Micromine software upgraded to increase performance

10th May 2019 By: Thabi Madiba - Creamer Media Senior Research Assistant and Reporter

Micromine software  upgraded to  increase performance

IMPROVED PERFORMANCE The upgraded Micromine 2020 offers enhancements to implicit modelling and pit optimiser modules

Following the positive effect of current worldwide exploration on the demand for mining software solutions specialist MICROMINE’s products, the company will release the latest version of its three-dimensional (3D) modelling and mine design software, Micromine 2020, in the last quarter of this year.

Micromine 2020 has a range of new features and enhancements to increase the overall use and performance of the software.

MICROMINE Africa marketing coordinator Craig Sternslow tells Mining Weekly that the software is a comprehensive and easy-to-use exploration and mine design solution, which offers integrated tools for modelling, estimation, design, optimisation and scheduling.

Micromine provides users with an in-depth understanding of their projects to target prospective regions more accurately and increase the chances of project successes.

The new software comprises ten modules – a core, exploration, mining, stratigraphic modelling, scheduler, resource estimation, implicit modelling, wireframing, surveying and pit optimisation modules – which aid mine planning.

Sternslow explains that the core module enables users to import, validate, process, display and interpret a variety of surface, drillhole and subsurface data.

The exploration module comprises visualisation, drillhole management, analytical and modelling tools, as well as the statistical and geostatistical functionality needed in a more advanced exploration or resource estimation project.

The mining module is designed for mining engineers, providing powerful and intuitive tools for planning and designing surface and underground mines, while the stratigraphic modelling module is ideal for any stratified deposit, such as coal, platinum, nickel laterite, tin and more.

The scheduler module, which is fully integrated with Micromine software, overcomes the limitations of Gantt chart facilities in applications such as Microsoft Project. Sternslow notes that it is a smart solution that assists with short-term resource extraction planning, creating an optimum mineral extraction process to meet corporate objectives.

While the resource estimation module is used for detailed resource analysis and reporting, he adds that the implicit modelling module uses radial basis functions to model grade shells, lithology boundaries, faults or surfaces.

Wireframing provides the tools for building, managing and analysing 3D solids and 3D surfaces for advanced exploration, resource estimation, mining and geological modelling.

He explains that the surveying module is designed specifically to import and process survey data, providing calculation facilities for points, strings, surfaces and volumes collected from mine surveys, mining openpit and underground operations. “It provides generic tools for survey calculations and supports communications with survey instruments.”

With pit optimisation, auto load pit shells can be created in the module, while total capital cost to optimise output reports can also be included. Density can now be calculated based on a field in the block model with the mining module.

With MICROMINE heavily invested in research and development, most enhancements and new features are the result of feedback from current clients and BETA testers.

“We pride ourselves in ensuring that we provide clients with an industry-leading software. There has been a larger demand for enhancements on the mining side of our software and Micromine 2020 will address that demand,” Sternslow adds.

Micromine also solves multiple challenges that mining operations face depending on what stage the challenges occur in the mining process.

By incorporating mine planning software into an operation, miners and companies will be able to better justify operational expenses and operational staff will be accountable based on the mine plan.

Sternslow mentions that the incorporation of software will also be part of upskilling current staff as they will need to obtain certifications to prove their efficiency in a mining or modelling software solution.

MICROMINE is also set to release a new version of its underground mining precision performance software, Pitram, which uses machine learning to refine and enhance the loading and haulage processes.

The solution will be released as part of the company’s fleet management and mine control solution.

Using the processes of computer vision and deep machine learning, on-board cameras are placed on loaders to accurately track the loading, hauling, dumping and travelling empty cycle times, all without any operator input.

The video feed is processed on the vehicle’s Pitram Mobile device, and the extracted information is then transferred to Pitram servers for processing and analyses.

“By capturing images and information through the video cameras and analysing that information using comprehensive data models, mine managers can analyse and optimise the performance and efficiency of load-haul-dump operators,” Sternslow explains.

He notes that Pitram also provides underground mine managers with increased business insights, which enables them to have more control over their operation and make more informed decisions which, in turn, improves production and safety.