In executing the detailed engineering design for the permanent surface and underground infrastructure at De Beers’ R20-billion Venetia diamond mine underground project, WorleyParsons has harnessed a methodology to create an intelligent 3D model of the vertical shaft that incorporates the historic and technical information of every component. It is believed that this is the first time this methodology is being used on a vertical shaft project from the design stage and this capability is expected to become a significant market differentiator for the global WorleyParsons organisation, one of the world’s largest EPCM businesses.

“In using 3D modelling to design the vertical shaft from scratch, the client has been able to review our designs and have any changes incorporated and represented in the model well before fabrication even commences. This has effectively shortened and de-risked the design process,” says Ryan Illingworth, WorleyParsons’ Project Manager on the Venetia Project. “Design traditionally begins with 2D modelling and the 3D environment is only then modelled when fabrication of the components begins. However, since the many separate 2D drawings are not linked to each other, there’s always a risk when it’s assembled/constructed that, there will be incompatibilities. On the Venetia project, as the design process has advanced, we’ve progressively created a 3D model that presents our customer with a visual representation of the infrastructure.

“Once the mine moves into production, management will be equipped with an intelligent 3D model of the shaft that can be used for maintenance planning and control. Because the model has a database at its core, it will also be able to integrate with other De Beers database systems.

The WorleyParsons draughting team deployed on the project spent the greater part of a year prior to commencement of the design phase developing a method to network several Autodesk software packages in a complex array to allow for the creation of the intelligent 3D model.

WorleyParsons is a major international provider of project delivery, engineering and consulting services to the resources and energy sectors and complex process industries and is the recognised market leader in headgear design, having successfully delivered a new generation of headgear concepts at Impala Platinum’s No 17 and 20 shafts and Konkola Copper Mines’ No 4 shaft.

WorleyParsons has executed the feasibility study on the permanent infrastructure for the Venetia project and has embarked on the detailed engineering work. As an Anglo American Tier 1 supplier, WorleyParsons is providing engineering consulting services that include detailed engineering, execution and support in procurement and construction management.

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