Closing the design – scheduling loop

Maptek provides integrated solutions that directly target the complexities of mining in the underground environment.

Integrating design, evaluation and scheduling tasks shorten the planning cycle and ensures mining is guided by current information.

Maptek Vulcan closes the loop from design to scheduling, helping operations to improve safety, performance and productivity.

The underground mine planning process combines a series of clearly defined steps, starting with the resource model and moving through access design, life-of-mine scheduling and into cash flow analysis.

The Vulcan block model containing the mineral resource forms the backbone of the planning process.

Analysis of cut-off grade and mining methods leads to the design of mineable shapes which will become the underground production area.

Vulcan Stope Optimiser uses algorithms refined over 10 years to automatically maximise the value of recovered ore within the given orebody geometry and design constraints. The latest features provide greater flexibility and control over final stope shapes for mine planning and scheduling.

Users can quickly generate individual stope designs – saving days or even weeks of manual work. Once a stope is defined, the next question is how to best access the production areas.

Vulcan Level Designer creates hundreds of crosscuts in seconds. Design strings and costing information are provided for each development scenario, allowing engineers to determine an optimal plan for stope access.

Decline Optimiser integrates with Level Designer to generate multiple underground development scenarios for consideration in mine planning.

With completion of stope design and mine access plans, the focus turns to life-of-mine scheduling to run cash flow analysis and find the net present value (NPV).

Vulcan Gantt Scheduler (VGS) handles resource and activity-based scheduling. Users can create, sequence and allocate resources, animate scenarios and report activities efficiently and transparently within a single application.

VGS is totally integrated with Vulcan, meaning it directly reads Vulcan block models. Multiple files can be imported and exported for scheduling shorter range plans from life-of-mine.

Mine planning teams can quickly create long term schedules that optimise NPV while adhering to operational resource constraints with the Schedule Optimisation Tool.

Visualising schedules means identifying potential issues early so they can be efficiently addressed.

Powerful processing that exploits available computing power allows users to run multiple alternatives in a very short period of time.

The Maptek solution demonstrates how users can close the loop between underground mine design and scheduling within the one software package and add value, without compromising safety or practicality.