Smart material mining

By | 2020-12-08T09:47:04+00:00 December 8th, 2020|

The established process of mine operations reporting often sees results delivered after the fact. This leaves no room to react and adapt plans as circumstances change. Mining is such a dynamic environment that failure to act quickly can cost millions.

Smart material mining with Maptek Credit: Maptek

Smart material mining with Maptek Credit: Maptek

Maptek has responded to the obvious need for a proactive approach to reporting with a new live material tracking tool. Maptek MaterialMRT allows informed decisions to be made in-shift where and when they can make a real difference.

Maptek group product strategy manager, Mark Roberts, says the new smart resource tracking and modelling solution closes gaps in the mining value chain. “MaterialMRT provides quality and quantity control of discontinuous material flows from in situ rock to run-of-mine stockpiles and feed into the plant,” says Roberts. MaterialMRT connects the resource model, short-term mine schedules, fleet management systems, survey data and feed quality analysers.

MaterialMRT dynamically tracks compliance to plan, reporting on how well the schedule is being met, and whether there are any unplanned movements of material. Enabling informed decision making at critical stages allows mines to optimise recovery, and accurately reconcile with the strategic mine plan and resource model.

Material movement from pit to plant via the Run of Mine (RoM) is usually via truck and shovel. Information from the block model is typically lost at this stage, impacting the bottom line.

Roberts highlighted other challenges facing operations, including poor plant utilisation and product quality; lack of optimisation, dump and rehandle compliance checking; poor resource model reconciliation and inefficient stockpile management.

“MaterialMRT uses variable composition to model stockpiles, so material parcels carry the block model values right through the mining chain,” he says. This fine-grained data modelling sets the Maptek solution apart from incumbent weighted average systems improvised using spreadsheets.

MaterialMRT rapidly enables changes to be easily auto-adjusted, manually corrected, verified, and approved, with an audit trail back to the raw values relevant to tonnes and grade. When more up-to-date information becomes available it can be correlated and presented live to deliver meaningful insights and support value in-use decisions to address issues before it is too late.

“MaterialMRT therefore becomes a tactical planning tool for geologists and engineers. They control their per-shift reclaim and blending profiles to optimise feed into the plant, and can confidently deliver on final product, on time, every time,’ says Roberts.

“All stakeholders and management, from mine site or corporate office, can now identify and quantify the variability of material as it progresses through each stage of mining,” he says. Measuring and validating actual material movements at every stage during a shift is essential to better plan and manage material movement.

Material MRT consists of a cloud ready centralised server, web-based user interface and a database optimised for storing arbitrary time series geospatial data. Live dashboards and reports deliver high visibility to easily identify trends within mining processes.

The Maptek MRT services extend into the beneficiation process and stockpile management through additional capabilities in PlantMRT and StockpileMRT.