In the field: Toquepala, Peru

Senior MineSight Specialist, Ernesto Vivas, meets some of the ‘locals’.

Senior MineSight Specialist, Ernesto Vivas, meets some of the ‘locals’ during a visit to Toquepala.

Hexagon Mining serves clients in some of the remotest parts of the planet. Earlier this year, Senior MineSight Specialist, Ernesto Vivas, visited the Toquepala mine in the Peruvian Andes. Here’s his report.

Toquepala is more of a city than a mining camp. ‘Home’ to 2,000 people, Toquepala offers almost everything you might need, including an elementary school, a high school, hospital, supermarkets – even a golf course complete with 19th hole!

The mine itself is a typical open pit, truck, and shovel operation. On behalf of Hexagon Mining’s mine planning arm, MineSight, I visited to deliver a two-week mine planning training course. MineSight is a comprehensive mine planning and mine modeling software platform for exploration, modeling, design, scheduling and operation.

Toquepala is a typical open pit, truck, and shovel operation in the Peruvian Andes.

Toquepala is a typical open pit, truck, and shovel operation in the Peruvian Andes.

We started the class with MineSight Economic Planner to determine the economic pit limits, incremental pit shells, and preliminary pushback creation. One of the issues encountered during the training was the ‘gap/jump’ challenge when the price is slightly increased. There are a few alternative ways to solve this issue. However, one simple solution to this problem is to limit the optimization area of the block model, as shown below.

Limiting the optimization area of the block model is a simple solution for the gap/jump challenge.

Limiting the optimization area of the block model is a simple solution for the gap/jump challenge.

After the pit optimization portion of the class, we proceeded to reserves reporting, pushback design and haulage configuration. The intention of the haulage portion for long range was to simply obtain cycle times for later use during the scheduling stage, for which we used the existing phase solids.

Starting topography and phase designs.

Starting topography and phase designs.

Toquepala’s LOM schedule was evaluated with MSSO first with *.scd files and later with solids. Some of the students were familiar with our legacy scheduling tools, and for them it was really refreshing to see the latest and greatest version of MineSight Schedule Optimizer (MSSO) in action, which put a big smile on their faces. After the long range portion of the class, I spent a weekend of spiritual retreat at Toquepala’s housing facilities.

Peace and quiet at Toquepala’s housing facilities.

Peace and quiet at Toquepala’s housing facilities.

During the second week, we switched gears to the medium- and short-range planning portion of the class. Toquepala’s main goal is the implementation of MSSO for medium- and short-term planning. During the first three days we trained with Toquepala’s data using a simplified case. During the last couple of days we worked on setting up a preliminary 18-month mine plan. The students were a combination of experienced users, all the way to interns with very little experience. However, all of the students were very smart and engaged with the training.

Toquepala-footie

Lastly, no trip to South America is complete without a proper game of soccer!

Toquepala is a successful and productive user of Hexagon Mining’s MineSight software. We have high hopes of the mine converting to Hexagon Mining’s operations and safety solutions, too!

Toquepala’s students take a break from training.

Toquepala’s students take a break from training.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s