Customised Maptek workflows are helping a gold mine work safely and embrace data-driven decision making in planning and running its operation.
Maptek BlastLogic has been used successfully at operations around the world for drill and blast management. Many sites are taking the next step and exploring how other aspects of data collection and analysis can be improved.
Maptek Specialist Mining Engineer Rahul Suhane emphasises that the Maptek philosophy is to understand an operation's problem and work with the site team to find a solution.
For example, Suhane has been working with the geothermal team at a gold mine that is located on a geothermally active extinct volcanic crater. The volcanic caldera retains remnant heat, and high rock temperatures present a unique challenge for teams to operate safely and efficiently.
The aim was to create a tailored workflow for geothermal temperature logging and data analysis, to feed into the innovative engineering works underway to meet the challenge.
The solution involves customising the BlastLogic tablet interface to enable digital capture of time-stamped temperature readings in the field.
A quick glance at the digital dashboard shows users which holes are yet to be monitored within the required 48-hour period. This makes it possible for the crew to efficiently focus on the task at hand rather than check through reams of paperwork.
GPS approximation assists the process and information on whether holes have been geysered, backfilled or not yet drilled can be entered on the spot.
The information is fed into Microsoft Power BI and dashboards with colour legends clearly display the status.
The digital process eliminates potentially confusing paper sheets which can be difficult to manage and update easily especially when working in an active geothermal area with steam rising from the pit floor.
‘The flexibility of the underlying BlastLogic architecture made it possible to implement this new workflow - it’s very satisfying to see it in action,’ said Suhane.
Suhane, who is based in Perth, Western Australia highlighted the strong guidance and feedback from the mine at all stages, while connected remotely from the Maptek office.
A key benefit of the digital approach is the ability to display spatial relationships clearly and in context. The relative positions of non-consecutive blast holes can be spotted instantly on the tablet or dashboard.
‘Paper plans are not dynamic. The more digital you go the better you can adapt,’ Suhane said.
The digital method now allows the mine to recalibrate mine plans and operations based on the best information.