Tag Archives: Production Optimiser

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.