RPMGlobal Extends Optimization Tool to Surface Operations in Latest SOT Upgrade
“SOT has long been viewed as the industry’s only strategic financial optimization tool for underground mines that maximizes productivity and profitability results by optimizing the net present value (NPV) of the mine schedule. SOT4 now offers the same functionality that underground operations have enjoyed for many years for surface mining operations on all commodities. The enhanced SOT is particularly relevant for surface operations that investigate a transition to an underground environment, with the latest version allowing end users to identify the economic considerations that will provide the optimal point for this transition to occur.
As a result, the company says mine planners can now overcome the ongoing, time-consuming process of figuring out when and how to move from surface mine to underground efficiently. RPMGlobal CEO Richard Mathews said this new feature would be important for surface operations. “Underground operations around the world trust SOT, and with this new release, surface operations can now unlock higher levels of productivity and profitability. The ability to run multiple scenarios to find the optimal timeframe that maximizes revenue is critical to ensuring optimal value.
The latest upgrade to SOT includes a series of other important features, including an Economic Calendar Upgrade which is a post-processing step after the initial calendar optimization is complete. It marks each block as “contributing” or not to the highest value pit and re-evaluates the NPV of the resulting pit. There is also an advanced mixing capability whereby the mine planner can specify a set of mixing constraints for each plant that defines a minimum and maximum ratio and allowable deviations.
Built-in storage capacities have also been improved, with the end user now able to specify the number of imprints to use for individual stocks and maximum tonnages. SOT then determines the quality range for each stock and creates overflow stock if necessary.
RPMGlobal acquired SOT – then owned by Revolution Mining Software – in July 2020 to complement its existing suite of innovative design, planning and optimization products. Mathews said SOT will continue to be independent from the planning software used by the operation. “While there is some overlap in the software offerings of all of these companies, it is the underlying philosophy of RPMGlobal that technology integration and seamless communication between solutions and vendors are critical to the success of the business. ‘advancement of the mining sector,’ he said.
Existing SOT users will receive the upgrade to SOT 4 as part of their maintenance package.