Investing in the miners of tomorrow

The University of Alberta in Edmonton is the latest recipient of mine planning software licenses from Hexagon’s Mining division. The school is one of Canada’s most reputable universities and its mining engineering program is the biggest of its kind in the country. It offers a broad-based program, covering subjects ranging from surface and underground mining to physical and mathematical sciences.

Associate Professor-Engineering, Jeff Boisvert, explained why the school approached Hexagon about obtaining HxGN MinePlan software licenses.

“Many of the students have used it in work terms and often request to use it during their final capstone projects,” said Boisvert. “Clearly there is value to the software. Being familiar with industry-standard software packages is key. When companies look to hire, any skills that the students can bring to the table to save on training makes them more attractive.”

Boisvert said students will apply the software to the design of surface and underground mine workings, as well as geostatistical modeling.

University of Alberta students are applying Hexagon’s mine planning software to the design of surface and underground mine workings.

Specifically, the school plans to use HxGN MinePlan for classes that comprise a full mine-design project. Beginning with drillhole data, the projects incorporate a dynamic scenario-based full feasibility study from exploration through operations to final mine closure plan.

The software will also be used in an introductory mine planning class, featuring standard tools for geological and economic block models: open pit mine layout and planning requirements; pit limit optimization; haul road design; pit and waste dump design; long and short-term mine production scheduling; and cut-off grade optimization.

Experience using HxGN MinePlan helps students’ employment prospects, which Boisvert described as “great”.

“We have been successful at placing nearly all graduating students in recent years. We have strong industry support through Alberta’s Mining Industry Advisory Committee and other industry partners.”

Providing software licenses to universities are another way of investing in tomorrow’s miners for Hexagon, which collaborates with mining schools worldwide and awards numerous scholarships each year. The company sees a return on that investment in several ways. For instance, Hexagon employees, Donald Hernandez (Bachelor in Geology) and Raheleh Rasimarzabadi (PhD in Mining Engineering) are University of Alberta grads.

Clayton Deutsch, Professor of Engineering at the school, has visited Hexagon to teach classes on Applied Geostatistics. He has also contributed to developing new software via the Centre for Computational Geostatistics, a research group based at the university.


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