MineSight Chairman and Founder Fred Banfield recently welcomed some of our new Hexagon Mining partners to MineSight’s headquarters in Tucson, AZ. Hexagon Mining President Guilherme Bastos, SAFEmine‘s Peter Stegmaier and Haydn Roberts from Leica Geosystems Mining made the trip. MineSight staff presented Fred a toy drone and a card, we all had lunch and then it was back to work.
It was a modest way to acknowledge the most momentous event in MineSight’s 44-year history – its acquisition by Hexagon. But that’s in keeping with how MineSight has always done business.
MineSight has become the industry leader in developing mine planning and mine modeling software, so joining Hexagon Mining is worthy of some fanfare. Hexagon is the first global technology integrator to build a true mining vertical, with a span of technologies from exploration to operation.
MineSight’s capabilities in planning, scheduling and operational software make this a perfect fit with Hexagon Mining’s other exceptional technologies: fleet management and high-precision guidance from Leica Geosystems Mining, underground asset control from Devex and operational safety from SAFEMine.
Hexagon Mining comprises more than 700 employees, each of whom is solely focused on the design, planning and daily operational requirements of the mine.
How does MineSight fit into the picture? Our products are used to explore, model, design, schedule and operate.
MineSight offers geologic interpretation and analysis for drillholes and topography surfaces. We then build a model – an accurate, reliable model is the key to the mining process. A mistake here can cost millions. All the characteristics we need for evaluating the mine are included – rock type, hardness, grades, alteration – any characteristics we can measure in a drillhole or interpret from drillholes and other samples. These may include old underground workings, downhole geophysics or surfaces samples. All this collected and measured data is used to build a model that can be used downstream in the design and scheduling and operations phase.
Next we need to design the mine. There are many options here – underground or open pit – size of the ultimate design, intermediate design phases. Economics is crucial; sizing involves capital expenditure and operating expense decisions. Fleet and equipment size are influenced by the mine design and vice versa. MineSight has tools to design, but good engineering is still absolutely essential at this stage.
Now we have a model and a design, the next critical step is scheduling the operation. At the feasibility level, we’re concerned about a long-term schedule that can be as much as 20 years. And usually we’re trying to maximize the operations NPV. Once the mine is up and operating, we’re providing tools for medium- and short-term scheduling, where operations considerations (equipment, access) become driving forces. We have solutions for all the scheduling needs of a mine, down to detailed, day-to-day, activity-based scheduling.
Operations are where the money is made on a daily basis. We offer solutions for grade control (what material to dig and where to send it), drill and blast (optimizing fragmentation to minimize energy cost in the mill) and reconciliation (so we know what happened and how to correct it when things go wrong). MineSight’s operations solutions are where we intersect with our new partners. We are pushing and pulling all sorts of data to and from FMS, DFMS and monitoring systems. The ultimate destination is a centralized data warehouse, with BI/BA dashboards to display what is going on. For clients, that means a vital window on operational costs and production goals, helping them save time and money unfettered by spreadsheets and speculation.
Helping to establish Hexagon Mining as a formidable force in the industry – that’s shaping smart change.
Guest Blogger Profile:
MineSight President John Davies has more than 35 years’ experience in the application of computer techniques in geo-modeling and mining. He started his career in exploration in Canada, spent nine years working for a large Canadian mining company and has been with MineSight for 28 years. He has been company president since 2005.