Tag Archives: mining software

RPMGlobal and MIRARCO’s AVM, VCM software to receive funding boost

RPMGlobal has announced an increase in funding for its optimisation software development program after receiving industry funds to further support the ongoing development of its decision support software for underground mining.

The support has been given by the government of Ontario through the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), an organisation that supports innovators to commercialise new Ontario based technologies. RPM acquired three optimisation software modules in December 2021 from Sudbury-based MIRARCO as part of a three-year collaborative research partnership. MIRARCO is a solution research provider for the mining industry and research arm of Laurentian University.

David Batkin, RPMGlobal’s Head of Product Strategy, said it was terrific to be working with forward thinking, likeminded organisations.

“RPM and MIRARCO have had a great working relationship for the past few years, and it is fantastic to be enjoying this additional support from OCI; it will go a long way to further develop these important optimisation programs,” he said.

MIRARCO President and CEO, Dr Nadia Mykytczuk, added: “This collaboration with RPMGlobal will result in full commercialisation and deployment of tools that will benefit the mining industry. We are really excited to have our teams working together as well as bringing together new academic collaborators from Queen’s University.”

The software modules benefitting from the investment are part of RPM’s Design and Scheduling product portfolio. These modules consist of the Advanced Valuation Module (AVM) and the Ventilation Constraint Module (VCM), both of which extend and complement the functionality of RPM’s mine optimisation software solutions.

The AVM facilitates the generation of optimised underground mine plans that are robust to uncertain product prices and ore grades. The VCM generates optimised underground mine schedules based on ventilation constraints.

The funding provided by OCI, which has a proven track record when it comes to supporting software development, RPM says, will be matched by RPM and will be used to support the multi-year collaboration arrangement between RPM and MIRARCO.

Batkin concluded: “We are very thankful to OCI for this support and for having the foresight and vision to recognise the value that this technology will bring to the underground mining industry.”

Micromine mine control and fleet management solution set for AngloGold Ashanti deployments

Micromine says it has entered into a three-year software agreement with AngloGold Ashanti to deliver mine control and fleet management software solution, Micromine Pitram.

The solution will be implemented at AngloGold Ashanti’s Australian operations, Sunrise Dam and Tropicana, both in Western Australia’s north-eastern goldfields.

Micromine Pitram will help the operations personnel capture, manage and optimise its activities by obtaining core operational asset data, including equipment, materials and locations, Micromine says.

Andrew Birch, Chief Executive Officer of Micromine, said: “We are extremely proud to be providing our Micromine Pitram solution to AngloGold Ashanti. Our comprehensive mine control and fleet management solution enhances the productivity and profitability of a mine through real-time or near-real-time data.”

The open and scalable technology provides flexibility to incorporate equipment, systems, locations and network assets as needed. From an executive team analysing profit, operations managers optimising productivity, to operators tracking progress, Micromine Pitram provides stakeholders at every level with greater visibility, control, and understanding of operational activities, according to the company.

“Micromine Pitram is used and trusted by many of the world’s largest mining organisations, and this agreement is just another fantastic example,” Birch added.

As per the agreement, Micromine Pitram will be deployed at Sunrise Dam and Tropicana this month.

Sunrise Dam is predominantly an underground operation with average production of 2.7 Mt/y of ore. Tropicana, a joint venture between AngloGold (70%) and Regis Resources (30%), is an open-pit mine and underground mine.

Last week, AspenTech and the owners of Micromine entered into a definitive agreement for the former to take over the latter company in a cash deal worth $623 million.

AspenTech in pole position to help digitise mining sector with planned takeover of Micromine

Aspen Technology is looking to expand its industrial software remit with the acquisition of Micromine, a global leader in design and operational management solutions for the mining industry, from private equity firm Potentia Capital and other sellers for A$900 million in cash ($623 million)

The two have entered into a definitive agreement that AspenTech says complements its existing asset optimisation solutions and positions the company in a leadership role to deliver the “Digital Mine of the Future”, in support of excellence in operations with a focus on safety, sustainability, reliability and efficiency.

In addition, AspenTech says it is now uniquely positioned to help mining customers address the dual challenge of meeting the demands of a growing population with an increasing standard of living, while reaching sustainability goals.

“AspenTech’s innovation and unique expertise in digitally transforming the chemicals and oil and gas industries will be critical to the mining industry as it embarks on rapid digitalisation,” it says.

Micromine participates in the smart mining market, which in 2022 amounts to approximately $11.5 billion, according to AspenTech. Based on Micromine’s technology, the relevant global segments of the total smart mining market are $5.3 billion and cover data management and analytics, smart asset management and other solutions, AspenTech says.

“With a 35-year track record of success and 280 employees across 22 global offices, Micromine provides mission-critical solutions for over 800 blue-chip customers across all mining operations and commodities with a focus on various metals essential for the energy transition such as lithium, cobalt and nickel, base metals such as copper and iron ore, and precious metals such as gold,” the company added.

Antonio Pietri, President and CEO, AspenTech, said: “Digitalisation is critical for the metals and mining industry to become sustainably sound and operationally excellent for generations to come. Micromine’s comprehensive solutions span the breadth of the mining cycle from geological exploration and data management to resource estimation, mine design, planning, scheduling and production control.

“As we indicated when we announced the transaction with Emerson, AspenTech has gained additional flexibility to strategically deploy capital for growth. Combining AspenTech’s product portfolio and worldwide reach with Micromine’s mission-critical technology and leadership in the mining industry will equip customers with a comprehensive offering and the end-to-end ability to drive efficiencies across the entire mining value chain, while helping them meet the dual challenge.”

Back in October 2021, Emerson and AspenTech announced that the companies had entered into a definitive agreement to contribute Emerson’s industrial software businesses – OSI Inc and its Geological Simulation Software business – to AspenTech to create a diversified, high-performance industrial software leader with greater scale, capabilities and technologies being referred to as “new AspenTech”.

Andrew Birch, CEO, Micromine, said: “The majority of organisations in the mining industry are in a nascent stage of digitalisation. Accelerating their digital initiatives through a comprehensive suite of software applications and the expertise from AspenTech is a unique opportunity for our customers. Our vision has always been to create an ecosystem that connects experts across the exploration and mining value chain, using both new and existing technologies to deliver better outcomes for our customers.

“Micromine solutions complement AspenTech solutions perfectly with resultant capabilities of the whole combined company that are greater than the sum of the parts. Joining forces with AspenTech further reinforces this vision and will be the key to delivering the next generation of efficiencies in the mining sector.”

Micromine is expected to be accretive to AspenTech on a free cash flow basis within the first 12 months of the transaction closing, which is expected to close in the June quarter of 2023.

RPMGlobal adds gas drainage insight to XPAC underground coal scheduling platform

RPMGlobal has released what it says is another industry first with new Gas Drainage Scheduling functionality inside its XPAC Underground Coal Solution (UGCS).

This functionality has been developed with some of Australia’s largest underground coal miners, it noted.

XPAC Solutions are a suite of commodity-based mine planning software solutions specifically built for different commodities and mining methods. It is 100% script-free and made up of pre-defined logic, which, when combined with the tacit knowledge of mining engineers, automatically determines what is practically possible to achieve across one or many mining operations, the company says.

For many coal miners, understanding the impact of gas drainage activities on production can be an extremely challenging task. Until now, there were no software solutions dedicated to this specific task, according to RPM. Engineers were forced to rely on spreadsheets to understand when the drainage of each gateroad was completed and, therefore, the associated impacts on the critical development required for the next longwall move.

Because of the disparate systems, it has been hard to consider gas drainage at the same time as the mine’s production schedule, according to David Batkin, RPM’s Head of Product Strategy.

“The gas drainage functionality of UGCS provides a step change in scheduling gassy underground coal mines,” he said. “The solution tightly integrates the drainage activities into both the mine design and the scheduling processes. It makes gas drainage a key consideration every time the schedule is updated.”

The solution allows the user to directly include factors that influence drainage times – like gas content and permeability – into the in-situ model. When users design a series of longwall panels, gas drainage stubs can be inserted automatically, along with the associated patterns that will be drilled from them. These drill pattern envelopes adjust dynamically based on the longwall dimensions and gateroad properties, but users are also free to refine everything in the model.

The rigs used to perform the gas drainage drilling are treated as independent resources and are scheduled in the same way as continuous miners and longwalls. Rules govern when the drill sites become available and, once they have been drilled, the schedule starts tracking drainage status as soon as each pattern has been drilled.

Mitigation strategies for gas drainage challenges are typically required several years in advance if they are to be effective, RPM says.

As a result, a range of tools have been provided to analyse these challenges and communicate when they need to be implemented. Animations highlight the status of drill sites, so it’s clear when they are available for drilling, when they are drilled and when they are being drained. The drainage status of all development is also displayed and warnings are generated automatically whenever mining is impacted by incomplete drainage.

Batkin stated the solution has been designed to make it as practical as possible for mines with gas drainage challenges.

“This solution has been produced in collaboration with underground miners who face these challenges day in and day out,” he said. “They have helped us take a very practical approach to the problem.

“Our current partners have provided extremely positive feedback that confirms UGCS directly addresses the gas drainage challenges they routinely face. We are excited to have worked with them to provide a solution of this calibre.”

This gas drainage module will be available in the next release of the Underground Coal Solution.

Vela adds geostatistics leader Geovariances to mining software mix

Vela Software Group, owner of Datamine, acQuire, Minemax, Centric and Snowden-Optiro, has announced the acquisition of Geovariances, a leader in geostatistics with over 30 years’ experience.

Headquartered in Fontainebleau, France, Geovariances is the developer of Isatis.neo, a leading solution for complex geospatial challenges in mining, oil & gas, nuclear decommissioning, contaminated soil and air & water quality, Vela said.

Dylan Webb, CEO of Datamine, said: “The Geovariances acquisition is a highly complementary addition to Vela’s mining software portfolio. Adding the renowned Isatis.neo application to our natural resources and environmental modelling solutions will deliver even greater value to customers.

“The opportunity to work more closely with the Geovariances team will enable us to deliver the most advanced geostatistics solutions to our customers and constantly incorporate the latest research.”

Geovariances CEO, Jean-Paul Roux, said: “By joining Vela Software, Geovariances will become closer to Vela-owned companies operating in the mining industry, such as Datamine, acQuire, Minemax, Centric and Snowden-Optiro. We are confident that this connection with firms similar to ours will allow us to develop synergies that will benefit our customers. We’ll also benefit from Vela’s presence in 20 countries to provide our clients with more efficient local support.”

Micromine adds three new tools to exploration, resource estimation solution

Micromine says its exploration and resource estimation solution has just got better with its latest version, Micromine Origin 2022.5.

The enhanced functionality of the company’s flagship product is led by three brand new tools to equip exploration and resource geologists with even greater confidence in their geological decisions.

At the click of a few buttons, users can improve the accuracy of their resource estimates by integrating real deposit geometry into their estimations with the new Structural Trend tool, the company said.

The new Vein Network tool, meanwhile, facilitates all veins to be modelled in a single step, mitigating the typical time-consuming macros and manual boolean operations. This provides an ideal solution, especially when modelling vein deposits with multiple loads or complex intrusion-style deposits, according to Micromine.

Due to the high risk for over or underestimation, Micromine Origin 2022.5’s new Indicator Grade Shell tool mitigates estimation risk and prevents domain errors by providing an unbiased and accurate method to represent grade domains, the company added.

Micromine’s Chief Strategy and Product Officer, Kiril Alampieski, said: “Micromine has always been the tool of choice for explorers worldwide. Therefore, a significant focus on the 2022.5 release has been on strengthening our geological and resource modelling tools to ensure we remain at the forefront of mining software.

“The three key new tools, amongst the other new tools featured in this release, are instrumental in making life easier. Essentially, we want geologists to be able to prospect smarter and model faster.”

There’s also a boost in performance efficiency with Micromine Origin 2022.5, including 3D GIS, block modelling and charting, the company says.

“Regarding wireframes, there’s a 90% loading and unloading speed improvement, and wireframe sets with shaded draw styles now render over 100 times faster,” Alampieski said. “Furthermore, the Implicit Modelling tool’s ‘points per sphere’ are auto calculated, resulting in up to 65% performance improvements and more precise outputs.”

FLSmidth to accelerate MissionZero ambition with AVEVA partnership

FLSmidth and AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software driving digital transformation and sustainability, have signed a global partnership to deliver, the OEM says, cutting-edge digitally enabled solutions and services to the mining industry.

The agreement will accelerate the digitalisation of mining operations and allow miners to benefit from improved performance and productivity globally, according to FLSmidth.

With the new partnership, FLSmidth will work with AVEVA, using its technology to securely integrate and provide various digitally enabled services to customers. The AVEVA PI System will serve as the central digital platform across FLSmidth’s operations. The vast majority of large mining companies around the world use the PI System to support data-driven decisions today and can now leverage their existing investments to gain new advanced insights from FLSmidth, the company added.

The partnership will accelerate FLSmidth’s delivery of its MissionZero ambition of sustainable productivity through connected digital services by leveraging AVEVA industry software and large customer install base.

AVEVA PI System’s robust data infrastructure collects, enhances and shares information about operational processes across equipment and operating systems in real time, from edge to cloud, FLSmidth explained. With its smart product portfolio and process and service knowledge, FLSmidth can bring new insights to the data to allow mine operators to optimise key areas across the flowsheet, for example, in predictive maintenance, process optimisation, improved recovery and resource efficiency, it added.

Mikko Tepponen, Chief Digital Officer at FLSmidth, said: “The partnership means AVEVA and FLSmidth can accelerate the customer’s digital journey with a more secure, standardised and connected mine. It is a significant step that enables miners to move from the optimisation of individual pieces of equipment to full flowsheet efficiency: this is where the major benefits of digital solutions lie.

“We are extremely excited about what we will soon offer customers in terms of improve uptime, operational efficiency, productivity and, of course, sustainability.”

Peter Herweck, CEO of AVEVA, said: “AVEVA and our strategic partner Schneider Electric have deep experience in developing data-driven innovation to enable safety, sustainability and profitability across the global mining industry. Our new partnership with FLSmidth will accelerate the transition to more sustainable mining operations by integrating world-leading processes and energy technologies for enhanced asset performance at every level.”

FLSmidth and AVEVA will immediately begin to integrate various AVEVA technologies and solutions with the FLSmidth IoT platform and smart product portfolio. A select number of customers have already agreed to form part of a pilot project around equipment availability and optimisation, with customer value expected to be proven in a short timeframe, it said.

RPMGlobal brings mineral reserve calculations into the cloud

RPMGlobal (RPM) has announced another Software as a Service (SaaS) product offering that, it says, provides mining companies with the capability to undertake mine reserve calculations in a cloud environment.

RPM continues the acceleration of its technology suite to cloud technology following the launch of Haulage as a Service (HaaS), with Reserving as a Service (RaaS). The product has been co-developed with a Tier One mining organisation and is accessible via a cloud-based API.

As a true cloud native application, RaaS takes the resource intensive reserving process and places it in a cloud environment, leveraging the power of cloud computing and making it accessible from anywhere, RPM says. It can be deployed in either a secure public or private cloud infrastructure.

Users can upload block models and multi-stage pit designs in a variety of formats directly to the cloud. After providing some basic information such as material definitions, bench configuration and desired block size, the service will split the designs into mining shapes, returning a 3D solid of each block and a detailed breakdown of the reserves those shapes contain. RaaS leverages the reserve modelling capability within RPMGlobal’s Reserver product which, RPM says, has become the industry standard for reserving over the last 20 years.

The decision to configure RPMGlobal’s design and reserving package into a cloud-based application coincides with more operations choosing to leverage the extraordinary benefits of cloud-based computing.

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews said he envisioned a wide array of applications that will benefit from being able to calculate reserves in a cloud environment via an API.

“The real power of our cloud-based services such as RaaS, is that they can scale themselves based on real-time computing demand, allowing complex reserving calculations to be solved in a fraction of the time a traditional desktop application would require,” he said. “The move to the cloud is really changing ways we are able to solve complex problems.

“Modern mining operations require applications and platforms that can speak natively with cloud applications and their environments to achieve a holistic understanding of their digital mining data and that is what we are enabling at RPMGlobal.”

Mathews said the future of RPMGlobal’s innovative software products was as SaaS applications.

As the suite of cloud-based and SaaS solutions continues to grow so does the library of microservices underpinning the software. Microservices form part of a cloud native architectural approach where a single application is made up of many independently deployable smaller components.

“The microservice library is really exciting and is being used more and more, particularly in our mobile solutions,” Mathews said. “Our users are telling us that mobility and cloud architecture are both big priorities for them, so it is important that we are delivering in line with their needs.”

acQuire spruces up EnviroSys brand ahead of major software release

acQuire says it has been working behind the scenes to unveil a fresh new look for its environmental data management solution, EnviroSys, with the new logo aligning the software with the acQuire brand and representing a renewed focus on simplicity and elegance.

It’s more than just a lick of paint, according to the company, with acQuire having spruced, tidied up and restyled the solution. It will also be adding some improvements to the environmental data management software in an upcoming release.

Stuart van de Water, acQuire’s Environmental Leader, is excited to see the improvements launch with the next software release, EnviroSys 9.

“The new look EnviroSys reflects our aim to ensure our environmental data management capability goes from strength to strength,” he said. “Our goal is to make sure EnviroSys continues to be one of the best environmental data management systems on the market.”

The next version of EnviroSys is due in April 2022 and is the culmination of EnviroSys team’s efforts to improve the software, including:

  • Unifying the user experience for one consistent way to access EnviroSys;
  • Enhancing the visibility of data feeds and improving data loading so you have quicker access to environmental compliance data for your downstream processes;
  • Updating the user interface with a fresh new look and easier navigation;
  • Streamlining and standardising user security with an industry-standard, cloud-based licence management platform; and
  • Enhancing the learning and support ecosystem, with a redeveloped help system and knowledge base

acQuire’s EnviroSys software is focused on quality and compliance. It allows customers to store, manage and access any type of environmental data, whether it’s collected from a lab or logger, out in the field or in the office. EnviroSys, the company says, provides complete transparency and ensures you can always answer the question: “Are we compliant right now?”

RPMGlobal looks to maximise mining company NPV with Enterprise Optimiser

RPMGlobal has delivered a brand-new optimisation solution with the release of a multi-site, multi-period optimiser that, it says, evaluates capital investment strategies and mine plans of multiple operations to maximise the net present value (NPV) of an entire mining organisation.

RPM’s Enterprise Optimiser has been built from the ground up, leveraging and building upon algorithms, libraries, and intellectual property within RPM’s software suite, the company explained. It has been designed so that EO can look at a mining organisation in its entirety and inform capital investment decisions while also optimising the strategic mining schedule.

The company explained: “Current offerings generally look to optimise the NPV of individual mining operations, but they fail to recognise that those sites are often connected. Optimising connected mining operations is essential to ensuring the use of shared infrastructure and competing contractual requirements (that impact each operation differently) are taken into consideration. This needs to happen because the best option for one operation does not necessarily provide the best outcome for the organisation as a whole.”

RPM’s Enterprise Optimiser is capable of handling very large, multi-operation models and can blend products not only at site but also at other points along the route, including the port, according to RPM. It achieves this very quickly, making it possible to study more alternatives to maximise the organisation’s NPV and production capacity.

RPM’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, says the product solves a challenge that all multi-site organisations have attempted to solve for decades.

“Our new Enterprise Optimiser optimises the key objectives of the organisation across individual mine sites and considers both the mining and processing operations at the same time,” he said. “This is critical in understanding not only how the individual mine plans are related but also where the organisation gets the greatest return for shareholders from their invested capital.”

Users can evaluate multiple strategic options across an organisation including potential capital investments, according to the company.

“What makes EO so powerful is the way we combine all of the different factors into a single model that looks at the entire problem across multiple mine sites,” Mathews said. “It can assess the final products being exported from one or more ports while considering all of the logistics between the mine and the port.”

EO doesn’t look to just optimise across a single period or the short-term horizon, but rather to optimise across the entire life of the mine in one go. It does this for each operation simultaneously, including the mine schedule and processing plant. Throughout the process it considers the operational structure of the company so it can maximise the NPV across the whole organisation, RPM says.

“EO is entirely process-driven, removing the need for complex scripting while providing ease of use and visualisation of the optimised schedule,” RPM said. “This process-driven approach makes it very simple to configure reserve models and then model key factors such as mining rates, costs and revenues. The user can define complex sequencing rules and constraints while defining objectives and product specifications. EO then allows users to analyse and visualise scheduling outcomes which will determine the optimum NPV.”

EO can be used across any commodity, mining method and any number of sites, the company claims. While it is a standalone product and can be used to optimise schedules and reserves from most mining packages, there are integration advantages when paired with RPM’s scheduling solutions, RPM said.

EO is integrated with RPM’s Enterprise Planning Framework (EPF) with users having access to features such as the model repository so that they can share and edit models. EPF also has the industry’s largest independent equipment library, corporate governance and enterprise security among its numerous advantages, RPM explained.