For more than a decade, Hexagon has supported and partnered with mining schools and students via sponsorships, scholarships, software licenses and research collaborations. For a company focused on the coming decades of innovation and beyond, it makes sense to back the miners of tomorrow.
In December, Hexagon welcomed professors and directors from the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB) and Sanshandao Gold Mine. The visitors had made the long journey to Tucson, Arizona to learn more about the Mining division’s technology, particularly HxGN MinePlan.
Nailian Hu, USTB’s Professor Mining Engineering, hailed the visit a success: “Hexagon is acting as a bridge between the two bodies – mining customers as final user and university/institute as research and education body. This is a very good model to benefit all parties and the first time we have seen such a successful business model.”
Giancarlo Comini, Vice President of the MinePlan Business Unit led product managers in presenting Hexagon’s life-of-mine solutions at the Tucson headquarters.
Guoqing Li, Professor of Mining Engineering at USTB said the group was impressed. “Hexagon can offer full-range mining software solutions with continued development, along with a mining hardware solution,” she said when explaining why USTB had partnered with Hexagon.
MinePlan, she added, has a “very systematic workflow from start to end. Every department knows exactly their input and output since all are within one same package, creating a very easy data exchange experience.”
USTB is the most recent University Program partner for Hexagon. The University Program allows mining geology and engineering students to use MinePlan for educational purposes and apply it in real mine scenarios.
USTB has collaborated with Sanshandao Gold Mine for many years and have a plan to use MinePlan Activity Scheduler to align the planning and execution of detailed mine plans.
Sanshandao is an underground gold mine in Shandong, eastern China, daily producing above 10000 t ore. The mine is more than a kilometer deep and accessed via one major shaft. It requires meticulous planning so MinePlan’s UG applications were of primary interest for the visit to Tucson.
Other portfolio presentations also impressed the visitors. Keguang Zhao, Sanshandao’s Deputy Mine Manager, said HxGN MineOperate UG Pro could help the mine’s FMS and real-time equipment monitoring.
The group toured Freeport McMoran’s open-pit Sierrita copper mine, seeing first-hand the application of Hexagon software and hardware solutions.
Sanshandao’s Director of Science and Technology Department, Wei Li, credited the “Use of Hexagon technology in all departments” for “peace of mind in using the solutions”.
“It indicates Hexagon products are very trustworthy. All the employees know Hexagon’s staff, further indicating a long-term good relationship between two parties,” he added.
The University of Arizona, another partner in the University Program, welcomed the group for a presentations by Dr. John Kemeny, Dr. Muhammad Waqas and Dr. Victor Tenorio. U of A Mining students Tony Holmes, Orlando Palomino and Klaus Pacheco Hague demonstrated how they use MinePlan to generate detailed mine plans and schedules as part of their course work.
USTB professors were impressed by the openness of the University of Arizona campus, its 100-plus years of history and its teaching culture. “U of A highly values students’ hands-on experience and job-ready approach, where USTB is more theory-teaching driven,” said Yankai Zhang, USTB’s Deputy Director Digital Mine Lab Center.
“This visit is just the beginning of a long-term, rewarding partnership with USTB,” said Giancarlo. “The knowledgebase, expertise and insight from this group will help us better understand and meet the needs of our Chinese customers.
“We appreciate their time and are very grateful that they visited.”
HxGN MinePlan technical specialist Ran Bao accompanied the group throughout the visit to Tucson. He will conduct comprehensive MinePlan training at USTB in early 2020 and enthusiastically accepted an invitation to follow-up meetings with Sanshandao mine.
Nailian Hu, USTB’s Professor Mining Engineering, summed up the visit. “The level of attention to China’s market development is beyond our expectation and we are looking forward to taking the partnership into the next level.”