February 2012 | Mining University

Maptek Vulcan - Haulage Profile VUL-8692

The following bug has been logged by Maptek and carries ticket number VUL-8692

When using Open Pit>Haulage Profile>Model Route Calculation, you can set multiple material types. A given block can only be one of these three classifications - ORE, WASTE or OTHER. In turn, the user attempts to use a single variable to store ORE or WASTE results since the blocks are uniquely one or the other, the results stored in the production time, distance, or any other report variable will also be uniquely for one or the other. However, this is currently not possible and the haulage profile tool reports incorrectly if this the setup.

Hycroft Expansion Project EIS

The Hycroft mine north of Winnemucca, NV is in the process of expanding operations.  As part of this process, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting public comments about the proposed expansion.  I thought that readers of the Mining University website would be an appropriate group to make constructive comments about mining (hippies and environmental nuts need not apply).

If you would like your comments to be recorded by the BLM please send an email to:
Address - wfoweb@blm.gov
Subject - Hycroft Mine Expansion Project (Rehberg)
Include the following information: Name, Representing, Mailing Address, Telephone, Email Address along with your comments.  All comments are due by March 12, 2012.

To outline the project and the expansion, the permitting group at Allied Nevada has compiled the following outline.  All comments to the BLM must be unique, so please don't just cut and paste this list.

Thanks for your help,

Project Specific:

·        The Hycroft Mine currently employs approximately 200 workers. The Proposed Action would increase the mine life by an additional 12 years and will more than double employment to 537 mine personnel by 2019.
·        The Proposed Action would add approximately 337 employees within six months of approval, which directly impacts the populations of the assessment area communities.
·        HRDI is one of the top ten employers in Humboldt County. With the addition of the workforce under the Proposed Action, HRDI would be one of the top three employers in Humboldt County.
·        With the economic downturn in 2008, the unemployment rate almost doubled between 2008 and 2009 in the assessment area. The increased employment resulting from the Proposed Action would potentially help reduce the unemployment rates in the assessment area.
·        Indirect employment effects resulting from the direct employment expansion. Using the Gold Mining economic sector employment multiplier, an additional 166 jobs could also be created in those communities in addition to the jobs created at the mine. Factoring in a household income multiplier, this would lead to a resultant increase of at least $7,348,531 in salaries not generated by the Project, through at least 2020.
  •         Under the Proposed Action, local economic, governmental and social resources would be positively impacted by an increase in employment, salaries, operating costs, sales and use taxes, property taxes, and net proceeds taxes. The property taxes and the sales and use taxes are collected by the counties. The net proceeds of minerals tax is collected by the state and a portion are distributed to the county where the minerals are mined.
  •         Humboldt and Pershing Counties are dependent on stable locally derived tax revenues. The bulk of these revenues are from property taxes. The projected tax revenues provide significant stability to the region’s governmental finances. Hycroft works in cooperation with Humboldt and Pershing Counties on road maintenance and improvement and will continue to provide maintenance, equipment, manpower, and materials to maintain safe roadways.

·        Sustainability is part of development including: Geothermal resource development, utilization of the existing railroad, support of infrastructure in the Black Rock Desert, communication enhancement for the area.
·        Hycroft is committed to environmental stewardship in maintaining permits and conducting compliance measures in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations.
·        The expansion has been designed to minimize and avoid environmental impact.
·        Visually, Hycroft will perform concurrent and interim reclamation whenever possible that will include revegetation to maintain landscape and minimize erosion. Post-mining the landscape will be made to look like surrounding landforms.

General mining:

·        While 12,000 people currently work on mine sites in Nevada, more than 48,000 work for suppliers and service companies in every county in the state. 
·        Every county in Nevada , except one (Carson City), has an operating mine.  Thus, mine sites fuel billions of dollars into Nevada’s entire economy, not just rural economies.

Brief Project Description being analyzed in the EIS:

Under the Proposed Action, HRDI proposes expanded mining and mineral exploration activities. The expansion would include approximately 2,172 acres of new surface disturbance on private and public land, for a total Project surface disturbance of 5,235 acres. The expansion would expand the existing Project boundary, which encompasses approximately 8,858 acres, by an additional 5,895 acres to bring the total Project area to 14,753 acres of public and private land. The actions associated with the Proposed Action includes of the following, amongst other associated actions:
  •  Expand the Plan boundary;
  •  Expand the existing Brimstone, Bay Area, Boneyard, and Center open pits;
  •  Construct two ready line and heavy equipment fueling areas and expand the existing ready line and fueling area;
  • Expand the existing WRFs and construct, operate, and reclaim the South WRF and associated haul roads;
  • Construct, operate, and close the North Brimstone heap leach facility and associated process ponds and Merrill Crowe process plant;
  • Construct, operate, and close the South heap leach facility, MerrillCrowe process plant, and solution ponds;
  • Expand the existing refinery;
  • Expand the existing Brimstone MerrillCrowe process plant;
  • Expand maintenance facilities;
  • Reclaim the Project consistent with the proposed Reclamation Plan. 

Gemcom Wins Award for Best Mine Planning Software?

Mining Magazine recently announced the winner of their award for best 'Mine Planning and Resource Modelling software.'
I found this very interesting.  Have you ever looked through a copy of Mining Magazine?  There is one mining software company who advertises heavily in the magazine.  There are no other advertisements for mining software.
Guess who is the sole software advertiser for Mining Magazine? You guessed it, Gemcom.
I'm not saying that they don't deserve it.  I have never used their mine planning software.  I just think it is interesting that they would receive an award from a magazine that receives so much of their advertising money.
I suppose that if we were looking for truly unbiased results we shouldn't be reading magazines or newspapers anyway.
Oh well.

Maptek Vulcan - Service Pack 8.1.3 and Hot Fix 1

I seem to be a little bit behind on the most recent release by Maptek.  Service pack 8.1.3 was released in December of 2011 and I completely missed it.  Along with the new service pack, Maptek also released something I had never seen from them before, a 'Hot Fix.'  The release notes for the 'Hot Fix' state that it is to remove an enhancement that didn't work well with some graphics cards.  Cards affected include:
NVIDIA Quadro FX 570M
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800M
NVIDIA Quadro NVS 285
If you have one of these cards don't install service pack 8.1.3 unless you intend to install the 'Hot Fix' at the same time.

I was reading the release notes prior to installing the service pack and 'Hot Fix' and was persuaded to postpone upgrading to the newest version.  I am in the middle of running some Whittle optimizations and don't need to be the one to find out if the new import upgrades have any bugs.  The basis for my comments in this post is the Maptek Vulcan release notes.

There were a number of upgrades to options that Maptek states prevents Vulcan from 'closing' or 'closing unexpectedly' or cause an 'unexpected termination.'  I think we all know that these are just euphemisms for the more common term 'CRASH.'

Menu options that Maptek is willing to admit have been crashing include:
Design > Polygon Edit > Build
Model > Primitives > Create/Edit Primitives
Grid Calc > Integrated Stratigraphic Modeling > Interpolate Drillhole Data - Fix DHD
Block > Viewing > Load Dynamic Model
Block > Transfer > Extract Blocks
Drilling Section > Create Section
If you use or are planning to use any of these menu options you will want to upgrade to service pack 8.1.3 and 'Hot Fix 1.'

Also included in this service pack are fixes to remnants of the original FORTRAN code.  FORTRAN required the definition of field and path lengths when the code was originally written.  As time progresses the acceptable file name length and path length change but FORTRAN stays the same with no option for fields of increasing length.  Several years ago Maptek converted all their code to C+ or C++.  The following fixes in service pack 8.1.3 are a testament that this conversion is still not completely functional.

FORTRAN style fixes include:
Block > Viewing > Gradeshells
Block > Advanced Reserves
Block > Advanced Reserves > Advanced Reserves Editor
If you are using any of these options be careful to not use file names or path names that are too long.

Finally, there are the Maptek Vulcan fixes and upgrades that I am worried about.  In addition to the Whittle import/export changes I am also interested/worried about changes to:
Open Pit > Open Cut Design > Berm String - New functionality to allow the user to specify with the mouse which direction the berm should go.  Is this going to be helpful or painful.
Open Pit > Open Cut Design > Auto Pit - New checkbox to override berm width and batter angle.  What do they mean by this?  Is this change really going to be helpful?
Open Pit > Open Cut Design > Project String - Maptek claims that 'Line projection results have been improved.'  How exactly have they been improved?  I didn't think that they were so bad before.
I worry about these changes because these are some of the options that I use frequently.  I will have to give you an update about the how they work out for me in a few weeks when I have installed service pack 8.1.3 and 'Hot Fix 1.'