Tag Archives: Peter Johnson

Maptek, PETRA Data Science combine mine schedule optimisation and digital twin expertise

In what is claimed to be an industry first, Maptek and PETRA Data Science have established a partnership to enable “seamless value chain optimisation and simulation” from resource models through to metal produced.

This development will allow mining companies, for the first time, to use millions of tonnes of their historical performance and resource metadata for dynamic optimisation, according to the two companies.

PETRA Managing Director, Penny Stewart (pictured, left), said: “I see Maptek as the go-to company for spatial data in mining. Whether you are looking at their 3D virtual environments for geological modelling and mine optimisation, or long-range laser scanners for 3D mapping and monitoring, every aspect is custom built for mining. Any true digital twin in mining needs to consider geology.”

She continued: “Our partnership with Maptek provides PETRA with easy access to upstream geological data for value chain optimisation, and enables Maptek to extend schedule optimisation downstream of the mine. For the first time, miners will be able to play forward the mine schedule into the processing plant.”

Stewart recently visited the Maptek R&D facility in Adelaide, South Australia, where she listened as the Manufacturing Manager explained how in response to customer requests, they have shed 4 kg off the weight of their scanners, she said.

“The custom-built innovations incorporating aerospace technology and military grade specs are really impressive. I mention this example because it illustrates Maptek’s laser focus on their mining customers, and this is strongly aligned with PETRA’s reason for being.”

She concluded: “As a mining engineer, I know that Maptek’s reputation for maintaining substantial investment in software and hardware for spatial data is second to none. I feel honoured that Maptek has chosen to partner with PETRA, and the whole PETRA team is excited by what this partnership will achieve for the mining industry!”

The integrated technology offerings of PETRA and Maptek cover solutions from geological modelling to plant and process optimisation and simulation. The partnership combines deep domain expertise from across the whole value chain and, together, PETRA and Maptek offer the industry a practical alternative to the common practice of siloed optimisation, according to the two companies.

Under the partnership, Maptek Evolution mine schedule optimisation will be dynamically linked to PETRA’s latest digital twin performance models including; metal produced, grade, quality, recovery and throughput. “Dynamic mine scheduling is made possible by bringing together Maptek optimisation engines and PETRA’s prediction and simulation algorithms,” they said.

The agreement will see Maptek BlastLogic blast design optimisation also benefit from dynamic links to PETRA digital twin models for loading, crushing and grinding. In addition, PETRA MAXTA digital twin blast design simulation will benefit from connection to BlastLogic historical drill and blast design data.

Stewart will continue to drive the growth and development of PETRA solutions, with Maptek Managing Director, Peter Johnson (pictured, right), appointed to the PETRA Advisory Board. “PETRA will continue to operate a platform-agnostic business model, with investment funds channelled into further development of PETRA’s open format integrations, including APIs and architecture,” the companies said.

Peter Johnson said Maptek’s goal to enable customers to realise greater value from the available mine data requires consideration of a context far beyond the orebody model and mine plan.

“We need to empower our customers to relate the performance and characteristics of processes and equipment far downstream from geology or planning assumptions and understand the relationships better,” he said.

“PETRA has a proven capability to create prediction and optimisation algorithms for miners through the innovative application of their data science expertise and experience in the real world,” he added.

He concluded: “Our investment and ongoing partnership is all about building business improvement into the mining cycle by leveraging the technology of both companies.”

PETRA’s algorithms are deployed by mining companies around the world, while its MAXTA digital twins for value chain optimisation ingest 10s of millions of tonnes of ore data to predict and simulate plant performance using machine learning. The latter have been successfully used for geometallurgical prediction, drill and blast simulation, and process control simulation and optimisation.

The company recently applied its big data and AI capabilities to an iron ore mine in Western Australia, which, according to PETRA Technical Director, Zeljka Pokrajcic, was able to demonstrate the link between the mineral resource and comminution.

Maptek to acquire 100% of Minlog to permanently bridge mine planning/production gap

Mine planning software specialist Maptek has agreed to step up its investment in Minlog and its Production Management Information Systems technology, with the aim of acquiring 100% of the company over the next 18 months.

Maptek said the deal builds on a longstanding partnership between the two companies to bridge the gap between mine planning and mine production.

Maptek has been involved in a partnership with MinLog and its production management and management information systems technology since 2008. When the tie-up was announced in November of that year, Maptek said it “will provide a greater global marketing, delivery and support capability as well as deliver enhanced product functionality to global customers in the short and long term”.

Prior to this, the two companies already had a relationship whereby MinLog acted as distributor of Maptek’s MineSuite product in Africa.

Minlog says it develops, deploys and supports mining processes with intuitive, meaningful information that helps operations manage product flow and performance. It does this through production management solutions, including fleet management and management information systems.

Maptek said: “This latest investment will see Maptek increase its ownership of the business and the products to 100% over the next 18 months. Production Management data is considered a key component in delivering on Maptek’s commitment to add significant value to the data available to mining companies.”

Commenting on the investment, Maptek MD Peter Johnson said: “There is a huge gain in performance and efficiency to be had by combining the data models used in Mine Planning with the systems and processes applied in Mine Operations.

“The orebody knowledge and characteristics have an impact on mine performance well after the planning stages are complete, but there has been little ability to refer to and make decisions with the benefit of that orebody knowledge in a tactical, operational decision support capacity in a mine production environment.”

Under the new arrangement, MinLog will continue to operate, with current management and staff “remaining committed to delivering the world’s best Production Management systems”, Maptek said.

MinLog MD Karel Gilliland said: “MinLog leverages flexible service bus integration and a cloud- or server-hosted data lake containing a validated and contextualised digital record of all equipment and mining fleet being tracked. This enables us to deliver a powerful range of production management functionality across the whole supply chain in a mine.”

He added: “In addition, MinLog develops advanced DSF technology, allowing near real-time data acquisition from fixed and mobile equipment underground for reliable, cost effective and flexible deployment.”