Flexible, agile Maptek tools for confident scheduling

When it comes to scheduling, engineers need a system which they can rely on to determine the most efficient path towards a high value practical solution. They want a flexible, agile approach which can easily handle changing inputs and objectives. They need intuitive tools and confidence that the solution they choose will maximise the value of their project while providing a practical and implementable strategy. 

Imagine this landscape in Utah’s Canyonlands is your mining environment.

Canyonlands Needles

Now picture yourself on top of one of these needles. There’s not much room to move. If you focus on the great view and then step back to take a photo, one false move could be catastrophic. In much the same way, if you focus on one objective such as value and don’t consider practicality in your schedule, you could be in trouble.

Unfortunately, many scheduling solutions are ‘brittle’ where small changes in inputs can significantly destroy value. What is also apparent with this analogy is that there may be many peaks of value, which are dependent on the objectives being explored. How do you explore this complex environment efficiently?

Canyonlands Mesa

Now imagine you have escaped to the top of the more spacious mesa-like structure. Here, Maptek Evolution allows the engineer to effectively exploit the mining landscape, producing practical, high value solutions where changing inputs does not result in a catastrophic drop in project value.

Multiple variables are taken into account, giving multiple high value solutions. Evolution can handle an unlimited number of stages and models with different datasets and different block sizes. With room to move, engineers can have confidence they are maximising their project value.

By now it’s becoming obvious that not all scheduling programs are created equal. Many use a non-optimised approach and consequently don’t produce the results required in today’s complex environments.

Evolution uses cut-off grade optimisation, but there’s no need to be scared. Previous  techniques involving complex interfaces or difficult equations have made it hard to understand the influence of cut-off grade optimisation on value. It is by far the single most important value enhancement that an engineer can bring to a project.

Working off a single dataset is another differentiator. Being able to move from strategic to tactical level scheduling using a single dataset is compelling. Engineering efficiency is boosted – you spend your valuable time on problem solving rather than data manipulation and checking.

In its tactical world, Evolution also produces the production schedule while optimising the haulage fleet and the overall shape of the waste landform. It accounts for detailed waste placement where encapsulation is involved. The outcome is the optimised allocation of haul routes with calculated cycle times, productivity and fuel burns.

The beauty of running an optimised approach to haulage is that each stage can have multiple ramps, with the most cost effective ramp generated in the schedule. Processing is run in the cloud above the mesa, with completion up to 10 times faster than other systems.

Don’t get caught on top of the needle with a brittle product, move to the Evolution  environment. And enjoy the view – appreciate the flexible, agile approach that will optimise your operation and add significant value to your project.

Steve Craig
Mine Scheduling Solutions Manager
February 3, 2015

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