Curtin University continues to live up to its expectations in Australia’s biggest mining state with a venture into the mining software market.
TopDump is a new software product which optimises waste rock and haulage solutions using proprietary algorithms developed by a team led by Professor Erkan Topal.
The software won the 2015 Science and Engineering prize at Curtin University in September last year.
TopDump allows open cut mining teams to plan the layout of waste dumping sites and tie in with haulage schedules to maximise utilisation of the fleet, in turn minimising haulage costs and managing priorities.
Professor Topal said the cost of building waste dumps was often neglected by mining companies.
“It [TopDump] presents great potential to reduce costs and to generate environmentally friendly waste dumps if we schedule the waste rock dump using a smarter scheduler," he said.
"It is definitely a good tool to use at the mining downturn, as cost cutting becomes a focus point, and good planning and scheduling will become a key to achieve this target."
TopDump has capacity to manage how reactive and non-reactive rock can be layered to minimise acid rock drainage.
The software has been trialled in modelling a WA gold project with a ten year life and open pits more than 4km in length, which has since gone into operation.
"The results have demonstrated significant improvement on cost saving with an environmentally friendly waste dump design," Topal said.
"The TopDump model is ideal for greenfield deposit, but can be used for any open pit mining operations."
Trials showed that TopDump was able to assist in savings of 20 per cent of waste haulage costs, compared to existing dump plans.
Professor Topal said that Top Dump could be used by mining professionals without detailed optimisation knowledge.