Tag Archives: Vulcan

Maptek and Minnovare combine expertise to improve underground mining accuracy

Maptek says it and drill and blast technology provider, Minnovare, are delivering streamlined drill and blast solutions to help underground miners optimise their operations.

A project recently completed for an Australia gold miner is a great example of how collaboration between these technology providers can result in better outcomes for mining companies.

Linking Maptek Vulcan™ design and modelling software with Minnovare’s new Production Optimiser system for underground production drilling has streamlined “the connection between design and as-built for more accurate outcomes”, the two companies said.

Ring design data, including images, can now be exported from Vulcan and easily uploaded directly to Minnovare CORE – the Production Optimiser software interface – through scripting provided by Maptek. The Vulcan−Production Optimiser combination helps ensure that drilling follows design. It also reduces the need for re-work, as feedback on accuracy and compliance is available to both the rig operator and the technical engineering team using Vulcan, according to the companies.

Production Optimiser combines advanced rig alignment hardware with drill data capture software, substantially reducing blasthole deviation and average rig setup times, according to Minnovare. “This leads to optimum charge patterns and blasts, with a host of flow-on productivity benefits for an operation, including improved ore recovery, reduced average dilution and a faster stope cycle time,” the company said.

Maptek says it has 40 years’ experience in developing technology and systems that solve daily challenges for global mining companies. “Investment in people, motivated by excellence, innovation and continual improvement, allows delivery of systems that help integrate and streamline mining processes into a single source of technical data to inform decision making,” Maptek said. This includes the scripting that bridged the gap between Vulcan and Production Optimiser.

Minnovare developed the Production Optimiser, which was released in June 2018, in close collaboration with leading Australian gold miners, Gold Fields and Evolution Mining. Since its release the new technology has been taken up rapidly within industry, with leaders such as Northern Star Resources signing an official Collaboration Agreement with Minnovare in August 2018. This has seen the gold miner use it in both Western Australia and, more recently, in Alaska at its Pogo operation.

Analysis that Minnovare has conducted of in-hole survey data proves that circumstances prior to drilling account for up to 70% of blasthole deviation, the company said. This was contrary to the prevailing industry perception that in-hole deviation was the primary contributor.

Maptek to boost operational productivity and efficiency with Vulcan 11

Maptek is going after productivity and efficiency gains with the latest version of its Vulcan 3D geological modelling, mine design and production planning solution.

Among the new functions in Vulcan 11 is improved flexibility in ramp design when creating highwall templates, enhancements to Open Pit Solids and Mining Block Generation, an automated panel caving design process for creating 3D CAD level production and sink level mining designs, and a smoother Workflow Editor in the Maptek Workbench.

Announcing the Vulcan 11 global release today, Maptek Managing Director Peter Johnson said the company had made its mark with practical, intuitive solutions around aspects of technology important to mining stakeholders.

“We’ve racked up 37 years of feature-packed Vulcan releases and we’re not stopping anytime soon,” he said.

“Alongside new functionality, we have built exceptional visualisation tools to help users analyse their data. The insights gained translate into better business decisions,” he added.

Enhancements delivered in Vulcan 11 add to an existing suite of design and modelling tools.

“Take geostatistics as a good example of a specialist application where Maptek leads the field. A comprehensive range of statistical approaches helps streamline comparison of multiple scenarios. Impressive data visualisation enhances understanding of the data and refines interpretations,” Maptek said.

New functionality in Vulcan Data Analyser and the introduction of Kriging Neighbourhood Analysis (KNA) in the grade estimation workflow is what customers want in a dedicated geostatistics application, according to Maptek. KNA is fast and intuitive to set up and run, and the optimised KNA settings can be fed directly into a grade estimation run.

Mine planning updates in Vulcan 11 focus heavily on greater efficiency in reserving and preparing data for scheduling. Engineers can take advantage of improved flexibility in ramp design when creating highwall templates, including the ability to incorporate multiple ramps.

Open Pit Solids and Mining Block Generation enhancements tighten the connectivity between mine planning and scheduling. The workflow-based approach for strip mines ensures “reliable output applicable to all Maptek mine planning and scheduling solutions”, the company said.

Mining block generation employs a simple, repeatable process, while maintaining flexibility for easy updating when running calculations. Users can select any accumulation variable, such as in situ metals or volume, to apply as a target. Dynamic adjustment of blocks allows solid and attribute modification on the go.

“Smarter tools that perform faster are the most effective way to increase efficiency. Customers are experiencing dramatic improvements in outcomes due to increased speed for resolving samples in grade control and the ability to use Perl and Python scripts in grade estimation,” Maptek said.

Grade Control Optimiser, released in 2017, is helping operations to realise the true value of their deposits, according to Maptek. The latest update includes improvements to the core optimisation engine, which guarantees locally optimal results.

Vulcan 11 introduces an automated panel caving design process for creating 3D CAD level production and sink level mining designs. The option takes into account geometric, technical and operational parameters.

Speed of design and generation of alternative scenarios for evaluation are features of the new tool that also feeds into the strategic Maptek Cavelogic application.

Maptek said: “Vulcan users (all 19,000), who have had access to the Maptek Workbench for more than 12 months, will experience a smoother Workflow Editor. Improvements include linking Vulcan and Workbench menus with explorer data to easily run automations in context, drag-and-drop nodes representing each component, and the ability to save customised components to build new workflows. A new search option helps find all menu options relating to a specific term.”

Johnson said: “We see Maptek Workbench enhancing the user experience. The idea of running the latest versions of multiple Maptek applications in a coordinated manner is very attractive to customers. It supports their need to unify software platforms for managing technical data.

“Maptek already provides mining specific software; what we’re doing now will allow our customers to join different Maptek applications into powerful solutions that improve their business overall. This ranges from sharing data and dynamic viewing through to workflows across applications.”

Vulcan 11 and the Maptek Workbench will be rolled out to global customers this week.