Approaches to Make Strategic Mine Planning Successful
by Philippine Resources - August 29, 2022
Part 1: The Basics, Defining Reserves & Assessing Strategies - By: Engr. Mae Ann R. Cabasag
Strategic Mine Planning (SMP) encompasses technical feasibility, economic viability, social and environmental aspects. It is essential in ensuring optimal resource extraction and sets the mining project’s technical and economic direction. Yet a plethora of mines do not fully engage in this kind of mine planning. The reason for this? Perhaps they have yet to figure out the approaches to make use of its technology in maximizing the value of their increasingly scarce resources.
In this article, we will focus on the four approaches in producing a strategic mine plan that is robust enough to provide mine planners or decision-makers the confidence in their plans amid market uncertainties. This kind of confidence is made possible through the existing technology from Dassault Systèmes.
But first, we need the basics of distinguishing the following from the other: mine plan and mine schedule, and strategic mine planning and tactical mine planning. These are often used interchangeably in the mining industry despite pertaining to different things.
According to Mark Bowater, author of Crimes Against Mine Planning, “A mine plan is the set of things to be done to allow something to be achieved and includes mine designs, plus a schedule, plus the communication of it all.” Mine schedule, on the other hand, is “the sequence of activities carried out at the mine site to achieve target outcomes. [It] includes a database of the quantities of the task to be scheduled, along with equipment productivities, a calendar and then some form of sequence path for equipment to carry out those tasks.”
Meanwhile, SMP and tactical mine planning are defined by Dassault Systèmes GEOVIA Mining Industry Process Consultant Joaquin Romero as “SMP concentrates on long-range production planning aimed at maximizing the value derived from exploiting an ore deposit. Tactical mine planning focuses on short-range plans to maintain operational viability.”
Hence, the long-term strategic mine plan is susceptible to various forces, both internal and external (e.g. geological knowledge, economic and market volatilities, technological advancements, and legislative changes).
Defining Reserves and Assessing Strategies
Traditionally, in a surface mine, planners use the Lerchs-Grossmann (L&G) algorithm in defining reserves. This generates pit shells that maximizes total undiscounted cash flows. When planners identify the final pit, they create sequences called, “nested pit shells” as pushbacks to reach the final pit. However, most of these nested pit shells are not feasible in the mine operations.
What should be the solution in this traditional approach’s geometry-related issue? A flexible approach that modifies L&G algorithm. How? “By incorporating a starting point and direction for the extraction, and then building a sequence schedule that may align better with the mine project’s strategic requirements,” Romero elaborated.
With the combination of the DS GEOVIA Whittle and SIMULIA process-automation tools, Dassault Systèmes tested this flexible approach by generating 1,600 to 2,400 scenarios and produced a value map where one can easily determine the “best starting region and corresponding directions.”
In Part 2 of this article, we discuss mine production-scale plan, uncertainties and risks associated in your SMP, how to optimize your production schedule, and how GEOVIA’s SMP solutions will pave your Strategic Mine Plan’s approaches to success.
REFERENCE: Dassault Systemes. (2022). Strategic Mine Planning Articles 1-4.
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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 - August 26, 2021
Geoscience Data Management in the age of Mine Digitalization
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. Figure 1: Geoscience Data Management utilizing the 3DEXPERIENCE ENOVIA application 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.
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 - March 23, 2023
20 Years of Integral: Celebrating Growth and Transformation
Integral, a purveyor of market-leading process control solutions in the Philippines, celebrates its 20th anniversary this 2023. The event, held in EDSA Shangri-La, was attended by the company’s employees, clients, and supply chain partners. The celebration was a showcase of Integral’s history. But more importantly, it highlighted lessons the company learned as keys to success over the past two decades. As told from the perspective of the founders and employees, the event delivered a playful yet heart-warming glimpse into Integral's journey.
Philippine Resources - March 23, 2023
PH, Australia partner for technical cooperation for PPP
Photo: Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu PSM. Credit: AusAmbPH Twitter Page As the Marcos administration becomes bullish in utilizing a public-private partnership (PPP) model in infrastructure projects, the Australian government will be providing its technical expertise in rolling out infrastructure projects under the PPP. Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu PSM told the Philippine News Agency in an interview at her residence Wednesday that the embassy will be launching the Partnerships for Infrastructure (P4I) on March 24. “Infrastructure is a big area that the Philippines is focusing on, and I know President (Ferdinand R.) Marcos (Jr.) has announced that he wants to utilize PPP more where it’s possible. So we are working closely with the Philippine government to share with them how Australia has done it,” Yu said. P4I is an Australian government initiative that brings together experts from the public and private sectors as well as the academe to help Philippine government agencies involved in infrastructure development in the preparation stage of projects that would be under a PPP model. “We can help them with all the project preparation stage. How you do actual cost-benefit analysis of potential projects, and then how you prepare documents for possible procurement, tender processes, and things like that,” the envoy cited. She said that aside from the PPP Center, the P4I also aims to closely work with other agencies including the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Finance, and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), among others. Yu added that the Australian government will be closely working with the administration through the P4I in meeting its diverse infrastructure requirements, including roads, transport, energy, and public investment management. The Australian envoy said a number of Australian companies have been involved in infrastructure projects in the country. Early this month, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan announced that the NEDA Board approved PHP9 trillion worth of flagship infrastructure projects, with 45 of these projects possibly being funded through PPPs. “The government shall harness the financial and technical resources of the private sector, which allows the public sector to allocate its funds for greater investment in human capital development, especially to address the scarring in health and education due to the pandemic, and provided targeted assistance that protects vulnerable sectors from economic shocks,” Balisacan had said. By Kris Crismundo Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - March 21, 2023
PBBM boosts transport sector thru big-ticket projects
Photo credit: Department of Transportation Several big-ticket infrastructure projects in the transportation sector have been approved or are already being implemented by the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the Department of Transportation (DOTr) reported Monday. In a statement, the DOTr said the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project, Davao Public Transport Modernization Project, EDSA Greenways, the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) West Extension, and the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension are all ongoing as of March 9 according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). These projects are among the 67 infrastructure flagship projects (IFP) that have been greenlit or are already underway out of the 194 high-impact projects under Marcos’ "Build Better More" program. In the rail sector, these approved and ongoing projects include the Metro Manila Subway Phase 1, Mindanao Rail Phase 1, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) rehabilitation, Metro Rail Transit Line 4 (MRT-4), Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), New Cebu International Container Port, New Manila International Airport (Bulacan International Airport), North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long Haul, and the Subic Clark Railway. The New Dumaguete Airport Development Project (Bacong International Airport) and the Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation (InFRA) Phase 1 have also both been approved by NEDA, with six projects awaiting approval. Last week, the NEDA Board, led by Marcos, approved 194 high-impact priority projects with a total cost of around PHP9 trillion. The board also approved amendments to the 2013 Joint Venture guidelines to support the government’s push for more investments in the country’s infrastructure. PNR suspension Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda has expressed alarm over an impending suspension of select PNR routes due to the NSCR, saying it will affect thousands of commuters, mostly students and workers. “The welfare of the riding public should always be prioritized yet it remains to be seen whether such proposed solutions would effectively and sufficiently address the riding public's urgent demands in time for the imminent suspension of the operations of the PNR,“ Legarda said in her explanatory note on Senate Resolution No. 546. The PNR plans to suspend operations of certain routes for up to five years to facilitate the faster construction of the 55-kilometer NSCR. The construction will start in May and PNR may suspend the routes between Governor Pascual in Malabon City and Calamba City in Laguna, and well as Alabang, Muntinlupa City to Calamba. The Tutuban, Manila-Alabang route will be suspended in October and will affect between 20,000 and 25-000 passengers daily. Legarda urged the Committee on Public Order, chaired by Senator Grace Poe, to look into the impending suspension and come up with alternative solutions. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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