Tag Archives: PDAC

Titeline mining its underground diamond drilling niche

In looking to retain the mantle of Australia’s safest drilling company while expanding into the underground mining sector, Titeline Drilling has found support from some of the biggest miners in the world.

The company has long been viewed as a leading surface mineral exploration drilling contractor but, as David D’Astoli, CEO of Titeline, explained, this type of work is subject to cyclical exploration budgets.

“The rationale for moving into the underground market was to try to get some ‘lumpiness’ out of our income stream,” he told IM. “As you know, with exploration, it can be pretty up and down. With the underground side, our work is a lot closer to the production side of the business; we’re doing grade control and resource development work in long dated (four to five years) contracts.”

Titeline was looking for consistency and resilience even in market downturns.

To enact this change, the company employed a new General Manager of Underground, Greg Wythes.

Wythes, who had a background in underground drilling in Australia having worked at the likes of Newcrest Mining’s Cadia and Rio Tinto’s (now CMOC’s) majority-owned Northparkes mine, was aware of the pain points the industry was feeling and sought about creating a unique value proposition for the new underground contracting division.

The contract the company bid on – and consequently won – for MMG’s Rosebery mine in Tasmania, Australia, provided just that.

MMG, in a blog post, explained that brief.

“When Rosebery was looking to award the contract for underground drilling services in 2017, all tendering companies were asked to supply a hands-free solution for drill rod handling, in-line with our vision for an injury-free workplace,” the company said.

“The successful company, Titeline, was the only tender that presented a viable solution to hands-free drill rod loading and unloading.”

Titeline – having fitted Boart Longyear rod handlers to their drills that “present the rod in an ergonomic position so the drill assistant can get it and stack it away”, D’Astoli says – knew such a solution could be developed, in theory, but had to search for the right suppliers and solutions to prove it could work in a real-world underground environment.

The Boart Longyear rod handler, along with a rig able to move and set up quickly, drill from +90 to -90 degrees and to depths of 1,500 m, immediately proved productive at Rosebery.

“The brief was to ensure the drills on site were performing before starting their hand-free proposal, and, within six months of commencing their contract, Titeline’s in-house designed drill rigs outperformed the previous contractor,” MMG said.

Yet, the company needed to automate the rod handling process further to fulfil the brief.

This is where the potential of robots came into view.

“These robots were already in the manufacturing industry – which aren’t exactly pristine environments – and were able to operate without an issue,” D’Astoli said. “They were also being employed on sea walls where they were constantly doused with sea water and continued to operate.”

Robot technicians were happy to provide conservative estimates of only having to service these robots every six months in the underground environment, according to D’Astoli. This provided the peace of mind that maintenance issues were not going to knock productivity off-line.

It cemented a relationship with a robotics company in Melbourne, Victoria, not too far away from its Ballarat base, and gave the company the robot drilling brief.

Boart Longyear provided access to the drill rig interface, the DCI control panel.

This year-and-a-half long process led to the development of a world first for underground diamond drilling: a drill and ancillary rod buggy carrier able to drill unattended and perform an autonomous rod trip (pulling the drill string out of the drill holes and then running it back in).

Able to work in confined environments, and drill 360° on azimuth and from -90 degrees to + 90 degrees in dip, the solution was presented to a global audience at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s annual exploration event earlier this year.

Meanwhile, MMG and Titeline had started commissioning the first rig at Rosebery, and one of the world’s biggest gold miners was putting the rigs through their paces.

Titeline, which already has an existing grade control and resource definition contract at Newmont’s Tanami gold mine, in the Northern Territory, has provided six rigs to the miner, two of which are equipped with the new drill and ancillary rod buggy carrier. More of these robotic rigs will be arriving at the operation by the end of the year.

Modifications to these rigs continue to take place, but the three currently in place at Rosebery and Tanami are very much “producing”, D’Astoli explained.

“We have been making some changes to the programming, to the safety circuit, the laser circuit, etc, but they’ve been performing well,” he said. “We’ve even drilled a few hundred metre shifts with one of the robot rigs.”

He provided some colour to this performance: “The rod pulling process is at least as quick as it is with the Boart Longyear rod handler and is a lot more consistent as you are taking the human element out of it.

“The existing rigs across the underground industry, whether they have total manual handling or are using the Boart Longyear rod handler, still need a drill assistant or driller in there plucking the rod out of the rod handler and putting it away. That can get tiring.”

Accidents can happen when this tiredness occurs.

“The robot will, in the end, always be that bit quicker, as it is consistent over a longer period of time and never gets tired,” D’Astoli added.

Shift change opportunities

The automation elements on these drill rigs are not only removing personnel from the danger zones, they are also providing a productivity boost.

D’Astoli feels the value driver comes with being able to drill throughout shift changes and other times where manual drilling would normally have stopped.

“One of the biggest impediments to production in the underground environment is how many hours you can drill in a 12-hour day,” he said. “Quite often it is a lot less than you think. That can be due to ventilation issues, water issues, dewatering issues, heat, etc.

“The biggest improvement from a productivity point of view available to us is being able to drill and pull rods between shift changes, crib breaks and those types of things. Or, if the ventilation system goes down, personnel will move away from the area, and allow the drill to drill autonomously. That is where the productivity gains are going to come from.

“All of this leads to being able to drill more hours over a shift.”

The company is not finished automating, though, with D’Astoli saying it intends to further leverage this robotised drilling and rod pulling ability.

“With Wi-Fi in the mines, it is at the point where you could be able to take that to the next level and have someone sitting on the surface controlling the rig,” D’Astoli said.

“Or, you might have a similar application to the way semi-autonomous underground boggers (LHDs) work in a block cave mine, where the operators are in a controlled environment and one operator might be operating three boggers at a time.”

That is some way ahead.

For the time being, the company is focused on switching out all of the manual rigs it has delivered to Rosebery and Tanami with the semi-autonomous ones.

Each new rig is a large undertaking for the company, with the learnings from Rosebery to Tanami – and vice versa – reflected in every build.

This is where being aligned with major companies such as Newmont and MMG comes in handy.

“MMG have been very understanding of the process we are going through,” D’Astoli said. “They came and visited us in Ballarat, pre-COVID-19, to see how we were getting along. Newmont have been exactly the same; very supportive giving us the time and space to deliver.”

Major attraction

While the PDAC debut excited lots of attention, D’Astoli is keen to foster the relationship with these two companies further, in addition to aligning with other major companies – and major mines – in the future.

“They’re the ones that probably own the bigger, lower-cost mines, which is where we want to be,” he said. “It is those orebodies that demand the amount of drilling where it makes sense to automate as much of the process as possible,” D’Astoli said.

“When you set up these long-term contracts to deploy such technology, you want to make sure the mine has a long life ahead of it and the owner is not going to be chopping and changing the budget from year to year.”

Asked whether the wider industry is willing to pay for such innovation, D’Astoli was resolute in his answer.

“For a company really focused on safety, they are not going to be knocked out by the price of this solution,” he said.

Surface safety

This is not all Titeline is interested in at the moment.

Titeline has to this point in its underground automation journey been helped along the way by Chile-based Exploration Drill Masters (EDM).

EDM, which Titeline owns 50% of, has been fabricating the frames and other components for these new rigs before they head to Australia for final assembly.

But the Santiago-based company is working on a new development of its own.

Its patent-pending EDM rod-feeder system for handling drill pipe has been used across the globe as an add-on to existing fleets, many of them being used on Titeline rigs.

D’Astoli says operators can park this solution up behind any top drive drill rig in Australia and remove 90% of the manual handling risks that come with the handling of diamond drill pipe to and from the drill string.

The EDM Mark I has already achieved this, but Mark II will further improve this solution, providing a bridge between manual handling and full hands-free solutions, he says.

“The national fleet in Australia mainly consists of top drive drill rigs and there is no real hands-free solution on the market that does not currently affect the productivity of these rigs in the majority of applications,” he said.

“The EDM Mark II rod feeder fills the gap while a new, hands-free solution is being developed.”

IMDEX urges miners to explore cloud-based options

IMDEX’s Dr Michelle Carey and Gervais Perron say the mining technology company’s focus on providing companies with the tools to make real-time decisions in the field can offer improvements across the entire mining value chain.

The company is leveraging developments in communications, data storage and cloud technology to provide the mining industry with applications that can fundamentally improve their operations, it says.

Dr Carey, IMDEX General Manager, Product Development, and Perron, Principal Geoscientist – North America, used a workshop at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention, in Toronto, in March, to focus on real-time decision making in exploration.

“Our technologies are based on increasing rock knowledge by providing trusted data in real time, to allow clients to make the right decisions at the lowest cost possible,” Dr Carey said.

“That is achieved by enabling clients to drill faster and smarter, receiving accurate subsurface data, having our tools linked to the cloud, and by using the power of the Internet of Geosensors.

“IMDEX is working across the mining value chain in order to change the equation.

“What if your team test more targets and/or decrease the time it takes to define a resource? “Would that be a game changer?”

IMDEXHUB-IQ is at the centre of the company’s solutions – from navigation to driller operable geophysics – and enables the efficient transfer of data from the field to the office, according to the company. It provides secure access to validated data, seamlessly transmitted from a range of sub-surface instrumentation, analytical instruments and mobile form data inputs, IMDEX says.

IMDEX recently said miners were starting to see the benefits of this cloud connectivity, with, at the end of December, 58 of IMDEX’s top 100 clients “HUB-enabled”, up from 49 clients as at June 30, 2019.

Perron said: “Drilling data is the primary source of information used to inform the major investment decisions made by a resource company.

“In our opinion, this needs to be done right from the beginning. Not doing so, can lead to misunderstandings that can have major repercussions down the road.

“The technology is available. Real-time data enables better, faster and more confident decisions to be made.

“At IMDEX, our vision is that all our geoscience sensors we put out there are connected to the cloud for easy and fast access, anywhere, anytime.”

Zero-emission vehicle incentives coming to Canada’s mining sector

Canada is to extend its existing zero emission vehicle incentive to include off-road vehicles, providing a boost for the country’s mining sector at a time when it is looking to decarbonise operations.

In an announcement at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) annual convention in Toronto, Canada, taking place this week, the government said the move was predicated on helping Canada achieve its climate goals and keep its industries competitive.

This incentive would provide a 100% write-off of the purchase cost of eligible zero-emission vehicles and automotive equipment in the year they are put into use, the government said. It builds on the temporary incentives announced in the 2019 budget for on-road vehicles.

“Canadians expect their government to take ambitious action to protect our environment, while growing our economy and creating new jobs and opportunities for workers and businesses,” the government said. “To do this, we must support measures to accelerate Canada’s clean energy transition and help our businesses adopt the sustainable technologies of the future.”

It added: “This new incentive would encourage businesses, including in sectors like mining, transportation, and agriculture, to take advantage of opportunities to upgrade to newer, cleaner technologies.”

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, said: “We are supporting businesses that are making investments today to help protect our environment for future generations. By making it more affordable for Canadian businesses to make the switch to zero-emission technologies, we can help accelerate our transition to a low-carbon, clean-growth economy and create good middle-class jobs.”

Under this new incentive, to be eligible for an income tax deduction of 100%, vehicles would need to be available for use before 2024. The deduction allowance would decrease to 75% for 2024 and 2025, and would decrease to 55% for 2026 and 2027. Vehicles not available for use before 2028 would not be eligible for the accelerated deduction allowance, the government said.

IMDEX to showcase COREVIBE, XTRACTA and SURVEY-IQ at PDAC

IMDEX says it intends to showcase innovative new technologies at this year’s Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto, Canada, this week.

IMDEX will feature its patent-protected drilling technologies IMDEX COREVIBETM and IMDEX XTRACTATM ay the event, which attracted over 25,000 attendees last year, and will launch the IMDEX SURVEY-IQTM app where users can monitor all IMDEX survey tools from one interface.

IMDEX COREVIBE uses high frequency, energy pulse-assisted drilling for wireline coring, providing a significant improvement in drilling productivity.

Test results validated by international inspection and verification company SGS show the IMDEX COREVIBE has delivered up to 30% improvement in core drilling productivity, according to IMDEX.

IMDEX XTRACTA enables drill bits to be inspected or changed without retrieving the rods, and has undergone extensive testing, with verified results showing safety and productivity gains, IMDEX says.

IMDEX SURVEY-IQ, meanwhile, can boost productivity by up to four times compared with conventional apps, according to the ASX-listed company.

IMDEX Chief Executive, Bernie Ridgeway, said: “The annual four-day convention, held this year from March 1 to 4, has grown in size, stature and influence since it began in 1932. It welcomes mining professionals from all over the world.”

IMDEX personnel including General Manager of Product Development, Dr Michelle Carey, Chief Geoscientist, Dave Lawie, Global Business Development Director, Derek Loughlin, and Principal Geoscientist, Gervais Perron, will be presenting at IMDEX’s seminar series.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the global mining industry working across multiple organisations including BHP and WMC, Dr Carey is an expert in developing products for the mining sector, IMDEX said.

Lawie will discuss the latest in leading exploratory data analysis software application, ioGASTM 7.2, explaining its speed and other benefits over traditional interpretation methods.

Loughlin has more than 30 years’ experience within the mining and drilling industry and will deliver a presentation on A New Wave of Drilling Optimisation, IMDEX said.

He will explain how IMDEX COREVIBE and IMDEX XTRACTA are creating a paradigm shift in drilling optimisation, the company added.

Dr Carey and Perron will discuss Real-time Decision Making in Exploration and explain how new technologies can assist in making better decisions in the field or in the office using survey instruments through to geochemical and petrophysical sensors.

The free workshops will be held on March 3.

Smart Exploration team ready to show off their work to Toronto crowd

The team behind the EU Horizon 2020-backed Smart Exploration project says it is ready to introduce its prototypes and software to the market.

It said project representatives are getting ready for a Canada tour to present the results and innovative solutions they have come up with over the last two years to potential stakeholders and end-users.

The Smart Exploration project develops cost-effective, environmentally friendly tools and methods for geophysical exploration in highly challenging brownfield and greenfield areas to address ever-increasing community and environmental issues, as well as reduce the return time on investments, it says. It officially begun on December 1, 2017, and is due to conclude on December 1, 2020.

Since the inception of the project, the 27 partners comprising the project consortium have worked together to meet the challenging task of developing solutions for deep mineral exploration, the partners said. The solutions have been tested and validated under diverse mining conditions (surface, underground, open pit, brownfield, greenfield) over six test sites in Europe, it says.

Even though these solutions are developed for mineral exploration purposes, they have cross- and multi-disciplinary applications and can be used by other industries, the partners said.

To highlight the project’s advances, project representatives will be present at three events in Toronto, Canada, in February and March. This includes the Toronto MERC-Smart Exploration Workshop on Novel Seismics and Electromagnetic Methods for Mineral Exploration (February 27), the Toronto Special EAGE session at the KEGS 2020 PDAC Symposium (February 29) and the annual PDAC convention on March 1-4.

Smart Exploration has developed six software (methodologies) and five prototypes throughout the project lifetime, resulting in a complete package of solutions for deep mineral exploration, it says.

Its software includes:

  • Three-dimensional frequency and time-domain electromagnetic modelling;
  • Thin-sheet time domain modelling and IP responses;
  • New solutions for near-surface problems and related deeper imaging improvements;
  • Generation of additional data from sparse active-source data with lower environmental impact; and
  • Scattering/diffractivity imaging for improved resolution depth imaging.

Three out of five prototypes have been validated and will launch in Canada, the partners said. This includes a GPS-time synchronisation system for denied environments such as underground mines; an electromagnetic broadband frequency seismic source (E-Vib, pictured); and a deep-probing time-domain electromagnetic helicopter-based system (HTEM).

The other two prototypes in the last phase of development are a slim hole modular system for mining boreholes and a UAV-Mag-EM for quickly obtaining data over difficult terrains.

Several presentations will be given during the events and the three validated prototypes will be showcased during the PDAC convention at the EU booth, the partners said.

McKinsey presents ‘mega project’ blowouts and how to avoid them at PDAC

A study presented by McKinsey’s Matthieu Dussud at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) annual convention has shown one in five “mega projects” completed between 2008-2018 suffered significant cost and schedule overruns.

Out of the 41 projects surveyed – all with a capital expenditure of $500 million or more – 19% suffered a budget overrun of more than 100%. Of these projects, the average schedule delay was 29 months, Dussud said.

Some 44% of the 41 projects were hit by budget overruns of 15-100% – with an average seven-and-a-half month delay – while 17% were “within estimate” coming in less than 15% over the capex budget. Of those projects surveyed, just 20% suffered no cost or time overruns, Dussud said.

The reasons for these problems were multi-faceted, but Dussud, an Associate Partner at McKinsey and Co, said the company’s study had shown a strong correlation between the budget overrun and project size.

For example, 24% of projects with an upfront cost of $500-999 million suffered capex overruns when comparing the feasibility study to the actual cost. At the higher end, 61% of projects with feasibility study capital outlays of more than $2 billion were hit by budget blowouts.

Dussud also said underground mines and higher elevation facilities underperformed against their baselines more consistently in the study, with mining projects built above 3,000 ft (914 m) running overbudget by, on average, 47% and underground mining projects running overbudget by, on average, 55%. Open-pit mines, meanwhile, fared better with 42% of these suffering capital overruns.

McKinsey and Dussud ranked the root causes of mega-capital project cost and schedule overruns in the study, with a difference of opinion seen between owners and contractors.

Both parties agreed that increasing project and site complexities was the biggest problem of eight, but the rankings differed from there on.

From one to eight, mine owners ranked the root causes as follows:

  1. Increasing project and site complexities;
  2. Design processes and investment are inadequate;
  3. Bespoke or sub-optimal owner requirements;
  4. Insufficiently skilled labour at frontline and supervisory level;
  5. Poor project management and execution basics;
  6. Industry underinvests in digitisation, innovation, and capital;
  7. Contractual structures and incentives are misaligned;
  8. Extensive regulation and cyclical nature of public investment.

The contractors, on the other hand, had the ranking as follows:

  1. Increasing project and site complexities;
  2. Poor project management and execution basics;
  3. Contractual structures and incentives are misaligned;
  4. Design processes and investment are inadequate;
  5. Bespoke or sub-optimal owner requirements;
  6. Insufficiently skilled labour at frontline and supervisory level;
  7. Extensive regulation and cyclical nature of public investment;
  8. Industry underinvests in digitisation, innovation, and capital.

Dussud and McKinsey proposed eight key changes for mine owners to increase mining capital project outcome certainty in their feasibility study practices.

This included establishing a prescriptive standard for feasibility studies – part of a broader stage-gate process; building in a systematic and holistic value improvement step to avoid “gold-plating”, and maximising project economics within the owner’s feasibility study approach; leveraging granular benchmarks (including construction productivity metrics) to validate inputs and capex/opex estimates; embedding construction planning, operations readiness and marketing strategy at every step of project study development to de-risk execution and operations; and investing time, effort and management focus on building and optimising an integrated master schedule.

The other three recommendations were:

  • Design an incentive scheme for the feasibility study contractor to enable a “value maximisation, out of the box thinking and transparent mindset” (eg performance bonus based on net present value improvements) and favour “relational contracting”;
  • Setup the foundations of the project’s contracting strategy early during the feasibility study (identify partners, define contract scheme, negotiate terms, etc), and;
  • Build a strong owner’s team with the right capabilities, mindset and behaviours.

IMDEX showcasing real-time and downhole exploration solutions at PDAC

IMDEX is showing off its exploration drilling wares at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) annual bash in Toronto, Canada.

IMDEX’s booth – incorporating the REFLEX and AMC brands – is showcasing the company’s integrated solutions and latest technologies including its AMC ULWSRU™ featuring the IMDEX MUD AID, IMDEX MOBILE software, drilling optimisation and downhole navigation solutions, and real-time 3D visualisation solutions for downhole and structural geology data, the company said.

The AMC ULWSRU, featuring the IMDEXMUD AID, has seen IMDEX combine the benefits of its ultra-lightweight solids removal unit and automated in-field drilling fluid diagnosis unit – including remote tracking technology – to optimise penetration rates, core recovery and metres drilled per bit, according to the company.

IMDEX MOBILE, meanwhile, has seen the company work closely with clients to create more than 20 ready-to-use forms and reports including daily drill reports; pre-start inspections; verified cost reports; and rig productivity reports.

All of these are available via the new off-the-shelf software, according to IMDEX.

General Manager, IMDEX Product Development, Michelle Carey, said: “We are committed to being at the forefront of dynamic solutions that deliver accurate data, whilst saving time and money for clients.”

A good example of this is the company’s IMDEX Downhole Navigation solution, according to Carey.

The company said of this solution: “As pioneers in downhole navigation, IMDEX has further enhanced its solution to support clients’ complete downhole needs. The latest integration of IMDEXHUB-IQ™ with Seequent’s Central software (pictured) means clients can now have real-time 3D visualisation of the drill hole.”

IMDEX Chief Geoscientist, Dave Lawie, said: “Increasingly, geologists are wanting to make decisions in real-time, however, they need to have the right live data available. We’re excited to be part of this industry-first to deliver real-time 3D data, which will dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of decision-making for drilling projects.”

The company’s REFLEXGYRO SPRINT-IQ™, officially launched at last year’s PDAC event, also integrates with IMDEXHUB-IQ™ and Seequent’s Central software. This technology surveys three times faster and two times more accurately than traditional gyros, according to the company, and can survey holes at any angle and operate in single, multi-shot and continuous modes.

Goldcorp narrows down finalists for #DisruptMining PDAC showdown

Goldcorp has announced the three finalists selected to pitch to a panel of judges at the #DisruptMining 2019 live finale taking place around the PDAC event in Toronto, next month.

The trio includes companies looking at a new drilling approach that can unlock the value in narrow vein deposits; a unique way of training artificial intelligence (AI) to autonomously operate a mineral processing facility; and an Internet of Things application that increases the intelligence of belt conveyors used to transport material at mine sites, according to Goldcorp.

Todd White, Goldcorp Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Operations, said: “#DisruptMining continues to represent the best of innovation in the mining industry. These finalists demonstrate break-through thinking and help build digital momentum in mining. The industry needs to help accelerate the development of these kinds of technologies.”

After a technical review by a group from the University of British Columbia, shortlisted submissions were reviewed by senior Goldcorp representatives to determine semi-finalists and finalists for #DisruptMining, Goldcorp said. The three finalists pitching their disruptive technology to the panel of judges are:

  • Anaconda Mining, a TSX-listed gold mining company operating in Atlantic Canada, has developed an innovative, two-stage drilling method that enables economic mining of narrow-vein deposits, according to Goldcorp. The technology, known as Sustainable Mining by Drilling (SMD), was developed in collaboration with Memorial University of Newfoundland. Goldcorp said: “SMD has the potential to unlock value in existing deposits that were previously thought to be uneconomic to mine using traditional underground or surface mining methods. The developers also expect this technology could extend the life of current operations by allowing safe excavation to occur beyond the limits of current designs”;
  • ANDRITZ, a leading supplier of machines and automation solutions worldwide, has developed a unique and continuous way of training artificial intelligence to operate a mineral processing facility using ANDRITZ’s digital twin, Goldcorp said. “The AI is trained to respond to a variety of situations, making it capable of adapting to changing inputs and improving upset recovery time,” Goldcorp said. The trained AI’s ability to quickly process information and recommend data-driven solutions will allow for the improvement of the operation, such as start-up and shutdown, and assist operators to achieve plant-wide optimisation, and;
  • Voith Turbo, a division of Voith GmbH & Co KGaA, whose IoT application BeltGenius (pictured) creates a digital twin of belt conveyors which provides real-time insight into the behaviour of the operation. “Resulting from a constant learning system, this information is used to identify potential risks and inefficiencies, allowing for greater uptime, more efficient energy use, predictive maintenance and optimisation of weight and speed,” Goldcorp said. With BeltGenius, mine sites can operate their belt conveyors with greater control and consistency, increasing their savings on repairs and material transportation costs while reducing the environmental impact of traditional haul trucks.

Deciding the fate of the three finalists will be Ian Telfer, Chair of Goldcorp; Katie Valentine, Partner at KPMG Australia and Global Head of Mining Consulting; Sue Paish, CEO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster; Jacob Yeung, University of British Columbia student and #DisruptMining UBC Captain; and returning #DisruptMining judge Wal van Lierop, President & CEO, Chrysalix Venture Capital.

Co-hosted by KPMG, the #DisruptMining live finale will take place on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at the Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto during the PDAC convention. Each finalist will present a short pitch video followed by a Q&A with the judges, in front of a live audience of nearly 600 people, demonstrating how their concept or technology has the potential to #DisruptMining.

In addition to finalists, six semi-finalists will showcase their technologies at the #DisruptMining Innovation Expo. The Expo will take place on Sunday March 3, 2019, at the Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto.

 

Micromine, Geobank and Pitram to come under PDAC 2019 spotlight

MICROMINE says attendees at the upcoming Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada Convention (PDAC) in Toronto, Ontario, will be able to witness software demonstrations for Micromine 2018 and Geobank 2018, while also hearing about its artificial intelligence and machine learning initiatives for Pitram 2019.

All three solutions have been developed on the back of extensive consultation with MICROMINE’s key clients from across the globe, the company said.

The mining software provider has exhibited at PDAC for eight years and says it has experienced, first-hand, the growth, stature and influence of the conference over the years.

Amelie St-Onge, Regional Manager MICROMINE Canada, said: “Many exciting things happened for the company since last year’s conference, and we are proud and excited to share these news as well as information on our upcoming releases with our clients and with the mining community.”

Specialists attending the conference from March 3-6 include Technical Product Manager for Micromine, Frank Bilki; Regional Manager for Canada, Amelie St-Onge; Technical Pre-Sales for Pitram, Chris Hunt; Training & Support Consultant for Micromine, Liam Murphy; Technical & Support Consultant for Micromine/Geobank, Caleb Birchard; Business Development Manager, Jeremy Pestun; Business Development Manager, Joel Jeangrand, and; Regional Marketing Coordinator, Maryam Abbaszadeh.

Geobank is a data management solution that helps mining and exploration companies maintain the quality, integrity and usability of their essential data, according to MICROMINE. Geobank 2018 includes a range of features and enhancements including a new and improved user interface, Global Substitution Parameters and increased functionality when designing or editing Graphic Reports.

Micromine, the company’s 3D modelling and mine design solution, is due a new release in the December quarter of 2019. This is set to include a range of new features and enhancements that increase the overall usability and performance of the software, according to MICROMINE.

MICROMINE said: “While the initial look and feel of Micromine 2020 will be the same, the new version will come with some new features, these include:

  • “New charting tools for Geostaticians; swath plots, boundary analysis, QKNA, top cut analysis, multiple charts, and ternary charts;
  • “New unfolding tool for model interpolation – Micromine has long been considered the #1 product for un-folding complex orebodies for interpolation and our new unfolding tool takes this to the next level allowing us to model more complex orebodies, more rapidly;
  • “New Stope Optimiser which will enable engineers to design optimal stope shapes based on economic and design constraints from a block model;
  • “Improved scheduler; the existing Scheduler module has had significant improvements made to it for MM2020. A new Gantt chart and the ability to schedule auxiliary tasks are important but the biggest change will be the ability to use Gurobi to solve the schedule. Gurobi is the world leader in schedule optimisation solving and its integration with Micromine Scheduler will enable engineers to schedule larger, more complex problems, and;
  • “Enhancements to Implicit Modelling and Pit Optimiser modules.”

MICROMINE is also releasing new underground mining precision software to refine and enhance loading and haulage processes as part of its Pitram solution in early 2019.

“This new offering will see the introduction of Artificial intelligence to take loading and haulage automation in underground mines to a new level,” MICROMINE said. “Utilising the processes of computer vision and deep machine learning, on-board cameras are placed on loaders to track variables such as loading time, hauling time, dumping time and travelling empty time. The video feed is processed on the Pitram vehicle computer edge device, the extracted information is then transferred to Pitram servers for processing and analyses.”

Sandvik focuses on exploration technology for PDAC crowd

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology will show off its exploration technology at the upcoming Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention on March 3-6, with the DE712 Core Drill Rig one of the highlights.

Experts will be on hand to discuss the rig at booth 1031 in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Sandvik said, explaining the DE712 is suitable for both directional drilling and geotechnical drilling

“This rig features a capacity of 1,126 m depth in N size and is available in both, truck- and crawler-based configurations making it easy to transport across the site. Its open and accessible design make service and maintenance tasks fast and simple,” Sandvik said.

The DE712 comes with a heavy-duty frame and a robust design, Sandvik said. It is also a space efficient drill rig featuring a drill mast supported by a strong main hoist with a failsafe brake mechanism designed for angles between vertical and 45°.

“Equipped with a powerful diesel engine, water pump and highly efficient hydraulic system, this drill is easy to learn and simple to operate while its robust and precisely engineered design has proved its durability even in the toughest working environments,” the company said.

The DE712 also features a standard automatic fire suppression system and rod spin guard, which protects the operator from the rotating rod string. The on-board Sandvik Safe-T-Spin tool provides consistent pre-torqued joint in the drill string, increasing drill rod thread life while reducing use of stillsons and other hand tools, Sandvik said.

The Sandvik booth will also feature:

  • “BSU core barrel system featuring interchangeable components and offers standard and pump-in applications in a single system. The BSU system offers greater flexibility, a more cost-efficient solution, greater safety and increased productivity. The system is user-friendly and designed for safer handling. There is no need for different coring tool systems as this multifunctional system is ideal for both surface and underground applications;
  • “A new series of impregnated diamond core bits which simplify the selection for each geological condition and deliver unsurpassed balance between best penetration rates and optimum bit life;
  • “The RE531 RC down the hole hammer (86-102 mm (3 ⅜ -4 in) designed to achieve high penetration rates in all rock conditions while providing large, uncontaminated sample return and offering increased longevity and lower cost per metre.”