company insight

When a technology partner has been driving changes in its space for 40 years, you know that they are innovative, agile and trusted by the industry. Peter Johnson, Maptek Managing Director, shares insights on why Maptek has so successfully navigated technology shifts through the mining cycle over the years.

Future-proof your data with Maptek

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Maptek has grown from a small Australian start-up able to solve a specific borehole plotting issue for an American coal company, to the global leader in mining software and lidar technology.

With mining ramping up again around the world, big changes are underway for mining technology and for Maptek’s 20,000 users.

Maptek is most widely known as the company behind Vulcan, the powerhouse of mine planning and modelling software for geologists and engineers, and I-Site laser imaging systems, the first purpose-built-for-mining lidar scanners. In the last decade, Maptek has also introduced a suite of technologies ahead of the game, all built from the ground up to tackle mining’s other big challenges with gusto. Activities such as drill and blast, panel caving, intelligent scheduling and surface stability monitoring have all been transformed in recent years by Maptek breakthroughs.

At Maptek, the best and brightest computer scientists work closely with experienced surveyors, mine engineers and geologists. ‘We pride ourselves on creating the most responsive, user-centric development process,’ says Johnson. ‘The same people who are interacting with our customers day-to-day also work closely with our developers to prioritise and guide our technology direction.

‘Our geologists and engineers are engaged in ongoing dialogue with sites of all commodities and sizes, hearing their challenges, feeding this back to our developers who translate this into new functionality. Our dedicated product managers also review how and where new technologies can better integrate with existing site workflows.’

‘This customer-centric approach is precisely why Maptek software is rich in features and integration. We see capabilities in greener software packages touted as new and innovative that have been standard features in Vulcan for years - tried, tested and relied on. We take it as a compliment when Maptek workflows become the standard.’

Our technology roadmap is driven by one overarching agenda: future-proofing the mining industry

If digital data is the new lifeblood of the mining industry then mining technology is the heart

The “easy” to mine surface deposits are depleting, demand for ore and mineral resources is increasing, as are the expectations for sustainable operations. Navigating this complex environment requires contextual expertise, and that’s why innovative mining companies trust Maptek to help unpack and solve their digital data challenges.

‘Out of context, data fast loses its real value. Without an understanding of processes coming before and after in the operational chain, the value of the data is not maximised nor future-proofed, and that is what sets Maptek apart’ says Johnson. ‘Because Maptek bridges the gap between mining and technology, we always have our finger on the pulse to deliver practical tools that allow our customers to work smarter and more efficiently. Our commitment to R&D means that a solution developed by Maptek will be supported, as will our users in their day-to-day work.’

Connectivity is central to digitising mine operations, and the Maptek technology roadmap reflects a deep understanding of how this applies to mining. Maptek applications allow digital data to circulate between workflows and operational stages with ease. Acknowledging the market uptake will see new technology providers enter the mining space Johnson reflects that our deep understanding of the mining cycle and context helps us maintain and grow our customer base. It also helps us explore possibilities and smooth constraints.

A key example of this is how Maptek helps mines apply relevant data and knowledge across functions and stages of the mining value chain to deliver both business improvement and quality outcomes, as well as a more connected data model which is the basis for effective automation of processes and equipment.

Maptek’s R&D approach has proven to be sustainable for the mining industry, and our vision for the well-connected mine over 5 years ago has been supported by advances in the wider machine learning and IoT spaces. This has allowed Maptek to achieve successful implementation in mining operations across 85 countries.

‘Mining operations are looking to Maptek to help navigate through this new era in mining technology,’ concluded Johnson. ‘Maptek is mining first, technology second. Our solutions set the industry benchmark for robustness and reliability, and we understand what risk means in mining.’

It is this proposition, and Maptek’s nous for data integration and forecasting, that sees companies able to effectively extract the maximum value from their orebody by effective analysis and application of mining data. The consequence of this is increased productivity and efficiency of plant, equipment and resources in delivery of planned mining activities and outcomes - from the long term, life-of-mine scale to the short-term activity schedules, and across all technical disciplines.

‘Maptek does more than provide a product and solution for what companies need right now; we partner with them for the long haul, making sure that they maximise the potential that their digital data can deliver. That is true future-proofing.’

If digital data is the new lifeblood of the mining industry then mining technology is the heart

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