Mines in the African coal sector can now safely store and analyse data by using a three-dimensional (3D) coal system, called Coal Measure, a first for the African coal market, says mining and exploration software provider Micromine.
The software, which will be released onto the market later this month, has been used successfully in coal projects in Mongolia and China before it was redeveloped for the African market.
Coal Measure is designed to provide a data management and 3D modelling solution tailored to suit the needs of the coal mining industry and integrates with the various aspects of the sector, such as exploration and rehabilitation.
It also provides users with tools for coal data preparation, geology interpretation, gridded seam modelling, resource categorisation, resource reporting, pit optimisation, pit design, underground design, as well as survey and plotting.
The software’s modular design allows the user to adapt as an operation and as its requirements develop and change.
Micromine sales manager Craig Peek says the software provides fast, easy-to-learn graphic tools that allow users to create 3D geological models for the interpretation of the most difficult faults.
“Coal Measure also has a coal washability function that is designed to model a complete wash curve, calculate cumulatives from fractional washability data, provide access to regularisation tools to interpolate missing data and compile a standard wash matrix. It also has features to export coal washability tables,” explains Peek.
Other characteristics of the software include accuracy, speed and a user-friendly design. It is also dongle-based and supports a single-user mode or a network of users.
Coal Measure is Windows-based and intuitive, as it has a friendly interface and functions in the way in which most users would expect. It also provides semiskilled users with training on the software’s basic functionalities.
All Micromine’s training courses include real-life scenarios, which ensures they are relevant to the client’s operations.
“Our rates are tailored to suit the African market. Users will be supplied with cutting-edge technology and training at the most competitive price,” says Peek.
The three-day introductory course covers the operation of the software’s Core and Exploration modules.
The Core module allows users to import, validate, process, display and interpret varieties of surface, drill hole and subsurface data.
It encompasses Micromine’s two-dimensional (2D) and 3D viewing and editing software, Visual Explorer (Vizex), which allows users to display, query and interactively edit multiple layers of data simultaneously.
Core includes a Plotting module that allows the creation of complex plot layouts in minutes with a selection of templates from which to choose.
Core Plotting can pan and zoom within a 2D and 3D plot, as well as accelerate mass output using macro-automation.
The Exploration module builds on the capabilities of Vizex and includes analytical and modelling tools that are required in advanced exploration projects.
The module allows drillhole data to be combined, simplified or redistributed. It also includes compositing methods such as downhole, grade, interval and geology, which are all essential for resource estimation.
Statistics and geostatistics options are also available to assist in analysing advanced exploration data and advanced surface modelling, such as map contours, can be created using grid tools.
Digital terrain modelling tools are used to model surfaces, such as topography or pit shells.
Data Capture and Management
Micromine also developed Geobank Elite, from its Geobank data-management software, for the coal mining industry. The software was developed within a month, in June, in South Africa, following requests from clients for this type of software, says Peek.
“Geobank Elite offers features that many clients are looking for and we were able to develop and customise this product in a short period,” says Peek.
The software includes the company’s Field Marshal solution, which captures and manipulates geological exploration and mining field data.
It ensures that all data collected in the field is valid and reliable, allowing for informed decisions to be made by users.
As data is entered directly into the Field Marshal software, it saves time, reduces errors and increases user productivity.
The software can be loaded on a hand-held device or any Windows operating system for use during the exploration process.
“The software can also make calculations from data that is produced in the Core module and this can be connected to a database, allowing reports to be sent using the Internet. Specific drop-down boxes and different lithology data on the device can eliminate figure faults as the system is digitised and human error is removed,” Peek states.
Micromine’s Geobank software has fully configurable validation procedures that allow users to set up their own validation rules.
Peek enthuses that all software is equipped with ‘follow-the-sun’ office support from all its 20 international Micromine offices. The software is also equipped with built-in support emails that users can send to all Micromine consultants worldwide.