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Improving the mine planning process

Published by
World Coal,

RungePincockMinarco (RPM) has reported a significant improvement to the way mine planning data is managed and communicated with the launch of their new enterprise application, Plan Manager.

Plan Manager provides a new method for managing planning data across the mine planning horizons, from life of mine to execution planning and every stage in between. It delivers greater accuracy, auditability and a defined and repeatable process for merging planning data.

The application enables users to view, analyse and approve mine plans across different planning horizons (life of mine, long-term, medium-term, short-term and ultra short-term) and then publish an integrated plan in a variety of formats (including ISA-95 B2MML) up to the enterprise level. The consolidated mine plan can then be consumed by enterprise financial systems, process control and fleet management systems and then analysed through the corporate business intelligence systems.

Richard Mathews, CEO and Managing Director, commented: “Managing the interactions between planning horizons has traditionally been a significant challenge for the industry. A wide range of planning applications are used by different planning departments, often operating in silos. This has meant that the gap between a Life of Mine plan and the weekly schedule has been wider than desired. The introduction of Plan Manager finally bridges this gap.”

“The RPM product management team has spent considerable time with mine planners in one of RPM’s key tier one mining clients during 2015 unravelling the complexities of this issue across many different mining operations and planning horizons culminating in RPM releasing its Plan Manager product,” continued Matthews.

Plan Manager supports a level of detail that is appropriate to each planning horizon, with the ability to update sections of the plan without touching data that has not changed. This means that the re-planning process is faster and more efficient. The application can also pull in task status information, stockpile balances, grades and external plan inputs, such as rail schedules, and make them available to different mine scheduling applications.

The full plan history functionality within Plan Manager provides users with a complete audit trail for submitted and approved plans. It allows all plans that have been submitted to be checked to ensure their validity. These checks and balances deliver greater visibility and control around the entire plan consolidation process, which also comes with security built into the workflow so that the plan approval process and automated publishing is delivered with confidence.

Mathews concluded: “As the undisputed leader in innovative mine scheduling solutions, RPM has long experienced the frustrations of working across different planning horizons. We expect the launch of Plan Manager to be embraced and appreciated as much by our own teams as it will be by the industry.”

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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