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Geoscience Data Management in the age of Mine Digitalization
by Philippine Resources - August 26, 2021
By: Engr. Jeffrey Geronimo
Data remains one of the most important assets of any mining company – and for these to become assets, these must be accurate and reliable. Data drives mineral exploration and mining operations. However, with the sheer volume of data we obtain, no one would object that these are usually overwhelming to manage; from the location and geochemistry of every hand sample; to the structural-geochemical-geophysical information collected from the nth drill hole just to define the resource; and even up to the 4D mine model showing the depth, thickness, grade.
Gathering geoscience data is crucial for a mining project. Millions of pesos are invested in the process of obtaining new and managing old data. New data brings fresh interpretations to keep mine models updated. Older data may increase in value as the degree of confidence becomes higher proven by the new data obtained. In addition, discoveries and deeper understanding of the project are often attained by continuously reinterpreting data from the past.
When effectively managed, geoscience datasets can be aggregated to generate subsurface and resource models that underpin critical financial and engineering decisions.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES: DISCOVERY, ACCESSIBILITY, AND SHARING
What data do we have? Where are these? How do we access these? These are three of the biggest data management challenges faced by mining companies. In most instances, files are just locally stored on each of the user’s laptops or desktops with the occasional habit of backing it up via the company’s file server. Moreover, sharing of valuable company data is done by just using e-mails, flash drives, FTP servers or even just through social media platforms. All these methods provide limited traceability and will compromise data security.
While the abovementioned file management styles can get the job done, these could eventually reduce business efficiency and lead to reduced productivity. Do we have the latest version of the drillhole data? What if I was basing my work on outdated data the whole time? Where was the document saved by my colleague prior to his leave of absence? It is a formula for disaster! Therefore, having a transparent process workflow can ensure geoscience data management be aligned and supported in mining projects.
THE SOLUTION: STRATEGIC GEOLOGY MODELING
Paramina Earth Technologies, Inc. is proud to bring the golden standard for geoscience data management. Through our “Strategic Geology Modeling” solution developed by Dassault Systèmes, it blends the power of the industry-leading 3DEXPERIENCE platform to ensure customers unlock and harness the value held within their geoscience data. It seamlessly integrates GEOVIA Surpac, the world’s most popular geology and mine planning software, and ENOVIA Project & Document Management applications.
Strategic Geology Modeling enables multiple users to work safely and securely on the same data and also at the same time. It enables tracking and managing user access and file permissions on top of retaining and tracing all changes to the data via document versioning. This gives the manager confidence that the latest interpretation, model, or plan uses the most up-to-date information - allowing real-time decisions and improved business agility.
With Strategic Geology Modeling, your geoscience datasets are safe as these are securely stored in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform - whether on a public or private cloud, or on-premise. With an intuitive and user-friendly interface, users can simply drag-and-drop data on the platform into the GEOVIA Surpac graphics window to begin work - no need to undergo tedious conversions! It also enables:
- Document versioning for traceability and accountability
- Check-in/out of data
- The ability to ‘sync’ data for fast visualization
- User file and folder permissions
- Bookmark workspaces and folders to create personalized views
The synced geoscience data on the platform is accessible anywhere and from any device. Users can build customized dashboards containing the applications and data of their choice, providing a dynamic real- time view of operational information and KPI’s - accessible via web browser.
Strategic Geology Modeling combines these benefits with GEOVIA Surpac’s out-of-the-box functionality such as drillhole database, surfaces, and solids modeling tools. This allows geologists to truly represent the real world with a digital twin of the subsurface environment.
The evolution of the geology model from interpretation, model generation to validation, can be tracked using ENOVIA’s Project Management applications. Managers can assign tasks, create a project plan, and monitor the progress against the plan using various charts. This complete project visibility in real-time means issues or delays are addressed as soon as they occur, reducing the impact on the business and allowing decision-makers to make critical business decisions faster. This undeniably improves business performance and operational agility.
Once the model is uploaded to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, content can be shared with all stakeholders via collaboration tools such as Communities & Conversations, Dashboards and Collaborative Tasks. Users can dynamically visualize GEOVIA Surpac content in 3D within the platform. They can also engage with colleagues or contractors at the same time through 3DSwym communities and conversations, or comment on the data itself.
The connection enabled by our Strategic Geology Modeling solution saves time and helps the user identify issues and bottlenecks earlier in the modeling process. These dynamic datasets and user-centric collaboration help staff understand the real-world problems that impact business performance and agility, ensuring operational excellence in the age of mine digitalization. Let Paramina Earth Technologies, Inc. be your partner towards your mining journey! Contact email@example.com or www.paramina.com for more information.
REFERENCE: Dassault Systèmes. (2021). Geoscience Data Management: Challenges and a Solution.
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Philippine Resources - June 30, 2021
Making Mining Smarter Through Virtual Twins
Article by Engr. Jeffrey Q. Geronimo In the recently concluded 2021 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention, global leaders in mining have all agreed that the key to reduce risks and create more value in mining is by testing everything in the “virtual world” first. This is particularly done by taking risks, failing, and learning from mistakes -- not just digitally but also virtually. DIGITAL TWIN VS VIRTUAL TWIN “Digital twin” is not a new concept to the mining sector as computer-aided programs such as 3D CAD models have already been existent and utilized for several decades. However, while we have experienced vast improvements and upgrades, these models are still isolated from the real world and remains to be just digital models. This is where the concept of “Virtual twin” experiences come into play. It is a great leap beyond the digital twin experience wherein more accurate and scientific real-world models are taken into consideration such as time, environment, and behaviors in varying conditions and scenarios. This will enable problems and solutions of the company to be communicated faster to different teams across the mining value chain -- thereby increasing the company’s understanding, collaboration and participation. TAKING THE GREAT LEAP Mining companies may already have the fundamental data, processes, and infrastructure they need to begin the shift. What they may be lacking is the state-of-the art connectivity, contextualization, and collaborative platform that will integrate all of its people, processes and data. This will be their portal to the virtual twin experience. This is where the GEOVIA Mining Intelligence suite powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform may bridge the gap. It provides users with an overall view of their mining operations with ultra-fast access to information on top of easy and sophisticated analysis. THE INTELLIGENCE NEEDED BY A SMART MINE The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform connects GEOVIA users with role-based applications to connect people, ideas, data and solutions in real-time. It enables centralized control and viewing of mine data, providing a single source of truth on your business operations. Moreover, it allows efficient collaboration with traceability across the mining value chain The GEOVIA Mining Intelligence suite, consisting of Production Intelligence and Geology Intelligence functions, extends the promise and collaborative power of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform by allowing users to reveal, measure and analyze mining data so that they may deeply understand and improve mining operations. GEOLOGY INTELLIGENCE “Geology Intelligence” is part of the Mining Intelligence offering. By simple configuration, it can show block model data in a graphical and tabular format. In addition, it gives emphasis on important information by using graphical techniques and drilldown into information to see more detail. Moreover, it analyzes these geological data and plot these as a chart. An overview of a geological data analysis using the Geology Intelligence function. PRODUCTION INTELLIGENCE Monitor equipment performance: Many mining companies measure their equipment performance metrics through spreadsheets and creating charts manually. While it gets the job done, this tedious process does not easily permit detailed analysis or comparison with historical performance to aid decision making. With the “Production Intelligence” function bundled with the GEOVIA Mining Intelligence suite, equipment performance metrics can now be configured around the mine’s specific Time Allocation Model that enables detailed analysis of Equipment Performance. A dashboard of Equipment Performance: Drill Meters, Scheduled Hours and Availability displayed by Production Intelligence. Monitor production actuals against targets: GEOVIA Mining Intelligence aggregates collected data into a more manageable visual representation that assists in making decisions. This will improve business performance and increase profitability. The proprietary 3DEXPERIENCE platform reporting technology uses index files to ensure very quick and responsive reporting. Production KPI and material flow key performance indicators: With a single glance, material flow and KPIs can now be aggregated and presented for an overall view of the mining operation. This is not exclusive to production departments as any other data related to the mine operation such as the mill plant may be displayed. Mine and Mill Plant data are generally always separated from each other due to their information differences. However, with Production Intelligence, it bridges that gap. Material flow showing locations, quantity, material type and more using Production Intelligence. MINING SMARTER TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY As a step towards virtual twins, we enable a more sustainable mining environment by making it possible to do unlimited iterations, better operational insights, and greater flexibility. It simulates all these value-added services to model complex systems -- making it easier to analyze, test causes-and-effects, and significantly reduce risks faced by mining operations. Let Paramina Earth Technologies, Inc. be your partner towards your virtual twin experience journey. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us through our website www.paramina.com for more information.
Philippine Resources - December 07, 2021
HOW CAN WE ENSURE LONG-TERM MINING VIABILITY IN CHANGING TIMES?
by Engr. Jeffrey Q. Geronimo Mining remains an essential industry in the COVID-19 pandemic even though it has experienced devastating impacts. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, this pandemic disrupted 275 mining operations across 36 countries. Not only that, over $8.8 billion in total revenue is continually at risk. Therefore, the strategic importance of proper planning to ensure long-term mining viability cannot be underemphasized. In response to this urgency, a flexible strategic mining solution was tested by a global leader in mining technologies. They evaluated 23 mining pits from various mining companies. In a span of just 15 hours, it produced a staggering 1,600 directional alternatives in their nested pits. These alternatives were then narrowed down to three of the best pushback directions based on the company’s KPIs. The best option was then selected to be the most optimal and feasible design implementation to yield the maximum performance for the final mine pit over a long duration of time. The result? An astonishing increase of 5% net present value (NPV) delivered to these mines even at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is all made possible by Dassault Systèmes GEOVIA’s new Strategic Mine Planning (SMP) solution. It allows mining operations to update their planning and modelling quickly by assessing all options available to ensure long-term viability. “Planning plays a fundamental role in the evaluation of any mining operation, from the initial resource estimate to the project feasibility stage. Such planning also has to be inherently flexible, taking into account the viability of a resource, whether or not it is economically feasible to extract, how long this will take and the best sequencing of such extraction. What’s more, all of this has to be analyzed over the entire life of mine, which could be anything from 30 to 40 years or longer,” commented Andy Mulholland, the Business Consulting Director of GEOVIA who conducted the SMP solution. Guiding Investment Decisions Making assumptions in mining costs are greatly dependent on the mining method selected. Caving, for instance, is a very effective mass-mining method. However, choosing this is an upfront decision that locks you into this approach. Alternatively, other underground and surface mining methods give the operator more control through the life of the mine. The mining direction can also be altered over the life of mine to track the ore body more accurately. The new SMP solution is critical in guiding investment decisions during the exploration or feasibility stage. It can be used to update precious resource and reserve models. It makes it easier to understand what is viable to extract, in addition to the grade and value in the light of fluctuating commodity prices. This enables us to realize an updated life-of-mine estimate. From here, procurement decisions in terms of capital equipment can then be optimized. “Hence, it is essential for mining companies to be able to run as many different scenarios as possible to generate multiple options for dealing with a range of contingencies. This underscores the true value of a mine in relation to its costs in real-time, to drive investment decisions in as smart and as proactive a manner as possible given the current volatile market conditions. The advantage of the SMP solution is that it does not merely generate a myriad of potential outcomes,” elaborates Mulholland. Photo credit: Paramina Increasing Robustness and Improved Decision Making Dassault Systèmes has the necessary up-to-date tools to be able to isolate options that are least sensitive to the variables under consideration for added robustness and improved decision-making. Say for instance, a plan with a slightly lower net present value for a mining operation may be far more robust and less susceptible to uncertainty. When blended with pit design, a robust production plan must consider several strategic questions, such as the estimated life of mine, the mining rate and subsequent processing rate, the location of the dump piles, and the critical infrastructure required. In this instance, Dassault Systèmes ran 9,680 sequences with different cut-off grades, prices and production capabilities and capex, generating a so-called ‘hill of value’ in under 24 hours. “Hence, production becomes more manageable, stable and sustainable. An efficient mine with an optimal production plan guarantees surety of a mining project in the long term, whilst minimizing risk,” concludes Mulholland. Through Paramina Earth Technologies, Inc., the premier mining software solutions provider in the Philippines, mining companies can now gain access to SMP in order to generate as many scenarios as needed. Comprehensive training on how to fully utilize and maximize the potential of SMP may also be conducted by request. Contact email@example.com or www.paramina.com for more information. STRATEGIC MINE PLANNING (SMP) FOR OPEN PIT, UNDERGROUND & CAVING SOLUTION CAPABILITIES: Aggregate input data, assumptions and constraints into a central location Leverage historical data to correctly define mining parameters Determine trends and correlations between historical data Incorporate mine status, geotechnical constraints and operational risk Couple the geotechnical domain with mine extraction to model interactions (e.g. cave back propagation to material flow to cave draw points) Run thousands of scenarios in a design of experiments to ensure the most robust plan is selected Project lifecycle governance with approval traceability and version management REFERENCE: Dassault Systèmes. (2021). Strategic Mine Planning is Essential to Ensure Long-term Viability in Changing Times.
Philippine Resources - April 20, 2021
PLAN YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS: Aligning Mining Projects in the Age of Digitalization
Bringing the best out of your mine requires tight coordination and collaboration across all the departments in your company – from the moment you prospect it and even up to the rehabilitation stage. That is why it is very important for managers and planners to establish key milestones, track tasks, and ultimately deliver their projects in alignment with the goals of the company. In attaining responsible mining and as well as efficiently maximizing gains, a transformative approach to project management is key. Whether you are working in the main office or in the mine site, managers and planners require the ability to provide the right information in real-time to the right stakeholders. COMPLEXITIES There are various complexities that impact a mining company’s ability to execute projects successfully. One of the most common things that should be addressed is that mine data is scattered across several silos. As an industry heavily reliant on data, imagine managing this gathered information from different departments with varying disciplines who produce diverse sets of data – keeping in mind that this comes from multiple numbers of people in dispersed locations. In addition, there may be times when managers tend to over-allocate resources and team members work on activities which has lower value or priority. With conflicts in scheduling, reporting, and waiting times involved, an increase in non-value activities inevitably come into play. As a result, all the complexities mentioned lead to higher operating costs, get more prone to data errors, and a decrease in the overall productivity of the mine. The Standish Group (CHAOS REPORT 2020) reports that, only 31% of projects are executed on time and on budget. The remaining 69% are either challenged or have failed altogether. THE CURRENT TRENDS With evolving standards in mining, modern strategic tools in project management definition and execution must now be able to support: Projects becoming more complex due to geological, environmental, and legal factors; and as well as increased pressure from a socio-political-cultural perspective. Teams requiring more data transparency so they can respond quickly and accurately. Collaboration via digital platforms, which will disrupt the traditional approach to project management solutions. This paves the way for Paramina Earth Technologies, Inc. to offer a unique opportunity for the Philippine mining industry to address all the problems mentioned above. THE SOLUTION With Dassault Systèmes’ ENOVIA™ powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE® Platform, the challenges of mine project management can be addressed by providing a digital approach to connecting people, data and processes. This makes your projects be in “full alignment” with the goals of your mine by making it: More collaborative More productive Faster More agile More visible COLLABORATIVE APPROACH Key to the success of any mining project is the ability to share and utilize relevant data and content in a seamless and accurate manner. Nobody wants to screw up mine feasibility figures such as drillhole data or mineral grades. These pertinent information are spread and used across multiple departments, resulting in projects being late or even disastrously failing altogether. With the nature of mining business having its personnel working across different locations and spread across varying business units and departments, ENOVIA™ Project Management on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform improves collaboration by removing silos and connecting all stakeholders in the mining blockchain, fostering project success. This is not possible in an offline electronic solution but can only be done in an online data-driven software. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY Approximately 30% of an engineer’s time can be spent performing non-value-added activities like updating project schedules, looking for the latest version of mining files, reporting status, attending meetings and other activities not directly related to the focus of their role. ENOVIA™ Project Management on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform eliminates non-value added activities by connecting data directly as deliverables on project tasks in a single platform. With a single drag-and-drop, ENOVIA™ enables employees to better focus on project deliverables since project status are translated into trackable tasks, both for the manager and the team members, which will improve the overall productivity of the mine. SPEEDING UP THE PROCESS In today’s global economy, the competitive landscape critically pushes to have a project management system that is adaptive to the needs of the mine – rather than a standalone tool. ENOVIA™ Project Management on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform brings together people, processes, and data on one platform allowing companies to execute mining projects with the same resources as a single source of truth. Projects are executed faster thus maximizing the potential of the mine. MAKING MINES MORE AGILE Traditional project management solutions do not tie tasks directly to the requirements of the mine. As these requirements change, departments involved are oftentimes unaware of those changes and deliver reports that do not meet the new requirements set. ENOVIA™ Project Management on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform improves agility by connecting project requirements directly to project tasks, allowing changes to be managed across multiple mining departments with ease. It helps mining companies to allow a much more effective collaboration among different departments – making them be able to sail flawlessly with changes during the project execution versus reacting to changes down the line. VISIBLE SINGLE SOURCE OF TRUTH Many industries today have the perception that implementing electronic reporting improves the ability to communicate project status. However, this is just partially true. The reality is that projects still require manual consolidation of information, which can be prone to errors and most likely already be outdated by the time the report is generated. ENOVIA™ Project Management on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform improves visibility with data-driven real-time project dashboards and analytics, allowing mine managers to make faster and more informed decisions. It is now possible to see the most accurate and up-to-date status of projects in context of deliverables. This allows for more informed decisions quicker, leading to successful project execution. TAKING THE OPPORTUNITY With ENOVIA™ Project Management on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, all stakeholders in the mining blockchain are aligned with the project goals and status – and work well together in achieving and defining your mine’s success. Let Paramina Earth Technologies, Inc. be your driver in your mine’s digital path to sustainable growth. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us through our website www.paramina.com for more information.
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Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022
FNI posts higher nine-month net income of P2.13 billion
Photo credit: Global Ferronickel Holdings Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. (FNI), a diversified Filipino company with interests in ferronickel ore mining and processing, logistics and port operations, and cement and steel production, recorded a net income of P2.13 billion in the nine-month period that ended September compared to the P1.86 billion it posted during the same period last year. The results are driven by the Group’s flagship mining project in Surigao del Norte operated by Platinum Group Metals Corporation (PGMC). FNI's revenues on the sale of medium-grade nickel increased on the back of favorable forex rates and higher average realized price, while shipment volumes reel from inclement weather and a lower price for low-grade ore. The sale of nickel ore for the nine-month ended September 30, 2022 slides to 3.150 million wet metric tons (WMT), lower by 1.078 million WMT or 25.5%, compared to 4.228 million WMT of nickel ore in the same period last year. The Group only completed 58 nickel ore shipments against 78 shipments during the same period last year due to erratic weather conditions registering 161 rainy days to 137 last year. The resulting sales mix was 78% low-grade ore and 22% medium-grade ore in 2022 versus the previous period’s blend of 81% low-grade ore and 19% medium-grade ore. Shipments consisted of 2.450 million WMT low-grade nickel ore and 0.700 million WMT medium-grade nickel ore compared to 3.424 million WMT low-grade nickel ore and 0.804 WMT medium-grade nickel ore in the same period in 2021. The average realized nickel ore price for the period ended September 30, 2022 is USD28.89/WMT lower by USD1.89/WMT or 6.1% compared to last year’s USD30.78/WMT. Low-grade ore is USD25.49/WMT lower by USD4.30/WMT or 14.4% against last year’s USD29.79/WMT. On the other hand, medium-grade ore stands at USD40.79/WMT higher by USD5.80/WMT or 16.6% versus last year’s USD34.99/WMT. The average realized Peso over USD exchange rate for the Group’s export revenues is P54.87 compared to P49.22 in the same period last year, higher by P5.65 or 11.5%. “Overall outlook for FNI looks reassuring. With the opening of our Palawan mineral project, we expect healthier returns for our stakeholders. Although weather conditions have not been permissive, we have continued to improve our operations and pursue our expansion plans,” said FNI President Dante R. Bravo. FNI recently disclosed its 20% stake in China's Guangdong Century Tsingshan Nickel Industry Co. Ltd (GCTN) to enhance synergies between FNI with its nickel ore mines and GCTN as an ore processor and provide a steady value-adding enterprise for the Group. As a testament to its growth and core policy to strengthen systems and processes, PGMC has received ISO certifications for its Quality Management System (ISO 9001:2015), Occupational Health and Safety Management System (ISO 45001:2018), and Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2015) as an Integrated Management System (IMS). The certification applies to all activities in the mining operations of nickeliferous laterite ore and other associated minerals from planning to ore production, hauling, loading and port operations.
Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022
DMCI Mining nets P1.2 billion in 9M
Photo Credit: dmcihouse.net DMCI Mining Corporation saw its net income decline by 17 percent from P1.41 billion to P1.17 billion during the first nine months of the year owing to lower nickel ore shipments and average nickel grade sold. “We expected a severe profit decline because of the depletion of our Berong mine late last year. Fortunately, the bullish nickel market allowed us to ship even the low-grade inventory of Berong,” said DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das C. Reyes. “Strong nickel prices and local currency weakness also moderated the impact of lower shipments on our bottom line,” he added. For the third quarter alone, net income tumbled by 56 percent from P181 million to P80 million due to the combined effect of lower shipment (-50%), flattish nickel grade sold (-1%), higher selling prices (+31%) and favorable average foreign exchange rates (+10%). Total shipments declined at a slower pace from January to September as the Berong mine did better than expected in the first half. Consequently, nickel ore shipments only fell by 25 percent from 1.45 million wet metric tons (WMT) to 1.09 million WMT. Despite a 4-percent decrease in average nickel grade sold from 1.38% to 1.33%, DMCI Mining posted a 16- percent improvement in nine-month average selling price from US$43 to US$50. Magnifying the impact of higher selling prices was a 10-percent increase in foreign exchange rates from US$ 1:Php 49 to US$ 1:Php 53. At the end of September, total inventory plummeted by 76 percent from 450,000 WMT to 109,000 WMT, mostly (81%) coming from Zambales. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - November 27, 2022
E-vehicle boom opens new opportunities for PH mining
Developing the electric vehicle (EV) industry is opening new opportunities for the Philippine mining sector, a company executive said Wednesday. In a media roundtable, DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das Reyes said the e-vehicle sector has provided new opportunities for the mining industry and his company is keen to take part in this development. He described that mining became a "sunset business" before the growth of the e-vehicle industry. "Prior to the EV boom, stainless steel was going nuts, and they don't have capacity already for the stainless steel market. And China is the only growth for stainless steel, all other countries in the world (are) slowing down," Reyes said. He said the growing demand for e-vehicles globally has offered a "fresh light" for the mining business. Nickel is a component for e-vehicle batteries. "Without EVs (e-vehicles), we would (have) ended so many other niche market(s). So it was a huge impact," Reyes added. In the recent foreign business missions of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the United States, South Korea and Japan, companies from these countries expressed their interest in the Philippine e-vehicle industry, including manufacturing batteries for electric cars. Part of the DTI's Make It Happen in the Philippines campaign is to attract investments for integrated mineral processing to have value-added activities in the mining industry instead of exporting minerals as raw materials. Reyes said DMCI Mining is in talks with possible foreign partners to explore opportunities for integrated mineral processing here, including Indonesian and Chinese partners, but this will require adequate infrastructure in place and support from the government. Meanwhile, DMCI Mining net income in January to September this year declined by 17 percent to PHP1.17 billion from PHP1.41 billion in the same period last year. The lower profit for the first nine months of 2022 was mainly due to decline in shipment. "Strong nickel prices and local currency weakness also moderated the impact of lower shipments on our bottom line," Reyes said. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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