Month: October 2017

The Open Mining Format

By Nicole Doucette

Imagine this: You’re a geologist at a mining company, and you’ve just finished updating your company’s geological model with new drilling results. You now need to pass this model to the mining engineers, so they can redesign a section of the mine. The mining engineers use a different software program than you do though, as it’s an industry standard to use different specialized programs for each part of the mining lifecycle.

However, your software programs are proprietary and not interoperable – meaning they don’t easily share information. They each have a unique file format. Your company has created a custom script to convert from one software to another, so you spend hours running the script and checking the data. You’re wary to run any new software updates, as it could change the file structure and render your script useless. You also have to meticulously check the file to make sure it’s converted correctly – because once the file was corrupted and haul trucks were sent to the wrong location, which was both dangerous and costly.

Instead of being able to focus on your work, you’re losing time every day converting and re-importing files for different programs. Since mining is iterative, you pass files back and forth with other geologists and engineers often. Every time they send you their data, they have to follow this same time-consuming process as well.

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