Canadian Mining Journal


DRILLING: Northern Star benefits from Minnovare Production Optimizer

Minnovare's online reporting engine, part of the Production Optimizer Credit: Minnovare

Minnovare’s online reporting engine, part of the Production Optimizer Credit: Minnovare

AUSTRALIA – Northern Star Resources, a gold producer with underground assets in Australia and the United States implemented Minnovare’s Production Optimizer technology across their Kalgoorlie operations between March and August 2018.

At just one of their Kalgoorlie operations, the company stoped an additional 42,000 tonnes, representing an estimated 8,300oz annually and increased revenue by approximately AU$18 million.

“Following the implementation, the new technology immediately impacted our drilling speed – by simplifying the process the driller had to follow in order to drill each hole, accurately,” said Jeff Brown, principal of innovation and technology at Northern Star. “The amount of time spent actually drilling therefore increased – contributing to the increase in average drilled meters and a reduction in average stope cycle time. Added to that was the improvement in accuracy and consistency of our drilling.

Minnovare implemented the production optimizer system at the first operation in March 2018, running three long hole production rigs. This was followed by a second operation in August 2018, also running three rigs. The production optimizer technology works independently of the rig’s on-board systems to deliver greater speed, accuracy and reliability in rig setup – leading to greater drilling accuracy and optimum blasts.

Jeff Brown adds that “we’ve seen average drilled meters across our Kalgoorlie operations increase by up to 33%. That’s a significant impact, which has been underpinned by this technology.”

Due to the success achieved of the production Optimizer, Northern Star has entered into a collaboration agreement with Minnovare to fast track a number of new product developments.

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