New geology software version due for release next year

Horizon adaptive rectangular prism modelling in Vulcan enables drillhole data and downhole geophysical characteristics to be used to interpret and interpolate coal horizons

GEOLOGISTS AID Horizon adaptive rectangular prism modelling in Vulcan enables drillhole data and downhole geophysical characteristics to be used to interpret and interpolate coal horizons

27th November 2015


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Mining solutions developer Maptek will release the latest version of its mine-planning software suite, Vulcan 10. in the first quarter of 2016.

Vulcan incorporates a dedicated geology package that features tools that enable geologists to access and view drillhole data, define geologi- cal zones and accurately model orebodies and deposits.

These tools comprise geology- specific bundles, including Vulcan Explorer, Vulcan GeoModeller and Vulcan GeoStatModeller.

Vulcan Explorer provides an interactive three-dimensional (3D) visualisation and modelling environment to test and validate exploration models. Vulcan Modeller, GeoModeller or MineModeller creates block models and 3D triangulated surfaces for assessment.

Vulcan GeoModeller is ideal for creating geological, structural and grade/quality models for stratigraphic and nonstratigraphic applications. The software can also be used for geological modelling, face mapping, statistical analysis and preliminary resource calculations.
Vulcan GeoStatModeller is a complete configuration for performing geostatistical analysis to create models and accurately determine geological resources. Tools for variograms and grade estimation are used to augment grid and block modelling, geology and plotting.

Vulcan 10 will introduce further enhancements, including new tools for splitting pit solids into scheduling blocks, for variogram analysis, enhanced implicit modelling and when working with large block models.

The new version will also deliver additional support for multithreaded processors for up to ten times better performance over the current version. The upgrades will see a significant improvement in the speed of block model scripts, block slicing, implicit modelling, grade estimation, attribute reporting and simulations.

Industry Origins
Maptek recently showcased its expanded range of solutions at the Bowen Basin Geology Group Symposium, in Brisbane, Australia, in October.

During the symposium, Maptek stratigraphic solutions development director Peter Odins described the event as an ideal platform for the exchange of technical ideas to solve common geological challenges and highlight new technologies.

“Maptek has been attending the Bowen Basin geology meetings since 1990 and, in fact, our story began with coal. The first sale to Utah International in San Francisco in 1981 was just the beginning of a success story that today sees Vulcan installed at more than 1 800 sites in over 75 countries,” he adds.

Since then, Maptek has extended its spatial data solutions to 3D laser scanning systems for survey, design conformance reporting and surface movement detection.

Eureka is an integrated 3D platform for modelling and interpreting exploration data. Odins noted that these systems provide a competitive advantage for operations by enabling them to fully exploit their geological, geophysical and geotechnical information.

“Maptek technology is designed with the user in mind. Systems are intuitive and workflow driven,” he says. Attention to high-end graphics and 3D visualisation refocuses expertise on driving informed decision-making and productivity improvements.

The “revolution” in stratigraphic modelling began with the release of integrated stratigraphic modelling tools in Vulcan about ten years ago, notes Odins.

In 2010, horizon adaptive rectangular prism (HARP) modelling in Vulcan provided geologists with a new technique for using drillhole data and downhole geophysical characteristics for interpreting and interpolating coal horizons. It also allowed better classification of the most economic seams and the unviable seams included in burden removal.

The latest Maptek innovation is positional information of seam contacts collected by I-Site laser scanners modelled and imported into Vulcan to control the HARP modelling process in the vicinity of the highwall. The resultant model represents the best understanding of the geology, Odins adds.

The introduction of implicit modelling in Vulcan in 2014 continued the trend of providing tools that allow geologists to concentrate on validating and improving interpretations. Users can rapidly build/create solids and surfaces for estimating the potential size of a specific horizon. Implicit modelling of complex 3D geological surfaces produces more consistent results and block model outputs are ready for processes such as reserving.

Measurement while drilling information captured by drill rig automation systems was introduced into the modelling process in 2015. Pressure and torque readings recorded as holes are drilled can be visualised and analysed to give a clearer account of the resource and improve coal recovery through better blast outcomes.

Edited by Tracy Hancock
Creamer Media Contributing Editor



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