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RPMGlobal launches the industry’s first steeply dipping coal solution

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

Australian mining software solutions company RPMGlobal has expanded its suite of commodity-based mine scheduling software solutions through the launch of their steeply dipping coal (SDC) XPAC Solution™, a mine scheduling solution specifically tailored for the complex scheduling issues unique to this type of geology.

Steeply dipping coal (SDC) is a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software product built on harnessing RPM’s industry leading scheduling solution, XPAC® and as with RPM’s other commodity-based solutions incorporates RPM’s dynamic design, haulage and product optimisation functionality.

Mining is a dynamic process and many factors contribute to the complexity of mine planning. With RPM’s Steeply Dipping Coal Solution, it is now possible to maximise productivity and coal recovery from steeply dipping coal seams.

Steeply dipping coal mines employ the Terrace mining method due to the nature of the coal seams within the deposit. These mines can be geologically complex, involve many thin seams and have intricate coal mining methods and therefore present a number of challenges not encountered with traditional open pit mines.

SDC enables users to visualise the location and shape of every coal seam that intersects every bench, making schedules more practical and easier to communicate.


The opportunities for backfilling in worked out sections of the mine are considerable and the maintenance of adequate backfill space is essential when maximising haulage efficiency. Such situations require a more dynamic and flexible approach to the design of the mine.

RPM’s CEO and Managing Director, Richard Mathews, said: “XPAC is the industry standard for mine planning and scheduling and has been for 40 + years. Our Steeply Dipping Coal Solution is the 10th commodity specific solution we have released. Consistent with our other solutions SDC was developed in collaboration with our key customers and strategic partners to ensure we were able to deliver a solution that the industry can benefit from immediately.”


Built on XPAC’s scheduling platform, the SDC process-driven solution has been designed to optimise how dynamic haulage can be used to model and provide accurate, cost effective, alternative routes to both the worked out areas and the conventional external pit dumps within a mine.

Mathews continued: “The advanced scheduling platform handles the large data sets generated by today’s mining operations meaning that users aren’t required to split their operation into many separate models in order to generate a working schedule. The scheduling platform also performs all scheduling functions in a single process rather than sequential scheduling steps. This is something no other scheduling application can deliver and a key advantage of the XPAC scheduling platform that delivers real value for users.”


Mathews concluded by saying: “Being able to simultaneously optimise coal production, waste placement, haulage and product processing is incredibly powerful and enables mine schedulers to compare and optimise complex options around coal recover, dump constraints and haulage requirements. This ensures end users are able to make the optimal mining decisions around the most cost effective scheduling and extraction sequence. Whilst it has been a long time coming, we are looking forward to seeing the response from miners who until this release have had no real choice but to try and adapt and ‘shoehorn’ traditional scheduling products (that were originally designed for use within flat coal seams) into their more geologically complex mining operations.”

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