Small D&B investment pays big dividends
KCGM (Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines) has always faced significant challenges around void management as they mine down through old workings at their Kalgoorlie Fimiston Open Pit – better known as the Superpit. Therefore, it is critical for their D&B Department to get timely information to reassess blasting techniques.
With the voids being a safety factor during drilling, QAQC and loading of the pattern, data interpretation and logging is crucial. The time delays in the paper-based solution being used were causing delays in bench progression due to the delays in processing the information. In these challenging economic times, to justify employing an additional person to help manually enter all the necessary data becomes difficult. As such, KCGM have chosen to use technology to optimise key areas of the operation, and went looking for a solution which might help solve their in-field data collection problem. The aim was to increase QAQC efficiency and to get more accurate data on explosives used out in the field without additional personnel or a high cost.
The company, Australia’s largest open cut goldmine management company, was pleased to discover that a ready-made solution existed which would only take a few days to install and was relatively inexpensive. So they ended up purchasing MiPlan’s MiD&B App, which is one of several developed, produced and distributed by Perth-based real time software solutions firm. It makes paper-based data collection redundant as it enables real time on-site record keeping and data entry via tablets with a seamless back-end data integration, validation and reporting functionality.
MiPlan implemented the MiD&B solution in a total of three days at the Kalgoorlie site by deploying the server site solution – a web-based solution that can be hosted locally or in the cloud. They then configured and connected the tablets to the existing wireless mesh onsite. Training was conducted through the implementation of how to use the tablets and how to import patterns to the system, and report the information in the best way possible for the organisation.
According to Dan Kavanagh, KCGM’s Senior Drill & Blast Engineer, the total cost of the MiPlan solution was less than half of what it would have cost to employ a data entry clerk even for just one year.
“There has been a significant reduction in the time taken for the QAQC process to occur. Our previous processes took 2-4 days to dip holes, enter data and redesign a blast. This solution enables real time
data collection, empowering engineers to redesign a blast immediately, which actually saves us even more” he said.
“We get better blasting because the real time data feeds allow the engineers to revise blast plans and tie-ins using up to date hole depth, cavity and water level information; all of which leads to improved blast performance. This is the first time MiPlan and KCGM have worked together but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see some of their other App solutions turning up in other processes around here if the results and satisfaction I’ve had with Mi D&B app is anything to go by” he added.