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Sandvik's good spatial awareness

February 13 - 19, 2014

It was a smart move by Sandvik to link up with Australia’s Maptek on integrated planning and execution technology enablers between machines and the industry’s increasingly sophisticated planning and data management software. Maptek has been, and is, extremely busy developing new capabilities.

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Top of the hill

January 30 - February 5, 2014

Wenco would have been pleased to beat arch rival Modular Mining Systems over the line to win the Roy Hill fleet management system contract last month.

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Right on schedule

February 13 - 19, 2014

Yikai Ren has done it again.

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The battle to turn data into money

January 23 - 29, 2014

Senior executives in the mining industry face enormous challenges turning the vast amount of operational data into meaningful financial information so they can make informed decisions and see the impacts of operational decisions on the bottom line and vice versa.

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The Big Data mother lode

January 23 - 29, 2014

Miners may not yet be drowning in Big Data, but that’s because the Big Deluge is yet to come. It is coming, though, say those manning the lifeboats.

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Global roaming

January 23 - 29, 2014

After a tough year in 2013 for most, the world’s top mining ICT companies see opportunities to grow this year in mature and emerging markets, and across a range of commodity sectors.

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Drilling deeper into data

January 23 - 29, 2014

Geophysics and better (bigger) data are vital to efforts to improve the mining industry’s flagging discovery rates. Greater convergence of the two seems inevitable.

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Minding the mines now a city job

January 23 - 29, 2014

Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd has officially opened another high-tech ‘remote’ operations centre in Perth, Western Australia, for its proposed A$10 billion (US$8.8 billion) Roy Hill iron ore mine in the state’s Pilbara region.

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Putting the C into ICT

January 23 - 29, 2014

The mining industry can profit from more than 15 years of information technology advances in other industries, but must tackle more seriously the enterprise architecture (EA) standards issue if it is going to dig deeper into available IT/operations technology convergence gains, according to two leaders in the field.

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AMC adds MISsing link

January 23 - 29, 2014

The apparently rampant (but quiet) expansion of an Australian mining IT firm, and vast stores of operational data lying around at most mines, are the combination leading international consulting group AMC is looking to tap with its latest benchmarking initiative.

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Beyond ERP

January 23 - 29, 2014

The market for mining information and communication technology is growing rapidly beyond the traditional sales patches of long-term software developers, and beyond ERP, where the big bucks have been spent by miners in the past decade.

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RPM speeds haul-plot cycles

December 11 - 17, 2013

Australian software and consulting firm RungePincockMinarco (RPM) believes it is well positioned to compete strongly in the mine-haul modelling software market segment with its latest HAULNET product.

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Broadening mines

December 11 - 17, 2013

A mining software company is launching a worldwide ‘university’ to provide short courses for customers.

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View to a different future

November 27 - December 3, 2013

PROFESSOR Steve Hannah saw the future about 20 years ago when he presented an award to a “bright graduate” at the firm at which they both worked, Honeywell.

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Cost cutting increases cyber threat

November 27 - December 3, 2013

THE increasing cyber security threat facing the mining industry has been highlighted in a survey by global accounting firm EY, which believes the industry’s greater reliance on technology may put new strains on the robustness and integrity of current IT systems.

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This time it’s real

November 27 - December 3, 2013

SIGNIFICANT mining industry representation at a large asset lifecycle management technology gathering in Australia has lent weight to the belief in the Bentley Systems camp that top-down directives in some mining companies to “pull ourselves into the 21st century” is going to drive increased investment in new IT.

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RPM sees strong support for commodity-based scheduling

November 27 - December 3, 2013

RUNGEPincockMinarco believes strong reviews from customers for its latest commodity-focussed scheduling product Open Pit Metals Solution (OPMS) support its view that such solutions represent the next evolution in mine scheduling.

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Sandfire uses Intellect

November 27 - December 3, 2013

RESOURCE Development Group (ASX: RDG) business Intellect Systems will support instrumentation and process control systems at Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa copper mine in Western Australia under a new one-year service agreement.

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CAE appoints Graham, Rogers

November 20 - 26, 2013

TECHNOLOGY developer CAE Mining is attempting to rebuild its team in Western Australia, appointing Jonathan Graham as Australasian consulting manager based in Perth. Graham is crossing from Queensland to “grow the technical consulting team and enhance the local support offering”.

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Intergraph creates full 3D design package

November 20 - 26, 2013

INTERGRAPH says newly released Smart 3D 2014, consolidating its SmartPlant 3D, SmartMarine 3D and SmartPlant 3D Materials Handling products, builds on the developer’s 3D technology architecture to increase quality, interoperability and productivity for clients in the plant, offshore, shipbuilding, metals, mining and bulk material handling sectors.

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XACT 1.8 offers short term relief

November 20 - 26, 2013

USER experience and integration have been the focus for RungePincockMinarco (RPM) in its refinement of XACT 1.8, its short term mine scheduling application.

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No time to waste

November 6 - 12, 2013

KASHIF Saleem had learnt only basic English and was a typically cash-strapped student when he headed to Australia from Pakistan in 1998 with dreams of building a life and a career as a self-made entrepreneur. Fast forward to 2013 and his client list includes WorleyParsons, Downer Group, United Group, Fortescue Metals and Leighton, among others. Saleem says he hasn’t “made it” yet.

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No breaks in the schedule

November 6 - 12, 2013

A LONG celebratory lunch and a good break – that was the plan. At least Zhanyou Huang and his Tucson, Arizona, based MineSight Schedule Optimiser 8.0 development team enjoyed the lunch.

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Data management now key

November 6 - 12, 2013

A SURVEY of firms and organisations handling exploration data has found more companies want to improve data management to increase reporting visibility and transparency to win over investors and boost discovery rates.

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Mission planning for missing link

November 6 - 12, 2013

IT’S competed with a greedy algorithm, but can the dig optimisation program for a mining excavator ever hope to beat a human operator?

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Mining Big Data for value

October 30 - November 5, 2013

BIG DATA presents “huge opportunities” for miners, general manager Australia of Maptek, Peter Johnson, told the company’s recent 2013 Users Conference in Australia.

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New software a big leap, says developer

October 30 - November 5, 2013

NEW Zealand-based ARANZ Geo has described Leapfrog Geo 1.4 as a “major advance” in the development of its geological modelling software.

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Making the difficult seem easier

October 30 - November 5, 2013

AUSTRALIAN mining consulting firm Optiro says it’s come up with a neat graphical aid for performing uniform conditioning (UC) resource assessments using the popular CAE Studio design software.

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Bentley deploys SpecWave

October 30 - November 5, 2013

BENTLEY Systems expects the new SpecWave Composer, the first product based on its acquired SpecWave technology, to work seamlessly with upcoming release, ProjectWise Construction Work Packaging Server, and give work packaging project teams the ability to bring more reliable specifications and other documents into work packages.

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COSOL building Mongolia base

October 23 - 29, 2013

AUSTRALIAN mining IT specialist COSOL has maintained its early growth momentum in Mongolia, where it established an office in June this year, winning an appointment as Ellipse support service provider for Centerra Gold at the miner’s Mongolia and Canada operations.

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GEMS changes drive underground efficiencies up

October 23 - 29, 2013

GEOVIA, part of Dassault Systèmes, is targeting what it perceives as a continuing drift underground by its customer base with a new ramp design tool and other changes for underground mine planners in its latest GEMS 6.6 release.

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Software offers new planning insights

October 23 - 29, 2013

MAKING mine plan changes on accurate planned-versus-actual production reconciliation data will be undertaken with greater confidence by Geovia InSite users after the changes made to InSite 4.4.

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Model concept one for the times

October 23 - 29, 2013

RIGHT now, Christian Kunze is looking for greater visibility for his new online mining financial modelling product. But in time he won’t mind if it just sits unobtrusively in the background as the calculation engine for hundreds of project developers and their financial backers. Excel for the 21st century anyone?

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Emco software now more versatile

October 23 - 29, 2013

TRANSPORT equipment manufacturer and technology developer Emco Wheaton has come up with a new software package that enables automatic monitoring of product levels in individual compartments of fuel tankers.

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Ahead in the cloud

October 16 - 22, 2013

IMPROVING productivity is now a major focus for the Australian mining industry, and certainly other sectors. For a solution, Paul Faix believes many senior executives and managers need to get their head around the cloud.

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User group gets feel for Vulcan 9

October 16 - 22, 2013

OCTOBER 22: NEW functionality in Maptek’s Vulcan 9 targets specific applications in resource modelling and underground design alongside improvements to software architecture to manage massive databases, the company’s 2013 user conference in Australia heard this week.

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Evorelution changing courses

October 16 - 22, 2013

WHEN Steve Craig was hatching a plan to turn mine scheduling conventions upside down, Western Australia’s best new gold discovery for a decade was already looking like a mine in the making. Now Tropicana is in production and Craig’s Evorelution software has played no small part in some impressive early scheduling cost benefits.

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Adding value to big data

October 16 - 22, 2013

OCTOBER 22: “Ubiquitous sensors rip a deluge of data from the world around us,” spatial business industry leader Richard Simpson said in his keynote address to mining technology company Maptek’s users conference in Brisbane this week.

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CRCORE assembly to get advanced simulator update

October 16 - 22, 2013

ATTENDEES at next month’s CRCORE Annual Assembly in Queensland, Australia, will get timely insights into the progress of continuing development of the research group’s Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES), which it describes as “an important step forward for the simulation of mining and minerals processing systems”.

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Energy company plugs into MICROMINE development

October 16 - 22, 2013

AFRICAN-focused uranium miner Paladin Energy says a close working relationship with MICROMINE, forged over 20 years and stepped up in more recent years through its direct involvement with the software developer’s beta testing program, has “benefited Paladin significantly”.

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Rockwell chief to address first IoT forum

October 16 - 22, 2013

ROCKWELL Automation executives, including CEO Keith Nosbusch, will lead a range of discussions on network and physical security, transforming supply chains and a vision for smart, connected industrial enterprises at the inaugural Internet of Things World Forum in Spain later this month.

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IT notebook: Itasca, MICROMINE, Aconex

October 9 - 15, 2013

NEW automated mesh generation tools in Itasca’s 3D geomechanical modelling software are going to improve precision and control for users, according to the technology and consulting firm.

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Saudis bet big on simulators

September 25 - October 1, 2013

AUSTRALIAN company Immersive Technologies has described the first order from a Saudi Arabian mining company for purpose-built mining equipment training simulators – believed to be worth up to $A15 million – as the “largest mining simulation investment in history”.

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Vulcan 9 ready for launch

September 25 - October 1, 2013

GLOBAL leader in the mine planning software space, Australian-based Maptek, is on the verge of another major launch.

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Mintec removes scheduling constraints

September 25 - October 1, 2013

A “non-fallible” scheduling option is one of the features of Mintec’s just released MineSight Schedule Optimiser Version 7.5.

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Atlas Copco wins design award for RCS 5

September 25 - October 1, 2013

ATLAS Copco has won an Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) award for the interface design of its new Rig Control System, RCS 5, for mining equipment.

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Armitt to address Year in Infrastructure 2013

September 25 - October 1, 2013

CHAIRMAN of the Olympic Delivery Authority for London 2012, Sir John Armitt will head a strong list of keynote speakers at Bentley Systems’ upcoming Year in Infrastructure 2013 Conference in London.

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Attendances surge at Intergraph conferences

September 25 - October 1, 2013

ENGINEERING software company Intergraph says more than 210 delegates attended its Intergraph PP&M Australia 2013 conferences in Perth and Brisbane, a new record level.

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Dassault adds new growth dimension

September 18 - 24, 2013

PATIENCE is a virtue for France’s Dassault Systemes, according to its most senior mining executive, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to stand idle and let a good downturn go to waste.

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Watch this space

September 18 - 24, 2013

A CANADIAN company set up to commercialise space-flight technologies says a demonstration of its OPAL-360 obscurant-penetrating LiDAR scanner on a P&H 4100 rope shovel at Barrick Gold Corp’s Goldstrike mine in Nevada “went off without a hitch”.

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Ventyx IBA winner for second year in a row

September 18 - 24, 2013

SEPTEMBER 23: Ventyx has been named company of the year in the metals and mining category of the International Business Awards (IBAs) for the second consecutive year.

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The great technology migration

September 18 - 24, 2013

DRILL down into the key technology trends shaping the future of both the mining and petroleum industries and it’s easy to see the convergence of themes that was lacking 20 years ago and even into the past decade. ‘Field of the future’, ‘remote operations centre’, ‘intelligent energy’, are all now familiar sounding to anyone who’s sat in on a Rio Tinto technology presentation in the past five years.

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RPM now targets openpit metals

September 18 - 24, 2013

SEPTEMBER 23: Australia’s RungePincockMinarco (RPM) has used the Exposibram 2013 mining show in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to launch the openpit metals version of its XPAC scheduling offering.

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8 is enough

September 18 - 24, 2013

NOT far from a full commercial release, Snowden’s new mine enterprise-level reconciliation software and related service offering has already created a stir among most – it could be fair to say all – the world’s big iron ore producers and is likely to soon be on other CIO’s menus.

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PwC zeroes in on mining productivity

September 18 - 24, 2013

MOBILE mining equipment costing billions of dollars has delivered diminishing returns for the world’s miners over the past decade. Yet it is only now that there seems to be a real awakening in the industry, led by the US and Canada, that productivity has declined, according to the head of what is now financial services group PwC’s mining intelligence unit.

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Smart mining the Wright way forward

September 18 - 24, 2013

THE Australian-developed ‘Smart Marker’ cave-mine material tracking technology is said to have produced significant results – on a smaller scale – at a Queensland gold mine.

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JKTech updates JKSimMet

September 18 - 24, 2013

AN enhanced user platform, including a more flexible flowsheet drawer and improved data entry and viewing options, are the most obvious changes to JKTech’s flagship simulation software JKSimMet.

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Pyne heads Dassault mining push

September 11 - 17, 2013

SEPTEMBER 16: Andrew Pyne has been named as the new vice president mining for Dassault Systèmes, reporting to GEOVIA business CEO Rick Moignard.

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Schneider outlines Invensys synergies

September 11 - 17, 2013

SEPTEMBER 12: The combination of France’s Schneider Electric and UK-based Invensys could produce a global leader in industrial automation, advanced software solutions and power solutions for electro-intensive industries such as mining, the former company has said in its prospectus for the GBP3.4 billion deal announced in July.

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Exploration in the new supercomputer age

September 11 - 17, 2013

MOORDIUP is no Marvin – he/she/it is far superior! Australian energy major Woodside says the supercomputer ramping up to calculation speeds of 118,000 billion per second is going to help it “solve some very interesting geophysical problems”.

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Polaris sheds trucks with software

September 11 - 17, 2013

THE former ASX-listed Polaris Metals, now part of Mineral Resources (ASX: MRL), was able to save capital with a smaller earthmoving fleet at new Carina iron ore pits in Western Australia after optimising the life-of-mine schedule using advanced software.

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Change of schedule

September 11 - 17, 2013

THERE is plenty of talk around at the moment about mining technology companies having the ‘tools’ miners need to lift their performance and improve profitability at a time of lower commodity prices. Not so much picks and cap-lamps; more high-powered computing. At least that’s what is driving the fortunes of a Western Australian firm that says it currently has the “largest sales pipeline in our history”.

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MIPAC wins McArthur expansion work

September 11 - 17, 2013

ENGINEERING and technology firm MIPAC is developing a Yokogawa DCS interface for the McArthur River zinc mine in Australia’s Northern Territory as part of that site’s $A360 million expansion.

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Enterprising R&D delivers new scheduling template

September 11 - 17, 2013

THE strategic repositioning of the Runge (now RungePincockMinarco) mining technology business that’s been promised since its ASX listing in 2008 now seems imminent following the launch of its ground-breaking XACT for Enterprise product, after nine months of intensive development work.

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Exclusive XACT for Enterprise briefing

September 11 - 17, 2013

NEWLY launched XACT for Enterprise has the potential to be transformational for creator, ASX-listed RungePincockMinarco, and for many of the world’s leading mining organisations. For RPM CEO Richard Mathews, it’s the realisation of nearly 12 months of feverish work by the company’s technical team, and significant investment. Here he speaks exclusively with HighGrade Briefing about this year’s major mining IT product launch.

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The more things change …

September 11 - 17, 2013

A NEW level of operational rigour and discipline is needed at most mines if they’re going to maximise the benefits from autonomous equipment fleets, according to Australian-based Caterpillar mining solutions region manager Carl Hendricks. But really, he says, it’s the level current operators should be aspiring to anyway.

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Resourcing the future

September 11 - 17, 2013

MINING technology firm Maptek has donated a mobile library to Seatile Primary School in Westonaria, South Africa as part of a social enterprise initiative.

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Orica wins IT award

September 11 - 17, 2013

MINING explosives giant Orica’s use of the ServiceNow enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) to standardise a number of its primary organisational processes has won it recognition from Australia’s IT Service Management Forum (itSMF).

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Intellect wins Newman contract

August 28 - September 3, 2013

INTELLECT Systems, part of ASX-listed Resource Development Group (ASX: RDG), will replace part of the ageing Mount Whaleback iron ore mine MOSCAD telemetry control system under a contract with Lend Lease Services.

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The machines are talking to each other

August 28 - September 3, 2013

AN advanced automated surface production drill has followed computer-generated instructions to complete an entire drill pattern without human intervention in a world-first for the surface mining industry and major milestone in the development alliance between Rio Tinto and Atlas Copco.

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WASP adds sting to new Minetec offering

August 28 - September 3, 2013

INITIAL deployments of an advanced underground mine communication and tracking system, including “game changing” CSIRO-developed ‘localisation’ technology, signal the start of what Minetec executive general manager Andy Sheppard believes can be a strong period of growth for the Codan business unit despite the current poor mining market.

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Strata maps new mine market entry

August 28 - September 3, 2013

US-BASED Strata Worldwide, overseeing something of a relaunch in Australia on the back of its expanded mining technology suite, seems determined to offer mines a comprehensive underground ‘communications-as-a-service’ contract option as it bids to expand its international market footprint.

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Simulation software updated

August 28 - September 3, 2013

IMMERSIVE Technologies says it has increased the level of realism at the heart of its mining equipment training simulation technology with the introduction of VirtualGround 3.0 as part of an upgrade to its SimControl software.

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Fewzion shifts thinking on mine reporting

August 28 - September 3, 2013

AUSTRALIAN company Fewzion has won further endorsement of its mine shift planning system, with a Queensland operator describing the change from a standard system to the Fewzion product as “a revolution”.

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MICROMINE signs new academic agreement

August 28 - September 3, 2013

AUSTRALIAN mining technology firm MICROMINE has signed an agreement with the internationally renowned Camborne School of Mines at the University of Exeter in Cornwall, England.

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Chinese satellites bring good news

August 28 - September 3, 2013

THE constant presence of China’s new Beidou satellites over Australian skies is a positive for precise global positioning – whether around cities or in regional mining centres – and not a basis for espionage stories.

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Mapping rocks, for art’s sake

August 28 - September 3, 2013

MINING software firm Maptek’s expertise and technology has been put to an unusual use – digital preservation of valuable Aboriginal rock art in northern Australia.

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Enablon to aid Orica business improvement

August 28 - September 3, 2013

ASX-LISTED mine explosives supplier Orica is replacing its environment, health and safety, and sustainability reporting and analytics software with that of new ‘partner’ Enablon, the US-based software developer.

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WASM lab state-of-the-art

August 28 - September 3, 2013

THE new Western Australian School of Mines mining computer lab at its Kalgoorlie campus is one of the few in world which allows for a collaborative learning environment, according to WASM director Steve Hall.

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Xstract to introduce data management system

August 28 - September 3, 2013

USERS of Xstract Group’s XODB open database mining software will soon be able to store any document spatially and query items using a handy map interface.

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Hydraulic shovel monitor the next test

August 21 - 27, 2013

INTERNATIONALLY recognised independent expert in matters mechanical, Charles Constancon was sitting in a bar in British Columbia when a local mine superintendent threw down a challenge.

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BMT looks at first international office

August 21 - 27, 2013

BLAST Movement Technologies will join the swelling Australian METS sector ranks in the USA in the next month or so when it opens an office in Denver.

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New dimensions

August 21 - 27, 2013

5DT founder Paul Olckers is confident the company’s strong recent growth can be sustained despite the general downturn in mining investment and a highly competitive simulator training market.

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TMM opts for Pronto cloud solution

August 21 - 27, 2013

AUSTRALIAN mining services company TMM Group expects a comprehensive implementation of Pronto Software enterprise resource planning, business intelligence and cloud information technology to go live next month.

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Underground expansion for Mintec

August 21 - 27, 2013

MINTEC has continued the expansion of its underground design and scheduling product portfolio, introducing MineSight Stope which it says gives mine planners increased flexibility and control in the design and conceptual-level scheduling of underground stope mining.

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Shotcrete training goes VR

August 14 - 20, 2013

NORMET senior vice president Mike Rispin expects simulator training of shotcrete application operators in mines to become more widespread in the wake of initial deployment of the company’s simulation technology.

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Faster, smarter mine planning

August 14 - 20, 2013

BUSINESS analytics is at the heart of the MineSight Performance Manager, just released by Mintec. The software addresses the countless staff hours spent on detailed mine reports and charts, the developer says.

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CSIRO researchers go back in time

August 14 - 20, 2013

CSIRO has created a new 3D modelling tool the Australian national science and research organisation says can simulate millions of years of landscape evolution and reveal hidden mineral deposits.

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Itasca releases 3DEC V5

August 14 - 20, 2013

CONSULTING and software firm Itasca has formally released 3DEC Version 5.0, its geotechnical analysis tool designed to simulate responses of discontinuous media (such as jointed rock or masonry structures) subjected to loading.

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Remote hoist monitoring to cut stoppages, lift reliability

August 14 - 20, 2013

ABB claims its new hoist performance monitoring service, involving remote mine hoist system monitoring and analysis by its experts, is unique in the underground mining market.

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Is data the next disruptive technology?

August 7 - 13, 2013

IT HAS been almost 20 years since Harvard professor Clayton Christensen first explained his theory on why technologies that initially receive a weak reception from the mainstream can eventually overturn existing market orders and become the norm. He coined this concept as ‘disruptive technology’.

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ARANZ growth story recognised

August 7 - 13, 2013

AUGUST 12: EXPANDING software developer and supplier ARANZ Geo has emerged as a finalist in the 2013 New Zealand International Business Awards on the back of its revenue and market growth over the past three years.

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Enterprise mine planning under WMC spotlight

August 7 - 13, 2013

INFORMATION technology supporting the “mine as an open air factory” will be the focus of a presentation at this week’s 2013 World Mining Congress in Montreal, Canada, by RungePincockMinarco’s Glenn Kerkhoff.

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Firmex, Geosoft virtually rooming together

August 7 - 13, 2013

ONTARIO, Canada, based Firmex has entered into a partnership with exploration software developer Geosoft as its preferred virtual data room supplier in the mineral exploration market.

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Sentient claims LearnX award

August 7 - 13, 2013

AUSTRALIAN-based company Sentient Computing has won further recognition for its 3D virtual-reality training platform, MVX, claiming a LearnX Platinum Award for Best Simulation with client Woodside Energy.

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AIMEX enhances visitor experience with customised App

August 7 - 13, 2013

IPHONE and iPad owning visitors to AIMEX 2013 in Sydney next month will be able to take advantage of a customised App that will allow them to more easily navigate the exhibition, get the latest information updates from exhibitors and network with colleagues.

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RPM links with IT Experts in Mongolia

August 7 - 13, 2013

RUNGEPincockMinarco has signed a new strategic partnership agreement with Information Technology Experts LLC, a Mongolian-based mining software consultancy firm.

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Australia still deal-central for mining IT

July 31 - August 6, 2013

MATRIXGroup and ISS Group are just the latest two Australian software companies to be snapped up in what remains the hottest mining IT deal market in the world.

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Harch leads new CSIRO IT research arm

July 31 - August 6, 2013

NEWLY formed CSIRO Computational Informatics is expected to work closely with a range of external partners and collaborators to create a capability hub in key research areas including next generation data analytics, autonomous robotics, complex systems modelling, and decision making under uncertainty.

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Mintec says Minesight Atlas changes mine planning

July 31 - August 6, 2013

THE Australian-based vice-president technical of Mintec, Glenn Wylde says MineSight Atlas has been two years in the making, but its “impact will be felt for far longer”.

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Pitram now in managed service form

July 31 - August 6, 2013

ATTENDEES at this year’s Diggers and Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie will get a look at the newly launched MICROMINE Pitram managed service offering, which the software and technology company describes as an extension of the mine control and management reporting product it has deployed around the world.

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ICT firm builds platform for growth

July 31 - August 6, 2013

THE Australian developer of a “rugged communications platform” for remote camps says the portable satellite dish and multi-media communications trailer could save users $A5000-15,000 per site move.

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Growing ARANZ Geo adds three

July 24 - 30, 2013

ARANZ Geo, developer of Leapfrog 3D geological modelling solutions for the mining, hydrogeology and geothermal industries, has announced three new senior appointments as it continues in a “period of high growth”, according to CEO Shaun Maloney.

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JORC Code online health check

July 24 - 30, 2013

COFFEY Mining has created a quick and easy online tool to help resources companies understand their obligations under the revised JORC Code.

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New XPAC niche opened

July 24 - 30, 2013

RUNGEPINCOCKMINARCO (RPM) has launched another of its commodity-specific mine planning software products, built around its XPAC scheduling engine.

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Automation means fewer jobs in regions, says report

July 17 - 23, 2013

INCREASED remote-operation of mine sites from city-based control centres could lead to fewer jobs and less economic activity in mining regions, a new report from The University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) has found.

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Diavik upgrades Pitram system

July 17 - 23, 2013

A KEY step in the transition to automated mine production reporting at the Diavik diamond mine in Canada has been completed and judged a success by Australian mining software and technology company MICROMINE, which supplied its Pitram product to the site.

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Wenco commissioned at Meadowbank

July 17 - 23, 2013

WENCO International Mining Systems, part of Hitachi, says it has commissioned its Wenco MobileOT hardware and software on 38 machines in the mining fleet at Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank gold mine in Nunavut Territory, Canada.

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Modular AIMEX focus on safety

July 17 - 23, 2013

FLEET management software leader Modular Mining Systems will use the upcoming AIMEX 2013 mining expo in Australia to spotlight developments in the mine safety segment of its IntelliMine mine management product suite.

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Software company organises community jam

July 17 - 23, 2013

GEOSCIENTIFIC information management software leader acQuire Technology Solutions will hold its first “global jam session” for GIM professionals in Calgary at the end of September.

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Itasca to introduce BlockRanger

July 17 - 23, 2013

CONSULTING and software group Itasca will introduce new KUBRIX BlockRanger software at its upcoming FLAC/DEM Symposium in China.

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Aker buys IDEAS

July 17 - 23, 2013

ENGINEERING group Aker Solutions has acquired the Scottish developer of advanced asset lifecycle analytical software for an undisclosed sum.

 

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FOS to answer industry’s SOS

July 10 - 16, 2013

FIBRE optic sensing technology has the potential to revolutionise the way mines are monitored and controlled, according to Australia’s CRCMining, which is working on a technology implementation roadmap and “associated proposals for high-value, low-technology gap systems”.

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GEOVIA resets Surpac interoperability

July 10 - 16, 2013

USERS of Surpac mine planning software have been handed some significant allied program integration links in the latest version of the product.

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Fresnillo adopts CAE simulation technology

July 10 - 16, 2013

JULY 11: CAE Mining has delivered a training solution, including two CAE Mining Terra simulators and e-learning courseware, to Fresnillo (LSE:FRES), the world’s largest primary silver producer.

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Regulator fills reporting gap

July 10 - 16, 2013

A SOFTWARE product that will help make advice on best practice resource and reserve reporting practices “stick” will soon be commercialised after a lengthy gestation.

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A plan in hand

July 10 - 16, 2013

FOR shift planning, simple wins, according to Fewzion’s Paul Moynagh. A few simple sums point to the huge potential for the small company’s innovative software too.

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African Minerals expands with Aconex SaaS

July 10 - 16, 2013

SIERRA Leone iron ore miner African Minerals has chosen the Australian-developed Aconex online collaboration platform to help manage rail, port and urban infrastructure development for the Pepel35 expansion of the Tonkolili project.

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Simulator company back where it all started

July 3 - 9, 2013

SOUTH Africa’s ThoroughTec claims to have recently captured mining training simulator market share from its main competitors with military precision, so to speak, with its advance into the opposition’s territory having really gained momentum since the time of the last AIMEX show in Australia.

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APC tags on at AIMEX

July 3 - 9, 2013

A CUSTOMISED tagging system, designed and manufactured at an Adelaide factory for a large Australian mining company, will be the centre of attention at Australian company APC Technology’s display at the upcoming AIMEX 2013.

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Breaking down barriers

July 3 - 9, 2013

Interoperability and big data integration using high performance computing are enabling scientists to concentrate on what they are good at – science.

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Laser scanning changes maintenance picture

June 26 - July 2, 2013

SENIOR Outotec plant designer Jason Fryar says 3D laser scanning has been slow to make an appearance in the mining industry, but use of the technology at mine sites and plants has increased in recent times due to the distinct advantages over traditional survey methods.

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RPM extends Russia market reach

June 26 - July 2, 2013

AUSTRALIA’S RungePincockMinarco (RPM) will look to build on the platform created for growth in Russia via the new “strategic distribution agreement” signed with IT system integrator CJSC NVision Group, the Russian company’s first pact with a dedicated mining software provider.

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Maptek augments mining reality

June 26 - July 2, 2013

FIELD trials at Australian mines of a technology package that integrates 3D mine modelling, laser scanning and handheld communication devices are said to have provided “hard evidence of the measurable benefits of the system”.

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Six reasons why Micromine could get the jump on Leapfrog

June 26 - July 2, 2013

MICROMINE invited me to their office and gave me a preview of their implicit modelling product before its release. What I saw was quite impressive, so I asked myself, will Micromine’s implicit modeller be a market winner? From what I saw, I expect it will be popular, but only time will tell. For the consumer (especially the Micromine user who is also a current Leapfrog user), these are exciting times. Those who are only occasional users of Leapfrog will finally have a choice other than ARANZ Geo products and I predict that many will choose Micromine’s product over Leapfrog software.

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Young firm takes different road to the top

June 19 - 25, 2013

EIGHT-year-old Orelogy is teaching the grown-ups a thing or two about optimisation, a term the company’s founding managing director Steve Craig describes as one of the most abused in the mine scheduling space.

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COSOL establishes Mongolia base

June 19 - 25, 2013

AUSTRALIAN mining technology services firm COSOL has continued its offshore expansion, establishing a permanent office in Mongolia on the back of its involvement at the major new Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project and what it sees as continuing strong growth prospects in the region.

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Ventyx introduces Asset Health Centre

June 19 - 25, 2013

VENTYX World 2013 in San Francisco has seen the unveiling this week of what ABB Ventyx is calling an “innovative new solution for managing the health of mission-critical assets underpinning the operations of companies in asset-intensive industries such as energy and mining”.

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US coal training academy buys simulator

June 19 - 25, 2013

THE state-of-the-art mine simulation lab in a $A18 million ‘leadership’ training facility established by top American metallurgical coal producer Alpha Natural Resources in West Virginia will feature Australian-developed operator simulation training technology.

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Institute event to host underground scanner launch

June 19 - 25, 2013

MEASUREMENT Devices (MDL) will use the upcoming Australian Institute of Mine Surveyors Conference in South Australia to introduce the Void Scanner Mk3, which it says is the latest development of its robotic underground mine laser scanner.

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Maptek achieves highest QA for laser arm

June 19 - 25, 2013

MAPTEK’s Laser Imaging Solutions business, built around the I-Site product range, has achieved ISO 9001 accreditation after almost two years of focus on processes and procedures.

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Researchers believe they’re closer to quantum computers

June 19 - 25, 2013

A BREAKTHROUGH said to bring the computer science world closer to solving problems more complex than any current supercomputer can address, in codebreaking, physics, and clean energy, has been achieved by researchers from the University of Sydney and Dartmouth College in the US.

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Immersive renews simulator pact

June 19 - 25, 2013

GLOBAL mining equipment simulator training leader Immersive Technologies has renewed its third information exchange agreement with a major equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the past few years, giving it access to the OEM’s proprietary engineering data.

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Snowden looks for optimal path to market

June 12 - 18, 2013

ALAN Cooper has been called a lot of things but he probably hasn’t heard ‘incubator’ too often.

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Besra takes CAE package deal

June 12 - 18, 2013

CAE Mining has clinched a deal with emerging gold producer Besra Gold to supply it with a package of its software products over the next two months.

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GEOVIA adds new Minex modules

June 12 - 18, 2013

GEOVIA has kept up a current industry theme of haulage cost and dump scheduling efficiency with the formal release of Minex 6.2, its comprehensive coal GMP package.

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Timing everything – and nothing

June 5 - 11, 2013

GLOBAL mining technology and advisory firm RungePincockMinarco (RPM) has capped a busy year of software advances and product launches with the launch of XERAS for Enterprise, which CEO Richard Mathews sees leading a game-changing sequence of Enterprise application releases for the company – and the market. He spoke with HighGrade Briefing about what lies ahead.

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Virtual mines in the city

June 5 - 11, 2013

WITH the click of a finger now pretty much a standard solution for some of the most complex everyday problems, why should modelling a mine be any different?

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Mintec goes deeper into underground

June 5 - 11, 2013

US-BASED mining software developer Mintec has a modest enough goal for the underground modelling space. It wants to have “the only software worth considering underground”.

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XPAC, Vulcan get hitched

June 5 - 11, 2013

THE latest version of the mine scheduling software XPAC offers seamless integration with Maptek’s popular geological design software Vulcan, delivering on XPAC developer RungePincockMinarco’s (RPM) vow to users to streamline design and planning workflows.

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P2 to snap up Babelfish developer

June 5 - 11, 2013

DIRECTORS of Australia’s ISS Group will accept a $A45 million cash offer from US-based P2ES Holdings for the BabelFish software developer if a superior deal doesn’t materialise by the end of July.

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P2ES offer ISS inadequate, says key stakeholder

June 5 - 11, 2013

ISS Group’s second largest shareholder, Microequities Asset Management, disagrees with the company’s management on the value of its intellectual property, saying the US-based P2ES Holdings’ $A45 million takeover offer for ISS doesn’t cut the mustard.

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ARANZ and ioGlobal create live link

June 5 - 11, 2013

ARANZ Geo has joined forces with a leading developer of geochemical analysis software to enable users of its 3D geological modelling software, and the ioGAS Link package, to share geochemical and related data in real time via a live link.

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Teck leaps into software licensing deal

June 5 - 11, 2013

NEW Zealand’s ARANZ Geo has signed a new corporate software licence agreement for its Leapfrog 3D geological modelling software, this time with copper, coking coal, zinc and energy producer Teck Resources.

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Geovariances builds acQuire link

June 5 - 11, 2013

FRENCH geostatistics software developer Geovariances has released Isatis 2013, featuring a new link providing fast access to leading mining GIMS package acQuire.

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Big Data and the new exploration paradigm

June 5 - 11, 2013

ANALYTICAL methods used to predict stock market movements will be applied to Australian geological data, collected over many decades, to model the evolution of the Australian continent and pinpoint new mineral deposits.

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RPM back in enterprise fast lane

May 29 - June 4, 2013

AUSTRALIAN consulting and technology company RungePincockMinarco has stepped back purposefully into the mining enterprise IT space with this week’s launch of what it is calling the “first fully integrated enterprise financial modelling application specifically built for the mining industry”.

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Devex lands SmartMine.UG deal

May 29 - June 4, 2013

BRAZIL’S Devex has started the first offshore implementation of its SmartMine.UG 3D underground mine management system.

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Intergraph starts Enterprise control overhaul

May 29 - June 4, 2013

Intergraph has kicked off a multi-phase strategy to simplify and standardise key elements of its SmartPlant Enterprise software suite with the introduction of the SmartPlant Enterprise Control Panel.

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Cat a Seeing believer

May 29 - June 4, 2013

THE world’s biggest mining equipment manufacturer, Caterpillar, has chosen patented Australian fatigue monitoring technology to put through its huge global dealer sales network.

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Sandvik launches new mobile app

May 29 - June 4, 2013

SANDVIK Mining says a new Apple iPad app providing access to information on its full range of equipment and services will soon be extended to other mobile devices, giving miners an up-to-date, easy-to-access reference library.

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Former pin-up boy returns

May 22 - 28, 2013

IT WAS back to familiar territory for Hugh Durrant-Whyte this week, though even he now sees something quite different on the horizon for the mining industry.

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BHPB takes steps toward change

May 22 - 28, 2013

GAVIN Yeates had a few software developers in the room (and maybe a few others) scratching their head with his remark about “sophisticated” use of mainframe computers in mining in the late 1970s. But the BHP Billiton executive had most of the audience at Austmine 2013 on board when he observed that technology was ready to drive major changes in the industry now.

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Joining the dots

May 22 - 28, 2013

THE mining industry’s inexorable connection into the world wide machine web – the ‘internet of things’ – is driving an “explosion of opportunities … in the fertile middle ground” between information and operational technology systems, according to CSC Australia and Asia’s chief technology officer Bob Hayward.

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iGantt improvements come with optional optimiser

May 22 - 28, 2013

MINING software developer Minemax has formally released iGantt 4.0, which features improved 3D visualisation performance and new file handling capabilities.

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SLAP in the middle

May 22 - 28, 2013

THE missing link in openpit mine automation – an automated digger – continues to be the focus of intensive R&D led by Australia’s CRCMining, with the work said to be progressing toward an operating mine production trial.

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Focus switches to cost-shaving, optimisation

May 22 - 28, 2013

MAL Jones thought of the Remington shaver advert when he discovered 3D-P Technology nearly a decade ago. He didn’t buy the company, but was immediately impressed with its direction and is now vice-president and general manager of its expanding Australian operation.

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Actronic acts on missing meter

May 22 - 28, 2013

A reportedly successful trial of a new hydraulic excavator bucket payload monitor at a New South Wales mine has paved the way for wider deployment of the technology and a high-profile ‘launch’ at a major upcoming mining expo for developer Actronic Technologies.

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XERAS upgrade has it enterprise-ready

May 22 - 28, 2013

RUNGEPincockMinarco’s (RPM) says it has made its trusted financial modelling tool, XERAS, easier to learn and use by creating a new user interface.

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Software developer hits the road

May 22 - 28, 2013

MICROMINE has kicked off its Australian national roadshow launch of the Geobank 2013 and Micromine 2013 software packages, keys to the company maintaining its strong business growth of recent years.

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Real-time data the key to improved profitability

May 22 - 28, 2013

WE ARE moving ever closer to a totally connected world, a state that some are calling “the Internet of Things”. It’s a world in which more and more inanimate objects are fitted with sensors that feed data onto networks. This rising flood of data is part of the Big Data phenomenon, and it’s increasingly being seen as a source of vital information that will enable companies to gain new insights into the way their businesses work, so improving performance through better decision-making.

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Dynamic support simulations, not rocket science

May 22 - 28, 2013

RESPECTED rock mechanics engineer Peter Mikula welcomed aerospace engineering PhD Charles Lilley to the Ground Support 2013 stage with an optimistic aside. “Maybe we’ll get the fastest [rock] bolt we’ve ever seen”. Lilley suggested he and the team at Beck Engineering had something more valuable.

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Henderson a model subject

May 15 - 21, 2013

QUALITY data is still the key to valuable predictive studies, but current numerical modelling technology and methodology is proving accurate and more than useful in critical ground support validation and assessment work, as shown again by Itasca at the Henderson molybdenum mine in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

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RPM releases new version of iconic software

May 15 - 21, 2013

MAY 20: Australian mining technology and services firm RungePincockMinarco (RPM) has released the latest version of its TALPAC mine modelling software, TALPAC 10.2.1, and says it is committed to ongoing development of the product.

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Mintec gets CIM lift in Toronto

May 15 - 21, 2013

MAY 20: Presentations by Mintec’s Toronto-branch manager, Richard Moffett at the CIM mining conference earlier this month have helped boost interest in the software developer’s MineSight Implicit Modeler product.

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CAE profit nosedives

May 15 - 21, 2013

MAY 17: CANADIAN simulator training technology giant CAE booked $C2104.5 million of revenue for the year ended March 31, 2013, up 16% from $1821.2 million in FY12, with the ‘core new markets’ division (including mining software) contributing more than the $100 million targeted for the year.

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Austmine platform for Micromine launch

May 15 - 21, 2013

LONG-TIME Austmine member Micromine will use next week’s Austmine International Exhibition and Convention in Western Australia to preview its flagship Micromine 2013 software.

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Maptek goes for gold in Brazil

May 15 - 21, 2013

MAY 15: MINNG technology and services company Maptek has committed to Gold level sponsorship of the 36th APCOM symposium, the major biannual mineral industry computing and operational research event, to be held in Brazil for the first time in November this year.

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Bentley promises industrial-strength returns from app investment

May 8 - 14, 2013

BENTLEY Systems says it has integrated the former Ivara EXP Enterprise software into its product development process and systems architecture, and positioned the asset performance management software to fully tap emerging mobility apps, with the newly released AssetWise Ivara Performance Management 7.0.

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Atlas to put short-term planning back on the map

May 8 - 14, 2013

IN THE middle of a hectic new product launch schedule, Mintec says next month’s release of MineSight Atlas is a real highlight. The manual scheduling and stockpile management package could “reshape the world of short-term planning”, according to its developer.

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Norilsk buys Australian simulator technology

May 8 - 14, 2013

AUSTRALIAN mining simulator developer Immersive Technologies has had a significant breakthrough in Russia with the sale of a UG360-B underground equipment operator training simulator to Norilsk Nickel.

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Rocking on in Hangzhou, Vegas

May 8 - 14, 2013

ITASCA is urging those with an interest in the increasing usefulness of high-powered numerical modelling in solving a broad spectrum of engineering problems to get themselves to China in October; Hangzhou to be more precise. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Hexagon has chosen a more conventional venue for its international conference in June. Viva Las Vegas!

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IT notebook: Sundial, Position Partners, BOC

May 8 - 14, 2013

XSTRATA, Peabody and Grange Resources are among the early users of a new electronic whiteboard software application from Sundial Technologies.

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Mining education pioneer honoured with endowment

May 1 - 7, 2013

AUSTRALIA’S Maptek has strengthened its links with one of the USA’s major mining schools with the creation of the $A280,000 Ziggy Hladysz Maptek Endowment.

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Srivastava to address workshops

May 1 - 7, 2013

RESOURCE estimation and geostatistics expert Mohan Srivastava will this month deliver two geostatistics workshops in Indonesia, one minerals focused and the other coal, in events organised by Australian mining software and consultancy group Micromine in association with Mining Media International.

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Cliffs identifies steep gains

May 1 - 7, 2013

USING technology to identify “massive annual savings through improved load and spot times” has earned Cliffs Natural Resources an acknowledgment from one of its suppliers – a real win-win for the miner.

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ISS confident activity will translate into sales

April 24 - 30, 2013

ENERGY and mining software developer ISS Group (ASX:ISS) remains confident of converting “significant opportunities" in key regional markets into sales over the balance of FY13 after lifting revenues 8% year-on-year in the nine months to March 31.

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Growth tougher for XRF Scientific

April 24 - 30, 2013

ITS XRock Automation JV, emerging-market focus and possible acquisitions constitute the ‘X’ factor for ASX-listed XRF Scientific, but after a strong first half the short-term growth prospects for the company have dimmed along with mining’s exploration and capital spending hopes, according to Micro Equities.

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Clients see merit in Mintec quest

April 24 - 30, 2013

MINING software company Mintec is happy to have its first MineQuest event done and dusted for 2013, but even happier clients have walked away acknowledging it is moving in the right direction with its product development.

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Smart technology, big data mining’s new frontier

April 17 - 23, 2013

MINING in Australia is “on the cusp of a major generational change” where smart technology and big data could help deliver productivity gains in an ever more challenging environment, according to leading research scientists.

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Quiet progress for TPT mining arm

April 17 - 23, 2013

NOT much coming out of the Triple Point Technology bunker. But there is, HighGrade understands, still a bit coming in – at least from a mining perspective, anyway.

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Engineers, students collaborate on dust data manager

April 17 - 23, 2013

QUEENSLAND engineering companies working with a local university claim to have produced a unique mobile mine dust monitoring device that automatically calculates and analyses dust concentrations as a carrier vehicle moves around a site.

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IT notebook: Bentley Systems, IntierraRMG, Mintec

April 17 - 23, 2013

A COMMON-user platform for plant design engineers has been described by its creator as the “emerging pacesetter in information modelling software for multi-discipline plant teams” – and it has received some high-level endorsement of the view.

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Technology changes research landscape

April 17 - 23, 2013

AUSTRALIAN mining technology company Maptek has donated one of its I-Site laser scanning instruments to the prestigious University of California (UC) Berkeley in the USA.

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Robots ready to rumble again

April 10 - 16, 2013

MORE than 20 student teams from leading universities across Australia and New Zealand will demonstrate their engineering and mechatronics skills on an international platform in the 2013 National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition (NI ARC).

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Veteran analyst joins Ventyx

April 10 - 16, 2013

APRIL 10: Experienced energy market analyst Rick Nicholson has joined ABB business Ventyx as vice president of transmission and distribution (T&D) solutions.

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Maptek provides software for Mongolian students

April 10 - 16, 2013

APRIL 10: Mining technology developer Maptek has provided educational licences of Vulcan geological modelling and mine planning software to the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST), based in Ulaanbaatar.

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Detect signals new direction for Cat

April 3 - 9, 2013

CATERPILLAR expects to formally add Detect mine personnel protection technology to its suite of equipment management, monitoring and control systems later this year when Detect gets government safety regulator approval to be deployed, at least in the US.

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Geosoft updates flagship software

April 3 - 9, 2013

CANADA’S Geosoft has announced a raft of software enhancements, including what it describes as significant advances in 3D visualisation for faster subsurface modelling, in its 2013 flagship product release.

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Scheduling – is it optimal or not?

April 3 - 9, 2013

FOR AT least the past 30 years computer applications have assisted mining engineers in developing mine extraction schedules for operating mines and potential mining projects.

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China Gold opts for Studio 5D Planner

April 3 - 9, 2013

CANADIAN-listed China Gold International Resources Corp (TSX: CGG) will use CAE Mining’s Studio 5D Planner mine planning software at the Jiama polymetallic mine in central Tibet, described as one of the largest identified copper-gold deposits in the Gangdise copper metallogeny belt.

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Bentley models better-looking app

April 3 - 9, 2013

BENTLEY Systems is promising high-quality iPad 3D model views via its new Navigator Mobile app, and of course better “collaborative workflows”.

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Simulator maker targets fuel savings

April 3 - 9, 2013

LEADING mining simulator technology company Immersive Technologies has increased its focus on the fuel-saving (or otherwise) behaviour of operators, telling users of its simulators they can achieve significant savings through a new software upgrade it has developed.

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Mining slowdown won’t retard innovation, says GEOVIA chief

March 27 - April 2, 2013

RICK Moignard remains confident about GEOVIA’s growth prospects in 2013 despite the widespread budget cutbacks and brakes on expenditure still being applied in the mining industry. His reasoning is straightforward enough: we’ve got something they want.

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IT-OT integration is Ventyx keynote this year

March 27 - April 2, 2013

VENTYX, the ABB enterprise software business that bought Australia’s Mincom in 2011 in a move that ratcheted up its exposure to the mining software market, is set to make a number of significant announcements about technology integration and new mining offerings in San Francisco, California, mid-year.

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Major advances linked to seamless data exchange: MineRP

March 27 - April 2, 2013

THE company that claims to be at the forefront of development and definition of an industry standard for mining data interchange is understandably very keen to talk about the need for the measure. As it believes others should be.

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MSSO upgrade maintains Mintec momentum

March 27 - April 2, 2013

GREATER variability and versatility in setting material movement rates and equipment fleet specifics is a key attribute of Mintec’s new MineSight Schedule Optimiser 7 software.

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GEOVIA improves production management offering

March 27 - April 2, 2013

GEOVIA’S latest version of InSite, InSite 4.3, is said to improve “operational visibility” for users with new and improved tools for data analysis, and advanced tools to reconcile production outputs and activities against what was planned.

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Minemax on the ground in Denver

March 27 - April 2, 2013

MARCH 27: Australia’s Minemax has formally opened its doors in Denver, Colorado, with company founder Dr Jim Butler receiving the keys to the new consultant offices, boardroom, and training room during the recent SME 2013 conference.

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FMG automates rail workforce management

March 20 - 26, 2013

MARCH 25: NEW iron ore major Fortescue Metals Group has chosen an Australian developer of workforce management software to provide “best cost, staff coverage for Fortescue’s rail workforce, taking into consideration labour costs, FIFO logistics, flexible scheduling, award interpretation and leave management”.

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Creating new software, markets, keys to growth

March 20 - 26, 2013

FOUR of Australia’s leading mining software developers and providers, who collectively employ nearly 700 technology-focused staff, plan to introduce a host of new products in 2013 and focus considerable efforts on building offshore markets as they strive for growth in the face of a severe downturn in the domestic market, particularly the exploration segment.

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No easy answers to standard questions

March 20 - 26, 2013

CONVENIENT and “nice to have”, say some; “essential”, according to others. The issue of, and need for, recognised mining data interchange standards continues to be a somewhat polarising discussion point, though rapid convergence of industry information (IT) and operating technology (OT) platforms, and wider use of mining automation system (MAS) management layers by the likes of Rio Tinto could tip the debate more towards a serious examination of the advantages of open data protocols sooner than people think.

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1001 reasons why Leapfrog Mining is still better than Leapfrog Geo

March 20 - 26, 2013

IN MARKETING, you put forward the positives and spin the negatives into a more favourable light. Unless of course there is a big negative that is too heavy to spin.

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Gabbitus to lead key Mintec business forward

March 20 - 26, 2013

MARCH 20: When Mintec launched MineSight Axis in 2010, Mark Gabbitus said it was the best grade control system ever designed. Now the experienced former mining engineer in the Australian industry is Mintec’s product manager for operations products and, not surprisingly, he still feels the same way about the software and believes it’s about to get even better.

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Coal Seam Agg speeds schedule prep

March 20 - 26, 2013

RUNGEPincockMinarco (RPM) has flagged the availability of its new Coal Seam Aggregation (Coal Seam Agg) product for technical demonstrations, at the same time marking the launch of its fourth new software product this year.

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New Micromine flagship nears launch

March 20 - 26, 2013

MICROMINE is preparing for the release of the latest version of its flagship software product, Micromine, with Micromine 2013 currently slated for launch in May.

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GEOVIA gets busy with GEMS makeover

March 13 - 19, 2013

GEOVIA says its new Dynamic Shells module allows GEMS 6.5 users to “rapidly produce and evaluate solids from the drill-hole information in ways that were not previously possible”, which apart from anything else freed time for evaluation and analysis.

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Bundle of goods in MineSight Version 7.8

March 13 - 19, 2013

IMPLICIT modelling is the technological theme, ‘productivity’ the underlying one, in Mintec’s formal launch of MineSight Version 7.8, which the developer describes as a bundle of new software with the MineSight Implicit Modeller at its centre.

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Now there is 6.4

March 6 - 12, 2013

QUICK planes functionality, stereoscopic 3D visualisation and 64-bit data handling are key features of the latest version of the widely used Surpac geology and mine planning software.

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Layers of new features

March 6 - 12, 2013

COAL miners may have been forgotten by investors, but not by software developers, with CAE Mining the latest to announce a new modelling product for engineers working on coal and other stratified deposits.

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XACT replacement is an improvement

March 6 - 12, 2013

WHAT to do with a trusted name in short-term scheduling? RungePincockMinarco’s Alun Philips says the company’s continuing focus with its XACT software is improvement.

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CAE Mining opens doors in Zacatecas

March 6 - 12, 2013

CAE Mining is aiming to leverage a growing customer base in Mexico, and parent, Canadian simulation technology company, CAE’s long-term presence in the country, with the opening this week of a new office in Zacatecas.

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RPM continues new software roll-out

February 27 - March 5, 2013

RUNGEPINCOCKMINARCO (RPM) looks like it is borrowing from a Microsoft playbook with this week’s launch of ‘Pre Feas with Ease’, its new purpose built pre-feasibility software package, at the giant PDAC Convention in Toronto.

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Micromine builds Geobank-XRF link

February 27 - March 5, 2013

SOFTWARE and consulting firm Micromine has delivered on its promise to bridge data collection from portable XRF geochemical analysers via its Geobank geological data management software, made when it launched the latest Geobank package in the second half of last year.

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Students get early taste of survey progress

February 27 - March 5, 2013

EXPOSURE to the latest mine laser scanning technology is expected to prove beneficial to University of Kentucky mining engineering students, with a senior academic also highlighting improvements in faculty research resulting from the use of specialised hardware and software from Australian company Maptek.

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RPM stays focused on high-speed transition

February 27 - March 5, 2013

AUSTRALIAN-based international mining advisory and technology company RungePincockMinarco (RPM) is in the midst of a significant period of transition that new chief Richard Mathews expects to transform its profitability, global presence and growth prospects. Here he gives HighGrade Briefing an update on progress.

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ARANZ improves modelling package workflow

February 27 - March 5, 2013

BUSINESS benefits of new generation implicit geology and mineralisation modelling software can “often be measured in millions of dollars”, according to the developer of Leapfrog 3D software, ARANZ Geo, which has released its new workflow-based product.

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Quintiq, GEOVIA promise more visibility ... at conference

February 20 - 26, 2013

QUINTIQ and Dassault Systèmes GEOVIA will reveal further details about their “complete mine to port solution” for the Australian mining industry at next week’s Pit-to-Port Mine Logistics Optimisation Conference in Western Australia.

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RPM aims for traction in India

February 20 - 26, 2013

AUSTRALIAN mining services and technology group RungePincockMinarco (RPM) has expanded its operations to India through the establishment of a joint venture agreement with strategic partner, Deepak Mining Services.

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ISS waits for BUG to kick in

February 20 - 26, 2013

FEBRUARY 20: ASX-listed ISS Group (ASX: ISS) is still looking to positive outcomes from its recent BabelFish User Group (BUG) get-together in Perth to give its sales a boost in the second half of FY12-13.

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CAE looks for simulator breakthroughs in mining

February 20 - 26, 2013

FEBRUARY 20: Mining made a stronger contribution to the New Core Markets (NCM) business of Canadian training simulation technology leader CAE in the three months to December 31, 2012, also spurring the division to a better nine-month result.

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All-round optimism replaces 2012 gloom

February 13 - 19, 2013

AFTER a brief bout of anxiety, the president of US-based mining software firm Mintec is feeling much better about the prospects for 2013, such that further substantial growth in the company’s personnel numbers is anticipated. John Davies spoke to HighGrade about the reasons for his optimism.

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Ventsim in a class of its own

February 13 - 19, 2013

CRAIG Stewart, creator of one of the world’s most widely used niche mining software products, is on the road (or in the air). And there is plenty more of that to come in 2013 despite his expanding network of distributors.

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Early momentum for Mine2-4D v15

February 13 - 19, 2013

MINERP’s Mine2-4D v15 has seen significant sales worldwide only a month after its release, according to the company, with early adopters including Xstrata, Randgold Resources, Yamana Gold and Rio Tinto.

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Modular makes key management changes

February 13 - 19, 2013

AUSTRALIANS have been elevated to new, senior positions within the US-based Modular Mining Systems organisation as the company pursues “new … strategic goals”.

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Carlson repositions for Australian mining foray

February 6 - 12, 2013

SURVEYING and machine guidance technology group Position Partners has linked with Kentucky, US-based Carlson Software to offer the latter’s mining machine guidance and fleet management technologies in Australia.

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Mining Indaba offers new software launch point

February 6 - 12, 2013

RUNGEPINCOCKMINARCO is following up its recent XERAS 7.12.1 release with the launch of the industry’s “only software package focused exclusively on underground coal” at this year’s Mining Indaba in Cape Town.

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Immersive builds underground coal range

February 6 - 12, 2013

IMMERSIVE Technologies of Australia has continued to round out its mining equipment simulator training range with the introduction of new simulator kits for continuous miners, shuttle cars, roof bolters, longwalls and miner-bolters used in underground coal mines.

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IT Notebook: GEOVIA, ARANZ Geo, Quintiq

February 6 - 12, 2013

IN what is shaping as an extremely busy year for new mining software releases it is almost inevitable that rival developers will tread on each other’s toes to gain an advantage. An early spat has erupted between GEOVIA and RungePincockMinarco, with the former saying RPM’s marketing of its new XPAC Underground Coal product has been a tad overzealous.

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RDG unit wins Pilbara work

February 6 - 12, 2013

ASX-LISTED Resource Development Group (RDG) has won a contract with a major equipment supplier to provide electrical and control systems, and commissioning and engineering support services, for Rio Tinto Iron Ore and Sino Iron in Western Australia through its subsidiary Intellect Systems.

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Partners maintain two solutions work best

January 23 - 29, 2013

ENTERPRISE software developers Mainpac and Syspro are targeting the potentially lucrative (for them) mine maintenance area with a new jointly produced “pre-integrated” offering that has resulted from about a year of collaboration.

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Formal launch for MSSP V3.6

January 23 - 29, 2013

US software developer Mintec says its newly released MineSight Strategic Planner Version 3.6 offers engineers a significant long range planning and scheduling efficiency boost, along with the level of detail demanded by the industry for full feasibility studies on new and existing mines.

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MineRP launches new Mine2-4D

January 23 - 29, 2013

SOUTH Africa’s MineRP says its new Mine2-4D software has been launched internally and will be available to users this month.

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DownUnder/Acceleware collaboration on seismic depth imaging

January 23 - 29, 2013

GEOSCIENCES services firm DownUnder GeoSolutions has opted for TSX-listed Acceleware’s Reverse Time Migration library (AxRTM) product to enhance the seismic depth imaging services it provides to clients.

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Business intelligence the next frontier

December 12 - 18, 2012

WIDELY lauded, along with advanced communications infrastructure, as the digital backbone of intelligent mines, fleet management or mine production management systems are also seen as the industry’s key failure point to date.

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Achieving operational efficiency with pit-to-port visibility

December 12 - 18, 2012

SOME miners understand that operational inefficiencies are occurring everywhere from blast-hole to the board-room and all places in-between. They have made modest investments in operational visibility, spanning people and processes and technology to pinpoint and help resolve lots of small (and a few large) operational inefficiencies across their supply-chains. They have tapped into the massive data stores and mined the insight that this information holds. They have turned data into information.

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Better together

December 12 - 18, 2012

SINCE the early 1990s, manufacturers and vendors of automation or manufacturing software have been talking about the value of moving from ‘islands of information’ to a collaborative model in which the right information is available to the right person, at the right time. Latterly, it was recognised that data, out of context, was just data, so an additional axiom was added: with the right context. What is needed is actionable intelligence.

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Talpac truck tally up

December 12 - 18, 2012

DECEMBER 17: New equipment launched at the recent major mining expo in Las Vegas, MINExpo 2012, has been loaded into an update of leading mine haulage and loading simulation software, TALPAC.

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Australian software a MUST

December 12 - 18, 2012

AUSTRALIAN mining technology and services firm RungePincockMinarco (RPM) has opened a ‘software classroom’ at the Mining School at the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST).

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IT notebook: Maptek, Aurecon, Immersive Technologies, ARANZ Geo

December 12 - 18, 2012

MINING software company Maptek has established a permanent presence in Mongolia while also appointing a company with 20 years’ experience dealing with the mining sector in India as its agent in the country.

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IT notebook: Aconex, Intergraph, Itasca, Maptek, Mintec

December 5 - 11, 2012

THE Australian-headquartered Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider Aconex Ltd has been chosen by Chinese-backed Canadian iron ore developer Alderon Iron Ore Corp to upgrade the data sharing platform for its Kamistiatusset (Kami) project in western Labrador.

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Leaping up the growth chart

December 5 - 11, 2012

DECEMBER 7: Christchurch-based ARANZ Geo, developer of Leapfrog 3D geological modelling software, has been named in the Deloitte 2012 Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific list, a ranking of the region's 500 fastest growing technology companies, based on percentage revenue growth over three years. ARANZ Geo grew 149% and ranked number 338 on the list.

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New HQ for Leapfrog developer

November 28 - December 4, 2012

ONE of the companies hard hit by Christchurch’s devastating earthquakes of two years ago, software developer ARANZ Geo has had its new headquarters and R&D centre officially opened by New Zealand science and innovation minister Steven Joyce. The move to its new digs was the firm’s fifth since the quakes, with the opening marking “a very special day for the company”, CEO Shaun Maloney said.

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IT notebook: Xstract Mining Consultants, Mintec

November 28 - December 4, 2012

XSTRACT Mining Consultants, part of Calibre Global, has made available free, open-source mining software it says “provides much of the functionality available in the existing software on the market without the hefty price tag”.

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Underground data shuttle to cut exploration costs

November 21 - 27, 2012

DETAILS of the latest pioneering mineral exploration technology to emerge via Australia’s Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC) were aired at the centre's annual conference in Adelaide this week.

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FLAC3D webinar in December

November 21 - 27, 2012

CONSULTING and technology firm Itasca will hold a webinar on December 4 to fully outline the flexibility and new capabilities of the newly released FLAC3D Version 5.0 geomechanical software.

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Maptek targets speed, efficiency

November 21 - 27, 2012

MINING software developer Maptek has released Vulcan 8.2 to a global licence base of more than 6000 users. New tools, updates and features offered users increased speed and efficiency, the supplier said.

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David, Goliath leap into battle

November 14 - 20, 2012

THE gloves are off in a now heated fight between veteran Leapfrog software user (and one-time developer) Jun Cowan, and, um, the Big Kahuna in the mining software space, GEOVIA (formerly Gemcom), owned by France’s Dassault Systemes.

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Intergraph adds Leica viewer for SmartPlant Enterprise

November 14 - 20, 2012

ENGINEERING software company Intergraph has introduced a new viewing portal for its flagship SmartPlant Enterprise design software, a collaboration with Leica Geosystems.

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CEO sets Runge on new course

November 7 - 13, 2012

ONE thing Runge investors – new and old – can count on with Richard Mathews at the helm is change. It’s what the man himself had in mind when he joined the board of the 35-year-old company and became a significant shareholder 10 months ago.

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Micromine goes to school in Uzbekistan

November 7 - 13, 2012

NOVEMBER 7: Australian mining technology and service company Micromine has signed an agreement with Uzbekistan’s education ministry and the country’s 90-year-old Tashkent State Technical University covering the use of Micromine’s mine design software for teaching and research purposes.

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Quintiq gets bigger in WA

November 7 - 13, 2012

GLOBAL software developer Quintiq has moved to a bigger Perth office and welcomed a new business development manager on the back of Western Australia’s resources market sector growth.

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Mintec commitment to change runs deep

November 7 - 13, 2012

HOW does one adapt traditional mine planning software to an operation 1600m below the surface of the ocean? US-based Mintec has the answers.

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Geobank Mobile just the start

October 24 - 30, 2012

THE Australian mining software and services firm Micromine plans to build a series of in-field data logging and field/office synchronisation features into its newly released Geobank Mobile product, a launch audience in Perth, Western Australia, heard this week.

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Eureka moment for industry

October 24 - 30, 2012

MAPTEK’S new Eureka software represented a “paradigm shift in the way exploration data is used”, the company’s CEO Barry Henderson has told a user group forum in the USA.

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Los Bronces joins Foundation community

October 24 - 30, 2012

HEXAGON group member Intergraph has somewhat belatedly flagged Anglo American’s deployment of SmartPlant Foundation at its new Los Bronces copper project in Chile, which started production last year. Intergraph said the software was being used to support the “information management handover process” for Los Bronces.

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Mexican students gain competitive advantage

October 17 - 23, 2012

OCTOBER 15: Engineering and earth sciences students at Mexico’s University of Zacatecas have access to the latest Maptek Vulcan software following a recent donation of 20 licences by the Australian-based technology company.

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Software firm acknowledged for Russian innovation

October 17 - 23, 2012

SUCCESSFUL Australian mining technology and services exporter MICROMINE has got another international feather in its cap in the form of a Russian Mining Excellence Award.

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New faces at ARANZ Geo

October 17 - 23, 2012

NEW Zealand-based exploration software company ARANZ Geo says it has made two new personnel appointments to support its international growth.

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Bentley hears the e-word

October 10 - 16, 2012

TWO major new deals in the asset lifecycle information management technology space signal “not only desire but intent and action” on the part of large miners to address long standing challenges in this area while also vindicating Bentley Systems’ recent capability build-out, a senior executive has told HighGrade Mining IT.

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Services connect via the cloud

October 10 - 16, 2012

AN Australian company has described its new commercial mobile data collection and reporting product for mining services organisations as a “world-first … cloud solution”.

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Come fly with me

October 3 - 9, 2012

MINERS, meet Bernard Charles; Mr Charles, miners. And so the charismatic Frenchman and head of Dassault Systemes, one of the world’s leading software companies, began his maiden public address to the mining industry. Those in attendance would no doubt have walked away with a similar first impression to the man who made the introduction.

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Meeting of mines

October 3 - 9, 2012

OCTOBER 3: Tucson twosome Mintec and Modular Mining Systems flicked another ‘connect’ switch in the increasingly coupled worlds of mine planning and mining machine control, at MINExpo International 2012, and suggested there would be more collaboration in future between the technology stalwarts.

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UNSW offers first Leapfrog modelling course

October 3 - 9, 2012

OCTOBER 3: Leapfrog 3D software will be used by tertiary students in a new University of New South Wales course designed to improve knowledge of current groundwater, mining and oil and gas geological modelling methods and technology.

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Mintec says si to Sonora

October 3 - 9, 2012

OCTOBER 5: US-based mining software developer Mintec expects to open an office in Sonora, Mexico, next month.

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GEOVIA gets in early with product release schedule

October 3 - 9, 2012

OCTOBER 3: GEOVIA (formerly Gemcom) has flagged a series of upcoming software updates in a notable procedural departure from the past.

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MineStar at the coalface

October 3 - 9, 2012

OCTOBER 3: Caterpillar has extended its MineStar technology range into the longwall coal mining arena and is working on a mine personnel proximity detection system for continuous miners, the company announced this week.

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MICROMINE opens Nordic outpost

October 3 - 9, 2012

OCTOBER 3: Australian mining software and consulting firm MICROMINE expects to provide sales and service support in Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Norwegian from its new office in Gavle, Sweden.

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New emphasis on AutoMine

October 3 - 9, 2012

OCTOBER 3: Sandvik used MINExpo International 2012 to change the packaging on its AutoMine technology suite. The Swedish company said the “new Sandvik AutoMine” product family offered reliable fleet automation technology for drilling, loading and hauling, single loader automation, block cave draw control and process/information management systems.

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SkyAngle adds to peripheral vision

October 3 - 9, 2012

OCTOBER 3: SkyAngle, developed by mining machine maker Hitachi in partnership with Clarion Co, gave mine truck operators a superior “bird’s-eye view” of their surroundings, a spokesman for the former company said at a MINExpo International 2012 launch.

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Tyre maker tags monitor a time-saver

October 3 - 9, 2012

OCTOBER 3: Earthmover tyre manufacturer Bridgestone has commercially released the BTAG ‘intelligent tag’ through its Bridgestone Commercial Solutions (BCS) division.

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Emerson, P&H collaborate on shovel monitoring

September 26 - October 2, 2012

SEPTEMBER 27: Emerson Process Management has struck a formal global agreement with US-based P&H Mining Equipment to integrate its state-of-the-art machine vibration monitoring devices with the remote diagnostic sensors on the equipment manufacturer’s new rope shovels.

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MineRP into PE hands

September 26 - October 2, 2012

SEPTEMBER 27: SOUTH African information and communication technology company Gijima has completed the divestment of loss-making mining software business MineRP to a local private equity consortium for R175 million ($US21 million).

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CAE, Devex join forces

September 26 - October 2, 2012

SEPTEMBER 27: Brazil’s Devex and CAE Mining of Canada have forged closer ties through a distribution agreement under which CAE will sell and support Devex’s mine operations management technology in 14 countries.

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Cat automation rollout slows

September 26 - October 2, 2012

SEPTEMBER 26: THE first commercial rollout of Caterpillar’s surface mine truck fleet automation technology in Australia could take another 18 months, group president resource industries Steve Wunning said at the MINExpo International 2012 show in Las Vegas.

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Technology starts to fly

September 26 - October 2, 2012

SEPTEMBER 26: LEICA Geosystems has rebadged and rebooted its mining technology suite and, with no small contribution from a rising Australian star of the international ground-based GPS guidance technology industry, has set its sights on capturing a very large slice of the mining fleet management and autonomy market.

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Minemax draws a crowd

September 26 - October 2, 2012

SEPTEMBER 27: Jim Butler and Phil Edmiston of Minemax weren’t the only ones impressed with the calibre and volume of visitors at this year’s MINExpo in Las Vegas, but they were particularly rapt with the response to the official launch of Minemax Scheduler 6.

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Maptek promotes new survey combination

September 26 - October 2, 2012

SEPTEMBER 26: AUSTRALIAN mining software and surveying technology company Maptek has formally launched its I-Site laser scanning technology at MINExpo in Las Vegas. It is said to combine the physical robustness of a new mobile scanner, with the manufacturer’s latest advanced processing software.

 

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MAS-ified

September 19 - 25, 2012

SEEING mining equipment, pit benches, even people, as data points in a “live” 3D operational model seems like a vision from a science fiction movie. It is the vision Rio Tinto head of innovation John McGagh has for the company’s Pilbara iron ore operations – or more precisely, its Pilbara Mine Automation System. It’s a futuristic vision of the past.

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FMS software, monitors upgraded

September 19 - 25, 2012

SEPTEMBER 26: LOGIMINE Inc has introduced the latest version of its PCC4 fleet management software at MINExpo International 2012, claiming the open-architecture product continues to underpin the only mining dispatch system that works with a “cost effective” UHF radio network.

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Michelin offers mine-wide tyre monitoring

September 19 - 25, 2012

SEPTEMBER 26: TOP tier mining tyre manufacturer Michelin has promised fleet-wide tyre monitoring capability with its new MEMS Evolution 2 software and monitors, launched at MINExpo International 2012. 

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BMT WBM adds Chile FMS support

September 19 - 25, 2012

SEPTEMBER 26: AUSTRALIAN-based engineering services and technology firm BMT WBM has further extended its presence in the Americas by forming a partnership with Chile’s Fintech SA to support the Pulse TerraMetrix RS mining machine health, production and payload management system in South America. BMT WBM has announced several significant new Pulse deals in Canada and Chile in the past week.

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Bentley, 3D-P create mining maintenance solution

September 19 - 25, 2012

SEPTEMBER 26: US-BASED Bentley Systems has immediately leveraged newly acquired Ivara EXP’s asset performance management software via an alliance with 3D-P of Canada to present the mining industry with a “long-awaited” mobile fleet maintenance data solution.

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CAE enhances 3D image capture

September 19 - 25, 2012

SEPTEMBER 24: CAE Mining will present to visitors at MINExpo in Las Vegas new generation technology for creating 3D mine photographs, developed with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

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Mintec bundles MineSight updates

September 19 - 25, 2012

SEPTEMBER 24: Better visualisation and compatibility are the core elements of Mintec’s ‘bundle’ release of products, announced today at MINExpo International 2012 in Las Vegas. MineSight Version 7.5 comprises improved versions of five products.

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IT notebook: Leica Geosystems, Mintec, Modular Mining, Micromine, Maptek, Runge, GammaTech

September 19 - 25, 2012

SEPTEMBER 24: NO shortage of mining software and IT releases at this week’s MINExpo International 2012 in Las Vegas. A slightly unusual one is Leica Geosystems’ collaboration with UAV design specialist SwissDrones. The pair is presenting the working prototype of their “groundbreaking” new mining UAV at the expo.

 

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Rio opts for CYBERMINE at Northparkes

September 19 - 25, 2012

SOUTH African defence simulation leader ThoroughTec maintains it is well positioned to be a simulator training technology provider to new block cave mines after being chosen to supply Rio Tinto’s landmark block caving centre of excellence at Northparkes in New South Wales.

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Developers forge new hydrogeological modelling links

September 19 - 25, 2012

NEW Zealand’s ARANZ Geo has teamed with DHI-WASY of Germany to develop and market an improved 3D hydrogeological modelling product for mine dewatering and remediation applications.

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Robots at the ready

September 13 - 19, 2012

IT’S getting down to the nitty-gritty of the National Instruments (NI) Autonomous Robotics Competition in Australia, with 17 student university teams from across Australia and neighbouring New Zealand now qualified for the finale at Swinburne University in Melbourne on September 21.

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Sanins sees parallels in solution uptake

September 5 - 11, 2012

EXPERIENCED Bentley Systems executive John Sanins is seeing a steady migration of plant design and engineering information management software developed primarily for the oil and gas, and power infrastructure sectors, to the mining and metals industry rather than the rapid transfer one might expect given the uplift in scale and complexity of projects in mining in recent times.

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Soft-Blast making good ground

September 5 - 11, 2012

TEN years after taking on exclusive worldwide distribution of JKSimBlast, Soft-Blast is seeing no sign of a slowdown in demand for the smart blast design and analysis software. In fact, nomadic principal Mike Higgins is on the lookout for new agents as sales activity builds in most regions of the world – a fair return for a small firm with a very niche product.

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Ventyx heads winner’s list

September 5 - 11, 2012

SEPTEMBER 4: VENTYX, SAP, Hexagon and Infosys will be among the international information technology firms to pick up Stevie International Business Awards in Seoul, South Korea, next month after winners were announced this week.

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Burns new CAE Mining consulting manager

September 5 - 11, 2012

SEPTEMBER 7: CANADIAN-based CAE Mining has appointed experienced mining operations and financial manager Terry Burns as consulting manager – Australasia, based in the group’s Perth office.

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Crowds head to the cloud

August 29 - September 4, 2012

THE crowd that gathered around Geosoft’s exhibition booth at PDAC in Toronto to hear company co-founder Ian MacLeod was large for a very brief presentation on the sidelines of the world’s biggest annual ‘blue-sky’ mining investment event. The sky, MacLeod promised explorers in his three-minute pitch, was no longer the limit.

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Schneider buys Australian software firm

August 29 - September 4, 2012

AUGUST 31: SCHNEIDER Electric’s acquisition of its 2012 Integrated Planning & Optimisation Summit organising partner, Australian-based SolveIT, continues its push into the mining IT space while also adding technical depth to its supply chain optimisation offering to resources companies.

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Runge adds back-end grunt to ‘new’ XERAS

August 29 - September 4, 2012

AUSTRALIAN mining services and technology firm Runge is promising a “great lift” in performance for users of its financial modelling software, XERAS, following the release of its 7.12 version.

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acQuire thinks Neo can take it to another level

August 22 - 28, 2012

WITH playtime for its cool new drill program app for exploration executives now in full swing, and a record year of growth behind it, Australia’s acQuire heads to the US next month with plenty of wind in its sails. Mining investment levels in the past 20 years may have been dependably fickle, but one thing CEO Warren Cook hasn’t seen since acQuire was formed is a reversal of the company’s positive annual sales growth.

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Mintec founder recognised

August 22 - 28, 2012

AUGUST 24: STAFF at global mining software company Mintec have taken a collective bow with the Tucson-based company presented with a 2012 Excellence in Global Business Award by Arizona congressman Ron Barber.

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Auto-guidance push picking up speed

August 22 - 28, 2012

SOFTWARE enhancements have enabled users of Remote Control Technologies’ Control Master Guidance System (CMGS) to – literally – step up a gear with mining equipment fitted with the technology. The company, meanwhile, is accelerating deployment of CMGS’s in offshore markets.

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A logical course to better managed D&B

August 22 - 28, 2012

WE know that drill and blast is fundamental to the cost effectiveness of a mining operation, given its interrelationship with downstream processes. Digging rates, toe and wall control and loss or dilution of ore provide a good measure of blast performance, and demonstrate the effectiveness of site controllable factors like efficiency, productivity and product quality.

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Ma’aden picks Ventyx software

August 22 - 28, 2012

AUGUST 21: Saudi Arabia’s largest miner, Ma’aden Gold and Base Metals Company, will deploy Ventyx Intelligent Mining Solutions software across four of its gold operations under a $US2.8 million deal with ABB company Ventyx.

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‘New’ Devex to emerge at MINExpo

August 22 - 28, 2012

BRAZIL’S Devex plans to make a statement at the upcoming MINExpo 2012 after posting strong growth and rolling out a number of new mine fleet control products since the previous instalment of the Las Vegas mining show.

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MSIM promises speed, productivity boost

August 22 - 28, 2012

NEW mathematical algorithms that allow Mintec’s general mine planning software to automatically build complex shapes from drill-hole data will enable users to spend more time interrogating their models, according to the software developer.

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IT notebook: IC Congress, Schlumberger, SolveIT

August 22 - 28, 2012

‘GEOLOGISTS tap into digital revolution’, was the headline from the recent 34th International Geological Congress in Queensland, Australia, but what did it all mean?

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Canadian uni adopts Runge planning tools

August 22 - 28, 2012

AUSTRALIAN mining consulting and software group Runge is helping a major Canadian university prepare students for “the real world of mining”.

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World's a better place for technology firm

August 8 - 14, 2012

A MORE cautious outlook for the year ahead hardly means much when you’ve had the year that Maptek did in 2012.

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Supercomputer to reduce exploration risk

August 8 - 14, 2012

AUGUST 8: GEOPHYSICIST James Goodwin is this week presenting latest results of collaboration between Geoscience Australia and the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) Facility at the 34th International Geological Congress in Australia. They include supercomputer generated high-resolution 3D images of sub-surface geology said to eliminate the often degraded resolution and scales in today’s standard models.

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IT people on the move: Mintec, Rajant Corporation

August 8 - 14, 2012

A FORMER mining fund operative in London and Toronto, now heading up international mining software developer Mintec’s regional office in the UK, says the company is being kept busy with project work throughout Europe and north Africa.

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Technology drives Powder River Basin improvement

August 1 - 7, 2012

MAJOR diversified US contracting and mining group Kiewit has reported glowingly on the benefits of advanced fleet management and training technology in use at the Buckskin coal mine in the Southern Powder River Basin.

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Integrated software offering reveals hard numbers, fast

August 1 - 7, 2012

A LEADING US project cost management software product has been integrated with one of the mining industry’s most popular mine planning packages, creating what the integrator claims is the first mine design, scheduling, financial and productivity modelling program for project lifecycle planning.

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Gold Fields confident about auto-FMS

July 18 - 24, 2012

AUTOMATED mine fleet management and reporting introduced by Gold Fields at the Damang gold mine in Ghana is expected to help boost production and reduce costs at the large openpit operation. A senior Gold Fields manager says more African miners are being convinced of the benefits of “automation solutions” such as the one introduced at Damang.

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DET CRC magnifies IOCG search target

July 18 - 24, 2012

TECHNOLOGY used to map an alteration halo around an iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) deposit 100km south of the giant Olympic Dam mine in South Australia might have helped enlarge the “needle in the haystack”.

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IT notebook: Quintiq, LSM Technologies, Maptek, Immersive Technologies, Itasca

July 18 - 24, 2012

QUINTIQ says ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe has improved its level of visibility over its supply chain planning processes through the use of Quintiq’s planning and scheduling software.

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Strike three for ARANZ Geo

July 18 - 24, 2012

NEW Zealand software company ARANZ Geo has signed a new enterprise software sale agreement with gold producer Newcrest Mining, which has operations in Australia, Indonesia, west Africa and Papua New Guinea.

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Engineer fishes for answers to contrasting FMS use

July 11 - 17, 2012

TWO MINES, same fleet management system, vastly different results: that’s a scenario Mining Plus senior mining consultant Steve Tang sees playing out a lot in the industry. The reasons range from poor initial deployment, to operator resistance and limited management buy-in.

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FMS deployment on the rise

July 11 - 17, 2012

MINING companies are spending more on, and seeing greater potential for profit in, fleet management technologies, according to a senior manager with one of the firms who should know.

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IT notebook: Micromine, Leica/Guardvant, MIPAC, ABB, Trolex

July 11 - 17, 2012

FORMER Calibre Global chief financial officer Kevin Fitzpatrick says he is excited about the future growth prospects for Australian exploration and mining software developer MICROMINE after becoming the firm’s CEO.

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Sandvik enters IBM alliance

July 4 - 10, 2012

SWEDISH mining and construction equipment manufacturer Sandvik has struck a SEK2 billion (EUR229 million) deal with technology giant IBM to outsource IT infrastructure over the next five years.

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French firm updates geostatistical software

July 4 - 10, 2012

GEOVARIANCES has formally launched the updated version of its geostatistical modelling software, Isatis, describing the 2012 version as offering features “long time expected by geostatisticians”.

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Golden Grove looks for power savings

June 27 - July 3, 2012

A BIG Western Australian base metals operation expects to reduce its annual power consumption by as much as 15 megawatts by using energy management software supplied by NASDAQ-listed EnerNOC.

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State versus state-of-the-art

June 27 - July 3, 2012

CONTESTANTS, start your robots! That will be the call soon as Australian and New Zealand universities compete in the National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition in Melbourne in September.

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Evaluation time is up

June 21 - 27, 2012

SNOWDEN is ready to find a partner, or partners, to commercialise its Evaluator mining optimisation software after demonstrating its robustness and value in a series of major studies by its consulting team.

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Charting a new course

June 21 - 27, 2012

A YEAR ago Phil Edmiston was in uncharted territory with a big Canadian technology firm looking to make its mark in the mining software market. That company’s recent ‘downsizing’ in Western Australia created an opportunity for Edmiston to return to more familiar ground – and he’s sounding a little euphoric about the move.

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Vulcan gone to water

June 21 - 27, 2012

SOUTH African marine exploration company AuruMar is using 3D modelling software developed in Australia in its continental shelf search and development program.

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Sandvik builds drill technology platform

June 21 - 27, 2012

SANDVIK Mining has moved to match the resounding success rival Atlas Copco has been having with its drill rig automation system by introducing a new 3D navigation system for its surface drills.

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IT notebook: Coal Services, Cortex Engineering, Corporate Travel Management

June 21 - 27, 2012

A VIRTUAL mining environment that exposes trainee mine workers to equipment, routine tasks and common hazards – sans any of the usual risks – is a core part of the CoalStart operator induction program launched in New South Wales this week. The technology at the centre of the program was recently recognised with the 2012 Simulation Australia Award.

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Gemcom prepares to map out new future

June 13 - 19, 2012

GEMCOM, soon to be Geovia, could have a roadmap for the creation of new mining software products ready by the end of this year. Speaking to HighGrade on a visit to Australia, Gemcom president Rick Moignard said the Dassault Systemes business unit would hit the ground running once Dassault’s $US360 million acquisition of Gemcom was concluded in July.

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ABB, AC combine control technologies

June 13 - 19, 2012

A COMBINATION of ABB’s widely used 800xA automated process control system and Atlas Copco underground machinery smarts has opened the door to creation of a “world first” integrated operations management tool, according to the two companies.

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IT notebook: Modular Mining, AcuMine, Mine Site Technologies, Bentley Systems

June 13 - 19, 2012

MINE fleet management technology firm Modular Mining Systems has engaged former Freeport McMoRan maintenance and engineering superintendent Justin Johnsen and fellow Arizona engineer Oliver Torres to present a webinar focusing on ‘lean’ mine maintenance on June 26.

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Ray joins Ventyx from Dassault

June 13 - 19, 2012

DASSAULT Systemes senior executive Jeff Ray is the new CEO of Ventyx, the industrial enterprise software arm of Swiss engineering and technology group ABB.

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Ongoing partnership delivers ‘real’ mine control

June 13 - 19, 2012

LEICA Geosystems and Locata Corporation say a “huge body of work” in the mining fleet management market has underpinned their joint decision to extend a technology partnership to mid-2014.

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Teck cites surveying gains

June 13 - 19, 2012

CANADIAN miner Teck has provided positive early feedback on its coal-business wide deployment of Maptek mine laser scanners, citing better workflows and surveying accuracy.

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Getting to the future first

June 13 - 19, 2012

SIGNIFICANT merger and acquisition activity in the mining information and communication technology (ICT) arena in recent years (HighGrade, May 9-15, 2012) is clearly predicated on an earlier shift to the high-tech landscape outlined in IBM’s new report, ‘A snapshot of Australia’s digital future to 2050’, than the study’s timeline suggests.

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The A-E of gaining control

June 6 - 12, 2012

THE big miners are moving from an era of asset optimisation to a focus on control of data to ensure head office and site are on the same page, as well as preparing for automation. According to Runge managing director David Meldrum, the past 18 months has seen a change in the technology demands of the company’s tier one clients.

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MICROMINE introduces Pitram in Spain

June 6 - 12, 2012

AUSTRALIAN mining technology and consulting firm MICROMINE has landed its first Pitram mine control system contract in Spain, with installation due to start later this month.

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Dispatch to mine owner: more training needed

May 30 - June 5, 2012

A SENIOR mining consultant with a leading firm who questions the effectiveness of much of the industry’s mine fleet management system implementation and use, sees a combination of human and organisational obstacles that need to be overcome before the technology reaches its potential.

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Automated monitoring delivers fine results at Paraburdoo

May 30 - June 5, 2012

AUTOMATED particle size monitoring is reported to have boosted iron ore yield by the equivalent of more than 400,000 tonnes a year at Rio Tinto’s Paraburdoo operations in Western Australia.

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Nathan delivers clean message at Maptek conference

May 23 - 29, 2012

MAY 28 - ADELAIDE research Professor Gus Nathan will talk about the potential for combining energy sources in next-generation power supply units at the user conference of an Australian mining technology firm which has successfully merged several technology platforms to significantly grow its business over the past decade.

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Leapfrog strikes gold with Barrick

May 23 - 29, 2012

NEW Zealand’s ARANZ Geo has followed up its recent major new Rio Tinto software licencing deal by striking a similar arrangement with gold giant Barrick.

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Mintec enhances multi-purpose optimiser

May 23 - 29, 2012

MINTEC says it is aiming to cement MineSight as the “go-to software for mine planners” with the introduction of an improved schedule optimiser.

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IT notebook: CAE, Runge, Micromine, Gemcom

May 23 - 29, 2012

NEW mining software sales to Vale and Goldcorp, and a contract for “a workforce development strategy” with the University of Saskatchewan were among the slivers of good news on the ‘new core markets’ front in CAE’s latest financial report. But there’s not enough – yet – to buoy the struggling division of the Canadian simulation technology major.

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Itasca advances new blast modelling approach

May 23 - 29, 2012

ITASCA’S aptly named Blo-Up software, a product of its 11-year involvement in the Hybrid Stress Blast Model (HSBM) project, has reached a new phase of development with the quality of Blo-Up model predictions being tested against real world blasting results. Field-scale bench and underground blasting tests currently are being used to validate and improve the model, the consulting and technology group said.

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Acquisitions plant ABB near the top in EAM

May 16 - 22, 2012

ACQUISITIONS have pushed ABB to No.2 in the world in the expanding enterprise asset management segment of the global enterprise software market.

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IT Notebook: Mintec, Modular Mining, Quintiq

May 16 - 22, 2012

US-BASED Mintec has rebadged its international seminars for software users, launching the MineQuest series of “global learning experiences” in Arizona last week. About 170 MineSight clients heard about a short-term planning tool set to achieve “killer application status”, Mintec’s Mine Performance Management system, and new MineSight Stope tool.

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Mining in the mainframe

May 9 - 15, 2012

MAY 8 - NEARLY one billion dollars worth of mining IT sector deals in the past two years shows the market is now really being discovered by big technology firms while doors to greater innovation in the sector have been opened. HighGrade found in a series of interviews over the past week widespread optimism about technology advances, powered in part by miners keen to break from the past. Stand by, too, for more consolidation.

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Ambre set to grow with Ventyx

May 9 - 15, 2012

THE growth of a US coal company will be reflected in expansion of its asset management and ERP software user base under a $US2 million deal with the ABB software business Ventyx.

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Block model engine powers GEMS 6.4 update

May 9 - 15, 2012

MAY 7 – GEMCOM’s new patent-pending block model conversion engine is the standout update in GEMS 6.4, the company’s flagship geology and mine planning software.

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Immersive expands underground offering

May 9 - 15, 2012

MAY 8 – MINING simulator training technology company Immersive Technologies has gone deeper into underground simulation with the addition of popular mine truck and jumbo ‘Conversion Kits’ to its product range.

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Mining assaut all in the planning

May 2 - 8, 2012

DASSAULT Systemes’ assault on the mining software market won’t start officially until July, but past ‘intellectual’ barriers to the integration of market leading mine planning software and the 3D platforms of the French company are already down.

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IT notebook: Intergraph, SEEK, NeCTAR

May 2 - 8, 2012

SMARTPLANT 3D engineering design software author Intergraph has released an updated version of its AutoCAD-based, intelligent 3D plant design and modelling suite, CADWorx.

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Gemcom to become GEOVIA

April 25 - May 1, 2012

APRIL 27 - MINING software is becoming more expensive, as Dassault Systemes’ $US360 million acquisition of Gemcom shows. The latter, a Canadian-based global mining software developer and supplier that earned $C6.7 million on sales of $C54.2 million in 2008, was bought for $C190 million a few months after those results were reported.

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MineRP promises smooth Mine2-4D transition

April 18 - 24, 2012

MINERP (formerly GijimaAST) is seeking to regain the front-running from former collaboration partner Datamine (now CAE Mining) and others in the battle for Mine2-4D users, saying this week the mining industry wanted a “clear answer” to questions about the future of the brand.

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Minemax software reboot built on new architecture

April 18 - 24, 2012

WITH the “rebirth” of Minemax Scheduler getting close, the developing company’s founder Jim Butler remains confident the product will retain its strong positioning in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

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Gemcom releases Surpac 6.3

April 18 - 24, 2012

LEADING international mining software supplier Gemcom has updated solids validation, pit design, block modelling, CAD import, and support of third party file formats in the latest version of its Surpac geology and mine planning software.

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Researcher says optimisation challenge solved

April 18 - 24, 2012

A UNIVERSITY of Queensland openpit mine planning researcher says he’s tweaked the conventional floating-cone based pit optimisation algorithm, and come up with improved scheduling tools, with potentially significant results.

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Atlas Copco taps the app

April 18 - 24, 2012

SWEDISH mining equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco says it is tapping into increased use of smart phones, tablets and other hand-held devices with new customer product ‘apps’. First into the app world at the end of this month will be the company’s Underground Rock Excavation division.

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Oracle improves enterprise systems

April 18 - 24, 2012

IT GIANT Oracle has unveiled new “industry-specific functionality” in its JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1 enterprise resource planning software, which an executive with one large gold company said demonstrated the supplier’s focus on “providing the tools for a company to grow and adapt to the changing global environment”.

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Auto-mining’s missing pieces

April 11 - 17, 2012

HOUSTON, we have a small problem.

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Interoperability and the mine of the future

April 11 - 17, 2012

INTEROPERABILITY is a fundamental component for the mine of the future. To achieve success at a mine we must optimise mine and treatment processes using all available knowledge, including mineral resources, environmental and economic constraints. Interoperability between the systems used to facilitate core mining functions is essential and will become even more vital with wider adoption of automation.

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Mining IT in brief: Ventyx, SolveIT, Mintec

April 11 - 17, 2012

‘GRAPHICALLY traversing a product assembly’ may not be quite the way mining maintenance managers put it – ‘check the gearing’ perhaps – but no matter, they can now do it faster and better with Ventyx’s LinkOne WebView 3.7.

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User says software comes with kid gloves

April 11 - 17, 2012

APRIL 10 - A LONG-TERM user of MineSight software can’t wait to get his hands on the next generation of Mintec’s flagship mine planning package.

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Expomin provides stage for first Vulcan 64-bit release

April 11 - 17, 2012

APRIL 10 - MAPTEK has commenced the formal release of Vulcan 64-bit to global mining customers at Expomin in Santiago, Chile.

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Mining IT briefs: Orange Business Services, Micromine, Intergraph

April 4 - 10, 2012

TOP five global managed security service provider (MSSP) Orange Business Services has extended its 10-year “working partnership” with mining giant Rio Tinto in a big way, landing a five-year contract to deliver global networking and security services to more than 280 Rio sites around the world.

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Orelogy refines scheduling approach

March 28 - April 3, 2012

VETERAN mining boss John McKinstry is one fan of the work being done by Orelogy that will culminate this week with the launch of the company’s Evorelution V2 software.

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Automation puts bigger focus on silos, says MinLog chief

March 28 - April 3, 2012

STRONG growth in the competitive mine production management technology market will give companies such as MinLog further opportunities to build a bigger international profile in the business, according to the company’s managing director, Karel Gilliland.

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Mira extends GOCAD functionality

March 28 - April 3, 2012

MIRA Geoscience has significantly expanded the functionality of GOCAD mining software, which has become an important minerals modelling and planning tool since being adapted from its original petroleum industry form.

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Gemcom freshens InSite

March 28 - April 3, 2012

GEMCOM has added a ‘Production Calendar’ module and improved data entry and security features to its InSite mine production management software.

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AI software firm makes mining connection

March 21 - 27, 2012

IT TOOK eight years for SolveIT to hold its first Integrated Planning & Optimisation Summit, and the result surprised everyone involved.

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Smokes and mirrors

March 21 - 27, 2012

GREG Lew knows a thing or two about mass-market brand positioning. Somewhere at the other end of the promotional spectrum is mining simulation training hardware and software, which is where he finds himself now.

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GBI aims to take mining game to new level

March 21 - 27, 2012

AS THE only company in Queensland to be selected to participate in the Australian Government funded Interactive Skills Integration Scheme (ISIS), Brisbane-based mining consultancy GBI is aiming to take the “guessing game” out of mine planning.

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PAS55 coming, ready or not

March 7 - 13, 2012

WHILE still rare in the mining industry, the PAS55 specification for asset management is gaining momentum worldwide and well on its way to becoming an international standard. Behind the scenes the mining industry is working to develop the standard for Australian businesses.

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Integration then optimisation – let’s not get stuck on consolidation

March 7 - 13, 2012

AS THE mining boom continues to unfold, resource companies are striving to manage their total IT systems landscape and spend with the approach of doing more with less, optimising their existing investments with suppliers as much as possible and attempting to standardise and reduce the number of individual software applications in use in the business. While this goal is often clearly stated and defined, few organisations succeed in executing. Vendors can assist by improving collaborative development and moving towards and integrated operations systems view.

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Snowden ready to hit reset button

March 7 - 13, 2012

STAND BY for some repackaging of Snowden software, says the company’s new group general manager – technologies, Nic Pollock, who believes a couple of the firm’s “premium brands” can achieve greater market penetration without his budget taking on extra dimensions.

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Maptek explores new ground

March 7 - 13, 2012

IT’S NOT often that Vulcan takes a back seat to anything else at Maptek, but that could happen over the next couple of months.

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XPAC spearheads Runge technology rebuild

March 7 - 13, 2012

IN 18 years at Runge Alun Phillips has seen the consulting and technology company’s flagship XPAC software figure prominently in fundamental shifts in the business, from coal into metals, the move into Canadian oil sands, and riding advances in mine plan scheduling speed and accuracy. Now the software is leading an overhaul of Runge’s technology business.

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XERAS gets in on new act

March 7 - 13, 2012

THE spotlight on Runge’s major software overhaul is naturally on portfolio patriarch XPAC, but Darren Rostron would like to see XERAS get its rightful share of attention.

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Rio leaps into umbrella deal

March 7 - 13, 2012

CHRISTCHURCH-based ARANZ Geo, developer of Leapfrog Mining 3D geological modelling software, has entered into a new ‘Umbrella Software Licence’ agreement with Rio Tinto after a steady build-up in the mining giant’s use of Leapfrog since 2007.

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New feature fits long-term need

March 7 - 13, 2012

GEOVARIANCES claims to be giving geostatisticians what they’ve asked for for a long time in the upcoming release of Isatis 2012.

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Mine 2-4D: what happens next?

March 7 - 13, 2012

NO NEED to worry about a successor to Mine 2-4D if you’re an underground mine planner. CAE Mining claims to have the answer.

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MICROMINE offers outside help

March 7 - 13, 2012

MICROMINE has formally launched its new Geobank managed services solution in Toronto.

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Hot rocks search goes digital

March 7 - 13, 2012

NICTA, Australia’s ICT Research Centre of Excellence, has kicked off a $A5 million ICT-enabled geothermal energy hunt in conjunction with the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE).

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Wiggins Island selects Active ERM

February 15 - 21, 2012

THE $A2.5 billion Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) project in Queensland, Australia, due to commence operations in 2014, will use project management software developed by a UK firm.

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Partnership work rounds out Cube offering

February 8 - 14, 2012

TONY Hampton concedes the mining software market is running a little hot and cold at the moment, making predictions about the year ahead difficult, but right now the strong workflow for Cube Consulting’s software development team arising from long-term relationships with some major mining houses shows no signs of abating.

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Mincom becomes Ventyx

February 8 - 14, 2012

ICONIC Australian mining software brand Mincom has become Ventyx following last year’s acquisition by Swiss engineering and technology group ABB.

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Report points to IT integration challenge

February 8 - 14, 2012

FEBRUARY 7 - RAPID growth in mining information and communication technology investment in Australia is expected to continue, according to a Rio Tinto-commissioned report by BAEconomics.

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Growth at a price

February 1 - 7, 2012

AUSTRALIAN microcap software firm ISS Group can beat the effects of a strong local currency and withstand fierce competition to increase annual revenue by up 40% during this year and next, but it faces ongoing margin pressure from these market forces.

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IT notebook: FEI, Itasca, Mincom

February 1 - 7, 2012

FEI Company vice-president and general manager Paul Scagnetti says the company’s recent acquisition of ASPEX Corporation would prove pivotal to its ongoing strategy aimed at moving automated mineral and petrographic analysis “outside the laboratory to where mining, and oil and gas companies are exploring, extracting, processing and refining”.

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CAE Mining revenue up

February 1 - 7, 2012

MONTREAL, Feb 9 – Simulator technology leader and mining software supplier CAE says it’s close to turning its loss-making ‘New Core Markets’ business around after posting a $C45.6 million profit on revenue of $C453.1 million for its third quarter, ended December 31. The NYSE and TSX listed company said profit was up 18% and revenue rose 10% compared with the same period in FY11.

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IT notebook: Visualisation Sciences, Codan, CAE

January 25 - 31, 2012

VISUALISATION Sciences Group (VSG) has described the latest version of its 3D visualisation and analysis software for digital rock physics and core analysis as a “major step forward … in functionality and usability”.

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IT notebook: ARANZ Geo, Immersive Technologies

December 15 - 21, 2011

NEW Zealand’s ARANZ Geo, developer of 3D geological modelling software Leapfrog Mining, has forged an alliance with mineral laboratory services group ALS Minerals to give “joint customers” fast and easy access to analytical data, certificates of analysis, and detailed drill core inspection results from anywhere in the world and while still working in a 3D modelling environment.

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IT optimists

December 15 - 21, 2011

AFTER posting high growth rates in 2011, and despite the economic storm clouds over Europe and the US, all of the 16 leading global mining IT firms spoken to by HighGrade over the past few weeks remain optimistic about what 2012 has in store for them. Here senior executives explain why.

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Mining IT: 2011 rebooted

December 15 - 21, 2011

THE past 12 months have seen two significant trends in the mining IT space that could be mirrored in 2012.

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Mining IT: product releases to fill 2012 calendar

December 15 - 21, 2011

THE optimism of many leading mining software suppliers about business in 2012 is linked to what a number of them are calling major product releases scheduled for the next 12 months. Let what promises to be a rolling series of launches and technical seminars begin!

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Innovation is the new black

December 15 - 21, 2011

PERHAPS not surprisingly, Rio Tinto topped a list of mining industry innovators nominated by the world’s top mining IT company executives in HighGrade’s annual IT sector survey.

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XPAC to lead dynamic software revival

December 15 - 21, 2011

THE first comprehensive makeover of a Runge software product post the largely unrealised Mining Dynamics vision will be unveiled next month as the company positions itself to capture a bigger share of the fast-growing mining software market in 2012 and beyond.

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IT notebook: Devex receives certification

December 15 - 21, 2011

BRAZIL’S Devex has received conformity certification from the relevant authority in the country for its Smartmine Tracker SMT100C mobile mine machinery onboard computer.

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Auto-money changes everything

December 15 - 21, 2011

THE world’s leading supplier of mine production management systems says the recently announced autonomous-truck deal between Rio Tinto and Komatsu is a watershed development for the industry’s burgeoning information technology sector and a harbinger of the new high-tech jobs to come in the mining industry.

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Coming up: HighGrade Mining IT Outlook 2012

December 8 - 14, 2011

HIGHGRADE’S exclusive survey of the world’s mining software and information technology systems leaders has produced a raft of valuable insights into the industry’s expectations and predictions for the next 12 months.

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IT notebook: Modular Mining, US tech, Mintec, Maptek, Gemcom, Geosoft

December 8 - 14, 2011

US-BASED mining technology firm Modular Mining Systems will this week conduct an international webinar on machine guidance systems under the banner, “Stick to the plan: how high-precision GPS can save you time and money”.

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Research improves pit slope modelling software

December 1 - 7, 2011

AN Australian mining service and technology firm’s years of experience in the assessment of iron ore openpit slope stability in Western Australia’s Pilbara region has led to the development of new shear strength criterion to more accurately model the highly anisotropic strength of bedded rock masses, and a significant improvement in the modelling software.

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ioHUB launch countdown underway

December 1 - 7, 2011

THE Australian-based software developer ioGlobal has started the countdown to the launch early next year of a new SaaS geoscientific information management offering it describes as a potential ‘game-changer’ for the company.

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Product focus: Avizo Fire

December 1 - 7, 2011

GERMANY’S Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics is harnessing advances in computational hardware and imaging in its efforts to understand complex petrophysical processes and to improve the assessment and characterisation of porous reservoir rocks.

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RepRisk offers monitor to non-financial enterprises

December 1 - 7, 2011

A ZURICH-based company has introduced the first enterprise edition of its software as a service (SaaS) online environmental, social and governance risk management application for multinational companies.

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Maptek introduces 12kg site scanner

December 1 - 7, 2011

MINING technology company Maptek is looking for similar success with its streamlined laser scanner to the international market penetration achieved with the long-range I-Site 8800.

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Software developer primed for 2012

December 1 - 7, 2011

MINTEC has laid the foundation for another year of strong growth in 2012 with the release of MineSight Version 7.0, which the US-based company says sets “a new standard for integrated mine-planning software”.

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FMS newcomer forges market stronghold

November 17 - 23, 2011

A “significant” investment by the world’s largest mining contractor in Australian-developed production, maintenance and productivity tracking technology has given the supplier a vital boost in an increasingly competitive market.

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IT notebook: Intergraph, Gemcom, Mintec, Immersive Technologies, ABB

November 17 - 23, 2011

LEADING engineering firm Sinclair Knight Merz has added Intergraph’s SmartPlant Enterprise solutions to its standard mining and metals project delivery software toolbox, saying the technology is needed at a time when projects are growing in scope and complexity.

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Bagnall to lead TPT mining arm

November 17 - 23, 2011

TRENT Bagnall has been confirmed as Triple Point Technology’s managing director of coal and mineral supply chain solutions following the American company’s takeover of QMASTOR.

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Website aim to build knowledge in new economy

November 10 - 16, 2011

A CONCEPT for a ‘mining Wikipedia’ out of Canada got a mixed reception at an Australian mining conference this week. It appears many miners, including those in the authors’ home country, aren’t ready to start handing over their hard-won industry knowledge for free, and/or into the hands of just about anyone with the ability to fill out a website registration form.

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IT notebook: Intium Energy, Mintec, MineMax, Oniqua MRO, Geovariances

November 10 - 16, 2011

A PATENTED wireless conveyer roller monitoring sensor that has just won a small company a 2011 Mitsubishi Western Australian Innovator of the Year Award is said to be able to predict conveyor roller failures before they occur, potentially reducing unscheduled downtime in the mining industry.

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ENRC signs global software deal

November 3 - 9, 2011

NOVEMBER 1: GEMCOM has underlined its strong position in the central Asian mining software market with a deal to supply Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation with its suite of general mine planning products  across ENRC’s dominant Kazakhstan and other global sites.

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Anglo American goes deeper into simulation

November 3 - 9, 2011

NOVEMBER 1: THE Peace River Coal mine in British Columbia, Canada, has become the tenth Anglo American mine site to install a ThoroughTec operator training simulator base unit, expected to be used to train haul truck, excavator, dozer, grader and drill rig operators.

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MICROMINE expands London office

November 3 - 9, 2011

NOVEMBER 1: MICROMINE has expanded its London premises, adding state-of-the-art meeting rooms and client training facilities at a new location to bolster its European presence.

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IT notebook: FEI, QMASTOR, Mintec, Coal Services, Gemcom

October 27 - November 2, 2011

“WET rock samples to definitive answers in less than an hour”, is the promise which, if true, surely does support FEI Natural Resources’ claim that the new QEMSCAN WellSite technology takes automated mineralogy into uncharted territory.

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Triple Point scores

October 20 - 26, 2011

THE managing director and other senior staff at Australian mining software firm QMASTOR are expected to stay with the business as American takeover suitor Triple Point Technology brings its global sales network, and extra financial muscle, to bear in efforts to grow QMASTOR’s presence in Africa and the Americas.

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Survey highlights mining growth barriers

October 20 - 26, 2011

A NEW survey of mining industry attitudes toward IT investment has again highlighted the urgent need for many companies to make better use of technology to counter falling productivity and boost efforts to address the effects of skills and equipment shortages, project development delays and cost blow-outs.

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IT notebook: MIPAC, Mincom, Sandvik

October 20 - 26, 2011

ENGINEERING firm MIPAC has developed a “standardised” Rockwell Automation ControlLogix and Wonderware Archestra framework for its key clients, the framework consisting of a library of objects for fast project configuration that allows automation engineers to focus on what they’re best at.

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Integrated control systems in nickel mining

October 20 - 26, 2011

THE mining and processing of nickel is by no means a simple task and the various processing methods applied to achieve economically viable production push the technological and scientific frontier of modern control systems.

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Fame for software developer

October 20 - 26, 2011

GRAEME Tuder and his team at mining software firm MICROMINE have made it into the Industry and Export Awards Hall of Fame in boom mining state Western Australia.

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Formal release of Minex 6.1

October 20 - 26, 2011

GEMCOM has formally announced the release of its Minex 6.1 mine planning software (HighGrade, August 4-10, 2011), increasing its exposure to the underground coal market.

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New face of mine machine monitoring

October 13 - 19, 2011

GEOFF Baldwin’s decision to sell the Tritronics business to Leica Geosystems eight years ago seemed like further confirmation of Australia’s capacity to develop world-class mining technology that wouldn’t ever lead to the creation of large, home-grown corporations. But his story now might be part of the different narrative that has emerged on this subject inside the past decade.

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V8 puts power in analysis

October 13 - 19, 2011

THE ‘geologist’s’ geostatistical modelling software, Snowden’s Supervisor, has undergone a reboot that should see its already large user base swell over the next year or so.

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IT notebook: QMASTOR, Modular Mining, Mintec, Immersive Technologies

October 13 - 19, 2011

QMASTOR’S board has reiterated its support for US-based Triple Point Technology’s 31c-a-share takeover bid after TPT passed the 52% ownership threshold and adjusted terms of its offer to waive a 90% minimum acceptance condition when it hits 75%.

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AIG plugs members into EduMine

October 13 - 19, 2011

THE Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) is the latest professional body to enrol in EduMine, the provider of online professional development and technical training courses with links to corporations, individual mine sites and educational institutions in more than 10 countries.

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Mincom updates MineMarket

September 29 - October 5, 2011

MINCOM has updated its mining supply chain management software, MineMarket, with the 4.4 version of the software said to offer new functionality in port and stockyard management, and “partner” trading.

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IT notebook: QMASTOR, CAE Mining, Mintec, ThoroughTec

September 29 - October 5, 2011

IS US-based Triple Point Technology paying a fair price for Australian mining software developer QMASTOR? Directors seem to think so, this time around, and one of the key shareholders that rejected an earlier takeover offer has also fallen into line behind the new TPT bid. But QML’s newly posted 2011 annual report reminds readers of a growth path akin to a small miner stepping up into a different production bracket.

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Centre of attention

September 22 - 28, 2011

ABOUT 14 years ago the founders of ProjectCentre looked for a way to use the internet to store, manage and maintain version control over project-related documents and diagrams.

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Modular to launch new asset manager

September 22 - 28, 2011

MODULAR Mining Systems will use next week’s EXPOSIBRAM 2011 in Brazil to unveil its latest DISPATCH mine asset tracking and management module, meanwhile confirming one of the country’s new nickel miners has completed implementation of Modular’s IntelliMine software at a large surface mine.

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Algosys delivering for QMASTOR

September 22 - 28, 2011

EVIDENCE of the value of ASX-listed mining software firm QMASTOR’s diversification strategy continues to mount, with the Algosys Metallurgical Accountant software added last year to be used by a large copper project in Central East Asia.

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Moving with the times

September 15 - 21, 2011

A PHYSICS and maths graduate who spent eight years working for Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation decided to apply his considerable intellect to the challenge of solving a fundamental problem for miners. He, and the company he formed about six years ago, have been winning recognition for the results virtually ever since.

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IT notebook: XRF Scientific, Gemcom, Deloitte, Mintec, Xenon, Position Partners

September 15 - 21, 2011

MICROEQUITIES sees ASX-listed XRF Scientific growing revenues by 25% this year while holding its EBIT margin at 19%, ratios that translate into $A25 million and $4.8 million, respectively.

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Necessity breeds invention

September 15 - 21, 2011

FILL an IT gap for a large mining company and you are probably on a path to meeting a wider industry need. Kashif Saleem’s budding software firm provides further evidence of an agreeable trend for inventive types.

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MS3D just the start

September 15 - 21, 2011

MINTEC’s latest release of MineSight 3D (MS3D) will be welcome news for short-term planners already using MineSight Interactive Planner (MSIP), the US software developer says.

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Geos will welcome survey modelling tools: Maptek

September 15 - 21, 2011

MAPTEK’S release of version 3.5 of its laser scan modelling software I-Site Studio coincides with the launch of a dedicated geotechnical module the Australian software developer believes will get the attention of site geologists.

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IT notebook: Scope Systems, Maptek, Intergraph, Pivotel

September 15 - 21, 2011

SEPTEMBER 13: PERTH-BASED mining ERP provider Scope Systems has formalised its partnership with US financial planning and reporting software developer Alight LLC, under which the two companies are tailoring ERP planning and financial reporting tools for mining companies.

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IT’s vital role in Africa risk management

September 15 - 21, 2011

ENTERPRISE resource planning (ERP) software provider Scope Systems has warned Australian resources companies investing in Africa to maintain focus on their own organisational disciplines rather than being too preoccupied with new cultural, logistical and legal complexities they might encounter.

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A reason to rethink mill relining

September 1 - 7, 2011

THE Australian company that has given miners the heavy-lifting tools to speed mill relining will now provide a means of accurately assessing just now fast the critical process can be executed.

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Focus goes for gold, maybe platinum

September 1 - 7, 2011

EITHER Focus Minerals boss Campbell Baird knows the demographics of his investor base exceptionally well or the man is just into gadgets. Either way, the Western Australian gold miner’s investor-presentation iPad app is available at your local Apple iTunes store now.

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Mintec’s Wylde lands corporate role

September 1 - 7, 2011

REORGANISATION of software company Mintec’s main Australian office is complete, with former general manager Glenn Wylde in the new global corporate position of vice president – technical, and fellow New Zealander Ian Whitehouse taking up the role of local operations manager.

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IT notebook: Rockwell Automation, Micromine, Runge, Modular Mining, Thoroughtec, Active Risk, Yokogawa, Mincom

September 1 - 7, 2011

ROCKWELL Automation has been contracted to installed more than $US4 million worth of process automation software and hardware at Grizzly Oil Sands’ Algar Lake oil sands project in Canada, with Grizzly planning to have a “shadow” virtual control room at its Calgary headquarters to monitor and control mine sites across northern Alberta.

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Baldwin joins MineWare

September 1 - 7, 2011

NEW MineWare director Geoff Baldwin knows a thing or two about building a world-class mining technology company. He likes what he sees in the Queensland company’s young CEO Andrew Jessett and the way Jessett is turning his vision into international expansion.

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Vale buys more QMASTOR software

August 11 - 17, 2011

AUGUST 16: AUSTRALIAN company QMASTOR has confirmed another significant software sale to a global mining giant, with Vale to install its Pit to Plant and iFuse products at the Onça Puma nickel operations in Pará, Brazil. QMASTOR’s South American sales pipeline is understood to be building, particularly in Brazil.

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Studies show Anglo optimal value path

August 11 - 17, 2011

ENTERPRISE optimisation work for the world’s largest platinum producer has highlighted significant potential for enhanced near-term cash flow generation without major capital investment, according to Australian consulting and technology firm Whittle Consulting.

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London calling for Mintec

August 11 - 17, 2011

ARIZONA-BASED Mintec couldn’t have found a better person to launch its new west London office, the doors of which are due to open on October 1.

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Software firm introduces mine site ‘watchdog’

August 11 - 17, 2011

AUSTRALIAN company Absolute Data Group has launched a new asset maintenance, parts and personnel management software suite which it is offering as an in-house or hosted system deployment.

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IT notebook: GMSI, Gartner

August 11 - 17, 2011

SOUTH African information and communication technology firm GMSI has confirmed its next annual mine planning conference dates as October 11-14, with Cape Town playing host to the international event.

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MICROMINE hits the road

August 4 - 10, 2011

MICROMINE will ‘roadshow release’ its new Micromine 2011 software in Australia over the next two weeks.

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Snowden's new optimisation path

August 4 - 10, 2011

AUSTRALIAN mining consulting firm Snowden appears to be on another winner from its productive technology division, with the Evaluator strategic optimisation and analysis software shaping as a potential commercial offering at some point down the track.

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Miners acquire taste for new-gen GIMS

August 4 - 10, 2011

THE Australian geoscientific information management system (GIMS) specialist acQuire remains confident its newly updated flagship product, and applications, can be a “game changer” for the company though, evidently, the game is already changing fast for one of the industry’s most successful niche software developers.

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Gemcom counts on further Minex progress

August 4 - 10, 2011

BEN Farquharson’s recent trip to Pittsburgh for the 2011 Longwall USA conference wasn’t a promotional opportunity for Gemcom’s new Minex 6.1 product, surprisingly enough. But it did at least partly signal the opening of a significant new chapter for the company that describes itself as the world’s biggest mining software supplier.

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IT notebook: Scanalyse, Micromine, Coal Services, Minemax, APCOM, Gemcom

August 4 - 10, 2011

RECENT recipients of the University of Sydney’s Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering 2011 Innovation Heroes Award, Peter Clarke and Jochen Franke of Scanalyse, are confident the Australian technology company can nearly double revenues again in the current fiscal year as it expands into Europe and Africa.

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IT notebook: Oracle, Maptek, QMASTOR, Topcon

July 21 - 27, 2011

ORACLE says new environmental accounting and reporting modules for its e-business and JD Edwards financials suites will help users track emissions and environmental data to meet expanding reporting requirements.

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Realising mine-to-market value, just in time

July 7 - 13, 2011

JULY 6: A LACKLUSTRE Australian sharemarket, and not the market’s failure to understand mining technology companies, is to blame for QMASTOR’s unresponsive share price of recent months, according to managing director Trent Bagnall. Unresponsive, that is, until the past two weeks.

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API counts gains from ‘holistic’ scheduling

July 7 - 13, 2011

ORELOGY has demonstrated it’s not just the ease and speed of throwing up mine optimisation scenarios that’s important in an age of cloud computing and smarter software – it’s still the results that count. Cue the Australian Premium Iron Joint Venture (APIJV).

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IT notebook: Caterpillar, Gemcom, Mintec, Active Risk

July 7 - 13, 2011

CATERPILLAR’S mine fleet management and machine guidance systems will be rolled out next year at Fortescue Metals Group’s new Solomon iron ore mine in Western Australia via the equipment giant’s local dealer WesTrac.

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Dispatching fatigue

June 30 - July 6, 2011

A NEW partnership between the world’s leading mine fleet management technology supplier and a British developer of an “unobtrusive” driver fatigue monitoring device looks set to bear fruit over the coming months.

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The importance of geological domaining throughout the mining cycle

June 23 - 29, 2011

DURING the production phase in the mining cycle, the level of geological information increases, enabling a better understanding of the local geology. Creating and updating geological wireframes is an important part of any mine geologists role, one that continually evolves through drilling, sampling and mapping over the life of a deposit.

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IT notebook: Gemcom, Bentley, Wenco, Sonim, Sandvik, Immersive, ThoroughTec, CAE

June 23 - 29, 2011

MINING software leader Gemcom has this week opened an office in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where it has “strong ties” with customers such as Kazakhmys, Eurasia Natural Resource Corp, ArcelorMittal and Kazatomprom.

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Hampton backs up after Surpac success

June 16 - 22, 2011

TONY Hampton had a profitable partnership with one of the pioneers of Australia’s mining software industry, Geoff Bebb, and a similar synergism is evident in the impressive growth trajectory of another Perth-based technology firm. This time the resident doyens are Cube Consulting founders Garry Back and Ted Coupland.

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IT notebook: Modular Mining, Mintec

June 16 - 22, 2011

SOUTHGOBI Resources will implement Modular Mining Systems’ IntelliMine Integrated Asset Management Suite at its Gobi Desert coal operations in Mongolia, giving the US-based technology company its breakthrough sale in the emerging market.

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IT notebook: GijimaAST, Intergraph, AuraPortal, Industrial Scientific

June 9 - 15, 2011

SOUTH Africa’s GijimaAST, part of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Gijima information and communications technology group, has moved to head off what it sees as continuing speculation in the market about its future support for the Mine2-4D mine planning software.

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Best laid mine plans reaping rewards

June 9 - 15, 2011

A DIFFERENT approach to mine planning and scheduling is a key factor in the burgeoning fortunes of Mintec, according to management of the US-based mine software company.

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Shooting for the same goals

May 26 - June 1, 2011

WHEN Minemax canvassed customers for feedback on major mine planning process deficiencies several years ago three main areas were highlighted. Spatial mine plan alignment was at the top of the list.

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Clouds help clear optimum feedback loop

May 26 - June 1, 2011

FAST and furious optimisation – of short and long term mine schedules, through to enterprise-level valuation – is helping to build higher levels of confidence in engineers’ plans and certainly opening the door to greater product differentiation in the scheduling software and services market, according to Runge’s Sean Stewart.

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Rio ARMs against risk

May 26 - June 1, 2011

RIO Tinto will continue the roll-out of Active Risk Manager software under an enterprise deal struck between the mining giant and London-based technology and consulting firm.

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IT notebook: Micromine, Snowden, Itasca, Maptek

May 26 - June 1, 2011

SOUTH Africa’s Gold Fields this month started implementing the Pitram Optimum mine production management system (MPMS), the most sophisticated of four Pitram products developed by Australian software company Micromine, at its Damang openpit gold mine in Ghana. The deployment is expected to be completed by September this year.

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Grant to advance mine planning models

May 26 - June 1, 2011

A CANADIAN mining engineering professor has been awarded $C2.7 million in research funding – one of the largest ever Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) grants – to improve mine planning models.

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Immersed in detail

May 26 - June 1, 2011

MINING and construction machine major Komatsu has maintained an exclusive technical and licensing alliance with Australia’s Immersive Technologies, the world’s leading supplier of mine equipment training simulators.

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IT notebook: Rio Tinto boss rebuts oracle

May 19 - 25, 2011

RIO Tinto head of innovation John McGagh rejected an assertion at the Austmine conference in Brisbane last week that the IT systems underpinning the mining giant’s first remote operations centre could be compared to a financial services or telecommunications control hub.

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Fuel management specialist lands major deal

May 19 - 25, 2011

MAY 17: THE mining world’s most advanced fuel management system will be deployed over 12 sites in Western Australia’s Pilbara region over the next 18 months in what is believed to be the biggest enterprise-wide deployment of such technology in the industry.

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Power play connects Ventyx and Mincom

May 12 - 18, 2011

SWISS/Swedish power and engineering giant ABB has followed its $US1 billion-plus acquisition of US-based enterprise software company Ventyx in June last year with the purchase of Mincom, a move that is expected to take the growth shackles off the 31-year-old Mincom.

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Mincom delivers 5.2 to schedule

May 5 - 11, 2011

MINCOM has added Russian-language support and new functionality to boost mine-planning speed and improve usability in its newly available MineScape 5.2 modelling and design software offering.

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New force in iron ore

May 5 - 11, 2011

MINESIGHT Applications, the Australian business unit of 40-year-old American firm Mintec, seems to be growing increasingly confident about its chances of forging a new market stronghold in Western Australia’s frenetically expanding Pilbara iron ore region.

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IT Notebook: Maptek, Immersive Technologies, SAP

May 5 - 11, 2011

LEADING Australian mining software developer Maptek has opened its New Delhi office in India to tap the country’s increasingly technology-hungry mining market.

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IT Notebook: Position Partners, Snowden, Minemax

April 21 - 27, 2011

AUSTRALIAN company Position Partners is poised to introduce the new Gatewing X100 unmanned aerial system (UAS) mapping technology to its domestic after signing an agreement to be the Australian distributor.

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IT Notebook: Snake crashes software party

April 21 - 27, 2011

WHO said mining software conventions (remember that word?) were staid events? From Arizona this week came news of a slimy, scaly intruder at US-based Mintec’s 28th annual seminar, and it wasn’t a rep from a rival software firm.

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Innovator celebrates 30-year marriage

April 7 - 13, 2011

MAPTEK’S customer-focus mantra, as heard somewhat regularly at this week’s international user group gathering in Western Australia, is hardly a new management fad. Collaborative work with customers that is currently yielding the next wave of Maptek products follows a pattern set by founder Bob Johnson when he surprised the Utah Development Company more than 30 years ago.

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Idea takes flight

April 7 - 13, 2011

WHILE much has been made of the improved terrestrial scanning times achieved with mobile laser scanners, Barrick Gold and Maptek may have come up with an even better idea.

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IT briefs: Mincom, iSolutions, Mintec

April 7 - 13, 2011

TWO of the Chilean miners rescued in the recent internationally followed mine drama are among the guest speakers at this week’s Mincom summit for asset-intensive industry leaders in Latin America. The company has also just held a mining IT summit in St Petersburg, Russia.

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GHD builds new Autodesk alliance

April 7 - 13, 2011

LEADING engineering firm GHD’s $A5 million purchase of Autodesk software announced this week has put state-of-the-art design capabilities at the fingertips of personnel in its corporate CAD and drafting arm. But the deal has wider implications for GHD’s diverse client base, as the company’s global manager for CAD, Gavin Cheetham, explains.

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A picture of stability

March 31 - April 6, 2011

THE privately-owned Western Australia firm Adam Technology carved itself a nice niche in the mining terrestrial photogrammetry software market some time ago and has managed to stay in the vanguard of the sector ever since. Which is to say, it started out doing something right and must be still doing it.

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Simulation paths bound to cross

March 31 - April 6, 2011

THE chances of Australia’s Immersive Technologies and Canada’s CAE Systems crossing business paths in the real world in the years to come must have at least improved marginally – even if only in peoples’ furtive minds – in recent times. Certainly their creative outputs, the simulation products being sold around the world, are becoming more closely aligned than ever.

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Gold miner adds InSite

March 31 - April 6, 2011

AGNICO Eagle’s Arctic gold mine, Kittila in Finnish Lapland, has gone for a Canadian-developed mine production management system to turn data into profits.

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With great power comes great opportunity

March 24 - 30, 2011

HARNESSING great (and increasing) computing power to solve some of mining’s key strategic modelling problems is something the industry has struggled – by and large – to do. Queue the fast-thinking, faster-talking and even faster computing David Beck, the former Mount Isa rock mechanic turned 21st century mine planner who believes it’s in everyone’s interest to get up to speed asap on the tools available.

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IT leaders series: Mincom enters new growth phase

March 17 - 23, 2011

MINCOM chief strategy officer Jennifer Tejada is two or three steps ahead of the average mining technology manager – or CEO for that matter – in what is now becoming a fast-moving and higher-stakes game of IT deployment in the sector. But she’s not sounding too glum about the mining industry’s inability to keep up with IT adoption in Mincom’s other key markets, such as defence and infrastructure. And there are probably at least three reasons for this.

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PDAC launch for Gemcom Hub

March 17 - 23, 2011

GEMCOM is going to make a lot of mine and field operatives happy if its new data management solution is as good as the sales talk – and initial reactions at Canada’s PDAC conference – indicates.

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In brief: Mintec, Micromine, CAE, Honeywell, AuraPortal

March 17 - 23, 2011

NEARLY half a century ago Fred Banfield was graduating from the Colorado School of Mines. It was 1964 and the Golden-based school had already established itself among the world’s leading institutions devoted to resource exploration, extraction, production and utilisation.

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Scope for growth in mining BI

March 17 - 23, 2011

PRONTO software reseller Scope Systems has made a solid start in its bid to convert a significant mining ERP user base to its emerging business intelligence platform, a Scope user group conference heard last week in Perth.

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Maptek expands Indonesia presence

March 17 - 23, 2011

AUSTRALIAN software developer Maptek has signed an agreement with 15-year-old PT Globecon Indonesia (PTGI) to sell its Vulcan geological modelling and mine planning software in Indonesia.

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Metal accounting focus adds up for software companies

March 2 - 8, 2011

MARCH 1: WHILE clever tools are helping ease the mine reconciliation work burden for some companies there is clearly more effort – and money – being spent on wringing value out of ore processing plants with the aid of relevant information technology. It may represent only half the battle for its clients, but it’s an encouraging trend for companies such as QMASTOR.

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Software firm provides scholarship

March 2 - 8, 2011

MARCH 1: MAPTEK has joined BHP Billiton as a key supporter of the University of Adelaide’s mining engineering scholarship program, now five years old and releasing graduates into a market hungry for their skills.

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Auto-mapping focus of PDAC talk

March 2 - 8, 2011

MARCH1: MINING IT and consulting specialists from around the world will converge on Toronto for PDAC from this weekend and many will be presenting during one of the world’s major mining investment shows. One lead-up talk sure to spark interest is Fathom Geophysics’ Dr Daniel Core’s presentation on “Advanced airborne geophysical image-processing techniques for frontier regions lacking ground-truthed datasets”.

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In brief: Sentient, Mintec, Gemcom, Intergraph, Immersive Technologies, Runge

March 2 - 8, 2011

MARCH 1: TECHNOLOGY is likely to be a crucial part of the answer to the problems presented by projected skills shortages in Australia, according to Doug Bester, director of specialist software company Sentient. He says while software can’t replace people it does allow companies to make better use of existing staff.

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SAE and the future of mining

February 23 - March 1, 2011

IF THE mining industry is going to meet the demands for its products in the next 20 years we won’t be building mines the same way we build them now. They’ll be deeper and at lower grades, so they’ll probably have to be larger, more productive and built faster. They’ll take more investment up front and they will have to be on budget. They can be built, and we need them, but we won’t be making decisions about them the same way.

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Bentley recognises software users

February 16 - 22, 2011

A WESTERN Australian company, PDC Consultants, has won a top gong at US-based engineering software company Bentley’s annual Be Inspired Awards, held in Amsterdam in The Netherlands.

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Devex maps expansion

February 16 - 22, 2011

THE Brazilian mining technology company Devex is pressing ahead with moves to internationalise its business following successful installations of its SmartMine fleet management system outside its domestic market.

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Oil research adds new minerals search dimension

February 9 - 15, 2011

FEBRUARY 7: WHILE mining companies can thank the oil industry for Gocad, it is a Canadian-Australian collaboration that has ensured rapid deployment of the advanced software into the hands of geoscientists and made it one of the really important exploration finds of the past decade.

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Evaluator a differentiator

February 9 - 15, 2011

FEBRUARY 7: SNOWDEN’S successful software development program is helping the international mining consulting firm win consulting jobs, a recent example being the Syama strategic study completed for gold miner Resolute.

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Two-step in the right direction

February 9 - 15, 2011

FEBRUARY 7: A PARTNERSHIP between leading consulting and software firm Snowden, and international inspection and testing group SGS, is expected to bring a more holistic approach – and perhaps some new analytical tools – to mounting mine reconciliation and metal accounting challenges.

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Gemcom updates InSite

February 9 - 15, 2011

FEBRUARY 7: CANADIAN mining software firm Gemcom has released a new version of its mine production management software, InSite, which it says offers implementation time savings and standard out-of-the-box reporting capabilities for a fast return on investment.

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New age of discovery

February 9 - 15, 2011

FEBRUARY 7: THE ‘discovery’, so far, of an extra 1.6 million ounces of gold at the Bullabulling project, west of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, has focused attention on advances in computing power, smart software and the smarter people using data to cast old projects in a new light.

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Mining IT briefs: Mintec, ThoroughTec, Wenco

February 2 - 8, 2011

THE busy Australian arm of US-based mining software company Mintec is understood to have secured another significant deal, this one involving a Papua New Guinea gold miner.

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Coming up in mining IT

February 2 - 8, 2011

NEXT month’s second Mine Site Automation and Communication conference will feature presentations by Newmont Mining Corporation global director, mining system solutions, Dave Goddard, and Barrick Gold Corp mining information technology director, Andrew Scott.

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Back to the future

February 2 - 8, 2011

MINING software veteran Phil Edmiston looks like he’s stepped back into the past. He’s sitting in the same office, in the same building he worked in 20 years ago. However, Edmiston is convinced everything else about his former employer, Datamine, has changed and, most notably, the future for the company looks very different to what it did a year ago.

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Suppliers support flood appeal

January 26 - February 1, 2011

HEAVYHITTERS in the mining IT sector have made large donations to the Queensland flood appeal.

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Sky no longer the limit for fleet management

January 19 - 25, 2011

LEICA Geosystems believes there are up to 20 deployments in prospect this year for the Locata GPS augmentation technology that has just been implemented for the first time at a mine site in Western Australia.

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Maintaining focus a key to growth

December 15 - 21, 2010

RECORDING mining equipment maintenance data is one thing. Accurately predicting maintenance costs for the life of machinery is another, as Graeme Elgie and Robbie Feyder found before they came up with a solution and formed iSolutions more than 10 years ago.

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Geovariances buys Tenzing

December 15 - 21, 2010

FRENCH geostatistics software company Geovariances has established a direct presence in Australia through the acquisition of long-time associate Tenzing, a Brisbane-based resource evaluation and consulting company. The deal has also strengthened Geovariances’ geostatistical consulting services business.

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Exclusive: Mining IT 2010 review and 2011 outlook

December 15 - 21, 2010

MINING software leaders from around the world offer their views on the year ahead in mining IT in this exclusive HighGrade Mining IT survey. They also reflect on the events that have shaped 2010 for their company, and the industry generally.

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Adversity, opportunity driving mining innovation

December 15 - 21, 2010

THE Queensland-based maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) software specialist Oniqua Enterprise Analytics is predicting further strong growth in the mining MRO market as the industry comes under increasing pressure to use technology to fight rising costs and meet performance goals.

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Unlearn what you have learnt

December 8 - 14, 2010

THOSE accusing Jeff Whittle of using his keynote speaking spot at last week’s AusIMM mine planning conference in Western Australia to do a heavy sell job should reflect further on what the 80-year-old pit optimisation guru is actually trying to sell. The guy could have an easier time pulling a Cat 797 out of the Kalgoorlie Super Pit.

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Spending like there’s no tomorrow

December 8 - 14, 2010

GETTING new mining projects into the right economic shape for robust short-range performance, rather than stretching finances – and hyper-extending models – to meet distant market expectations, should be the aim of most small-to-mid sized companies with serious intentions to be bigger players in the industry, a veteran Australian mining leader has warned.

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MineSight surfaces at Oyu Tolgoi

December 8 - 14, 2010

MINESIGHT Applications has landed a breakthrough deal in Mongolia, winning a contract to supply software for the Oyu Tolgoi openpit operations.

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High-speed data on the way, gradually

December 8 - 14, 2010

DATA speeds 26 times current rates are on the way for Australian miners and rock-kickers working in remote areas (most of them) courtesy of the new generation Globalstar satellites being launched to replace the outdated orbiters currently in use.

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GIMS specialist hears the call of Africa

December 8 - 14, 2010

GEOSCIENTIFIC information management systems leader acQuire has launched an aggressive recruitment drive in South Africa and sees a particularly bright future for mining IT growth in the region.

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In brief: Mintec, Micromine

December 8 - 14, 2010

MINTEC has enhanced its suite of geomodelling tools by introducing an upgraded version of MineSight Data Analyst. The US-based supplier says MSDA v2.2 builds on its drillhole, blasthole and data modelling statistical and geostatistical analysis program in several areas.

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Minemax pleased with early sales tempo

December 1 - 7, 2010

THE Australian-based mining software developer Minemax has had a strong initial response to the release of its Tempo 1.4 mine planning application, according to a senior manager.

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Dispatch from Bangkok

December 1 - 7, 2010

SEMINARS can be stuffy affairs. The MineSight Regional Seminar in Bangkok last week was anything but, according to MineSight Applications Australia’s regional business development manager Mark Gabbitus.

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acQuire keeps innovation wheel turning

November 10 - 16, 2010

NOVEMBER 15: A SERIES of new enterprise agreements have set up Australian geoscientific information management systems (GIMS) specialist acQuire for another strong growth year as it repeats the roll-out of its managed services solution and prepares to transition to its new ‘Mica’ product architecture.

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In brief: Coal India, Mincom, OZ Minerals

November 10 - 16, 2010

NEWLY listed Indian coal giant Coal India will “modernise” seven of its sites with Jigsaw360 fleet management systems.

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New decade of change beckons for sector stalwart

November 10 - 16, 2010

THIS year has given US-based Mintec plenty of reasons to celebrate its 40th birthday after 2009 threatened to wreck the party. President John Davies tells HighGrade Mining IT the company is looking to middle age with confidence.

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Datamine remodelling underway

November 10 - 16, 2010

NOVEMBER 15: CAE Mining, the mining business arm of one of the world’s biggest simulation technology companies, will muscle up with investments exceeding the combined research and development spending of its three main competitors in the general mine planning software market over the next five years, according to new business development director Dylan Webb.

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Bye tests mining’s core cost challenge

November 10 - 16, 2010

THE new Australian Cooperative Research Centre focused on refining methods of mine ore characterisation and extraction – to help the industry make better decisions about increasingly energy-intensive ore processing – is expected to come up with faster and simpler modelling tools within 3-4 years, according to CRC head professor Alan Bye.

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Formal launch for prized upgrade

November 10 - 16, 2010

NOVEMBER 15: MARK Gabbitus is waiting for news of his Nobel Prize in the mail. In the meantime, confirmation of a gig at the 2011 Mining Geology conference at Queenstown in New Zealand to talk about “the world’s greatest grade control system” surely can’t be far off.

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Gemcom releases Whittle 4.4

November 3 - 9, 2010

GEMCOM has released the latest update of one of the world’s most popular openpit mine optimisation programs, Gemcom Whittle, with the new version incorporating the simultaneous optimisation module developed by Jeff Whittle and already being deployed via Whittle Consulting.

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Exxaro buys Australian software

November 3 - 9, 2010

AUSTRALIAN mining technology firm QMASTOR has confirmed South Africa’s Exxaro Resources as a major buyer of its software.

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In brief: Mincom, Immersive Technologies, Micromine, MineWare

November 3 - 9, 2010

LEADING Australian gold producer Newcrest Mining and an Indonesian coal miner are among the winners of Mincom’s inaugural Innovation & Excellence in Asset Management Asia Pacific Awards, announced this week at the ERP software provider’s Gold Coast Asset Intensive Industry Summit in Queensland.

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Market opens up for Queensland firm

October 20 - 26, 2010

AN Australian minnow sees innovation as the key to being competitive in the mine control technology market, a sector dominated by bigger international firms.

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Balancing act

October 20 - 26, 2010

TRENT Bagnall has ticked a few more boxes in his quest to build an international mining software house. ‘Good things come in small packages’, seems an apt tagline at the moment for both Bagnall’s QMASTOR and the Canadian firm it intends buying for $C5 million.

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MineSight V6.0 around the corner

October 20 - 26, 2010

MINESIGHT Applications is a few weeks away from releasing version 6.0 of the Mintec Minesight GMP software which has become a key mine planning and scheduling tool for many of the big openpit mine operators around the world.

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Canadian miner opts for PITRAM

October 20 - 26, 2010

OCTOBER 13: LEADING Australian-based mining software provider Micromine has been contracted by Cayeli Bakir Isletmeleri, a subsidiary of Inmet Mining, to deploy the PITRAM mine production control solution at Cayeli in Turkey, with the first stage implementation set to be completed by late December this year.

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Doing ERP right

October 20 - 26, 2010

OCTOBER 13: MINING companies still need some convincing that enterprise resource planning systems are worth implementing if comments by Scope Systems managing director Troy Morrison are any gauge. And even if ERPs are installed by miners, they aren’t always done well.

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In brief: Maptek, Modular Mining, iSolutions, Mincom, Mine Site Technologies, Yokogawa

October 20 - 26, 2010

OCTOBER 13: AUSTRALIAN-based software developer Maptek will support the world’s first “bi-national” mining project, Pascua-Lama in Chile-Argentina, from its Viña del Mar office on the Chilean coast.

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SKM looks to more collaboration

October 20 - 26, 2010

OCTOBER 13: AT THE small end of the spectrum of strategic alliances being contemplated by engineering firm Sinclair Knight Merz, the new partnership with Australian-based simulation consultancy TSG Consulting is nevertheless seen as significant given the window it opens on what is evidently a fast-growing area of technology and services demand.

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World-wide well of opportunities for MineWare

September 22 - 28, 2010

THE pin-up boy of CRCMining, Andrew Jessett, has his sights on the North and South American mining markets after breakthrough sales by the company he runs, MineWare, in South Africa in the past year.

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Where the pit-stop buck stops

September 22 - 28, 2010

A UNIVERSITY of Western Australia research team is on the hunt for a mine site, or sites, to partner with as it advances a project aimed at refining an integrated mine and ‘truck shop’ simulation modelling and optimisation tool.

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Real time is now for resource planning

September 8 - 14, 2010

MINING IT companies remain optimistic about continuing high-level investment by miners in technology despite a slowdown in some parts of the market over the past 18 months. Business leaders have told HighGrade growth in emerging markets, and the increasing emphasis on ‘connectivity’ from the pit to the port, are among the key drivers of a potential Golden Age for mining IT investment.

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Plenty of scope for expansion

September 8 - 14, 2010

THE mining ERP market has become a lot more crowded than it was when Norman Pater established Costings & Logistics Systems in 1994 as a reseller for a Sydney-based software developer called Prometheus – later Pronto. But Pater’s partner in the business, managing director of the past three years Troy Morrison, still sees plenty of upside as the ‘data mining’ age really gathers momentum.

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In brief: ATI Solutions, Mine Site Technologies, Mintec

September 8 - 14, 2010

TWO IT business managers who did time together on some large mining industry projects over the past 10 years, and share the not insignificant ambition now of “helping bring Australia’s resource industry into the 21st century, through automation, technology and innovation” have hit the recruitment trail.

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Naming names

September 8 - 14, 2010

NEW mines and new business remain the key focus for warring mine fleet management system vendors Modular Mining Systems and Leica Geosystems, but turfing each other out of a site is surely just as satisfying. Certainly Modular thinks so.

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Mining uncertainty saps Runge momentum

September 1 - 7, 2010

RUNGE chief Tony Kinnane remains confident the company can turn around its 2009-10 profit and revenue nosedive, with offshore markets and potentially its SAP partnership putting software sales back on an upward growth curve.

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Market dimensions expanding for new software

September 1 - 7, 2010

ONE of the developers of a new industrial visualisation software package that applies 3D game technology to real-time data sources such as process control and SCADA systems says potential new applications keep opening up for what is clearly a nascent communications, simulation and planning tool in industries such as mining.

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acQuire founder wins Ernst & Young award

September 1 - 7, 2010

BILL Withers wrote the business plan for acQuire in August 1996 on a plane from Brisbane to Perth. Named this month as Ernest & Young’s 2010 Western Region Entrepreneur of the Year, Withers’ journey to the present has certainly been bumpier than that transcontinental trip across Australia. But acQuire is well and truly on the world map as a mining software supplier.

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Datamine integration ‘progressing well’

September 1 - 7, 2010

THE QUIET transition continues for Datamine under the stewardship of Canadian simulation technology leader CAE, with the latter giving little away to analysts about its plans for the mining software firm acquired earlier this year at a recent briefing.

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IT diary 2010-11

September 1 - 7, 2010

AUTHOR of the Ventsim mine ventilation simulation software now used at more than 400 mines worldwide, Craig Stewart, will host new training courses in Brisbane and Sydney in November.

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In brief: Mincom, SAP

August 25 - 31, 2010

MINCOM Ellipse will become the global enterprise asset management (EAM) platform for iron ore and coal miner Cliffs Natural Resources under a new partnering deal struck between Mincom and Cliffs.

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Micromine’s Mongolia view

August 11 - 17, 2010

SIX years of working in Mongolia has established an Australian mining technology company firmly within the country’s rapidly evolving and expanding mining industry.

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Mincom secures three-year Newcrest deal

August 11 - 17, 2010

AUSTRALIA’S biggest gold producer Newcrest Mining has licensed Mincom’s Production Accounting application to help identify new opportunities for improving metal extraction and gold recovery across its enterprise as part of a three-year, “multi-million-dollar” deal.

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Evolutionary road

August 11 - 17, 2010

KUDOS for Steve Craig and his team at Orelogy from Microsoft and the Australian Government were nice. Mining engineer Craig knows, of course, that recognition of the company’s “transformational” software, evORElution, by his peers is the real test for a company making a difficult transition from mining consultancy to technology provider.

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SAP goes digging and dealing

August 11 - 17, 2010

BANKERS and brokers weren’t the only ones searching out future “Diggers” award winners at last week’s Diggers & Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia (recent winners have included Atlas Iron and Western Areas). SAP’s Grant Clinch and Brad Cuff also had a briefcase stuffed full of cash.

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Eyre is clear on data Fusion

August 11 - 17, 2010

DATAMINE has had a win in its bid to build the profile of the Fusion Geological Database Management System (GDMS) product in Australia, clinching a deal with Eyre Iron in South Australia as part of a broader software supply agreement with the China-backed iron ore company.

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In brief: Tenrox, Eclipse Computing, Honeywell, MineWare, Gemcom

August 11 - 17, 2010

AMERICAN cloud-based project management software provider Tenrox, which lists among its past clients Rio Tinto Alcan and SNC Lavalin, has entered into a strategic partnership with Eclipse Computing (Australia) to build its profile in the Australasian market.

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Beyond the tipping point

July 21 - 27, 2010

AN UPBEAT reading of the outlook for the mine fleet management business has its sales levels exploding after a protracted initiation, with rich lodes of data arriving by the truck load at increasingly sophisticated processing centres. The pragmatist’s view has more miners willing to put real-time production management at the heart of project development strategies, with current effective exploitation of technology lagging well behind industry rhetoric.

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The truth ... it’s out there somewhere

July 21 - 27, 2010

RIO TINTO’S big scoreboard at the northern end of its new operations centre at Perth airport is a potential game-changer for its multi-billion-dollar export iron ore business.

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Numbers signal growth

July 21 - 27, 2010

ACCURATE tracking of the number of fleet management systems sold each year around the world is not easy since most of the key players are privately owned or part of major machine supply companies. The leaders canvassed by HighGrade suggest the number of automated system deployments could soon reach 80-100 a year.

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MSHA approval for coal mine phones

July 21 - 27, 2010

AUSTRALIAN company Mine Site Technologies has received US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) approval for its MinePhone voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephone, giving it a complete tracking and communication system that is MSHA certified under the MINER Act 2006.

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Supplier takes iron grip

July 14 - 20, 2010

NEW Western Australian iron ore miner BC Iron’s search in the first half of this year for geological and mine planning software to meet its needs ended up bypassing regular sector picks. But mining engineer Joel van Anen says the extensive market review produced the outcome the company was looking for.

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Caterpillar sees bigger future for smart machines

July 7 - 13, 2010

CATERPILLAR, the world’s major construction and mining equipment maker, has reportedly spent billions of dollars on research and development so that its products meet US Tier 4 emissions standards and recently announced a $US700 million investment in new mining hydraulic shovels and its electric-drive truck roll-out through to 2014. Less well known is a massive investment in mining technology R&D.

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Seminar focuses on differences of opinion

July 7 - 13, 2010

INCREASING recognition of the value of international resource estimation theory and practice in China has been reflected in a big turnout at a seminar at Beijing’s Long Quan Hotel this week.

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Honeywell snaps up Matrikon

June 30 - July 6, 2010

HONEYWELL won’t say whether its $US139 million acquisition of Matrikon will create a new focus for its minerals sector business, but a spokesperson appeared to leave open the possibility of change in the wake of the deal.

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Miners will outsource more IT services, says JV

June 30 - July 6, 2010

CANADIAN technology firms Peck Tech Consulting and MDA Corporation, a developer of advanced robotics for US space shuttle programs over the past 20 years, joined to take advantage of a developing need for mining companies to outsource specialised information technology services, an MDA spokesperson has told HighGrade.

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EAM market on the move

June 30 - July 6, 2010

A LEADING IT researcher has forecast “full recovery and net growth” in the international enterprise asset management (EAM) market in 2012 after a difficult and dynamic 2009, in a review naming Mincom as the market-leading EAM supplier worldwide to the mining and minerals market.

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It’s life Jim, but not as we know it

June 30 - July 6, 2010

JUNE 28: HAS the ‘smart mining’ era dawned? Investors reading about the official opening of Rio Tinto’s new remote operations centre might not have a clue, but many technologists who’ve worked in and around the industry for years are convinced that it has. To them, Rio Tinto has opened a real treasure trove.

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ROC not such a hard place

June 30 - July 6, 2010

JUNE 28: IT WAS a mine visit like no other.

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Fit for the job

June 23 - 29, 2010

JUNE 28: MARK Coyne knows a bit about workplace hazards. The former rugby league international copped his share of injuries and spent years dealing with workers’ compensation incidents and claims in his ‘other job’. So he understands the realities underpinning safety statistics.

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Peck to develop new mining systems

June 23 - 29, 2010

FOUNDER of Aquila Mining Systems and former Caterpillar IT manager Jonathan Peck has teamed with TSX-listed technology company MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to develop new advanced technology solutions for the mining industry.

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In brief: Gemcom, Maptek, SKM, Whelans, ARANZ

June 23 - 29, 2010

MINING software company Gemcom is opening a new office in Jakarta, Indonesia, this week, underlining confidence in the market’s long-term prospects.

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Leaders form underground alliance

June 16 - 22, 2010

SANDVIK Mining and Construction, one of the world’s major suppliers of underground mining equipment, has confirmed entry into an alliance with mining software leader Gemcom to develop a robust reporting interface for underground mine fleet management.

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In brief: QMASTOR, Maptek, Immersive Technologies, ThoroughTec, Micromine

June 16 - 22, 2010

ASX-LISTED QMASTOR expects to receive more than $A5 million over the next five years for the supply and support of its Horizon planning and scheduling software to the Hunter Valley Coal Chain in New South Wales, Australia – a contract managing director Trent Bagnall sees as a chance for QMASTOR to showcase its products.

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Australian firm helps put technology on the map

June 9 - 15, 2010

BARRY Henderson is on the road – or in the air – more than 150 days each year. For the Denver-based American the job of running Australia’s Maptek could involve even more globetrotting in the years ahead, a prospect he still seems to relish.

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In brief: Mincom, GBI, GijimaAst, Gemcom, Maptek

June 9 - 15, 2010

A SURVEY which showed many North American mining companies didn’t have the IT systems in place to properly support operations and enterprise-level management objectives has been repeated in Australia, with results due out soon.

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A flavour of things to come

June 9 - 15, 2010

GREG Clark might have come to Mincom to help steer it into a range of non-mining growth areas for asset-intensive enterprise software, but he’s quick to highlight the industry’s continuing importance to the company. Ellipse 8 is the latest heavy weaponry unveiled by Mincom as it seeks to hit back at the ‘interlopers’ in its traditional market territory.

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Shaping up to be leader

May 19 - 25, 2010

HAYDN Roberts was five years out of the mine fleet management and truck dispatch technology arena and he believes the business – the market, the technology and the supply landscape – changed a lot in that time. For him, naturally enough, there was a need for a serious, independent player in the market and he believes Hexagon AB was that missing piece.

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SAP ready to take charge of mining space

May 19 - 25, 2010

MAY 17: SAP’S traditional omnipotence at mining’s big end of town is about to be transferred to the mid and lower tiers. That’s the plan, anyway. “Yes, it’s an area of potentially diminishing returns,” says new Australia/New Zealand resources director Grant Clinch in his first media interview. “But it is a market we must participate in.”

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Mining IT diary

May 19 - 25, 2010

ALL the latest news on relevant upcoming information technology events around the world.

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Rock legend to address modelling symposium

May 19 - 25, 2010

MAY 17: INTERNATIONAL consulting group Itasca has received a huge number of abstracts for its second major software user symposium, to be held in Australia early next year.

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IT gives Snowden its X-factor

May 19 - 25, 2010

MAY 17: THE leading Australian-based mining consulting firm Snowden, part of ASX-listed Downer EDI, is aiming to double the size of its mining technology business within five years while continuing to carve out a distinctive niche in the market.

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Geostatistics goes more multi-variable

May 19 - 25, 2010

MAY 17: FRENCH firm Geovariances expects to build on its long-term presence in the Australian and other key mining markets with the release of new geostatistics software which incorporates more results of the Multivariate Recoverable Resources Consortium research project in Paris.

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Survey highlights scope for growth in mining IT

May 12 - 18, 2010

A NEW survey of North American mining executives suggests the industry, at least in that part of the world, is still full of information technology luddites, but that the wheel is turning slowly. The survey, by a leading software firm, highlights a continuing “disconnect between many companies’ top business objectives, and the processes and technologies required to support them”.

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QMASTOR gets ahead in the clouds

May 5 - 11, 2010

IT’S been a productive six months for ASX-listed QMASTOR since the company opened an office in Denver, Colorado. Not only has it expanded its North American client list but it has now concluded a deal with a locally based leader in the business software field to supply a customised performance management platform (PMP) for its mining, port and utilities customers.

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New gorilla in the room?

April 28 - May 4, 2010

THE marriage of a simulation and modelling technology leader with one of the innovators in the mining software world is only the first step in a process aimed at creating a gorilla in the mining technology services area, according to new CAE Datamine chief Nick Beaton.

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Canadian technology firm buys Datamine

April 21 - 27, 2010

APRIL 19: THE head of mining software firm Datamine in Australia has promised “genuine consolidation” in the mining IT market as a result of Canadian simulation technology company CAE Inc’s acquisition of 29-year-old Datamine.

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Datamine deal keeps consolidation ball rolling

April 21 - 27, 2010

APRIL 19: CONSOLIDATION in the mining information and communication technology (ICT) market space is set to gather speed following Canadian technology company CAE’s entry into mining via the acquisition of Datamine.

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FMG turns to SAP

April 21 - 27, 2010

APRIL 19: PROJECT ‘Streamline’ is the sort of business change tagline that gifts an enterprise software supplier promotional mileage. For SAP, the Fortescue Metals Group project is doubly significant because the software giant is ramping up its focus on emerging mining houses in markets such as Australia.

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New release in the balance

April 14 - 20, 2010

JKTECH is nearing a release date for one of the important extensions to its unique JKMultibal mineral processing circuit management software.

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HudBay chooses Mincom EAM

April 14 - 20, 2010

EMERGING Canadian base metals company HudBay Minerals will look to rapidly deploy its new enterprise asset management system after signing a $US6 million deal with Mincom for the supply of the software company’s Mincom Ellipse EAM and full suite of mining technical solutions.

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Australia still a leader in software business

March 31 - April 6, 2010

MARCH 29: HIGHGRADE’S inaugural annual mining software user survey has highlighted the popularity of Australian developed products in the Australasian market.

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Brief look at ISTS well received

March 31 - April 6, 2010

MARCH 29: DATAMINE’S openpit Interactive Short Term Scheduler (ISTS) software was favourably received by mining industry attendees at last week’s product briefings in Perth and Brisbane. HighGrade Mining IT joined them on the first leg of the tour.

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IT Notebook: Gemcom, Maptek

March 24 - 30, 2010

BLOCK caving expert and Gemcom software author Dr Tony Diering is heading to Perth, Western Australia, next month for the Caving 2010 block and sub-level caving conference run by the Australian Centre for Geomechanics. Delegates will hear more about recent modifications to Gemcom’s PCBC block cave planning and scheduling software, used at many of the world’s existing block cave mines.

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IT Notebook: Maptek strikes gold; Itasca PFC3D

March 16 - 22, 2010

AUSTRALIAN mining software company Maptek says it has entered into an “enterprise agreement” with major gold producer Newcrest Mining to provide “flexible deployment of Vulcan for mine planning and geological modelling across existing sites”. The company is understood to have beaten off a long list of rivals to clinch the deal.

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Innovation fires growth, and outside interest

March 9 - 15, 2010

THE developer of “the world’s most advanced” mine fuel management system – a description seemingly endorsed by BHP Billiton’s major mining divisions – is ready to hand over control of his growing business to ensure its technology edge and market lead are maintained in future.

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Law passes Savage test

March 9 - 15, 2010

THE Australian developer of new software used to calculate life-of-mine trucking requirements in openpit mines is weighing up a suitable commercial release date after a beta version demonstrated its worth at the Savage River iron ore mine in Tasmania.

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Underground scheduling software at new juncture

March 9 - 15, 2010

WORK on new underground mine design software overseen by the head of mining engineering at the Western Australia School of Mines, Professor Erkan Topal, is progressing with the aim of producing a tool comparable to those available to opencut mine engineers. But a key advance still has “a bit way to go”, according to Topal.

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Lumps and bumps for recovering Runge

March 2 - 8, 2010

A SOON to be completed large-scale implementation of its mining enterprise software could help clear the blockages in Runge’s sales pipeline, managing director Tony Kinnane said after the company posted 14% lower first-half revenue compared with a year ago.

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Short-term payback for planning software

March 2 - 8, 2010

DATAMINE’S aggressive product roll-out will continue this month with the formal launch of its new Interactive Short Term Scheduling (ISTS) software, developed with input from Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines.

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Mart and co map a new course

March 2 - 8, 2010

THERE are many small operators on the fringes of the pack fighting it out for big chunks of market share in the global mining software business. Seldon Mart has been there, on the sidelines, for nearly 40 years and he’s seen a lot of changes. Now he and his partners have got a second wind.

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Micromine makes geo-logical updates

March 2 - 8, 2010

STRONG sales of its flagship MICROMINE software in the past four months have given Western Australian-based Micromine the ideal lead-up to this week’s general market release of MICROMINE 2010.

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MineWare plugs into BMA draglines

March 2 - 8, 2010

THE Queensland-based company MineWare has claimed the turf of a highly-credentialed former Australian-owned company in winning a preferred supplier agreement with BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) to supply its dragline monitoring and intelligence solutions across all BMA sites.

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MineScape changes IT landscape, says Mincom

February 9 - 15, 2010

MINCOM has done the “heavy lifting” with its overhaul of the MineScape product architecture to be confident of increasing its penetration into the wider mine planning software market, according to the company’s vice-president mining solutions, John Jessop. That ultimately means the metals market in countries such as Australia.

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Datamine lands big Fisher

February 9 - 15, 2010

THE dominant supplier of underground mine planning software to Australian metal mines, Datamine, has achieved what it sees as a significant breakthrough at the Mount Isa complex in north Queensland.

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IT Notebook: Cube Consulting, Mintec, Snowden

February 9 - 15, 2010

CUBE Consulting’s INX workforce management software is popular. How popular? Two measures are the current shipping rate and a growing who’s who delegate list for next month’s user conference in Perth.

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Mincom launches MineScape 5

January 19 - 25, 2010

MINCOM has described MineScape 5, its latest software release, as the most advanced mine planning and modelling solution in the marketplace, a claim that’s sure to set off debate in the industry. The product is expected to be generally available by the end of March this year.

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Mintec vision intact after four decades

January 19 - 25, 2010

FORTY years is an unusually long life for a mining technology company. It is at least a couple of lifetimes for most mining IT companies. US-based Mintec has defied convention with a very conventional business plan.

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IT Notebook: Micromine, MineWare

January 19 - 25, 2010

MICROMINE is ringing the management changes following the departure of CEO Peter Rossdeutscher before Christmas.

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SKM ready to roll with Cintellate

January 19 - 25, 2010

ENGINEERING firm Sinclair Knight Merz will next month start rolling out a customised version of the Cintellate safety management software that has become a staple feature of many other companies’ operations. The new software is expected to automate 20% of relevant business processes and will be a paperless repository for vital health, safety, environment and community (HSEC) data.

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Maptek updates pit scanner

January 19 - 25, 2010

AUSTRALIAN company Maptek has followed up the release of new modelling software for its I-Site laser scanners late last year with the introduction of the I-Site 8800 “extra” long-range scanner.

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Outlook 2010

December 21 - 27, 2009

DECEMBER 9: THE world turned flat for mining information technology vendors in 2009. However, things are definitely looking up in 2010. Here, senior executives from 10 of the world’s leading mining software companies explain why.

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Mine simulation breakthrough could open floodgates

December 21 - 27, 2009

DECEMBER 9: DAVID Beck and his team at Beck Arndt Engineering will continue to work on better integrating their new hydromechanical (HM) simulation capability with available mine planning tools in a bid to get the new advanced mine slope stability and water pressure modelling product as widely deployed as possible.

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What's new in 2009, and 2010

December 21 - 27, 2009

DECEMBER 9: THE GLOBAL economic slowdown gave many mining service and technology companies – with able balance sheets – an opportunity to focus on better positioning themselves for what some believe will be a sustained upturn in knowledge and technology based mining industry investment in the next decade. R&D, at least for mining IT firms, has not been shelved this year.

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Australia key today, and tomorrow

December 21 - 27, 2009

DECEMBER 9: NO SURPRISES here: the world’s major mining software and IT markets are Australia, Canada, the USA and South Africa. What is interesting though is that Russia, nominated as a key growth market by a number of the 10 leading software companies surveyed by HighGrade, is already regarded as an important established market by at least two of the leaders.

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User survey helps improve I-Site

December 21 - 27, 2009

DECEMBER 9: AUSTRALIAN technology firm Maptek says improvements to its I-Site Studio 3.3 laser scan modelling software are designed to streamline routine mine surveying tasks. The company now has 150 I-Site Studio licensees in at least 20 countries.

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CFD models to further reduce pilot time

December 7 - 13, 2009

THE use of advanced mathematical modelling to aid mineral processing plant design and operational enhancements is expected to continue to grow and improve, according to the CSIRO’s Dr Phil Schwarz, particularly with the advent and honing of multi-scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling tools.

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Datamine builds on PRIMO result

December 7 - 13, 2009

NOVEMBER 30: A PRODUCTIVE partnership between Datamine and respected mining software author Chris Alford earlier this year turned a long-term project into a product that has achieved rapid market uptake despite the patchy 2009 spending of mining companies and consultants.

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Scaling up

November 23 - 29, 2009

INFORMATION overload might be a problem at some mines but not for the 20-year-old Queensland company Transcale. The Australian leader in the field of vehicle weighing systems says new technology and emerging “technology support” services have been a hit despite the slowdown in mine spending over the past 12 months.

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Runge frustrated by software sales delays

November 16 - 22, 2009

SOFTWARE and consulting group Runge has confirmed at least 10 $A1 million-plus software sales opportunities are sitting in its “leads inventory”, though closing the deals is proving tricky.

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IT Notebook: QMASTOR, Intercad, Modular Mining

November 16 - 22, 2009

ASX-LISTED QMASTOR has reaffirmed its intention to grow internationally amid firming mining industry demand, with expansion in the Americas and Africa key to its mid-range goal of $A30 million of annual revenue by 2012. This year it expects 10% revenue growth to about $A10 million after a slow first half.

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A framework for change

November 9 - 15, 2009

FORMER WMC and Woodside information systems manager Brian Spence will continue the formal unveiling of Gemcom’s Mining Process Framework at a mining symposium in the Philippines this week. It is a campaign, he says, that could redefine Gemcom as a mining software supplier as much as it helps to sharpen customers’ profit focus.

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IT NOTEBOOK: Jigsaw/Leica Geosystems, Gemcom

November 2 - 8, 2009

YOU need a pretty good tracking system to dig out financial information on Hexagon “precision in everything” AB business unit Jigsaw Technologies, the tiny American firm Hexagon bought for (one would assume) next to nothing in 2007.

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Long haul starts again

October 26 - November 1, 2009

THIRTY years old this month, Modular Mining Systems says it’s not far away from another significant milestone. This is a mark the world’s major supplier of mine fleet management software probably would have reached a lot sooner but for a radical shift in ‘haul road’ conditions in the second half of its journey.

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Vale confirms major software deal

October 19 - 25, 2009

DATAMINE’S announcement of a significant GDMS software contract with Brazil’s Vale has happily coincided with the world’s second biggest mining company detailing plans for a major expansion of its iron ore operations in the next five years.

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ICT on Rio's cake

October 12 - 18, 2009

THE technological shift set to underpin future expansion of Rio Tinto’s Pilbara iron ore operations – and inevitably those of BHP Billiton if their iron ore joint venture becomes reality – is entering a new phase following the opening of Rio’s Perth remote operations centre (ROC).

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Go ahead, make his day

October 12 - 18, 2009

RUNGE managing director Tony Kinnane has the guns loaded and cocked. Judging by the confident smile and air it seems he’ll have no hesitation in opening fire on the first rival to violate the company’s unusual mining technology patent, and even that he’s looking forward to a (inevitable) transgression.

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MineWare founder says Brisbane to grow as mining technology Mecca

October 12 - 18, 2009

THE YOUNG CEO of a Brisbane-based mining software firm says the city’s position as a global mining technology hub is set to be enhanced as the industry becomes a bigger user of advanced information and communication technologies. This probably won’t harm the growth prospects of 33-year-old Andrew Jessett’s MineWare either.

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IT Notebook: Sedgman/ASE, Micromine

October 12 - 18, 2009

LEADING coal plant builder and operator, Sedgman, expects to complete the initial roll-out of its SCORS operations reporting software by the end of 2009. The product, which has just won an Engineers Australia (Queensland) Excellence Award for Control Systems, Networks, Information Processing and Telecommunications, is now being offered to non-Sedgman coal plant operators.

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HighGrade/Gartner team up for survey

October 12 - 18, 2009

PORTENTS for stronger mining industry information technology investment were good before the global financial crisis, but not in its immediate aftermath. What about now? HighGrade has joined with Gartner Inc to conduct a major survey of the industry to gauge the outlook for mining IT investment in 2010.

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IT Notebook: Datamine, GBI, Micromine, Maptek

October 5 - 11, 2009

ANDREW Lingard is already up to his neck in coal – not the norm for a Datamine employee.

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IT Notebook: Runge, Gemcom, Coffey-Virtalis, Maptek

October 5 - 11, 2009

RUNGE has taken steps to defend its Mining Dynamics IP against friend and foe alike by securing patents “related to the methodology” underpinning its enterprise solution. The move to protect the IP in Australia and South Africa, initiated two years ago, creates something of a barrier between Runge’s work in the area and that of a couple of its heavyweight technology partners.

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acQuire to grow faster

September 28 - October 4, 2009

WANT a job in exploration or mining that will still be there when your company cuts its profit from $3 zillion to only $2 zillion? Then you might consider joining a technology and services company such as the Australian firm, acQuire.

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Where there's a will ...

September 28 - October 4, 2009

IF AUTOMATION and true ‘remote’ control over product delivery and quality are technological themes that will define the mining company of the future, then the calibre of value-stream management within these companies is what will separate the leaders from the also-rans.

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Seeing is believing

September 21 - 27, 2009

MINE Planning 2009, Dunsborough, Western Australia (no, it is not a new mining hub!). The mining software conference had polylines, semi-transparent fill and DGN files galore. But it also hit on mining’s really big IT themes of the new millennium: visualisation, integration and optimisation.

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Nickel miner develops own planning culture

September 21 - 27, 2009

ONE of the success stories of the Western Australian mining industry of recent years, Western Areas, is ready to add a second high-grade nickel mine at its Forrestania stronghold, less than eight years after it bought into the belt. But the company’s transition from explorer to low-cost nickel producer was anything but smooth, according to operations director Dan Lougher. Water and black boxes produced major hiccups.

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GijimaAst targets offshore growth

September 21 - 27, 2009

GIJIMAAST Global Mining Solutions, aspiring to be No.1 in the world in the mining technical systems market, can treble revenues outside South Africa in the next five years without acquisitions, according to senior executive Pieter Nel, who maintains the company is in no hurry to pursue M&A that could elevate its standing sooner.

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Ventsim Visual to blow away competition

September 21 - 27, 2009

CRAIG Stewart’s days as a part-time software developer and vendor are probably over.

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Barker looks to rebuild Datamine dimensions

September 21 - 27, 2009

DATAMINE Australia general manager Brad Barker might be using the standard line of a new business leader when he says he plans to do things differently. Naturally, with a company like Datamine, he won’t fully explain the comment. But there were some clear signals at a conference jointly sponsored by the software supplier last week.

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Bend it like Beck

September 21 - 27, 2009

FORMER Mount Isa mining engineer David Beck advises mining companies around the world on mine design and scheduling in high stress, high displacement or seismically active conditions. The principal of Beck Arndt Engineering addressed Mine Planning 2009 in Western Australia last week, and later spoke to HighGrade.

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Silo breakers

September 14 - 20, 2009

THE prize for unlocking, and connecting, mining’s data silos is great – for mining companies and the IT firms with the new generation tools to turn data into reliable, real-time information worth its weight in gold.

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Silo breakers: the war of words is underway

September 14 - 20, 2009

OUR report, Silo Breakers, wasn’t out long before the salvos from mining software suppliers started.

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IT NOTEBOOK: GijimaAst, Runge, Gemcom

September 14 - 20, 2009

DELEGATES at a mining technology conference in Western Australia this week will get an update on a major southern hemisphere underground mine communications installation – in Zambia.

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Global positioning critical

August 31 - September 6, 2009

NEWCASTLE-based QMASTOR is among a flotilla of Australia mining technology and service (MTS) companies seeking to make regular international docks new centres of business before the next major upswing in mining investment.

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IT NOTEBOOK: Margaret River mine plan, Micromine, Runge

August 31 - September 6, 2009

THERE can’t be too many better places to plan a mine than Margaret River, or nearby at Dunsborough, not that we’re likely to see too much digging in the scenic wine growing and tourism district. That won’t stop (in fact it will no doubt encourage) a big troupe of miners gathering at Bunker Bay in a couple of weeks to compare mine development notes.

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Jansen spells out the need for change

August 24 - 30, 2009

IF traditional metal balancing and reconciliation are dark arts and modern metal accounting is the key to unlocking real value from mineralised ores, then University of Queensland professor Rob Morrison may well be mining’s new-age Merlin. The sorcerer’s apprentice? Well that would be Will Jansen, seen here performing the neat trick of getting power out of a tree in the middle of Africa.

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CAT the IT consolidator?

August 24 - 30, 2009

MINING machinery giant Caterpillar is the world’s dominant supplier of mining trucks, loaders and bulldozers but is a bit player in mining technology, an industry of a thousand small and often disparate pieces. That hasn’t stopped speculation that the company is building more than just a technology platform on which to expand the service and support offering it provides to miners, construction contractors and other key users of its equipment.

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IT Notebook: Mincom, Strategic Thought, Leica

August 24 - 30, 2009

PRIVATELY owned American rare earth producer and technology company Molycorp Minerals LLC says mining software supplier Mincom has delivered on its promise to streamline delivery of its new enterprise asset management (EAM) platform.

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Modular builds on Anglo-Latin American ground

July 27 - August 2, 2009

THE US-based mine information management systems vendor Modular Mining Systems has extended two mine contracts with Anglo American Corp in Chile. One of the big openpit mines, Los Bronces, is completing a $US2 billion expansion.

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Change is coming down the line

July 20 - 26, 2009

CHRIS Fischer left the burgeoning telecommunications sector and mainstream information technology industry to work in one with a poor track record of IT deployment, but one in which he is seeing clear change signals that go all the way back to the mining technology company he works for.

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Dynamic shift in prospect

July 20 - 26, 2009

WHILE not confirming or denying analyst speculation about a $A10 million pipeline of software sales, Runge’s Mining Dynamics manager Glen Kuntz remains confident factors outside and beyond the GFC-induced economic hardship impacting mining investment are working in favour of the company and its potentially “company changing” product.

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The spinning wheel

June 1 - 7, 2009

BIG private investors have positioned themselves for it. The capital intensive mining industry is crying out for it. The time is well and truly right for it. It is mining’s IT revolution, but unfortunately it’s going to have to wait.

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Low hanging fruit

June 1 - 7, 2009

GRAND visions of automated mines and city-based operations centres are meant to impress investors, but miners have many cost-saving, and efficiency and safety enhancing opportunities already within their grasp, according to IT experts. And the means to clearly and accurately report the benefits.

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My name is ERP

June 1 - 7, 2009

ENTERPRISE resource planning systems have attracted the lion’s share of mining IT investment in recent years and the IT sector is divided on the benefits, and on whether greater focus should have been elsewhere.

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The usual suspects

June 1 - 7, 2009

THE companies leading the industry’s push to mine data more effectively include Alcoa, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold and Goldfields – with mining contractors seen by some, perhaps surprisingly, as a touchstone for change at the coalface.

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Mining IT on investment menu

June 1 - 7, 2009

THE recent mining boom saw the value of mega-mining deals top previous benchmarks in the sector, while new M&A and equity raisings in global mining services and manufacturing also exceeded past high-points. Mining IT is a diminutive sector by comparison, but moves could be afoot to change that.

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Barrick casts wider net to unlock value

March 17 - 23, 2008

CANADIAN gold giant Barrick Gold Corporation’s quest to unlock the vault to $US3.6 billion worth of silver at a gold project in Argentina is another internet-based mining experiment in the Goldcorp Challenge vane.

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