Micromine will invest more than $A5 million in the Dynamic Optimal Mineral Extraction (DOME) solution over the next two years – with the federal government kicking in $2.6 million in a research and development grant.
The DOME solution is applicable to underground and open cut coal and metalliferous mining operations.
According to Micromine chief executive Michael Wingham the system works as a shared database across operations, providing a validated source of data for decision-making, which will eliminate version-control issues associated with geological data and models.
The system also increases efficiency on the basis “record the data once, use it many times”
“Usually end of the month reporting is a huge administrative effort – through this system we can standardise reporting across mine sites using KPI’s and because the reporting is web-enabled, reports can be viewed on a real-time basis. Analysts or head offices can look at numbers without disrupting the mining professionals,” Wingham said.
A test version of DOME will come out this time next year with some Micromine hard rock clients already putting up their hand to act as test sites. It will be a further year after that before a commercial version will be available.
The introduction of DOME will extend Micromine’s stable of products, which already includes PITRAM – used by Kumba Resources Leeuwpan open cut coal mine in South Africa. PITRAM acts as a mine production management system which records and controls mine site operations using automated GPS or voice radio.
It can also be used as an accident prevention tool, allowing management to see the location and status of all equipment and personnel in real-time.
PITRAM can be used in longwall operations to track vehicles, attachments and personnel underground on a real-time basis to increase efficiencies. Wingham said although time savings appear small – added over an entire mining operation productivity could be increased 5%.