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What is the role of computer in mining engineering?

Enlist the different Softwares used in mining that play

role at different parts or levels of mine and explain any
ten of them.
The development and advancement of computer technology continues at an ever
increasing rate. It is used almost in every industry today including mining.
In mining, computer is used for:

Reserve estimation calculation

Geological modelling
Layout evaluation and mine design
Financial modelling
Equipment Selection and scheduling
Geotechnical information
Monitoring during mining

The mine design and planning process can be greatly aided by the application of
many computer techniques. The designing and planning of mine requires a
complex blend of technical expertise, experience and subjective design criteria
implemented by the mining engineer. Currently the procedure is largely manual
and requires considerable resources to generate a single mine plan. Often three
or four people are assigned to work in the development of a single draft layout.
Evaluation of the layouts is also tedious as it requires many repetitive
calculations. The evaluation of layouts developed manually generally attempt to
derive a single economically feasible solution. Operational constraints in mining
such as manpower, time, equipments etc, do not allow the generation of more
than one alternative layout.

As a result, the first plan is generally the only one considered. Although recent
advances in computer graphics have provided the hardware necessary for
developing and evaluating mine plans rapidly, software those will allows the
mining engineer to make use of the new technology. The emphasis of this study
is towards the development of a completely integrated computer-aided mine
planning package that integrates geological modeling, engineering design and
planning strategies with interactive on-screen graphics capabilities.

The integrated computer-aided mine planning and design procedure will help to
maximize deposits recovery at greatly reduced costs. This procedure would aid
the mining engineer to develop a total mine plan from the conceptual design
stage, the analysis of bore hole data, and the drafting of a layout to the final
working mine plan, mine schedule, simulation and cost evaluation.

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Some of the softwares used in MINING at different stages

are as under:

Examine 2D
Examine3D :
RocPlane :
Unwedge :

Open pit and underground operations and exploration projects

Graphical and Statistical Analysis of Orientation Data.
: 2D Stress Analysis for Underground Excavations.
3D Engineering Analysis for Underground Excavations.
Finite Element Analysis for Excavations and Slopes.
Rock, Soil and Discontinuity Strength Analysis.
Statistical Analysis of Rock fall.
Rock Mass Strength Analysis (Generalized Hoek-Brown Failure
Planar Sliding Stability Analysis for Rock Slopes.
Support Estimation Using Ground Reaction Curves.
Settlement and Consolidation Analysis.
2D Limit Equilibrium Slope Stability Analysis.
3D Surface Wedge Analysis for Slopes.
Underground Wedge Stability Analysis.


Surpac is the worlds most popular geology and mine planning software,
supporting open pit and underground operations and exploration projects in
more than 120 countries.

The software delivers efficiency and accuracy through ease-of-use, powerful 3D

graphics and workflow automation that can be aligned to company-specific
processes and data flows.

Surpac addresses all the requirements of geologists, surveyors, and mining

engineers in the resource sector and is flexible enough to be suitable for every
commodity, ore body and mining method.

Its multilingual capabilities allow global companies to support a common solution

across their operations.

The following are the features of Surpac software;

1. Advanced Plotting.
2. Solid modeling.
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3. Block modeling.
4. Pit Design module.
5. Drill and Blast module.
6. Surplan module.
7. Geology Database module.
8. Underground design module.
9. Ring design module.
10.Scripting and automation.
11.Surveying module.
Dips is designed for the interactive analysis of orientation based geological data.
The program is capable of many applications and is designed for the novice or
occasional user, and for the accomplished user of stereographic projection who
wishes to utilize more advanced tools in the analysis of geological data.
Dips allows the user to analyze and visualize structural data following the same
techniques used in manual stereonets.
In addition, it has many computational features, such as statistical contouring of
orientation clustering, mean orientation and confidence calculation, cluster
variability, and qualitative and quantitative feature attribute analysis.
Dips is designed for the analysis of features related to the engineering analysis
of rock structures, however, the free format of the Dips data file permits the
analysis of any orientation-based data.
Examine2D is a very fast two-dimensional indirect boundary element program
for calculating stresses and displacements around underground and surface
excavations in rock.
Unlike the Finite Element and Finite Difference methods, the boundary element
method only requires meshing around the excavation boundaries, eliminating
the need for complex volume mesh generation.
Examine2D provides an integrated graphical environment for data entry and
A CAD based modeler allows for point and click geometry input and editing.
Popup windows allow for easy entry and modification of model parameters.
The simple editing tools provide a convenient method for performing parametric
The graphical data interpreter offers a rich set of tools for the convenient display
of model results.
With Examine2D you can quickly create and mesh a model, perform a stress
analysis, and interpret the results.
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Examine3D is an engineering analysis program for underground excavations in

Examine3D was developed mainly for stress analysis, although its data
visualization tools can be applied to a wide range of three-dimensional mining
and civil engineering data.

For example, Examine3D has been used to visualize micro seismic datasets
such as seismic velocity, source parameters, and event density.

Examine3D consists of three program modules:

- Model generates the geometry and boundary element discretization for
underground openings,
- Compute performs the computation of stresses and displacements using the
direct boundary element method,
- And Interpret, with 3D animation capability, visualizes the analysis results.

Each of the three modules can be run independently.

For example, the input data for Compute can be generated using Model or some
other CAD based program.

Similarly, Interpret accepts data from Compute or from some other source.

Both Model and Interpret are fully interactive and menu-driven programs.

RS2 (Phase2 9.0) is a powerful 2D finite element program for soil and rock
applications (RS2 = Rock and Soil 2-dimensional analysis program).

RS2 can be used for a wide range of engineering projects and includes
excavation design, slope stability, groundwater seepage, probabilistic analysis,
consolidation, and dynamic analysis capabilities.

Complex, multi-stage models can be easily created and quickly analyzed tunnels in weak or jointed rock, underground powerhouse caverns, open pit
mines and slopes, embankments, MSE stabilized earth structures, and much
more. Progressive failure, support interaction and a variety of other problems
can be addressed.

RS2 offers a wide range of support modeling options. Liner elements can be
applied in the modeling of shotcrete, concrete, steel set systems, retaining walls,
piles, multi-layer composite liners, geotextiles, and more. Liner design tools
include support capacity plots, which allow you to determine the safety factor of

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reinforced liners. Bolt types include end anchored, fully bonded, cable bolts, split
sets, and grouted tiebacks.

One of the major features of RS2 is finite element slope stability analysis using
the shear strength reduction method. This option is fully automated and can be
used with either Mohr-Coulomb or Hoek-Brown strength parameters. Slope
models can be imported or exported between Slide and RS2 allowing easy
comparison of limit equilibrium and finite element results.

RS2 includes steady-state, finite element groundwater seepage analysis built

right into the program. There is no need to use a separate groundwater program.
Pore pressure is determined as well as flow and gradient, based on user defined
hydraulic boundary conditions and material conductivity. Pore pressure results
are automatically incorporated into the stress analysis.

Material models for rock and soil include Mohr-Coulomb, Generalized Hoek-Brown
and Cam-Clay. Powerful new analysis features for modeling jointed rock allow
you to automatically generate discrete joint or fracture networks according to a
variety of statistical models. With new 64-bit and multi-core parallel processing
options RS2 can solve larger and more complex models in shorter times.

RocData is a versatile toolkit for the analysis of rock and soil strength data, and
the determination of strength envelopes and other physical
parameters. RocData now includes RocProp, a database of intact rock properties
that runs as a standalone application.

RocData can be used to determine the parameters of linear and non-linear

strength envelopes for rock and soil, based on the analysis of triaxial or direct
shear strength data. RocData utilizes four of the most widely used strength
models in geotechnical engineering - Generalized Hoek-Brown, Mohr-Coulomb,
Barton-Bandis, and Power Curve.

Failure envelopes are plotted in both shear-normal and principal stress space.
Shear-normal stress envelopes generated by RocData can be applied to
problems such as limit equilibrium analysis of slope stability, while the principal
stress envelopes can be used for modeling the behaviour of underground
excavations. RocData is a highly interactive program that allows users to easily
test different strength parameters and observe how they impact a failure
envelope, giving users a better understanding of material strength.

The material strength properties determined by RocData can be used as input

for numerical analysis programs such asRS2 (finite element stress analysis and
support design for excavations) and Slide (limit equilibrium slope stability

RocData now includes RocProp, a database of intact rock properties that runs as
a standalone application. RocPropcontains over 700 test records from credible

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sources, including compressive strength, tensile strength, elastic properties,

Hoek parameters, and velocity parameters. The database can be searched and
filtered in various ways, and allows users to add their own data to the database.

RocFall is a statistical analysis program designed to assist with assessment of

slopes at risk for rockfalls. Energy, velocity and "bounce height" envelopes for
the entire slope are determined by the program, as is the location of rock
endpoints. Distributions of energy, velocity and bounce height are also
calculated along the slope profile. Distributions can be graphed and
comprehensive statistics are automatically calculated.

RocFall can also assist in determining remedial measures: the material

properties of each slope segment can be changed allowing for comparison of
results. Information about the kinetic energy and location of impact on a barrier
can help determine the capacity, size and location of barriers. RocFall also
provides commercial barrier information. Users can define a custom barrier, or
select one of the predefined barriers.

Report generation of RocFall results is straightforward. Screen captures can

easily be pasted into word processors for fast report writing. Graphs and raw
data can be exported to Excel from the right-click menu of any graph.

To assist with determining coefficients of restitution, RocFall includes a large

table of coefficients of restitution that was compiled after an extensive literature
search. Tables for dynamic friction and rolling friction coefficients, as well as rock
density, are also provided.

Rock paths can be filtered. You can right-click on individual paths to select only
that path. You can also right-click on a barrier and select, from the many impacts
on the barrier, paths that had the highest velocity when they contacted the
barrier. The Filter Results dialog provides numerous filtering options.

RocFall allows you to create faster and easier high-quality output. Graphs can be
exported to Excel with 1-click and the slope and rock-paths can easily be
exported to a DXF file for import into a CAD program. The Drawing toolkit has
been improved to include importing of bitmap files, multi-line text-boxes that can
be auto-filled with relevant simulation data, axes that can be dragged-anddropped to show coordinates on a printed page and much more. In addition, the
new Page Setup options allow users to completely customize the headers and
footers of any RocFall printouts.



RocLab is a software program for determining rock mass strength parameters,

based on the latest version of the generalized Hoek-Brown failure criterion.

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RocLab provides a simple and intuitive implementation of the Hoek-Brown failure

criterion, allowing users to easily obtain reliable estimates of rock mass
properties and to visualize the effects of changing rock mass parameters on the
failure envelopes.
RocLab calculates rock-mass parameters such as tensile strength, uniaxial
compressive strength, global strength and deformation modulus.
In addition to the Hoek-Brown failure criterion parameters (mb, s and a), RocLab
always calculates equivalent Mohr-Coulomb parameters (cohesion and friction
angle) for the rock mass. The best-fit Mohr-Coulomb strength envelope is
determined over a stress range that the user can define based on the application
(i.e. tunneling or slope stability).

RocSupport is an easy-to-use software tool for estimating deformation in circular

or near circular excavations in weak rock and visualization of the tunnel
interaction with various support systems. Given the tunnel radius, in-situ stress
conditions, rock parameters and support parameters, a ground reaction curve
and a support reaction curve are calculated. The intersection of these curves
determines a factor of safety for the support system.

RocSupport can be used as a tool for the preliminary design of tunnels and
support systems. It can provide valuable information about various tunnel
support options before detailed analysis is carried out with a finite element
program such as RS2.

The program is applicable to tunnels excavated in weak rock under squeezing

ground conditions. It is not applicable for excavations in hard rock, where failure
is controlled by structural discontinuities or brittle failure.


Slide is the most comprehensive slope stability analysis software available,

complete with finite element groundwater seepage analysis, rapid drawdown,
sensitivity and probabilistic analysis, and support design. All types of soil and
rock slopes, embankments, earth dams, and retaining walls can be analyzed.
State of the art CAD capabilities allow you to create and edit complex models
very easily.

Slide is the only slope stability software with built-in finite element groundwater
seepage analysis for steady-state or transient conditions. Flows, pressures and
gradients are calculated based on user defined hydraulic boundary conditions.
Seepage analysis is fully integrated with the slope stability analysis or can be
used as a standalone module.

Slide has extensive probabilistic analysis capabilities - you may assign statistical
distributions to almost any input parameters, including material properties,
support properties, loads, and water table location. The probability of
failure/reliability index is calculated, and provides an objective measure of the

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risk of failure associated with a slope design. Sensitivity analysis allows you to
determine the effect of individual variables on the safety factor of the slope.

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