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New features for Micromine software

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Now in its 30th year, Micromine has maintained its leading reputation by regularly releasing new software versions that build upon the strengths of its solutions. This ensures Micromine’s software continues to meet evolving user needs and industry conditions.
Established in 1986, in Perth, Western Australia, Micromine has cultivated a reputation as a leading provider of software solutions to mining communities throughout Australia, Russia, Africa and across the world.
Micromine is set to release the latest version of its leading exploration and 3D mine design solution, Micromine 2016, to clients and industry at a launch event held in May at the QV1 Function Centre in Perth, Western Australia. Following the Perth launch, events will be held in Brisbane, Australia, and international launches throughout the company’s global offices, including Russia, North America, Indonesia, the UK and South Africa.
Micromine 2016 is the 16th version of the application, which enables users to capture, manage and interpret critical data, and is relevant to all stages of the mineral extraction process.
Micromine provides explorers with an in-depth understanding of their project so they can target prospective regions more effectively, increasing the chance of a project’s success. It gives miners easy-to-use modelling, estimation, planning and design tools to simplify day-to-day production tasks.
Commenting on the upcoming release, Micromine’ technical product manager, Frank Bilki, says: “After nearly two years of continuous development and many hundreds of individual changes, we’re close to finalising Micromine 2016.”
“This year’s release has something for everyone. Many of the updates are Core features that benefit every user, not just those with extra modules. They include simple timesavers like being able to drop any supported file into Micromine from an outside location, and a Project Explorer pane that provides direct access to all of the files in a project.”
Other core enhancements include:
* 3D PDF output, which produces PDFs where users can interactively show and hide layers, rotate, pan and zoom the display, and even measure distances and directions, right within Adobe Acrobat Reader
* Dynamic field expressions that let users write ‘equations’ wherever they would select an input field, together with an expression-based calculator that takes full advantage of this enhancement
* Quick-find options for locating drillholes and wireframes (triangulations) within a mass of data
* Maximum Intensity Projection for the Vizex Point layer for visualising trends in huge point clouds. This is extremely useful when preparing data for Implicit Modelling or Geostatistics.
Explorers benefit from a suite of flexible new drillhole planning tools that includes options for designing straight or curved holes from the bottom up or the top down. As an added timesaver, customers working in a mature area can easily use an existing hole as a template for a planned hole. Other new drillhole-related tools include:
* Drillhole log display, includes a large number of display types and page layout controls, along with interactive grade intersection calculations
* Drillhole database filter option, which is ideal for packaging all of the drill data needed for statutory annual reporting.
Other changes for explorers and resource geologists include new chart axis formatting options; stereonet improvements that include Fisher contours and pole-group definitions; improved statistical cross-validation, which now supports all interpolation methods and modelling parameters; a new block model assign option that writes the properties of rotated and sub-blocked models to a file; and improved multiple indicator kriging.
“We’ve also made major changes to our implicit modelling module, the largest of which is the inclusion of a varying structural trend in the modelling process. Our implicit modeller now accommodates changes in the direction of the geological structures under investigation. We’ve also added new radial basis function (RBF) solver options so users can tailor the solver to the data. Other changes include a new output file option that saves the implicit model equation for later reuse; better handling of unassigned rock codes in lithology modelling” says Bilki.
Miners benefit from our all-new long-term production scheduler, which complements the existing short-term activity scheduler. The long-term scheduler uses industry-standard mixed-integer solvers to determine the optimal mining sequence, and users can choose a free or commercial solver to suit their needs and budget. We’ve added a new create mining blocks tool to simplify the creation of mining blocks (tasks).
A new quick filter option simplifies the search for individual mining tasks in a complex schedule. We’ve also modified our wireframe grade-tonnage reporting to define hierarchical material types that are necessary for today’s mineral operations. Users can view their hierarchies on a relationship diagram, making them easy to understand and validate.
Surface miners gain a redesigned Pit Optimiser workflow and a built-in charting and reporting framework that eliminates the need to use a spreadsheet application. A new Pit Optimiser database caches all of the relevant data, eliminating unnecessary recalculations. Other new features for surface miners include tools for auto-building an open pit shell and realigning multiple open pit design strings.
Underground miners get a suite of tools for converting sidewalls of underground mine workings into 3D solids, which includes creating floor wireframes (triangulations) from overlapping mine workings such as declines, sidewall-to-centreline conversion, and an improved sidewall-to-solid conversion.  A new coalesce strings (polylines) function intelligently joins strings without having to know the join order beforehand, making it an ideal pre-processing step for these sidewall tools.