Infrastructure is integral to mining. With well
established infrastructure in the vicinity of a
deposit, projects can potentially be fast-tracked
into production. On the contrary, inadequate
planning, design and construction can impact the
viability and sustainability of a project over its life
and affect the bottom line.
IM featured Bentley Systems in November
2009. However the symposium made it clear
that the company’s software could be far-reaching
for mining. Programs such as MicroStation,
Bentley Structural, PlantSpace, ProSteel,
ProjectWise, ProjectWise Navigator, Bentley Map
and Geo Web Publisher have been used on these
projects to an extent that even surprised some
Bentley employees. These helped facilitate major
infrastructure design and reporting that reduced
costs and timings for the respective companies.
These are only three examples, but as Bentley’s
software evolves, we could be seeing much more
of its products in the mining marketplace. Pieter Neethling, global solution executive: mining and metals spoke to IM about the direction
the company was hoping to take in the next few
years, saying that mining was going to play a big
part. At the current time its mining customers are
predominantly contractors and consultants.
However, he is shaping solutions that will become
more geared to owner-operators, covering the
whole process from exploration, to construction, to
production, to processing and rehabilitation. With
the ever increasing need to go deeper to reach
lower grade orebodies, Neethling and Bentley realise
that 3D modelling software and integrated geospatial
solutions will play a big part in the mines of the
future, for owner-operators and consultant alike.
QMM ilmenite project, Madagascar
Starting with the winner of the mining category,
Hatch Africa, whose work on the QMM ilmenite
project (a partnership between Rio Tinto and the
Malagasy Government) in Fort Dauphin,
Madagascar involved the construction of the
$900 million ilmenite and zirsill sand mining
operation, with EPCM joint venture partner, Fluor.
This included designing and building extensive
ancillary services and infrastructure including the
materials handling at the port, power station,
mineral separation plant, wet plant, road, water
supply and communications network. In addition
to logistics, the island also posed environmental
challenges for protecting flora and fauna.
An integrated geospatial solution, Anglo Coal
In contrast to the other finalists, Anglo Coal South
Africa’s use of Bentley was somewhat surprising.
The New Vaal operation, which produces 16.14Mt/y of saleable coal with a calorific value of 15Mj/kg, is the sole supplier of coal to Lethabo
Power Station in South Africa.
To improve efficiency and increase the accuracy of reporting at the mine, it required a system to link spatial
information to various databases, allowing
analysis of possible outcomes based on changing
variables. Most of this information was
inextricably linked to the survey department, with
the operation having 11 separate operations that
it wanted to standardise.
BHPB Rapid-Growth Project Newman Hub, PDC Consultants
BHP Billiton retained PDC Consultants to provide
mine information modelling with intelligent 3D
review models and shop detailing for more than
7,200t of mechanical and structural steel and
associated platework at the Newman Hub, in the
Pilbara of Western Australia.
The expanded mining operations will include a car dumping
facility, crushing and screening plant, coarse ore
stockpile, stockyard and train load-out facilities,
12 conveyors and transfer stations, and associated
infrastructure. The mining process was
streamlined, with the company having all crushing
and screening facilities at the mine, instead of the
port, reducing the environmental footprint