Appraisal of Commonly used Mine Planning and Design Software in Ghanaian Surface Mines
AbstractMine planning and design software improve productivity at every stage of a mine’s life and simplify mine planning and design processes so that a given deposit can be mined safely and economically. This study was set out to appraise Surpac and MineSight as the commonly used mine planning and design software in most Ghanaian surface mines. Questionnaires were administered to users in seven (7) producing mines using seven (7) appraisal criteria which include: ease of installation/configuration; user friendliness; performance capability; customisation (scripting) capability; compatibility with other software; cost effectiveness; and vendor support. Secondary data from Abosso Goldfields Limited (AGL) was used to plan and design AGL’s Huni pit using the two software to validate responses from the questionnaire administration. This enabled a comparative assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the two software to be done. Surpac was ranked ahead of MineSight in all the seven (7) appraisal criteria, except for performance capability. The two software during the validation process gave good solid model volume and tonnage estimates but had little differences in the volumes and tonnages of partials. Surpac showed strength in installation and learning, block modelling, and partials extraction and estimation whilst MineSight showed strength in multiple user flexibility, pit design, and solid model creation and estimation. Recommendations to improve the two software have been offered as part of the study and a careful consideration of Datamine is suggested as they are making inroad into the Ghanaian market especially with their underground modules.
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