Maptek mining technology expertise and industry partnerships have helped BMA Caval Ridge gain greater visibility around drill and blast across the operation.
The coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin is part of the 50:50 joint venture between BHP and Mitsubishi Development. BMA Caval Ridge achieved record annual production of 8.7Mt in FY2020.
Having used Maptek BlastLogic quality management system for more than 4 years, BMA was seeking to improve drill and blast processes at Caval Ridge.
MEC Mining Senior Mining Consultant Mark Killip identified a gap in data communication, and approached Maptek to create dynamic dashboards to display up-to-date drill and blast information in an easy to understand format.
The dashboard reporting solution is a one-stop-shop for all BlastLogic field data reconciliations, reports and comparisons with design, enabling the mine to drive operational and engineering improvements based on past learnings.
Engineers, shotfirers and crew capture drill and blast information in the field using the BlastLogic Tablet.
Maptek worked with MEC Mining and Insight to ensure the right information was fed automatically from BlastLogic into a Microsoft Power BI dashboard. This provides engineers with a platform to learn from past blasts and improve planning, design and scheduling.
The alternative method involves hours of searching through blast folders, which is generally not possible in fast-paced production environments.
'The integrated and accessible data provides near-live information from the drill and blast teams, enabling superior decision making and leading to best quality blast outcomes,' Killip said.
'Maptek technology is seriously game changing.'
The solution is tailored to the site, serving the needs of engineers, operations crew and management. Contemporaneous Tablet field notes are displayed on the dashboard and extra comments can be added later.
The dashboard was up and running within weeks. It delivers a design against actuals comparison for a wide range of blast metrics, with pie charts and spatial plots of holes coloured by dipping, backfilling, charging and wet hole information.
Leveraging BlastLogic's SQL data warehouse provides access to years of information at the click of a button. This is otherwise archived on paper, and often stored off site. With Power BI the dashboard can be made available on all devices.
Wet hole data captured digitally with the BlastLogic tablet
Explosive product loading dates from BlastLogic tablet data
Insight specialises in harnessing the power of data to optimise operations in various industries, and immediately recognised there was a key requirement to bridge the gap between BHP and the logic behind the dashboard.
'Insight and Maptek's collaboration was a critical element in the overall success of the solution. Our technical consultants were able to leverage the industry specific drill and blast expertise of Maptek's team to deploy an asset that provides valuable data that shortens the client's time-to-insight,' said Insight Data and AI Practice Lead, Haim Ozchakir.
The next challenge was to produce a sustainable solution that could be used by the entire organisation.
'Visualising a dashboard is only one part of a very complex equation. The main challenge was building a solution that helps drive the business forward by providing meaningful insights to key stakeholders,' Ozchakir added.
Strategic Account Manager at Insight, Michael Lewis believes the project has created an appetite to further explore the business impact of analytics, and Power BI in particular.
'It's about speed to data, time-to-insight, and being able to accurately plan the next step with more information, more variables, and in the context that the people on the mine site need,' Lewis said.
'Having access to timely information opens up opportunities for businesses to leverage machine learning and analytics to streamline and improve key operational processes.'
The Power BI dashboard solution has been well received. The next phase of the project will provide near-live information to operational crews to track the progress of drilling and loading activities, continuing to grow value from the investment in analytics.
BMA, MEC Mining and Insight