Engineering & Mining Journal

NOV 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 68 of 83

NOVEMBER 2018 • E&MJ 67 OPERATING STRATEGIES gent sensing and advanced data analytics allow Cummins experts to offer site-spe- cifi c recommendations to optimize fi lter and oil service intervals. Data Solution Designed to Cut Dilution Minnovare, a Perth, Australia-based drilling technology company, recently released a white paper in cooperation with Evolution Mining detailing a comparative study un- dertaken at Evolution's Cracow gold mine in which stopes drilled using Minnovare's new Production Optimizer technology record- ed signifi cantly less average dilution than stopes drilled using the existing method. Production drill hole deviation had been an ongoing issue at Cracow for some time. Deviation was attributable to a number of factors including: • An aging fl eet of drills and associated issues with the digital inclinometers. • Poor ground conditions resulting in hole wander. • Inexperienced operators. • Perceived production pressure (achieve meterage targets at the expense of drill accuracy). • Due to a high gold price, narrow width orebodies coming online as the opera- tion progressed, further exacerbating drill hole deviation. A drill hole deviation study was un- dertaken in late 2016 and early 2017 to help quantify the extent of the issue and to provide feedback to the drillers on per- formance and set in place a plan to rectify the issue. Consequently, trials involving Minnovare's technology were conducted at the Cracow underground gold mine over a period of six months, with the core is- sues being alignment accuracy, its impact on blast-hole deviation, and subsequent impact on dilution and productivity. The trials involved the introduction of a new technology that had the potential to elimi- nate a number of the defi ciencies associat- ed with the existing rig alignment process and thereby reduce blast-hole deviation. The Cracow trial revealed that errors in drill rig alignment using the existing process were a leading cause in blast- hole deviation. The trial also showed that reducing deviation by improving rig setup accuracy dramatically increased stope performance by reducing dilution. The ex- isting process's dependence on numerous setup steps enhanced the potential for this inaccuracy, whereas the new technology, which is reliant on a single tolerance, en- abled more accurate drill hole alignments. Minnovare said the new technology can be implemented on sites running any rig make/model and works independently of the rig's onboard systems. The Production Optimizer's software interface, Minnovare CORE, syncs directly with mine-planning software and features digital drill plans and plods, facilitating greater data cap- ture and visualization between rig opera- tors and engineering/technical crews. According to the white paper, total av- erage dilution at Cracow was 22% in fi s- cal year 2017. In fi scal year 2018, during Phase 3 of the trial, the average dilution across all stopes drilled using the new technology was 11.7%. The authors stat- ed that if the new technology were applied over a full 12-month period, using FY17 full-year data and assuming the same gold price, average grade, operating costs and total tons, achieving an approximate 10% reduction in dilution representing a net 45.4% decrease, would result in an additional A$8.2 million (US$5.9 mil- lion) additional ore recovered with A$4.5 million less spent on wasted cost of haul- age and processing of diluted ore. Return/ ton would see an increase of 22%, from A$87 (US$63) to A$106. Evolution Mining's technical services superintendent, Phil Jones, said, "Aside from improving average stope performance, the Production Optimizer has provided us with greater reliability moving forward. With less overall dilution, we're also seeing less variation in dilution across stopes. We now have the confi dence to set more am- bitious targets, by considering new mine plans and blast patterns that would previ- ously not have been considered." Also, in August, consulting and tech- nology provider Deswik announced it had joined with Minnovare as an integration partner to further its commitment to pro- viding a fl exible and integrated mine plan- ning platform. The partnership links the latest version of Deswik.UGDB with the Production Optimizer system. The integra- tion allows the export of ring design data, including images, from Deswik.UGDB in a format that Deswik said can be easily up- loaded directly to Minnovare CORE. Deswick said Production Optimizer in- tegration facilitates greater data capture and visualization, and reduces likelihood for re-work, as the integration ensures feedback on accuracy and compliance is instant to both the rig operator and the technical/engineering team utilizing Deswik.UGDB. As a module of Deswik.CAD, Deswik. UGDB manages the specialized needs of drill and blast designs for underground mines. The tool, according to the compa- ny, allows users to: • Deliver a comprehensive ring design by rapidly placing rings, slots, drill holes, either manually or through sophisticat- ed automated tools. • Ensure consistency by incorporating standard design metrics for drill rig pa- rameters, explosives and detonator placement to prepopulate a design. • Produce detailed blast designs and sol- ids by defi ning blast pattern with prim- ers, explosives and timing sequences. Dilution, considered an inevitable factor in the process of ore extraction, has a signifi cant effect on the economics of mining. Evolution Mining uses Minnovare's Production Optimizer technology to reduce borehole deviation at its Cracow mine and signifi cantly cut drilling-related dilution problems.

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