It's all about the data!

The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) held a Mine Planning Colloquium on 6-7 June 2017. This was the third in a series starting in 2012 and running again in 2014. The presenters are typically a combination of mining company planning personnel, mine planning consultants and academics, willing to share their experience in a public forum of peers.

This year there was a noticeable change in focus, away from the functionality of the software tools and onto the need for integrated data with integrity not only for planning but also operational control and effective decision-making.

The terms ‘digital mine’, ‘digital twin’, ‘mine of the future’ and ‘digital transformation’ featured regularly in the proceedings. The scene was set by keynote addresses from Andrew Lane of Deloitte Consulting on the ‘digital mine’ and Frik Fourie of Anglo American Platinum on the ‘success of enhanced mine planning through integration’ and unequivocally echoed by many of the presenters.

From MineRP’s perspective, Frik’s keynote illustrating what has been accomplished with the use of MineRP’s spatial information management solution was an audience eye-opener. He has moved from an environment with 42 separate databases to the ability to do “Multiple planning and fully costed scenarios possible within a week”.

This was backed by Johnny van den Berg’s live demonstration of MineRP Planner, doing mine planning over the internet using his cellphone as a router. The design was done in nine minutes and he went on show the schedule and implications for Resources and Reserve classification and reporting, finishing on the clock at 20 minutes.

There were several sound examples of professional mining practitioners at work with their expert software tools but these too illustrated the need for integration across the inherently multi-disciplinary landscape of the mine planning process.

The attached video link catches the summary of the event. Watch the SAIMM site in future for available presentations and papers or contact me for more information.

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