Tag Archives: Minnovare

Maptek and Minnovare combine expertise to improve underground mining accuracy

Maptek says it and drill and blast technology provider, Minnovare, are delivering streamlined drill and blast solutions to help underground miners optimise their operations.

A project recently completed for an Australia gold miner is a great example of how collaboration between these technology providers can result in better outcomes for mining companies.

Linking Maptek Vulcan™ design and modelling software with Minnovare’s new Production Optimiser system for underground production drilling has streamlined “the connection between design and as-built for more accurate outcomes”, the two companies said.

Ring design data, including images, can now be exported from Vulcan and easily uploaded directly to Minnovare CORE – the Production Optimiser software interface – through scripting provided by Maptek. The Vulcan−Production Optimiser combination helps ensure that drilling follows design. It also reduces the need for re-work, as feedback on accuracy and compliance is available to both the rig operator and the technical engineering team using Vulcan, according to the companies.

Production Optimiser combines advanced rig alignment hardware with drill data capture software, substantially reducing blasthole deviation and average rig setup times, according to Minnovare. “This leads to optimum charge patterns and blasts, with a host of flow-on productivity benefits for an operation, including improved ore recovery, reduced average dilution and a faster stope cycle time,” the company said.

Maptek says it has 40 years’ experience in developing technology and systems that solve daily challenges for global mining companies. “Investment in people, motivated by excellence, innovation and continual improvement, allows delivery of systems that help integrate and streamline mining processes into a single source of technical data to inform decision making,” Maptek said. This includes the scripting that bridged the gap between Vulcan and Production Optimiser.

Minnovare developed the Production Optimiser, which was released in June 2018, in close collaboration with leading Australian gold miners, Gold Fields and Evolution Mining. Since its release the new technology has been taken up rapidly within industry, with leaders such as Northern Star Resources signing an official Collaboration Agreement with Minnovare in August 2018. This has seen the gold miner use it in both Western Australia and, more recently, in Alaska at its Pogo operation.

Analysis that Minnovare has conducted of in-hole survey data proves that circumstances prior to drilling account for up to 70% of blasthole deviation, the company said. This was contrary to the prevailing industry perception that in-hole deviation was the primary contributor.

Northern Star’s Pogo gold mine signs up Minnovare Production Optimiser

Minnovare’s relationship with Australia-based Northern Star Resources has been further strengthened, with the miner recently implementing the Production Optimiser technology across its fleet of long-hole drill rigs at the Pogo gold mine in Alaska.

The implementation follows successful Production Optimiser installations at some of Northern Star’s Australia operations.

Northern Star acquired Pogo, the company’s first mine outside of Australia, from Sumitomo Metal Mining late last year for $260 million.

Ore is currently mined at rate of ~4,000 short tons per day, with three access portals in use to provide underground access to the various underground mining block areas. Mining methods at the Pogo mine vary due to great variability in vein thickness, dip, grade and continuity.

Minnovare’s Production Optimiser system combines advanced hardware and software that enhances the speed, accuracy and reliability of long-hole production drilling. This leads to improved stope productivity and, ultimately, increased profitability, Minnovare says.

The system can be retrofitted to any make or model of drill rig and works independently of the rig’s onboard systems.

A two-month trial of the Production Optimiser, starting in April 2018, at one of Northern Star Resources’ Kalgoorlie gold operations showed the Production Optimiser technology not only increased drilled metres by 17% at the operation, but also help deliver the highest average stope recovery in the life of the operation.

Geophysique TMC to sell and service Minnovare’s Azimuth Aligner in Quebec

Minnovare has announced a new distributor agreement with Geophysique TMC that will see the Quebec-based company become the official sales and service agent for the Azimuth Aligner® range of products throughout the Canadian province.

TMC, Minnovare says, is one of Canada’s leading specialists in geophysical ground data collection. Established in Val-d’Or, Abitibi in 1998, it offers clients specialised mining equipment and consulting services to better prepare mineral exploration work; specifically, in regard to drilling programs.

Minnovare’s Azimuth Aligner is used in mining exploration and civil construction projects to automate the drill-rig alignment process. Minnovare claims it reduces rig setup times by up to 90%, increases drilled metres per shift by up to 20%, reduces costs per drilled metre by up to 15%, sets up 100% of holes within tolerance and increases revenue per rig by up to 10%.

The product is currently deployed at over 100 international mine sites and tunnelling projects, according to Minnovare.

Minnovare Commercial Director, Mick Beilby, said: “We’re delighted to be able to sign this distributor agreement with TMC. TMC have built a solid reputation in the Canadian mining sector over the past 20 years. Their specialisation in drilling applications and their cultural fit align well with Minnovare and we look forward to working with them in the years to come.”

TMC Director, Gabriel McCrory, said: “We are immediately able to offer high quality products to all of our customers in Canada, supported by the professional Minnovare team.”

This latest Azimuth Aligner distributor agreement comes on top of a similar one Minnovare signed last year with International Directional Services for the US market.

Evolution weighs new Cracow gold mine plan following Minnovare Production Optimiser trial

A close to six-month trial at Evolution Mining’s Cracow underground gold mine in Queensland, Australia, has shown Minnovare’s Production Optimiser technology can have a significant positive impact on ore dilution.

In a newly released whitepaper, co-authored by Evolution Mining, the company compared the use of Minnovare’s new technology with the existing rig setup processes and technology Cracow normally uses (either an onboard digital inclinometer or handheld device).

With drilling conducted on 28 stopes (17 with the new technology and 11 with the existing process) for around six months from July to December 2017, the trial showed the Production Optimiser technology recorded 62% less average dilution than stopes drilled using the existing process. This equated to 11.7% overall dilution, compared with 28.9%, respectively.

The new technology, which was trialled using floating-boom mounted Epiroc 1257 and S7 long-hole rigs and a series of rings/holes drilled as part of the mine’s normal production stoping cycle, was proven to limit rig alignment error, reducing average blasthole deviation and increasing the number of holes drilled within tolerance by 160%, according to the report authors.

They extrapolated this data further and concluded that, if an equivalent reduction in dilution were applied to Cracow’s full year 2017 production data to the end of June – when 440,781 t was hauled and 89,496 oz of gold was produced – all things remaining equal, an additional A$8.2 million ($5.9 million) of ore would be recovered, with a A$4.5 million reduction in costs associated with haulage and processing.

As a result, the return per tonne would increase 22%, from A$87/t to A$106/t.

The results were so impressive Evolution is already considering a further rollout of the technology across Cracow.

Evolution Mining’s Phil Jones: “Aside from improving average stope performance, the Production Optimiser has provided us with greater reliability moving forward. With less overall dilution we’re also seeing less variation in dilution across stopes. We now have the confidence to set more ambitious targets, by considering new mine plans and blast patterns that would previously not have been considered.”

Budget dilution going forward at Cracow has already been lowered to approximately 10% in the 2019 financial year to the end of June based on recent successes. This will allow for higher-grade mill throughput and a reduction in mucking, hauling and milling unit costs, the authors said.

Minnovare’s Production Optimiser technology can be implemented on sites running any rig make/model and works independently of the rig’s on-board systems, according to the company.

The system’s hardware engages with Minnovare’s new online client interface, Minnovare CORE, which uses digital drill plans and plods that sync with existing mine-planning software to deliver drill-data capture and analysis capability. The net result, the company says, is a significant improvement in drill and blast efficiency, productivity and responsiveness – throughout the entire operation.

Since release, Minnovare has already signed up Northern Star Resources as a user.

Northern Star Resources to test out new Minnovare products at WA gold mines

Advanced technology supplier Minnovare has widened its partnership with mid-tier gold miner Northern Star Resources, with the two announcing an official technology collaboration to develop and implement Minnovare technology across NSR’s Western Australia operations.

This collaboration follows the installation of Minnovare’s drill and blast Production Optimiser technology at Northern Star’s operations in Western Australia, a system designed to reduce blasthole drilling deviation.

For the past two months, the technology has been installed on selected long hole rigs at the company’s underground operations – improving rig accuracy and setup with an immediate benefit to operations, Minnovare said.

Since implementation, drilled meters have increased 17% and blasthole deviation at the collar has reduced by 75%. Flow-on benefits have included an increase in average recovery due to reduced bridging and a reduction in average dilution – cutting overall production costs.

Rob Parsons, General Manager of Northern Star Mining Services (pictured), said: “In a very short period of time we have seen tangible benefits from the Production Optimiser system. The system has been well received by all operators, and Minnovare have worked with us to ensure a successful implementation.”

Minnovare Managing Director Callum McCracken said: “Northern Star were an early adopter of our production drilling technology and we’re pleased to see the immediate effect it is having, with efficiency gains right across their operations.”

McCracken said Northern Star had demonstrated a strong commitment to collaboration with new technology forerunners, and being an early adopter of new technology was central to the company’s core strategy for the future – “remaining a leader amongst their peers and being able to attract the best and brightest the industry has to offer”.

He added that this type of collaboration works well and is the most efficient way to make the biggest impact, in the shortest time-frame.

NSR’s Principal of Innovation and Technology, Jeff Brown, said: “We are always looking to work with parties that provide solutions to problems and to implement opportunities that drive a better overall business outcome. Minnovare is a fitting example of a provider that has worked through all aspects of their solution to ensure it integrates and delivers immediate value. Their approach and ability to rapidly act upon improvements has not only seen a very successful deployment but has laid the foundation for further collaboration.”

According to Brown, NSR will be “actively involved” in the development of a series of new Minnovare products to deliver additional efficiencies to the company’s underground mining operations.

“Collaborating with solution providers like Minnovare and the technology they specialise in represents the future of the industry, so we’re very pleased to be working with them,” he said.

Earlier this month, Minnovare signed up to be an integration partner with Software provider Deswik as the two looked to provide a flexible and integrated mine planning platform.

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.