of mining operations creates a high degree of uncertainty across many different elements. Unexpected events often arise which require mine planners to reschedule their mine plan. Should the short-term mine plan deviate too far off course from the long-term plan then value can be eroded by the failure to achieve the strategic long-term goals.”

Attain is a software solution that solves the challenge of mine planning horizon misalignment by ensuring operational mine planning is systematically aligned with the long-term plan, resulting in optimised short-term schedules and improved NPV, RPMGlobal claims.

Once a schedule becomes misaligned with the longer-term plan, Attain will produce feasible, optimised short-range schedules aligned with the long-range schedule. These alternatives are offered to the mine planner who is then able to review and selects the preferred short-range schedule.

Attain targets the two-to-six-month planning horizon and builds a short-term schedule that considers the actual results to-date while maintaining alignment with the long-term plan, it says.

“With a highly intuitive user interface, the user simply selects their preferred long-term plan which then becomes Attain’s optimisation objective,” RPMGlobal added.

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, said: “Short-term planners are always reacting to events that cause a deviation from the mine plan but they often don’t have a way of knowing what the unintended consequences of the resulting re-planning decisions are on the life of the mine.

“With Attain, users can make informed decisions while adjusting the short-term plan knowing that the long-term plan objectives are being met. Attain complements all mine planning tools and processes that mining operations use.”

Mathews said the team were excited to launch the Attain solution to the market and would be seeking feedback from early adopters to prioritise future development.

Sandvik adds new layers to iSURE underground rock excavation software

Sandvik is looking to further optimise the drilling and blasting process with an updated version of its iSURE® underground rock excavation software.

iSURE, Sandvik says, works seamlessly with its i-series drill rigs, providing accurate analysis functionality to improve the work cycle and process. It has evolved into a renowned computer program for tunnelling construction and mining drill and blast process control, helping produce the data needed for optimising the drilling and blasting cycle.

iSURE 8.0 added a template-based drill and blast plan generation tool that considered rock blastability, tunnel profile quality target and explosives used, not forgetting designer capability to easily edit and tune the result based on the feedback of the drill and blast process, Sandvik says. iSURE 8.1 builds on this, including an in-built three-day training program to cover steps from simple concepts to the more advanced cases.

A key development sees iSURE 8.1 having a toolset for specifically covering “advanced metrics”. This helps the user increase knowledge and reveal points of improvement in face drilling rigs usage and in the tunnel excavation drill and blast process via producing high level key performance indicators from collected rounds and respective design data. These consist of production, realised schedule and heuristics analysis of the data addressing the feedback received regarding version iSURE 8.0. They are targeted to improve excavation (face drilling) production capability, plan future activities such as new projects, and to raise awareness when problems or difficulties occur.

The new and existing features found with iSURE 8.1 are designed to improve the entire drill and blast process through data collection. It will also hint if any rig adjustment is required, or if rig misuse is suspected. It shows the change in rock mass drillability, drill steel consumption, face shape after blasting and scaling, any operator deviation from the plan while drilling, and, based on scanner data, the realised profile and production volume. All this results in improved production and productive feedback that can be assessed and built upon, empowering the entire drill and blast process, the company says.

iSURE 8.1 is not the final development of this solution from Sandvik. New improvements and developments are planned based on further sharing of knowledge and experience with customers and drill and blast professionals globally, the company says.

Currently, iSURE is used with Sandvik’s i-series face drilling rigs, the original construction i-series and newer bedrock-style i-series, TCAD+ and bolting instruments.

RPMGlobal introduces ‘industry first’ Hybrid Scheduling tool to XPAC Solutions

RPMGlobal has unveiled its next evolution of mine scheduling software with the latest release of its leading suite of scheduling products, XPAC Solutions.

The latest release includes speed and performance upgrades and functionality and architectural improvements designed to provide the user with additional agility.

However, it is the introduction of Hybrid Scheduling in XPAC 3.1 that is already generating excitement, according to the company.

Hybrid Scheduling is, RPM claims, an industry first that provides users with the flexibility of manual scheduling, together with the time savings and ease of automated scheduling.

For many years, XPAC Solutions have allowed users to start scheduling manually then seamlessly transition to automatic scheduling at any point. With Hybrid Scheduling, users can define the high-level strategy, such as the timing of shovel moves or opening of a new pit and leave the AutoScheduler to work out the detail.

The Hybrid Scheduling functionality includes a major update to the user interface that completely turns the traditional iterative scheduling workflow on its head, according to RPM.

Users no longer need to process the entire schedule every time they make an adjustment to the configuration. They can now step through the schedule incrementally, pausing at key milestones and refining the schedule as they go.

With most scheduling software products on the market requiring users to choose one of either manual or automatic mode, XPAC Solutions’ Hybrid Scheduling functionality gives mine planners the best of both worlds – the ability to schedule both manually and automatically which can be used across all solutions in any combination, RPM says.

RPMGlobal Chief Technology Officer, Paul Beesley, said the release of XPAC 3.1 represented a major step-change in the industry’s approach to planning and scheduling.

“XPAC Solutions 3.1 gives mine planners more flexibility and capability than ever before which is critical for the dynamic environment in which mines operate,” he said.

“Key scheduling decisions can be made manually, while the detail of how those decisions will be achieved is determined automatically. Importantly, all three methods are performed simultaneously in an interactive, highly visual environment that integrates 3D animation, Gantt charts and task sequences.

“Planners can pause the schedule at any point and visualise the status of the mine and key equipment so it’s much faster to build practical, efficient dig sequences for all major equipment.”

The latest upgrade to XPAC Solutions includes major speed and performance enhancements across the process. Data compaction and caching techniques make it much faster to load complex 3D data into memory and virtually eliminates any further delays when the plot is revisited, the company says.

Among other improvements, the new version allows delays associated with equipment relocations to be inserted automatically with durations based on the distance that must be travelled.

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.”

RPMGlobal’s enterprise mining software solutions win SAP seal of approval

RPMGlobal says it has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to its SAP partnership and providing interoperable, enterprise software solutions to the mining industry after receiving an SAP integration certification for its enterprise product offerings.

The integration green light was provided by SAP certifying that RPM’s enterprise solutions can integrate with SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud Extended Edition using standard integration technologies. These certifications further support RPM’s development of cloud enabled solutions, the company said.

RPM and SAP have been working together for well over a decade and RPM secured the latest designation following a detailed process whereby separately deployable components were put through stringent qualification procedures to earn the integration approval, it explained. This entailed RPM’s integration connectors and product architecture being scrutinised by SAP’s development laboratory.

The SAP certification is a significant indication of the technical alignment and interoperability capabilities between the solutions, according to RPM. It will will enable the exchange of information between SAP and RPM’s enterprise product offerings which span the entire mine lifecycle, from design and scheduling, through to maintenance and finance.

Paul Beesley, RPM’s Chief Technology Officer, said the SAP certification was a significant endorsement of the company’s quality technical infrastructure which underpins its enterprise offerings.

“RPM remains committed to a robust software integration strategy that builds complimentary products to support the SAP technology stack,” he said. “This enables our customers to have a smooth and direct flow of business data between SAP solutions and our software offerings so it’s very rewarding to receive this additional certification.”

With more mining operations implementing digital transformation initiatives, connecting disparate systems to foster the exchange of critical information is an industry imperative, Beesley added.

With enterprise integration forming a core part of RPM’s philosophy from the beginning, Beesley said the recent certification builds upon the company’s ongoing commitment to working with SAP.

“SAP remains the industry standard for Enterprise Resource Planning software used by mining companies,” he said. “This certification ensures our current and future customers can integrate operational technology with business processes to achieve a connected mining enterprise that provides a single source of truth across the organisation.”

Minemax opens up access to mine scheduling software

Minemax has released a new version of its integrated strategic mine planning and scheduling software, Scheduler, that brings advanced scheduling into its cost-effective Lite edition.

Minemax Scheduler 7.0.4 will allow Minemax Scheduler Lite users to model various strategic decisions, previously exclusive to Minemax Scheduler Professional users, according to the company.

“With this added capability, Lite users will be able to model more complex mine planning environments,” it said. Examples of this include modelling multiple processing plants, deciding optimal material paths to various alternative destinations, and determining optimal cutoff grades.

“In all instances, Minemax Scheduler’s scheduling engine analyses these decisions together with the extraction sequence, haulage, stockpiling and blending to generate a plan that honours all constraints,” Minemax said. “This gives mine planners a very powerful tool that evaluates numerous scenarios for their strategic mine plan, all within one single optimisation run.”

Minemax CEO, Joe Kraft, said: “We are very excited about this new development in Minemax Scheduler. With this version, we are making the premier strategic schedule optimisation software more accessible to a range of budgets. This product is a must-have for any mining business seeking to achieve maximum value from their mine strategy.”

In addition, Minemax Scheduler 7.0.4 includes functionality and efficiency enhancements in pit/dump group definition, 3D visualisation and reporting, the company said.

“With respect to performance, the previous CPU core limit has been removed from Minemax Scheduler’s optimisation engine, which can now utilise more CPU cores than before,” it added. “This may result in faster solve times for projects, allowing planners to achieve more in less time.”