Guest Blogger, Benjamin Voysey, University of Alberta
Competing with Hexagon Mining’s MineSight 3D (MS3D) software, the University of Alberta won the 28th annual Canadian Mining Games! Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario hosted the event in late February. The Canadian Mining Games are a weekend full of individual, pair, and team events that test the practical ability and technical knowledge of student competitors.
Each year, 10 mining engineering schools across Canada send teams of 16 students to participate. Teams compete in events ranging from practical ability, including equipment handling and jackleg drilling, to technical events, including mineral economics and crisis management. Each of the events are fun and engaging for both the participants and sponsor judges, though they are all competitive as students work to showcase their abilities and knowledge.
Besides competition, students can learn about the many industry sponsors who support the games and run the individual events. Many of the mining companies that operate in Canada attend, allowing the soon-to-be graduates to network with potential employers, and companies to scout future employees.
The most well-known event of the Canadian Mining Games is also the most heavily weighted towards the team’s final score: the mine design challenge. In this eight-hour event, teams of four are assigned to complete an economic cost model of a mine, complete with shaft and stope design based off a block-model dataset and a list of required design parameters.
Students must bring all their required resources to this event and can use the software of their choice. The University of Alberta team competed using Hexagon Mining’s MineSight 3D software. We’ve used MineSight in both classroom design and industry work applications. While most of our team’s experience came from the use of MS3D in surface applications, they were successfully able to learn and apply the software to underground application to complete the shaft and stope designs.
Some of the event highlights for the University of Alberta included jackleg drilling and equipment handling challenges, where our teams placed first due to their speed, precision, and safety in their events. Other first-place finishes for our team included the mineral economics and innovation challenges, where the technical skill and creativity of our team members was tested. This year, we were fortunate to form our team with students possessing diverse experience. This ensured that we were represented in each event by members with experience and passion.
After consecutive third-place finishes in 2016 and 2017, our team was striving for another strong performance. In the end, we enjoyed a very successful weekend, placing first overall at the Games by achieving top three in 17 out of 25 events. Our success included eight first-place finishes, and another eight second-place finishes. The University of Alberta is selected to host the 2019 Canadian Mining Games, and we look forward to defending our championship in our home province!
Thank-you to Hexagon Mining for providing our team with MineSight 3D licenses to assist us in our events. We look forward to working with you and your products in our professional careers!