Vulcan 10 features preview

Maptek Vulcan 10, set to be released in March 2016, includes new tool for automating open pit design.

Conventional open pit mine design can be time consuming. Engineers often spend a week or more to generate just a handful of potential mine designs. Market conditions resulting in staff shortages exacerbate the problem, and sites are continuously looking for ways to cut costs and drive efficiencies.

Traditional methods require a lot of work to achieve a single realistic design. It’s difficult to account for design parameters such as mining width and local geotechnical conditions.

Open pit engineers may spend valuable time generating models that are disconnected from what actually occurs in the mine, leading to erroneous decisions.

Vulcan Automated Pit Designer addresses these challenges. It provides a tool that enables engineers to quickly iterate mine designs to ultimately generate the most economical pit design possible.

The Automated Pit Designer removes the requirement for the mining engineer to manually draft designs.

Instead, they can transform optimised block model results into realistic mine design contours in a matter of seconds.

These contours serve as a base for further design work or can be used to generate more accurate analyses such as pit-by-pit graphs and long term schedules.

All designs must mirror real-world constraints. Benches, for example, can vary by elevation and height allowing for arbitrary configurations including double benches.

Design parameters - batter angles, berm widths, and pit slopes - are rarely uniform. They can vary by location and direction. In Automated Pit Designer, operating parameters such as minimum mining width and material digability are direct inputs which can be manipulated to create operational designs.

The resulting design is flexible and can be changed as new drilling or mining data becomes available, or it can be adapted to changing economics. Multiple scheduling options can be reviewed, and different design parameters can be evaluated.

Mining engineers no longer have to struggle with a single static model. The new dynamic design process allows them to work more efficiently and effectively.

Automated Pit Designer will be included with the Open Pit MineModeller bundle in Vulcan 10.

Power and performance

Vulcan 10 will deliver additional support for multi-threaded processors for up to 10 times better performance over Vulcan 9.1.

A new Vulcan 10 block scripting engine processes larger scripts and completes the calculations 10 to 1000 times faster than previous versions. Block slicing has received a speed upgrade, running 3 to 5 times faster in Vulcan 10.

Implicit modelling speed is also increased. Many calculations can carried out on a GPU for accelerated computation, or with a CPU estimation process optimised for implicit modelling. The new accelerated code also supports trend models.

GPU acceleration in grade estimation tools allows estimations for some parameters to be completed faster than previously possible.

Block model attribute importing uses an intelligent process to assign values into block models several times faster.

Vulcan 10 also features a new threaded sequential Gaussian simulation module which effectively uses modern multi-core CPUs to accelerate simulations.