MICROMINE has signed a major contract with Independence Group to help drive productivity and cost efficiencies at the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt operation.

MICROMINE will implement its leading fleet management and mine control software solution, Pitram, at Nova, which is 100% owned by IGO and is located approximately 160 kilometres north-east of Norseman.

MICROMINE implementing Pitram at Nova, a mine control and management reporting system that delivers mining production efficiencies, comes on the back of a resurgence in Western Australia’s nickel sector, which increased in value by 26% in 2017–18 to $2.6 billion, after several years of decline.

Nova began commercial operation in July 2017 and produced 22,258 tonnes of nickel, 9,545 tonnes of copper and 740 tonnes of cobalt at a payable cash cost of A$2.78/lb Ni in the 2018 financial year.

IGO gave guidance that production at Nova will increase by around 20% in FY19 to 27,000 to 30,000 tonnes of nickel, 11,000 to 12,500 tonnes of copper, and 850 to 950 tonnes of cobalt.

MICROMINE’s Pitram Operations Manager, Daren Hinchliffe, welcomed the opportunity to work with IGO and help identify operational efficiencies that would optimise Nova’s production while also improving safety and control room transparency at the underground mine.

“MICROMINE’s fleet management and mine control solution Pitram, will be used by operations personnel, to capture insights and data from mobile equipment and underground mining activities, in real time,” says Hinchliffe.

“Using Pitram’s voice-based mine control system, underground operators can call in their activities, locations and status to mine control, and performance results can be monitored constantly, allowing for continuous improvement.”

“Using Pitram’s automated technology, shift supervisors can keep track of what is going on throughout the mine, at all times, results and performance can be monitored constantly.”

“This will provide IGO with critical data as to how the mine is performing and, help identify bottlenecks, enabling the company to respond quickly to opportunities to implement process improvements.”

IGO’s COO, Matt Dusci, believes this will drive significant value through productivity efficiencies and cost savings at Nova and ultimately serves as a platform for future integration with automation at the mine.

“We are pleased to implement an excellent system such as MICROMINE’s Pitram at Nova, which we believe will improve production, decrease costs, and offer real time data to ultimately enhance the overall capabilities of our operations,” says Dusci.

MICROMINE’s roll-out of Pitram at Nova commenced in Dec 2018 and is expected to be completed in early 2019.

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Micromine is a comprehensive and easy to use exploration and mine design solution, which offers integrated tools for modelling, estimation, design, optimisation and scheduling. Micromine provides users with an in-depth understanding of your projects, so prospective regions can be targeted more accurately, increasing the chance of your project’s success. Miners are provided with interactive and easy-to-use modelling, estimation, and design tools to simplify your day-to-day design and production tasks. The latest version of MICROMINE’s exploration and mine design solution, Micromine 2020, comprises 11 modules. As a scalable and flexible solution, Micromine 2020 provides you with the flexibility to choose the functionality you need when you need it. Additionally, the focus on 64-bit in Micromine 2020 means that you can work more efficiently and with more data than ever before. Increase your productivity and cost efficiencies with Micromine 2020.