Mining software and consulting provider MineRP will soon open another regional office in Australasia to better service the needs of its growing client base.
MineRP established a presence in the Australasia region in 2001 and has offices in Perth, Western Australia, and Brisbane, Queensland. The company is also exploring opportunities for expansion into Southeast Asia, states MineRP Australasia VP Pieter Neethling.
“Some of our clients are requesting that we follow them into new geographies and support their expansion on a technical level,” he explains.
Neethling lauds the achievements of the company’s Australian offices in contributing to MineRP’s global brand, highlighting their efforts to continuously improve the company’s software and its competitive consulting services.
“Our technology is used by many major mining sites, including PT Freeport Indonesia, the world’s largest gold and copper mine,” says Neethling.
He says the company’s mine planning software, Mine 2-4D and Enhanced Production Scheduler (EPS), has been implemented by major diversified miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, as well as gold miners Newcrest, Evolution Mining, Newmont Gold, Barrick Gold and, more recently, diversified miner Xstrata. He adds that most of these companies use the software in their daily operations for mine design and scheduling, including three-dimensional (3D) dynamic animation of the schedule.
The implementation of the software has opened new doors for MineRP in consulting and training, with projects involving life-of-mine planning, prefeasibility and feasibility studies, operational planning, software training and implementation.
Neethling attributes this success to MineRP’s view that the data belongs to the client and not the software vendor. This is why the company is thriving in the highly competitive mining software industry, he says.
“We recognise that we offer greater value to clients by integrating our solutions onto a single platform through enterprise level technologies.”
Neethling is also enthusiastic about MineRP’s willingness to engage with its traditional competitors and establish a practical platform for collaboration, to help clients make better use of their data. “We are the enablers of this integration process and this is what differentiates MineRP from other software devel- opers,” he says.
Meanwhile, MineRP is awaiting feedback from its clients about the beta version of the company’s improved mine planning flagship software, Mine 2-4D 2012. The company released the beta version early last month and has already gained insight into the clients’ view of the new version, says MineRP product manager Matthew O’Callaghan.
“Over the past few months we have involved our clients in forums, which entailed showcasing new functionality as it was being developed. It is now time for our clients to get their hands on the product, test existing functionality and provide us with feedback regarding the complete user experience,” he says.
Mine 2-4D 2012 allows a mine planner to take a design and, through a series of processes, develop a detailed mining schedule. The product is used in project environments to generate, for example, life-of-mine schedules and is also finding favour in short-term scheduled production environments, explains O’Callaghan.
He tells Mining Weekly that MineRP will continue to improve the functionality of the new product throughout the beta testing process, while any feedback from clients testing the product will be incorporated into the company’s development plans.
“As we add functionality, we will showcase the product to our clients and other interested parties through the Mine 2-4D e-newsletter and international road shows, as we have done in the past,” says O’Callaghan, who adds that, MineRP’s goal is to deliver the first full release by the end of the year.
MineRP’s Brisbane-based development team has been working on Mine 2-4D 2012 since November last year.
As a result, Mine 2-4D v12 is being phased out to make room for the new product, which features an improved look and feel, as well as redesigned menu interfaces, O’Callaghan points out.
The original Mine 2-4D was first developed in 1997 and was later introduced into the Australian market in 2001, says O’Callaghan. The software solution introduced the concept of developing a mining schedule through an easy-to-follow flow-sheet approach that combined the visual representation with the data.
“Essentially, it meant a mining engineer could spend more time on mining engineering and less time on drafting work,” he explains.
However, over the years, it became apparent to MineRP that the graphical platform on which the original product was running was unsuitable. Capitalising on the technological advancement of operating systems, databases and graphical engines, the company recognised how beneficial a complete redesign of the system would be for MineRP’s clients.
Mine 2-4D 2012 showcases significantly improved processing power, with no memory limitations, Windows 7 compliance and 64-bit architecture.
“It is also more efficient, providing instant sequencing that saves hours of calculation time, direct integration with MineRP’s scheduling tool, EPS, and stream- lined process flows, which reduce the number of clicks required to perform key functions.
“Mine 2-4D 2012 processes are simple, logical and streamlined to give the planner more time to investigate multiple scenarios,” says O’Callaghan. He adds that the integration with EPS allows detailed mining schedules to be completed and reviewed in Gantt chart and 3D graphical environments.
“The results can easily be shared with all role players. With collaboration from all parties and an iterative approach, the best schedule can be achieved,” enthuses O’Callaghan, adding that Mine 2-4D 2012 is solution independent, which means it is compatible with inputs from almost any design and geology software on the market.
Projects in Progress
MineRP is currently undertaking two projects for a major Australia-based mining house, the first being the successful commissioning of MineRP’s first spatial database enterprise solution for the region. This comprises mineCAD, a computer-aided design plotting tool with the ability to produce production quality plots in a dynamic environment, and SpatialDB, the first standards-based spatial database developed with mining-specific features and functionality.
The second project is also a large-enterprise project that involves the deployment of MineRP Foundation Blocks to deliver a mineral inventory management system built upon a spatial database, allowing for standardisation of data and reporting from a single source of truth.