Strategic mine planning utilises a tremendous amount of data and data types as inputs to the planning process, intermediate outputs resulting from using a potential multitude of different software packages and stages in the process and final outputs. These data are susceptible to error at all points in the process, especially when planning is undertaken rapidly, across extremely large numbers of scenarios and under high pressure timeframes.
Whilst generally information can never really be perfect (as suggested in the aphorism that "all models are wrong") we should strive to minimise the inclusion of errors for which we are responsible and that have a material impact on our outcomes. As written by George Box, we "must be alert to what is importantly wrong. It is inappropriate to be concerned about mice when there are tigers abroad."
The QS Workflow is a strategic planning process that enables data confidence and delivery of reliable and consistent results to clients. The QS Portal provides a cloud-based, scalable framework to support this workflow, facilitating easy tracking, validation and reporting of the data used in mine planning processes.
Within the QS Portal, variances and other errors can be identified, quantified, addressed, and reported throughout the strategic planning process using the various QS Portal tools. Importantly, knowing the location and impact of the errors provides greater confidence in the strategic mine planning results.
The QS Portal includes an array of engines and processes to aid the mine planning process. Functionality includes:
- Planning input and output storage and security.
- Ensure robust data in key fields both spatially and through targeted statistics.
- Validate all data changes / additions at every step of the workflow.
- Data relationship mapping functionality.
- Object specific validations automatically executed.
- Mass balance calculations make sure models obey the laws of physics.
- Role based access control customised to company requirements.
- Create enforceable corporate policy and sign-off requirements.
- Load and compile all schedule optimisation data including all inputs and outputs.
- Process additional metadata for more powerful potential analysis.
- Load schedule data from different optimisation packages for comparison.
With role based access control and object approvals, data can be released to the business once confident that no material errors exist. Being cloud-based, all planning processes can confirm that they are accessing the appropriate, validated and approved data. Further, being cloud native, scriptable and scalable means that rapid execution of very large numbers of actions can be done and confidence in results maintained.