The company stated that Epoch adds to the proven Evolution capability for mid and long-term schedules, working at the finest detail of the short-term planning horizon. Open-cut mines can schedule with a single system designed to maximise project value across the life of the operation.
The Epoch short-term planning environment can allow engineers to manage multiple mining activities, tasks and equipment, and apply different types of dependencies to define mining sequences. The new tool connects short-term planning to the resource model, as well as upstream mine design and downstream mine performance.
Eduardo Coloma, mine planning product manager at Maptek, stated: "We developed Evolution Epoch with a clear vision stated, to ensure short-term planners can build schedules that are practical, conform to mining constraints and remain aligned with long-term scheduling goals."
Engineers can use Epoch to produce viable schedules by simultaneously considering excavation, haulage and dump activities. Epoch can deliver flexible and automated sequencing, schedule visualisation and dynamic reporting. Integration with the long-term schedule and Vulcan mine plans ensures that plans do not focus on short-term gains which result in long-term losses.
Coloma added that the Evolution scheduling solution is dynamic and agile, minimising disruption to operations in the face of commodity, grade and resource fluctuations. He noted: "Changing conditions require schedules to be rerun over and over, complicating the engineering task."
In addition, having live links to datasets and being able to rapidly test scenarios makes stakeholders more confident in authorising adoption and deployment of practical short-term schedules.
Coloma said: "The advantage of an integrated system is that everyone is able to work from the same data. As mid term plans are updated, short-term planners can tailor their schedules to target these new plans
"Data connectivity across the entire mine planning process minimises risks associated with data manipulation. Engineers can revise the haulage network in their designs and see the changes automatically reflected in Evolution viewer."
The live scheduling dashboard connects all departments across the mine. Engineers can analyse multiple sequences to guide activity execution and step forward in time across mine planning horizons to evaluate the impact of the current sequence.
Coloma added: "Many of the decisions in the short-term space are urgent and unplanned, so connecting scheduling with mine planning and the orebody model helps build a decision support system where knowledge replaces assumptions."
Mine planning that continually references the geological model ensures engineers are able to generate schedules that maximise economic value of their operation over the long term.
Epoch was released alongside Evolution Strategy and Origin version 6. Strategy delivers new multi-element cutoff grade and CAPEX optimisation functionality for maximising recovery and revenue to its suite of strategic optimisation tools. Origin generates detailed scheduling scenarios from life-of-mine to short-term planning horizons.