Tag Archives: RPMGlobal

Jervois gears up for Idaho Cobalt Operations commissioning

Jervois Global is progressing the build of the Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO) in the US, with the mill set to be commissioned in September and full production slated for February 2023.

Once in production, ICO is billed as being the only primary cobalt mine in the US, able to supply a critical metal necessary for electric vehicles, energy generation and distribution, defence and other industries.

In its latest project update, Jervois said that it had come up with a revised construction budget of $107.5 million that had board approval. This was up from the previous $99.1 million outlined, reflecting a heighted inflationary environment in the US.

This adjusted final forecast capital expenditure and schedule will form the basis of a “Cost to Complete” test by independent engineer RPMGlobal, who has been engaged by the trustee acting for bondholders under the terms of Jervois’ $100 million Senior Secured Bonds. RPM engineers are scheduled to visit site in early July to undertake the final Cost to Complete test ahead of the planned second tranche bond drawdown of $50 million later that month.

Mine development, meanwhile, continues at circa-25 ft/d (7.6 m/d), the company noted. Planned increases to underground working faces, improved water management and road conditions, as well as additional personnel and mining equipment on site, are expected to increase mine development productivity, it said.

“Jervois and its mining contractor, Small Mine Development, remain confident in the revised mining production targets that underpin the capital cost update,” the company stated.

Jervois says it is achieving infill drilling rates over 200 ft/d as part of a 19,000 ft underground campaign to decrease hole space aiming to enhance orebody knowledge. The drilling is improving the robustness of the resource model to generate a production block model for mining, it added.

The SAG mill, ball mill and crusher are each in place, and work continues with facilities construction and equipment placement, Jervois noted, saying that an official opening ceremony was scheduled at site for October 7, 2022. The SAG mill, a 4.7-m diameter and 2.5-m-long 750 kW installation, is provided by Metso Outotec.

A 2020 bankable feasibility study, managed by a joint team of DRA Global and M3 Engineering, was based on extracting 2.5 Mt of ore at an average grade of 0.55% Co, 0.8% Cu and 0.64 g/t Au. The initial mine life within the study was seven years.

RPMGlobal adds gas drainage insight to XPAC underground coal scheduling platform

RPMGlobal has released what it says is another industry first with new Gas Drainage Scheduling functionality inside its XPAC Underground Coal Solution (UGCS).

This functionality has been developed with some of Australia’s largest underground coal miners, it noted.

XPAC Solutions are a suite of commodity-based mine planning software solutions specifically built for different commodities and mining methods. It is 100% script-free and made up of pre-defined logic, which, when combined with the tacit knowledge of mining engineers, automatically determines what is practically possible to achieve across one or many mining operations, the company says.

For many coal miners, understanding the impact of gas drainage activities on production can be an extremely challenging task. Until now, there were no software solutions dedicated to this specific task, according to RPM. Engineers were forced to rely on spreadsheets to understand when the drainage of each gateroad was completed and, therefore, the associated impacts on the critical development required for the next longwall move.

Because of the disparate systems, it has been hard to consider gas drainage at the same time as the mine’s production schedule, according to David Batkin, RPM’s Head of Product Strategy.

“The gas drainage functionality of UGCS provides a step change in scheduling gassy underground coal mines,” he said. “The solution tightly integrates the drainage activities into both the mine design and the scheduling processes. It makes gas drainage a key consideration every time the schedule is updated.”

The solution allows the user to directly include factors that influence drainage times – like gas content and permeability – into the in-situ model. When users design a series of longwall panels, gas drainage stubs can be inserted automatically, along with the associated patterns that will be drilled from them. These drill pattern envelopes adjust dynamically based on the longwall dimensions and gateroad properties, but users are also free to refine everything in the model.

The rigs used to perform the gas drainage drilling are treated as independent resources and are scheduled in the same way as continuous miners and longwalls. Rules govern when the drill sites become available and, once they have been drilled, the schedule starts tracking drainage status as soon as each pattern has been drilled.

Mitigation strategies for gas drainage challenges are typically required several years in advance if they are to be effective, RPM says.

As a result, a range of tools have been provided to analyse these challenges and communicate when they need to be implemented. Animations highlight the status of drill sites, so it’s clear when they are available for drilling, when they are drilled and when they are being drained. The drainage status of all development is also displayed and warnings are generated automatically whenever mining is impacted by incomplete drainage.

Batkin stated the solution has been designed to make it as practical as possible for mines with gas drainage challenges.

“This solution has been produced in collaboration with underground miners who face these challenges day in and day out,” he said. “They have helped us take a very practical approach to the problem.

“Our current partners have provided extremely positive feedback that confirms UGCS directly addresses the gas drainage challenges they routinely face. We are excited to have worked with them to provide a solution of this calibre.”

This gas drainage module will be available in the next release of the Underground Coal Solution.

RPMGlobal brings mineral reserve calculations into the cloud

RPMGlobal (RPM) has announced another Software as a Service (SaaS) product offering that, it says, provides mining companies with the capability to undertake mine reserve calculations in a cloud environment.

RPM continues the acceleration of its technology suite to cloud technology following the launch of Haulage as a Service (HaaS), with Reserving as a Service (RaaS). The product has been co-developed with a Tier One mining organisation and is accessible via a cloud-based API.

As a true cloud native application, RaaS takes the resource intensive reserving process and places it in a cloud environment, leveraging the power of cloud computing and making it accessible from anywhere, RPM says. It can be deployed in either a secure public or private cloud infrastructure.

Users can upload block models and multi-stage pit designs in a variety of formats directly to the cloud. After providing some basic information such as material definitions, bench configuration and desired block size, the service will split the designs into mining shapes, returning a 3D solid of each block and a detailed breakdown of the reserves those shapes contain. RaaS leverages the reserve modelling capability within RPMGlobal’s Reserver product which, RPM says, has become the industry standard for reserving over the last 20 years.

The decision to configure RPMGlobal’s design and reserving package into a cloud-based application coincides with more operations choosing to leverage the extraordinary benefits of cloud-based computing.

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews said he envisioned a wide array of applications that will benefit from being able to calculate reserves in a cloud environment via an API.

“The real power of our cloud-based services such as RaaS, is that they can scale themselves based on real-time computing demand, allowing complex reserving calculations to be solved in a fraction of the time a traditional desktop application would require,” he said. “The move to the cloud is really changing ways we are able to solve complex problems.

“Modern mining operations require applications and platforms that can speak natively with cloud applications and their environments to achieve a holistic understanding of their digital mining data and that is what we are enabling at RPMGlobal.”

Mathews said the future of RPMGlobal’s innovative software products was as SaaS applications.

As the suite of cloud-based and SaaS solutions continues to grow so does the library of microservices underpinning the software. Microservices form part of a cloud native architectural approach where a single application is made up of many independently deployable smaller components.

“The microservice library is really exciting and is being used more and more, particularly in our mobile solutions,” Mathews said. “Our users are telling us that mobility and cloud architecture are both big priorities for them, so it is important that we are delivering in line with their needs.”

RPMGlobal looks to maximise mining company NPV with Enterprise Optimiser

RPMGlobal has delivered a brand-new optimisation solution with the release of a multi-site, multi-period optimiser that, it says, evaluates capital investment strategies and mine plans of multiple operations to maximise the net present value (NPV) of an entire mining organisation.

RPM’s Enterprise Optimiser has been built from the ground up, leveraging and building upon algorithms, libraries, and intellectual property within RPM’s software suite, the company explained. It has been designed so that EO can look at a mining organisation in its entirety and inform capital investment decisions while also optimising the strategic mining schedule.

The company explained: “Current offerings generally look to optimise the NPV of individual mining operations, but they fail to recognise that those sites are often connected. Optimising connected mining operations is essential to ensuring the use of shared infrastructure and competing contractual requirements (that impact each operation differently) are taken into consideration. This needs to happen because the best option for one operation does not necessarily provide the best outcome for the organisation as a whole.”

RPM’s Enterprise Optimiser is capable of handling very large, multi-operation models and can blend products not only at site but also at other points along the route, including the port, according to RPM. It achieves this very quickly, making it possible to study more alternatives to maximise the organisation’s NPV and production capacity.

RPM’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, says the product solves a challenge that all multi-site organisations have attempted to solve for decades.

“Our new Enterprise Optimiser optimises the key objectives of the organisation across individual mine sites and considers both the mining and processing operations at the same time,” he said. “This is critical in understanding not only how the individual mine plans are related but also where the organisation gets the greatest return for shareholders from their invested capital.”

Users can evaluate multiple strategic options across an organisation including potential capital investments, according to the company.

“What makes EO so powerful is the way we combine all of the different factors into a single model that looks at the entire problem across multiple mine sites,” Mathews said. “It can assess the final products being exported from one or more ports while considering all of the logistics between the mine and the port.”

EO doesn’t look to just optimise across a single period or the short-term horizon, but rather to optimise across the entire life of the mine in one go. It does this for each operation simultaneously, including the mine schedule and processing plant. Throughout the process it considers the operational structure of the company so it can maximise the NPV across the whole organisation, RPM says.

“EO is entirely process-driven, removing the need for complex scripting while providing ease of use and visualisation of the optimised schedule,” RPM said. “This process-driven approach makes it very simple to configure reserve models and then model key factors such as mining rates, costs and revenues. The user can define complex sequencing rules and constraints while defining objectives and product specifications. EO then allows users to analyse and visualise scheduling outcomes which will determine the optimum NPV.”

EO can be used across any commodity, mining method and any number of sites, the company claims. While it is a standalone product and can be used to optimise schedules and reserves from most mining packages, there are integration advantages when paired with RPM’s scheduling solutions, RPM said.

EO is integrated with RPM’s Enterprise Planning Framework (EPF) with users having access to features such as the model repository so that they can share and edit models. EPF also has the industry’s largest independent equipment library, corporate governance and enterprise security among its numerous advantages, RPM explained.

RPMGlobal bolts on new environmental features to XPAC scheduling software

RPMGlobal has released the latest version of its scheduling software, XPAC Solutions, with some of the notable features including disturbance reporting and scheduling, landform surface definition, support for battery trucks, multiple independent calendars, bi-directional Integration with RPM’s Schedule Optimisation Tool (SOT) and many more commodity-specific enhancements.

The latest version is focused explicitly on significant features requested by and developed with XPAC Solutions users globally, the company said.

According to Richard Mathews, RPM’s Chief Executive Officer, this release of XPAC Solutions is the most significant in the past several years.

“We committed a lot of resources to this release,” he said. “Coming off the major investment we made in performance and usability in the previous release, we had a very solid platform to introduce these new industry-leading features, without comprising speed, quality or accuracy.”

One of the most significant additions to the software suite is the environmental features allowing for disturbance reporting and scheduling with enhanced spatial zoning. This is ideal for reporting areas that are disturbed by mining and dumping within key areas, such as water catchment and habitat of specific animal species and constraining those areas within the schedule, according to the company.

Along the same vein of environmental enhancements is the addition of battery-electric truck modelling. This latest release provides full support for battery trucks including the ability to define which road segments can be used to recharge batteries. Therefore, users can evaluate whether adequate recharge provision has been made throughout the schedule by providing net energy usage information.

The addition of multiple independent calendars will also appeal to many users of the solutions, the company claims. Schedule and Product Optimiser (PO) can now use different calendars, including those with variable period durations. This provides enormous flexibility and further strengthens what is already the leading optimisation offering in the market.

Bi-directional integration with SOT is also one of the major new features of this latest release. This integration uses an API eliminating the need for file transfers between the products. Users can pass reserves and dependencies directly from XPAC to SOT so they can explore different strategies to maximise the net present value or several other parameters of the schedule. Once a schedule is optimised the results are integrated back into XPAC Solutions to be visualised, analysed and published.

Another new feature allows users of the open-cut coal solutions to import final landform surfaces allowing control of dragline and shovel dumps. Schedules will reflect landform restrictions once the permitted dump height in a particular area has been reached. The resultant schedules are now optimised from a trucking hours and final landform perspective.

Other additions in specific solutions are the support for alternative mining methods within the underground metals solution, simultaneous mining and backfill of pits within the open-pit metals solution, conveyor and strip design import improvements for coal operations as well as improvements to vertical progression for oil sands.

Amira Industry 4.0 interoperability project highlights ‘digital mine’ opportunities

Independent global not for profit organisation, Amira, says its global members are set to reap significant benefits from the finalisation of the Industry 4.0 interoperability project P1208 undertaken in Perth, Western Australia.

The Interoperability Enablement for Natural Resources project concluded in November and was sponsored by miners South32, Fortescue Metals Group and Gold Fields Australia.

The Amira project, which was conducted at the University of Western Australia’s Energy & Resources Digital Interoperability Industry 4.0 (UWA ERDi I4.0) TestLab, was designed to realise “the digital mine”, which requires mature interoperability standards to improve information flow.

The project ran multiple proofs-of-concept using interoperability standards (ISA-95/IEC 62264 and B2MML v7.0 (plus process centric event extensions)) that were originally developed to support the manufacturing industry.

These standards had benefited from many years of work (originally with contributions from BHP and continued by ETP and vendors such as RPMGlobal) in enhancing the standards to support mining requirements.

The resulting updated standards were used in P1208 as a means of exchanging information between common mining software packages from Datamine, ABB, AVEVA, RPMGlobal, Wenco and Manufacturing Intelligence. Each of these vendors played a critical part in the project’s success, according to Amira.

Managing Director at Enterprise Transformation Partners (ETP) and the P1208 Project Lead, John Kirkman, said the project was highly successful, demonstrating manufacturing standards could be adapted and used across various mining methods and commodities.

“In terms of benefits, miners should first note ‘interoperability’ is simply a means to an end, with that end being optimal management of their operations,” Kirkman said.

“By enhancing the core specialist software packages used by geologists, mine planners, mine execution/control, materials tracking and maintenance personnel, etc to work together as if they were always engineered to do so, you are thereby implementing the cornerstone of automating and optimising the processes used to manage your mining operations.

“This is just one of the reasons why interoperability is one of only three core pillars of the Industry 4.0 vision as the idea of achieving highly automated and optimised operations without interoperability is simply not viable.

“Industry 4.0 also recognise ISA-95/IEC 62264 as the standard for supporting modular operations management interoperability, while also recognising OPC-UA as the standard for level 2 (machine/process control) interoperability.”

Benefits of Industry 4.0

Kirkman said Industry 4.0 solutions remove a significant amount of manual effort that are currently an accepted part of the mining process.

“This, in turn, increases data quality by eliminating manual entry errors and aligning semantics, improves timeliness of access to new information and enables users to spend more of their time on the quality of their work,” he said.

“This enables the automated capabilities of the software packages to be fully utilised and opens opportunities for the vendors to develop additional high value automated decision support capabilities within their software packages.”

During the course of the P1208 project, this was most clearly and broadly demonstrated via the materials inventory tracking/management software packages, which were able to automatically receive material movement events (from fleet management systems and fixed plant) and material sample analysis results events (from a Lab Information Management System) and update block and stockpile quantities and grade, then send the updated block and stockpile quantities and grade to a mine planning software packages and data warehouse, all without any user intervention.

“With respect to major successes, the fact that we have been able to demonstrate that standards exist that are able to be applied to mining software packages that can exchange information regardless of what commodity you are mining, by whatever mining method, using whatever equipment, whether you are an open pit or underground mine and also supporting multiple areas of the value chain (ie geology, drilling, blasting, mining, processing, railing, port and shipping) is significant,” Kirkman said.

“With P1208, we have successfully demonstrated that standards do exist and that they can be applied to mining with great success and that miners can now begin to include the application of interoperability in their improvement/transformation strategies and, as a result, maximise their return on investment from future technology projects.”

Interoperability in action

Kirkman said this was exciting news for mining companies looking to make technology investments that have a much higher likelihood of achieving a meaningful return on investment.

Project sponsor Gold Fields Australia took part in the AMIRA P1208 demonstrations sessions at the UWA ERDi I4.0 TestLab in Perth, Australia, recently, examining how interoperability in the mine plan, scheduling, execution, and materials and tracking functions can improve performance.

One of the sponsors said: “I don’t think many mining companies really appreciate the magnitude of the inefficiencies and lost opportunities that exist in a typical mine as a result of systems not working together; I think it’s almost just accepted as we have no other choice today.

“The Amira project has really shone a light on this area and demonstrated how interoperability can significantly improve the way of working across the business.

“To witness schedules being published from one vendor’s software and being received by multiple other vendors’ software, and the same again with actuals and inventory balance updates in real-time, is quite exciting and even more so when you consider that none of the vendors worked directly together; they just applied the standard interfaces to their software under the guidance of the ETP/ERDi team and it all works.”

The ETP team and various vendors involved in P1208 are already implementing these solutions into an open-pit and an underground mine further validating the work, with case studies likely to be produced through 2022.

The ERDi TestLab has noted a recent uptick in interest from both Australia-based and overseas mining companies, which bodes well for the vendors whom can now take advantage of their investment in interoperable solutions.

The ERDi team has already commenced work to extend these solutions across asset management and maintenance, fleet management/autonomous haulage solutions to machines and open process control interoperability via integration of OPAS-based solutions from the Coalition of Open Process Automation (COPA), who have together built the world’s first commercially available OPAS-based control system.

Project findings

Some of the key findings from the project include:

  • There were no instances of an information type required by the end customer or other systems not already catered for by the B2MML v7.0 + process centric events schemas;
  • All vendors were able to enhance their software to support the standards successfully;
  • Software performance would likely be the limiting factor in how much data could be exchanged, not the standard itself, which can be addressed by vendors through various approaches;
  • That being able to receive accurate, real-time information from other systems exposed opportunities for vendors to implement new and advanced features that would not have been useful in a manually updated solution;
  • Though the standard supported all requirements and was able to be implemented by vendors, a number of areas were identified in which the standard could be improved to make it much easier for vendors to implement, maintain and update over time as well ensure it is sufficiently explicit to certify products. ERDi has already kicked off work to address these improvement opportunities;
  • Education is likely the greatest barrier to adoption today. As these Industry 4.0 approaches and opportunities are not yet commonplace in the mining industry, miners will need to make an investment in upskilling their workforce to be able to successfully implement and take advantage of these solutions. Industry 4.0 education and workforce enablement has also been identified by platform I4.0 and the world economic forum as major factors in successful industry 4.0 adoption; and
  • It is possible to establish standards management and governance processes to enable more rapid and frequent update of standards.

RPMGlobal acquires three mine planning optimisation software products from MIRARCO

RPMGlobal has announced a further software product acquisition after entering a collaborative research partnership with Canada-based MIRARCO.

The agreement gives RPM ownership of three mine planning optimisation software products that will strengthen its Design and Scheduling product suites, in particular the SOT product, RPM said.

The acquisition is part of a three-year collaborative research partnership with MIRARCO, an innovative solution research provider for the mining industry and research arm of Laurentian University based in Sudbury, Canada.

MIRARCO was instrumental in the original research leading to the development of RPM’s Schedule Optimisation Tool (SOT). SOT, along with Attain and Surface SOT, were products acquired by RPM as part of its July 2020 acquisition of Revolution Mining Software.

RPM CEO and Managing Director, Richard Mathews, said: “We are very proud that MIRARCO continues to place their trust in RPM to further develop and commercialise these important optimisation programs.”

One of MIRARCO’s core research domains is furthering the research and development of decision support software for the mining industry.

MIRARCO has developed three separate but complementary underground mine planning optimisation products, which RPM has, under this agreement, agreed to acquire and commercialise. These products extend and complement the functionality of RPM’s mine optimisation software solutions in the areas of Advanced Valuation, GeoSequencing, and Ventilation, it said.

As part of a strategic multi-year collaboration arrangement, RPM and MIRARCO will continue to work together on research and development projects that deliver demonstrable and innovative solutions for the mining industry.

The Advanced Valuation Module (AVM) facilitates the generation of optimised underground mine plans that can deal with the effects of uncertain product prices and ore grades. The mine planner specifies distributions for product prices over the mine’s life and ore grades. AVM will then optimise the life-of-mine schedule, maximising the operation’s net present value (NPV).

The GeoSequencing Module (GSM) facilitates the generation of optimised underground mine schedules adhering to stope sequencing constraints motivated by geotechnical considerations. The mine planner selects the rules for stope sequencing and GSM automatically generates alternative sets of stope-to-stope dependencies, or GeoSequencing scenarios, while enforcing the selected rules. The output is an NPV-optimised life-of-mine schedule based on the mine’s geotechnical considerations.

The Ventilation Constraint Module (VCM) generates optimised underground mine schedules based on ventilation constraints. Through interaction with a ventilation solver, VCM automatically generates airflow-based constraints on the equipment for each ventilation district. Using these constraints, VCM generates optimised NPV life-of-mine schedules that are feasible from a ventilation perspective.

Mathews added: “This acquisition is strategically important for two reasons. First, it further supports our commitment to delivering real innovation to the industry through the ongoing investment and collaboration with the leading minds within key research and development institutes such as MIRARCO. Secondly, it continues our commitment to owning and further investing in the development of innovative strategic mine optimisation solutions particularly for our underground mining clients.

“With the completion of this transaction, RPM is now the proud owner of nine underground mine planning software optimisation products that are used by software suppliers to the mining industry particularly in the underground space to build optimised underground life of mine plans.”

Mathews said the company started acquiring and developing underground mine optimisation products back in August 2017, starting with the acquisition of MineOptima (borne out of research of the Network Optimisation Group at the University of Melbourne) and then in July 2020 with the acquisition of Revolution Mining (borne out of research of MIRARCO) and now with MIRARCO once again.

Dr Nadia Mykytczuk, Interim President and CEO of MIRARCO and Executive Director of the Goodman School of Mines, said: “RPM’s global reach and drive to deliver innovative technology solutions for the mining industry make them a perfect industry partner for MIRARCO. We are looking forward to building on our already strong partnership and collaboration with RPM over the next three years and beyond.”

RPMGlobal to create Emissions Management Software solution with Eden Suite deal

RPMGlobal (RPM) has entered into an agreement with Eden Suite Pty Ltd to acquire a copy of its Environmental Data Management and Reporting Software, Eden Suite.

This acquisition provides RPM with the exclusive worldwide rights to the intellectual property in the Eden Suite software for use in the mining and quarrying industries, along with the ability to extend and integrate the use of the software inside RPM’s suite of software products, it said.

This latest announcement follows closely from the recent acquisitions by RPM of two environmental, social and governance (ESG) consulting and advisory businesses – Blueprint Environmental Strategies and Nitro Solutions.

This acquisition, RPMGlobal says, is strategically important as it will be the first software solution within a brand-new Sustainability vertical in the technology division.

Richard Mathews, RPMGlobal’s CEO, stated, “RPM’s ESG consulting and advisory division has an enviable reputation in ESG matters and the establishment of a dedicated technology vertical focused on ESG technology will further bolster their credentials.

“RPM has a lot of ESG capability already built into its software products to address topics such as emissions simulation, disturbance scheduling/reporting and avoidance zoning. This strategic acquisition provides RPM’s mining customers with a proven ESG focused solution that has been specifically built and tailored for the sole purposes of supporting users with their environmental management and reporting requirements.”

Eden Suite has been supporting carbon management for almost 10 years and was initially developed to capture the fundamental mechanics of annual emissions reporting. This capability can also be applied to the annual National Pollutant Inventories (NPI) and other regulatory greenhouse gas emission reporting requirements. It does this by streamlining the capture of usages for anything that creates an emission output for an organisation, RPMGlobal explained. Usages of emissions sources can be manually entered or automatically integrated through direct data linkages.

The solution has been designed to make it easier for organisations to proactively track, forecast and subsequently report their emissions outputs.

“One of the major challenges faced by miners with emissions reporting is that of data capture, which is a critical component of the regulatory reporting framework,” the company said. “Eden Suite is configured to mirror how an organisation operates. Data is captured in a manner allowing for auditability and transparency, ensuring material disclosures in relation to carbon are accurately calculated and reported.”

RPM’s Emissions Management solution will be entirely web-based, and cloud delivered and is configured to reflect an organisation’s asset hierarchy. Inputs are then measured by vehicle, fleet or at an individual asset level allowing granular reporting and flexibility of changes which is important for historical and auditable reporting.

Mathews continued: “Mining organisations are being required to undertake an increasing amount of time-sensitive statutory reporting for ESG and this can no longer be reliably delivered through the use of Excel spreadsheets. With the RPM Emissions Management Software solution, a site or an entire organisation can generate annualised emissions submissions that can be summarised into daily emissions trends per activity or even source. Having a solution with real-time data capture allows mining clients to proactively monitor and manage their progress across Scope 1, 2 and 3 inventories.”

Eden Suite’s CEO, Peter Robertson, stated: “RPM is ideally positioned within the mining industry to further the growth of this software solution within that market. RPM is an industry leader in the mining consulting and advisory space and has a proven track record developing and integrating technology. We are pleased to have such a strong partnership with such a respected and progressive company.”

RPMGlobal extends haulage vehicle simulation to green hydrogen, hybrid-diesel power

RPMGlobal says it has further advanced its simulation platform to support hybrid vehicles that are powered by green hydrogen or hybrid diesel.

The hybrid vehicle functionality, developed in partnership with Tier-One miners and OEMs within the mining industry, enables users to simulate and test multiple scenarios including vehicles that use hydrogen or hybrid diesel. This is particularly useful for organisations looking to decarbonise their mining operations and are looking for a way to quantify potential options, the company said.

RPM’s simulation solutions use a Discrete Event Simulation engine that has been specifically designed for the mining industry. Organisations typically build a base case simulation they use as a yardstick to measure any changes to the haulage network, road rules, mine layout or vehicles.

Richard Mathews, Chief Executive Officer of RPMGlobal, said the demand for HAULSIM and SIMULATE has been strong. “RPM is experiencing a significant increase in organisations needing to measure and quantify the financial and emission benefits of utilising electric, hydrogen or hybrid diesel alternatives to their traditional diesel fleet.

“The global decarbonisation effort has certainly created demand for RPM’s unique simulation solutions that can assist with answering questions that you simply can’t answer in a spreadsheet.

“RPM’s Commercial Off-The-Shelf simulation solutions are already used worldwide by miners, contractors and OEMs. With mining companies across the world pledging to quantifiably improve their decarbonisation efforts towards net-zero targets, software solutions that can measure and quantify the potential benefits of using lower emission options that are available in the market are super important.”

This latest software release also includes several other developments such as interaction rules for autonomous vehicles, upgrades to electric vehicle infrastructure simulations, additional microservices to evaluate alternative options remotely (server or cloud) and more detailed reporting for electric vehicles.

With this release, RPM is offering usage of the software and training free of charge to anyone taking part in the Charge On Innovation Challenge to support participants in delivering innovative decarbonisation solutions, it said. This challenge came about as a result of BHP, Rio Tinto, Vale and Austmine recognising that the mining industry needs to be at the forefront of tackling climate change. The Charge On Innovation Challenge is aimed at encouraging innovative technology development that will support the mining industry’s decarbonisation efforts.

RPMGlobal increases XPAC ESG scope with environmental disturbance modelling and reporting functionality

RPMGlobal has taken what it says are the next step in the development of its environmental, social and governance (ESG) technology capabilities, with the introduction of environmental disturbance modelling and reporting functionality into its mine scheduling products, XPAC Solutions.

The company is collaborating with a major mining client in Canada to develop the module, with on-site testing completed in September.

This new module provides users with environmental disturbance functionality associated with any disturbance of environmental significance across the life of a mine, RPMGlobal explains.

“Unlike a simple reporting tool, XPAC Solutions has the capability to restrain a mining schedule based on pre-set limits associated with both water catchment and flora and fauna zones,” it said. “For example, users can request a reduction in an environmental distance of some type and the software will then proceed to find a different schedule that honours that restriction.”

This new module is required because organisations now need to plan and report how much environmental disturbance has taken place in specified areas, allowing organisations to plan better when applying for, and receiving ground disturbance permits.

This forward-looking environmental view gives users the foresight they need to understand how the mining process will impact a piece of land, according to RPMGlobal. Users can easily configure the product across many different sensitive habitats and report results independently or in combination.

With RPMGlobal’s automatic environmental disturbance reporting functionality, users will no longer have to take a mine schedule and manually place it into a GIS system to build environmental reports, the company said. Instead, users configure the product once and it will generate the data required every time a mine schedule is run.

RPMGlobal’s Head of ESG, Ngaire Tranter, said the environmental disturbance capability would be critical for companies operating in jurisdictions that have stringent environmental restrictions.

“Organisations require forward-looking solutions that help them efficiently manage and demonstrate compliance with increasingly complex environmental rules and regulations that govern the industry,” she said. “Across many jurisdictions, policy makers and regulators are strengthening environmental disclosure requirements which underpin the importance of innovative software solutions that help mining companies navigate this evolving space.”

Since the commencement of the dedicated ESG division in July 2021, the company says it has been focused on developing and integrating unique ESG capabilities into its suite of mining specific software solutions.

The development project follows the completion of the company’s electric vehicle simulation capabilities which sit inside the company’s vehicle simulation suite of software. Separately, development has commenced to include hydrogen-powered haul trucks inside the same simulation platform.

Tranter said there were already planning sessions occurring for the next stage of XPAC Solutions’ ESG capabilities, which are focused on rehabilitation planning.

“There is an increasing focus from shareholders on an organisations’ social licence to operate so it’s important that we, as a software provider, continue to stay a step ahead by developing solutions that mitigate risk and add value for our clients in this space,” she said.

“Our intention is to develop a world-class ESG technology stack that builds on the expertise of our Advisory division.”