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The challenge

Accurately monitoring bulk materials

Miners enter into agreements with their end-customers based on the quality characteristics of the resource that is mined, refined, and delivered.

In many cases this involves the blending of materials sourced from different sections of a mine, or even from different mine sites.

When resources are deposited on stockpiles, the distribution of the bulk material and the process whereby it is reclaimed for transport will determine the final composition of the product delivered to the customer.

Controlling this process to ensure timely and accurate delivery of resources that meet the agreed specification is a complex task that is essential to keep end customers satisfied.

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Our response

A powerful trio: monitoring, mapping and modelling

We developed a suite of technologies to help the mining industry improve the management of bulk material stockpiles.

From advanced real-time LiDAR mapping systems to sophisticated modelling and reconciliation software, these tools give miners more precise control over material movements from pit to port and ensure greater accuracy in the composition of bulk resource deliverables.  

Efficient stockpile management requires a dynamic, responsive approach to build-up and tear-down strategies .

Our 3D stockpile monitoring capability delivers real-time volumetrics to track changes and optimise layouts.

The resulting dynamic stockpile data, when combined with advanced data analytics solutions, delivers a scenario planning tool that can significantly boost efficiency.

The modelling tool supports a wide range of common stackers and reclaimers and can model mixed-source stockpiles to optimise the reclaiming process.

A fusion of Computer Vision and LiDAR is used to create colour 3D models, and has mapped coal stockpiles at a range of 400m.

Our stockpile management system:

  • models and tracks spatial distribution of material and its attributes
  • maximises equipment productivity during stacking and reclaiming operations
  • provides accurate estimates of stockpile bulk density and volume
  • optimises planning by simulating stockpile build up and tear down operations
  • targets consistent grade from stockpiles, and
  • ensures accuracy of stockpile models by reconciling them using near-real-time survey data from the measurement system.

The results

Stockpiles of the future

3D mapping and monitoring systems have been successfully trialled at a major Queensland coal terminal, and real-time modelling software has been successfully applied to stockpile management for a number of clients across a range of resource types.

The integration of real-time mapping to update and confirm modelling allows rapid scenario planning to optimise delivery strategies and improve overall efficiencies, including:

  • Product optimisation: target a specific resource quality through flexible stockpile management
  • Processing savings: near real-time knowledge of feedstock allows dynamic control of resource processing facilities such as CHPPs (coal handling preparation plants)
  • Optimise storage planning: assessment of bulk material density enables accurate estimate of volume requirements for a given tonnage
  • Energy and cost savings: more efficient utilisation of equipment during material handling
  • Avoid inadvertent product mixing: accurately model mixed-source stockpiles
  • Productivity and efficiency gains: ability to optimise and simulate stacker, reclaimer and bulldozer schedules

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