SummaryThe introduction of rolling forecasting is innovative as it ensures that long-, medium- and short-term planning decisions are always based on up-to-date predictions. The employed software, the Linear Octree Based Geological Modelling Systems proved to be fast and resilient. Diagnostic output is provided so that the system may be incorporated in future Mining 4.0 environments.
Operative Deposit modelling is a rolling forecasting technique which blends seamlessly into the existing planning procedures of underground or opencast mines. The approach is based on the use of production data (i.e. block grades or blasthole samples) to run daily updates of property models. This ensures that geologists and mining engineers are always provided with property predictions based on most recently acquired data. The employed software has to meet a number of requirements: In order to keep costs for system operation at a minimum, it has to be handled by the personnel at a mine's monitoring and control centre. In addition to that, it must perform all necessary tasks quickly and in a highly automated fashion. Reliability is of paramount importance as a system failure or the loss of data could seriously affect a mine's quality management. These constraints were met by the Linear Octree Based Property Modelling system, a generic toolbox for geological modelling conceived and realised at Free University of Berlin. An intuitive graphical user interface was set up using the Tcl/Tk scripting language. Monitoring the prediction performance rendered it possible to subject property modelling itself to a quality management scheme. Important innovations were the introduction of rolling forecasting, the automatisation of the property estimation as well as the paradigm shifts from user-driven to data driven prediction and from a task-oriented to a process oriented user interface. The first package was implemented at RHIM's Breitenau magnesite mine in Styria, Austria, where the bulk of raw material is extracted from underground workings. Later on, a software version for opencast mines has been developed which is used at the company's Weissenstein magnesite mine near Hochfilzen, Tyrol, Austria. The ongoing use demonstrates that the implemented Operative Deposit Modelling system is meeting all expectations.
Impact on the mining value chain
EXTRACTION (incl. Permitting)
DATA and knowledge base
reduced grade deposit mining
increased environmental performance
TransferabilityRolling forecasting safeguards that models describing the spatial variability of grades or quality parameters are always kept up-to-date. This approach is transferable to any type of mining operation. Operative Deposit Modelling is a tool to blend property modelling into the planning procedures of running mining operations. In order to use properties of run-of-mine material from underground workings for model updates, georeferencing of the extraction site is an indispensable prerequisite. The underlying Linear Octree Based Geological Modelling System has proven to be fast, resilient, and fault-tolerant.
+: Higher resource efficiency due to higher recovery rates from an ore deposit
+: Reduction of costs to the company due to lower storage requirements; higher profitability due to better quality controls