A More Dynamic Annual Planning Process

By Alexandre
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One of the most critical yet least transparent processes in most mining companies is the Annual Business Planning process. With multiple operations and individuals contributing expertise and data, it can be a long, costly, and frustrating exercise, with the end results not always living up to expectations.

By looking to technology used by other industries to drive their planning processes, there is an opportunity for greater visibility into the planning process for mining. With collaborative platforms that establish consistency to data definitions and single source of truth is enabled. This can be further underpinned by bringing consistency to how global planning processes are governed for each contributor and site.

Geospatially aware collaboration platforms enable all stakeholders, regardless of where they are located in the world, to be connected to the process, with the ability to review progress geological models without the need for geology and mine planning software. These systems also allow head planners to define tasks, review gates and be alerted to issues when deliverables are in danger of falling behind.

Through dashboards and connectivity to all geological data, these systems bring greater control over the annual planning process, to shorten cycles, improve results, and deliver more control over the mining value chain.

Watch the short video “Integrated Global Mine Planning

with Dassault Systèmes’ Nicolas Jeannee, as he discusses issues that impact global planning and introduces collaborative platform with geospatial awareness that solves them.

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Follow Dassault Systèmes Natural Resources Industry on Twitter: @3DSNR

On the web: 3DS.com/natural-resources/

Where Operational Stability Fits in Your Business

By Alexandre
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All mining operations have a number of planning routines that occur throughout the year, which are often referred to as “the planning process”. Generally speaking these planning routines fall into four separate categories:

  1. Strategic Planning – This looks at big picture issues such as should we be selling or acquiring an asset.
  2. Integrated Mine Plan – Often referred to as Life of Mine Planning and takes the longer term view specific to an asset; however, most effort is put into annual and quarterly plans.
  3. Short Term Planning (STP) – Also known as Work Management, it the execution discipline to build a culture of reliability – are we hitting the quarterly and annual budget numbers? Generally speaking the time horizon for STP is inside one month with specific attention to the upcoming week.
  4. Continuous Improvement Planning. All mining companies run these four planning process concurrently. However, STP is the focus of this discussion. The quality of detailed planning (drive short term planning) is often not sufficient to deliver the level Operational Stability that is expected from senior executives, shareholders and other stakeholders.

The primary purpose of drive short term planning is to reliably deliver on short-term plans and schedules established by the mine management. This area of planning is primarily focused on the next 30 days. Generally speaking, variation at the task execution level is driving a large percentage of the variation that results in shortfalls in short term production targets. Improving short-term plans activities can often lead to 10 – 20% improvement in the unit costs with little or no additional capital.

Short Term Planning is comprised of three separate planning steps:

  1. Planning — Here we are planning all aspects of task execution down to the shift level. We are focused on people, equipment, supplies and task location.
  2. Scheduling — Schedules for all the aspects of each task on a shift-to-shift basis.
  3. Execution — All activities relating directly to task execution.

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Read more about operational stability and how to realize it in your business in the eBook “Six Steps to Operational Stability”

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Follow Dassault Systèmes Natural Resources Industry on Twitter: @3DSNR

On the web: 3DS.com/natural-resources/

Management of Multiple Quarry Sites

By Alexandre
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Many quarry operators, especially in an age of industry consolidation, find themselves having to manage and assist numerous operations. With engineers and geologists supporting multiple sites, applications that enable data to easily be shared between remote and central locations are necessary. This allows head offices to update geological data, develop dig plans, plots, and schedules which can be easily provided to local operations.

Acquiring data from drilling results and other sources, share, protect and secure it, along with geology, planning, and scheduling data is essential for a proper management. Data can be centralized onsite or at a corporate office, and quickly synchronized between locations. Geographically dispersed operations can feed data into a central technical center, allowing engineers and geologists located there to more effectively support the increasing number of quarries for which they are responsible, this reduces staffing and travel costs and increases information accuracy through minimized reaction times and the creation of a single version of true data.
Solutions that provide innovative scheduling experience for productivity and profits as well as a strategic mine planning, are ideal for optimizing and planning multiple quarries.

Watch our “Mine Planning for Industrial Minerals Operations” webinar and learn more about how Dassault Systèmes solutions can help you with the management of multiple quarry sites.

Follow Dassault Systèmes Natural Resources Industry on Twitter: @3DSNR

On the web: 3DS.com/natural-resources/



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