Tag Archives: Pitram

MICROMINE makes a software splash at Diggers & Dealers

With Western Australia one of MICROMINE’s key markets for its Micromine and Pitram products, it is hardly surprising the software leader chose this week’s Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie to reveal a host of new updates for the 3D modelling and mine design/mine production and fleet tracking solutions.

Across the company’s product suite, MICROMINE has been readily engaging with customers throughout the world, with users providing feedback to form its product roadmaps.

One of the results of this consultation process is a move to a six-monthly release cycle to enable its software to grow and adapt with clients’ operations.

Another is providing networking options to expand usage of its software across a wider number of users – the free Micromine Effects reader enabling anyone to view, share and interrogate Micromine output files without needing access to a full software licence.

“We’ve also introduced subscription offerings which our customers have quickly adopted because they provide a flexible and scalable option for large teams to access more functionality across our product suite, with less upfront cost compared to the traditional perpetual model,” Adam Brew, MICROMINE Australia Manager, told IM.

Shifting any capex item to the opex column is bound to go down well with the mining community, as MICROMINE has shown.

Having occurred in August 2019, the move led to almost nine months straight of subscription-only sales, according to Brew. “It surpassed our expectations,” he said. “The ability to have a subscription model allowed us to then launch the Free April campaign.”

The “Free April” campaign – which saw MICROMINE offer miners complimentary access to its general mining Micromine package during April as COVID-19 started to bite – led to around 4,000 new people interacting with the software, according to Brew.

MICROMINE has been busy on updates during the pandemic, but it has also delivered its first fully remote implementation of Pitram at a mine operation in Greece, leveraging the experience from its global Pitram support desk to fully deploy a Pitram FMS and Material Management solution.

This Greek project is well advanced with Pitram playing a crucial role in a major refurbishment and expansion of existing operations. The solution at the mine is aimed at helping improve development and production mining cycles; accurately track materials from source to processing; provide Online Analytical Processing reporting and analysis; enhance reactions to, and minimise the impact of, unplanned events; and increase equipment availability and utilisation.

Yet, those attending the MICROMINE booth at Diggers & Dealers this week will have even more to talk about.

Something new

“Micromine 2021 is scheduled for release later this year and attendees of Diggers and Dealers will be the first to get a pre-release reveal of our flagship software offering,” Brew said.

Australia, in particular, has bucked global trends in terms of exploration expenditure, and the Micromine value proposition has been central to the company capitalising on this resurgence in exploration activities, according to Brew.

It is no wonder then that the company has put significant efforts into updating its flagship product.

“The first thing clients will notice is a completely redesigned user interface that provides easier access to the critical functions of the software, transforming the whole user experience with responsive design and efficient workflows,” Brew said.

Delivering this transformation has been a focal point for the business for more than a year, according to Brew, with developers reviewing customer requests most commonly received from the support team, analysing how users work with the array of Micromine functionality, and modelling interface scenarios to optimise the presentation of key functions within the software.

“By providing easier access to these functions and a smart interface that responds contextually, Micromine 2021 anticipates and supports workflows in a genuinely intuitive way,” Brew said.

The Micromine update has more than a new look.

It also includes new tools for importing and working with as-drilled drill-hole data, Brew explains.

These provide faster and more intuitive control over underground ring drill and blast design – also a focus of the earlier Micromine 2020.5 update – enabling designs to quickly adapt to changes in the field, identifying drilling inefficiencies and improving design protocols.

“We are also introducing intuitive tools that mirror the terrain of a blast face and speed up the process of creating blast-hole patterns within the bounds of the dig block,” Brew said. “Users will be able to accommodate polygons/blast masters of varying shapes, reducing the need for manual adjustment.”

The new grade control capabilities in Micromine 2021 provide dynamic updating of grade control reports to enable faster design preparation and reserve evaluation, according to Brew. This can allow miners to explore variations in dig block configuration and evaluate the ramifications of design changes on the grade – a function bound to appeal to opex-focused companies mining complex orebodies.

An integrated scheduler, meanwhile, enables planners to build and visualise an optimised schedule through configurable templates, scripting capabilities and scenarios built from real-world constraints, Brew said.

While the new and intuitive interface is likely to capture the immediate attention of users, MICROMINE has evidently not scrimped on updated and upgraded features.

Getting to the core

With the release of Pitram 4.17 earlier this year, there were improvements to the Materials Movement and Shift Planner modules, but Pitram 5, to be released later this year, goes above and beyond that.

“Stockpile management is now part of your end-to-end process and not managed as isolated assets within Pitram,” Brew says of Pitram 5. Geologists can work with data up- and down-stream to manage and react to material mismatches. Such data validation and accuracy is key to the value proposition Pitram drives in MICROMINE’s global implementations, according to Brew.

“Pitram is at the core of any mining operations ecosystem,” he said. “Our ability to accurately track Last Source, Destination Moved, Quantity and Grade as well as set individual depletion models across the various stockpiles across the mine, makes it a more flexible offering while maintaining data integrity.”

This near real-time tracking ability has previously failed on occasion from connectivity issues.

Not anymore.

“Pitram 5 is a huge leap forward in how we deploy our solution from a connectivity point of view,” Brew said. “Many of the mines we work with have limited or varying degrees of underground Wi-Fi and communications available. Our Peer to Peer solution bridges the gap where communication back to the server is not available at the face, for example.”

The Peer to Peer software can be installed on light vehicles which move around the mine encountering heavy equipment and collecting data in areas of no network coverage before moving back to a Wi-Fi-enabled area to sync the data back to the main server and into the control room. This allows miners developing new areas of their operation to keep up the communications flow without the need to immediately install or expand a communication network.

Such a solution has been successfully deployed at several sites globally, with Independence Group’s Nova nickel operation, in Western Australia, being the company’s reference site.

“Additionally, we have driven more R&D in how we can better leverage our Pitram Restful Integration Service (PRIS) to communicate shift planning data back to the shift bosses and mine managers in near real time,” Brew said.

The free Pitram Connect application, downloadable from the Apple or Google Play store, will show users real-time shift data as well as give them the ability to make updates to the shift, such as equipment or location allocations.

“Our ability to deliver on short interval control is a common requirement we are measured against and providing this planner to key users underground unlocks considerable value for an operation,” Brew said.

Pitram 5’s machine-learning update in the 2021 release leverages the company’s learnings from earlier deployments at some Central Asia mines.

“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,” he said. “The video feed is processed on the Pitram vehicle computer edge device, with the extracted information then transferred to Pitram servers for processing.”

Reflecting on the product updates and more than six months of pandemic-affected upheaval, Brew concluded: “Our business is extremely fortunate to have powered on through the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ve worked hard to maintain our renowned ability to work, support and deploy our solutions remotely.

Diggers & Dealers is the pre-eminent event for the Australian region of our business, with representation from all our customers, so it represents a fantastic opportunity to show how we continue to drive value to our existing customer base as well as connect with new customers.”

MICROMINE to reveal mining software latest at Diggers & Dealers

MICROMINE is set to reveal a host of new features to its flagship products at this year’s Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum, in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, as the mining software leader lifts the lid on its latest software innovations.

“This year, we are excited to be providing on-site demonstrations of our upcoming release of Micromine 2021,” Adam Brew, MICROMINE Australia Manager, said. “Our principal Micromine consultant will provide an early pre-release insight to the new features which have been added to our core product, as well as a new user interface, designed to enrich the daily experience for users and improve how they drive outcomes from the software.”

MICROMINE will also be showcasing the updates made to its flagship mine production and fleet tracking solution, Pitram, with an interactive presentation on its booth, it said. Pitram 5, the latest release coming at the end of this year, positions itself at the “core of your mine’s ecosystem”, delivering more value from its machine-learning capabilities, materials management, shift planning and data validation, the company said.

A technical team will be demonstrating the company’s software solutions, which also includes Geobank, and answering questions at the event, taking place on October 12-14.

“As a WA-founded company, it is great to unveil our latest achievements on home turf,” David Bartlett, Principal Micromine Consultant, said. “Visitors won’t be disappointed as we’ll be showcasing our latest releases. We’ve got a surprise up our sleeves too – with a sneak peek of something new coming later this year but you have to visit the stand for an invitation to find out more.

“We’ve been exhibiting at Diggers & Dealers for over a decade and it’s a great opportunity for the industry to see first-hand the next generation tools being developed using advanced technology to optimise their operations and profitability.”

MICROMINE now has offices in 18 of the world’s mining capitals, and its software is being used by miners and explorers on 2,000 sites in 90 countries around the world, according to the company.

“While COVID-19 has meant a lot of changes to the global mining and exploration industry, the industry is steaming ahead in Western Australia and we are excited to be part of this showcase for Australian innovation and achievement,” Chris Higgins, Pitram Strategy Manager, said. “It’s a great opportunity for all the key players in the industry to come together to network, share their news and insights and experience the latest products and innovations, including the latest technologies coming from MICROMINE.”

MICROMINE will be demonstrating the latest version of its 3D modelling and mine design solution – Micromine 2021 – with new and improved tools for modelling, estimation, design, optimisation and scheduling, it said.

Also being showcased is Geobank 2020 – revealing how enhancements to the popular geological data management software are adding value to geologists and mining engineers by making data management simpler and more efficient.

MICROMINE’s Pitram solution takes control at Greece mine

MICROMINE says it is making a strong foray into Europe’s mining sector with its Pitram fleet management and mine control solution now operating in Greece.

Already used at more than 50 mining operations across six continents, the installation at the Greece mine is Pitram’s third deployment in the Aegean region, following installations at two production projects in Turkey.

“Greece has a wealth of mineral and ore deposits including gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, nickel and bauxite – and a history of mining that dates back to ancient times,” Pitram Product Strategy Manager, Chris Higgins, said. “Turkey also has abundant source of industrial raw materials, rare earth minerals and precious metals including gold, copper, zinc, chrome, nickel, iron, lead, mercury, tin and magnesium.

“As a result, international operators and miners are developing projects across the Aegean and Pitram is providing the data insights needed to ensure the operations are well controlled.”

More than 10 mining operations in Europe are currently using Pitram to record, manage and process mine data in real time, according to the company. The scalable solution has now been deployed at the three underground gold, copper and zinc mines in Turkey and Greece.

The Greece project is well advanced with Pitram playing a crucial role in a major refurbishment and expansion of existing operations, the company says.

“Comprising 11 modules – including materials management, OLAP analysis, shift planner and fleet management – Pitram is a sophisticated mine control and management reporting application enabling the miners to capture data, make quicker, evidence-based decisions and allocate resources more effectively,” MICROMINE says.

As production ramped up at the Greece underground mine, the operators chose Pitram, according to MICROMINE, because they needed a solution that would enable them to:

  • Improve development and production mining cycles;
  • Accurately track materials from source to processing;
  • Provide OLAP reporting and analysis;
  • Enhance reactions to, and minimise the impact of, unplanned events; and
  • Increase equipment availability and utilisation.

The implementation of Pitram voice and materials management modules ensured these objectives were met by adapting the solution to meet the specific needs of the site, the company said.

Higgins added: “At MICROMINE we committed to working with our mining clients to deliver the tailored software solutions they need to meet local requirements.

“This includes providing our solutions in the languages needed – that’s why Pitram has been translated into Turkish and Greek. So, with the functionality to switch between English and the local language, all staff on-site can use the application.”

Pitram 4.17 offers operators a new level of mine control, MICROMINE says

The latest release of MICROMINE’s fleet management and mine control solution, Pitram 4.17, is set to take data management to the “next level”, the company says.

Currently the fleet management and mine control solution of choice for more than 58 mining operations across six continents, according to MICROMINE, the latest version has plenty more to offer users.

“Pitram’s Materials Management and Shift Planner modules boast key functionality enhancements providing greater data insights and enabling better decision-making, while Pitram Mobile can now launch third-party applications,” Chris Higgins, Pitram Product Strategy Manager, says. “Security and access control has also been upgraded across the suite of intuitive tools.”

New functionality in the Materials Management module has also been added, according to Higgins, enabling geologists to gain greater insight into “stockpile levels, composition, inputs and outputs as it interacts with the mine operation”.

He added: “Enhancements to the Stockpile Viewer enable you to more easily work with data up and down stream to manage and react to materials mis-matches.”

Stockpile-related data, which was readily available within Material Management (eg last movements in the Movements Screen) is now summarised within Stockpile Viewer, the company added.

“With the last source, last destination, quantity, depletion model, grade, colour and shape, and filtering data now all summarised and accessed from Stockpile Viewer, you have all the information needed to effectively manage the stockpile at your fingertips, enabling you to optimise the end-to-end process,” Higgins said.

Pitram’s Material Management module also includes a new metadata feature, enabling geologists to gain full transparency and a better understanding of material flows, according to the company.

The ability to make notes against grades and stockpile survey records in real time means geologists can better make sense of their data by providing context when reviewing compliance to plan, mill feed and other operational activities, MICROMINE says. The annotations also contextualise change so that technical services and control room operators can see the rationale behind updates to grades or tonnage, improving communications around grade adjustments as assays come in and shifts rotate.

Real-time shift data and planning is also now available in Pitram Connect, MICROMINE’s mobile application that allows users to retrieve information about their assets, people, equipment, production, and locations without needing to be on site.

“As Pitram Connect now integrates with Pitram’s Shift Planning module, mine planners, managers and shift bosses can make planning decisions from anywhere – whether they are at the face of the mine or off-site,” Higgins said.

“By being able to access a schedule view of planned tasks and their progress, users can reallocate resources sooner and correct plan deviations as they happen, minimising delays, improving utilisation and increasing productivity.”

Efficiency and usability are also the focus for the upgrade of Pitram Mobile, with the added functionality of the Generic Application Launcher, which allows third-party applications to be launched from the Pitram Mobile User Interface.

Pitram Mobile, a touchscreen tablet app installed in-cab on the mobile fleet, enables equipment operators to capture production data manually via the touchscreen or automatically via integration with on-board systems, MICROMINE says.

Third-party tools for safety, communications or positioning that operators would like to use in their cabs can now operate seamlessly with Pitram Mobile, according to the company. “With the third-party launcher, the need for additional in-cab hardware and software is removed and in-cab mining applications can be consolidated onto a single device,” it explained.

Data security is a business imperative for mining operations, according to Higgins, who said Pitram 4.17 has been strengthened with new authentication and auditing features to regulate access to operational data.

“Two-factor authentication can now be set-up in the Data Acquisition and Event Editor applications,” MICROMINE said.

“By configuring the applications to require a user to log-in on application start-up, you can protect and regulate access to your operational data, while the auditing functionality provides robust control and traceability.”

Higgins said: “With its extensive range of tools to record equipment, personnel and materials data, Pitram is at the centre of your mining ecosystem.

“Pitram 4.17 introduces new functionality to help you get an even better overall view of the current mine status and provides the basis for improved control over operations – increasing production, reducing costs, and improving safety.”

MICROMINE mobilises a new mine optimisation plan

Upgrading from a voice-based fleet management system to an automated mobile solution enables mine managers to gain critical efficiencies across their site, resulting in a positive effect on their operations’ bottom line, according to MICROMINE.

Nickel-copper-cobalt miner, Independence Group (IGO), recently upgraded to Pitram Mobile at its Nova operation in Western Australia. Nova is one of a growing number of sites across the globe choosing to upgrade from Pitram Voice to the Pitram Mobile solution, MICROMINE says. IGO deployed the mobile software following the successful installation of Pitram Voice in 2018.

Touchscreen tablets were installed in vehicle cabs and integrated with the Pitram software to facilitate data transfer between on-board computers and the Pitram control room, which provides full fleet management insights and analytics functionality.

IGO implemented Pitram Mobile to capture data and insights electronically from its underground mining fleet at Nova, according to MICROMINE. Upgrading to Pitram mobile has assisted the mine to more effectively:

  • Manage safety – by controlling access to dangerous areas and replaying locations and states for incident analysis;
  • Integrate its fleet management system – providing a better picture of situational awareness and vehicle positioning;
  • Decrease mine radio traffic – enhancing safety and operational activities through automatically transmitting critical data from equipment;
  • Apply automated business rules engines;
  • Execute its shift plan – sending tasks to workers from the plan, receiving notifications of completed tasks and facilitating plan compliance;
  • Identify areas of improvement;
  • Increase productivity;
  • Reduce manual data entry and paperwork; and
  • Optimise fleet and personnel.

MICROMINE’s Pitram Account Manager, Tyler Raleigh, said the upgrade was completed in early March 2019, with Pitram specialists spending time on site to assist the IGO Nova team with technical support.

“The mine control and dispatch facilities are designed to provide an increased level of shift data accuracy, which will improve operational efficiencies through effective management of mining operations based on high-quality data,” Raleigh said. “The system provides improved response to emergency situations and greater control in hazard management, as well streamlines administrative tasks through real-time data capture and validation.”

IGO’s Nova Mine Manager, Peter Christen, said improvements are already starting to be seen across the Nova site since the implementation.

“We’re pleased with the results achieved so far since upgrading to Pitram Mobile at Nova,” he said. “The implementation was well managed by the MICROMINE team, with quick uptake and acceptance by our IGO and Barminco site personnel.

“It’s enabled our people to be more in control of the data generated and that means we are seeing greater ownership and uptake of the system. It also allows our mine control operators to validate information quickly and they spend less time on the radio.

“Overall, our experience at Nova has been a positive one and we would definitely recommend Pitram Mobile to other mining companies.”

What is the difference between Pitram Voice and Pitram Mobile?

For those already using Pitram Voice, upgrading to Pitram Mobile offers the following benefits, according to MICROMINE:

  • Automatic detection of load-haul-dump events;
  • Integration of autonomous mining fleet with the rest of the Pitram solution;
  • Integration between Pitram and other on-board payload management systems;
  • Summaries of manually and automatically captured production data to aid in generating draw plans;
  • Increased accuracy of time sensitive data, providing greater visibility of availability bottlenecks; and
  • Removal of reliance on radio communications.

A Pitram automatic upgrade from voice data capture requires a simple upgrade process, MICROMINE says. Pitram uses the same production and reporting database for Pitram Voice as it does for Pitram’s automated solution, so all the work invested in implementing Pitram is retained when upgrading to the more advanced Pitram solution.

Pitram Mobile tablets

Optimise operational performance

As Pitram Mobile allows equipment operators to capture production data through automated on-board systems, or via touchscreens in cabs. Rather than calling in through radios, the solution frees up personnel time and effort, radio airspace and alleviates potential data entry errors.

The tablets or onboard systems capture equipment data, like location, pre-start, status and activities, which is automatically uploaded to servers as soon as vehicles are in range of a wireless (or LTE) network. Pitram Mobile’s automatic data transfer then allows that data to be passed to the Pitram Control Room where analysts and operators can monitor results and refine mine operations.

Utilising the latest technology, automated data capture minimises disruption to primary activities, provides near 100% data accuracy, automated task management, integrated shift planning and can provide live information short interval control for in-shift decision-making.

“By using integrations across communication platforms, Pitram greatly reduces call volumes across the radio network,” MICROMINE says. “Through automatically transmitting key data from equipment, personal and operations, the automated solution revolutionises the mine control room, providing an adaptable user interface for low-level data entry roles as well as for higher-level administrators and in-shift mine managers.”

Pitram Mobile being utilised at IGO Nova

Other key features and benefits include:

  • Ruggedised touchscreen tablets, with various models available to best meet the requirements of individual mines, including dust and water protection;
  • No requirement for additional proprietary hardware, so companies save costs and time in installation if they have existing tablets and network infrastructure;
  • Run using Windows operating systems;
  • Compatible with various underground data collection technologies, including Wi-Fi and Ethernet over leaky feeder;
  • GPS tracking capabilities for surface mines;
  • Speed warning and alarms;
  • Material mis-dump alarms;
  • Payload indicator to minimise overloading or underloading, plus integration with third-party payload monitoring systems;
  • Task allocation and real-time tracking of tasks;
  • Portable data for managers & shift boss – finger on the pulse;
  • Improved accuracy;
  • Reduced two-way traffic to Mine Control; and
  • Operator accountability.

MICROMINE to offer Austmine attendees a preview of Micromine 2020

Mining software solutions provider, MICROMINE says it is preparing for what will be a busy few days at the Austmine 2019 convention on May 21-23.

The theme of the biannual event is “Mining Innovation: The Next Horizon” and product specialists and experts from MICROMINE will be on hand to demonstrate the company’s leading mining software solutions and answer technical questions, the company said.

Micromine Product Strategy Manager, Mark Gabbitus, said: “Austmine is Australia’s premier event for the mining industry, with insightful presentations, interactive workshops, networking opportunities and the chance to find out about the latest innovations and technology on offer from exhibitors.

“With representatives of dozens of global mining and exploration companies gathered specifically to hear about product innovation and developments, MICROMINE will showcase its range of software solutions, detailing the latest innovations and enhancements and providing expert guidance on how users can achieve the best results and outcomes from our products.”

Product specialists on the MICROMINE stand at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre will be demonstrating the Geobank (geological data management), Pitram (fleet management and mine control) and Micromine (exploration and mine design) solutions, according to the company.

“Our experts will be on hand to discuss how our applications, which cover the entire mining process, can help delegates meet and exceed their business operation objectives,” Gabbitus said.

Interest in the just-released Geobank Mobile 2019 is expected to be high, MICROMINE said, with the field logging solution boasting an enhanced user interface control, data capture, camera integration, offline help and file exchange functionality.

The team will also be demonstrating the latest innovation in the Pitram solution – with the help of a Lego toy truck!

Using artificial intelligence, the latest advance in the software takes loading and haulage automation in underground mines to a new level. Computer vision and deep machine learning are tapped to enable the on-board video cameras to track variables such as loading time, hauling time, dumping time and travelling empty time, which can then be analysed to identify efficiencies.

A Lego toy loader will be connected to the Pitram mobile device to showcase the new functionality, having its trips around the MICROMINE booth recorded and then using the software to process the data.

With the launch of Micromine 2020 set for October, conference attendees will get a sneak peak at the latest version of the 3D modelling and mine design solution. Software enhancements include new charting tools, a new unfolding tool for model interpolation, a new Scope Optimiser, an improved scheduler and advances in the Implicit Modelling and Pit Optimiser modules.

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.”

MICROMINE open to integration in the face of interoperability hurdles

MICROMINE says its digitisation strategy is focused on ensuring clients are able to use its products in tandem with those from other third parties, alleviating any potential interoperability issues.

The company said it places a strong emphasis on integration and ensuring its software solutions can fully integrate with various third-party systems in a mining environment. “It is something the company prides itself on and sees as key to not only making the client’s job easier, but also advancing technology and innovation across the industry,” MICROMINE said.

“As mining companies continue to advance their digital transformation strategies, the ability for different systems to integrate and share data with one another has become a critical success factor. Integration has been a key theme for the METS sector in recent times and it will continue to be a focus for the industry in 2019.”

Data management solution Geobank Mobile has led the way in this area, according to MICROMINE, offering integration across barcode scanners, magnetic susceptibility devices, GPS and scale devices and DSLR cameras.

MICROMINE’s fleet management and mine control solution, Pitram, includes Pitram Restful Integration Services (PRIS), which allows third party software applications to submit and retrieve Pitram information without having to directly access the Pitram database, according to the company.

Micromine Product Strategy Manager, Mark Gabbitus, said: “Whilst we would love everyone to use only Micromine, we know there will be preferred solutions for certain applications, so it is in everyone’s interests for us to enable the efficient transfer of data between packages. We have always had this approach to data integration and that is why Micromine has been the market leader in this space for many years.”

Three dimensional modelling and mine design solution Micromine has also made significant progress in the integration space, according to the company. A recent example is the latest release of mining consultancy group Snowden’s ‘Supervisor’ resource estimation tool, which now includes added functionality for Micromine users. This means users can now directly export variogram parameters directly to a Micromine control file, according to MICROMINE.

“This new functionality will save time and effort for exploration geologists when conducting resource estimation and streamline the process for exchanging data between the two platforms,” the company said.

Gabbitus said: “When Snowden first came to us to discuss how we could integrate Supervisor with Micromine, we were only too happy to help. Snowden have been doing some great things in the mining software space recently and we wanted to make sure that our mutual clients had a good experience when transferring data between the two systems.”

Micromine is an exploration and mine design solution, which offers integrated tools for modelling, estimation, design, optimisation and scheduling. The latest version of MICROMINE’s exploration and mine design solution, Micromine 2018, comprises 10 modules.

Micromine to release AI solution for underground loading and hauling

New underground mining precision performance software, using machine learning to refine and enhance loading and haulage processes, is set to be launched by global mining software company, Micromine.

The solution is to be released in early 2019 as part of the company’s fleet management and mine control solution, Pitram.

Using 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.

Micromine Chief Technology Officer, Ivan Zelina, said the solution considered the information gathered to pinpoint areas of potential improvement that could bolster machinery efficiency and safety.

“Pitram’s new offering takes loading and haulage automation in underground mines to a new level,” Zelina said.

“By capturing images and information via video cameras and analysing that information via comprehensive data models, mine managers can make adjustments to optimise performance and efficiency.

“It also provides underground mine managers with increased business knowledge, so they have more control over loading and hauling processes, and can make more informed decisions which, in turn, improves safety in underground mining environments.

“This can contribute significantly to the overall optimisation of underground mines, which we believe have a lot of room for improvement.”

Pitram is a fleet management and mine control solution that records, manages and processes minesite data in real-time.

Micromine trialled the new technology in Australia, Mongolia and Russia as part of a research and development pilot programme.

The initial concept was on the back of a trial project in partnership with the University of Western Australia. One of the master’s students from the university was subsequently employed by Micromine to help drive the company’s development of machine-learning projects across its global business.

“This advance is another demonstration of how Micromine is operating differently to other software providers by extending our products well beyond simple built-in machinery automation to artificial intelligence,” Zelina added.

“The ability for mining companies to increase their knowledge of mining processes through automated data collection and analysis is endless and this is just the start of the work Micromine is doing with our mining software solutions.

“We’re striving to help companies optimise their mining value chain and we believe enhancing one of the most fundamental and critical underground mining assets – loaders – is a great place to start.”

Micromine Pitram takes control at Independence Group’s Nova operation

Micromine has signed a contract with Independence Group (IGO) to help drive productivity and cost efficiencies at the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt operation in the Fraser Range of Western Australia.

As part of the agreement, Micromine will implement at Nova its fleet management and mine control software solution, Pitram.

This implementation of Pitram, a mine control and management reporting system aimed at delivering mining production efficiencies, comes on the back of a resurgence in Western Australia’s nickel sector, which increased in value by 26% in 2017–18 to $2.6 billion, after several years of decline, Micromine said.

Nova began commercial operation in July 2017 and produced 22,258 t of nickel, 9,545 t of copper and 740 t of cobalt at a payable cash cost of A$2.78/lb ($2.01/Ib) of nickel in the 2018 financial year. Production is expected to increase some 20% in FY19 to 27,000-30,000 t of nickel, 11,000-12,500 t of copper, and 850-950 t of cobalt.

Micromine’s Pitram Operations Manager, Daren Hinchliffe, said Pitram would be used by operations personnel, to capture insights and data from mobile equipment and underground mining activities, in real time.

“Using Pitram’s voice-based mine control system, underground operators can call in their activities, locations and status to mine control, and performance results can be monitored constantly, allowing for continuous improvement,” he said.

Pitram’s automated technology allows shift supervisors to keep track of what is going on throughout the mine, while allowing constantly monitoring of results and performance, he added.

“This will provide IGO with critical data as to how the mine is performing and, help identify bottlenecks, enabling the company to respond quickly to opportunities to implement process improvements,” he said.

IGO’s Chief Operating Officer, Matt Dusci, believes this will drive significant value through productivity efficiencies and cost savings at Nova and, ultimately, serve as a platform for future integration with automation at the mine.

Micromine’s roll-out of Pitram at Nova commenced in December and is expected to be completed in early 2019.