Westgold installs Cube Grade Control system across multiple sites
Westgold Resources Limited is a mid-tier group exploring and producing gold across four processing centres in Western Australia. currently producing at an annualised run-rate of approximately 250,000 ounces of gold.
The challenge for Westgold was to provide a standard operating procedure for grade control across all sites, both open cut and underground. The company required consistent processes and procedures, whilst maintaining the flexibility to manage any site specific requirements.
The company wished to streamline processes so that the geology team at each site could focus on being geologists rather than becoming computer experts – that is, they could spend minimal time in the office and more time understanding the geology in the mine. It was also important for the complete process to be auditable and for senior staff to be able to review and adjust items such as estimation parameters.
After reviewing a number of solutions available on the market, Westgold engaged Cube Consulting to customise and install the GCX product into the Western Australian operations. GCX sits within the familiar Surpac environment and adds a step-by-step menu to follow when creating a grade control model.
The system has been installed across the region in both the open cut and underground mines, including Higginsville, Cue, Meekatharra and Fortnum. As the GCX system is based on a template model, additional sites can be added to the system quickly and efficiently, by Westgold staff.
If one of the mines suggests an improvement, then this change can be applied across the existing installations. An example of this was a dilution function for digging and blasting in the open pit environment. This function has now been rolled out to all operations for the benefit of the mine geology teams. This creates a continuous improvement environment in grade control which is really beneficial to the company. There are plans to incorporate other estimation routines into the Westgold template in the near future.
As a result of the template system, when geologists move from site to site, they are more productive immediately, even when moving from open cut to underground.
The GCX system is fully auditable so Senior Geologists can be confident that an estimation run was completed using appropriate parameters. Any changes that are made with parameters are tracked and there are no code changes required, with the parameters kept in easy-to-read external worksheets.
GCX is customisable for new sites but maintains the same framework even when switching from open cut to underground. All geologists across the group are working in a single, familiar environment.
The system is really easy to use and processes quickly and efficiently.
Cube is able to adapt the system without fuss to meet the changing needs of Westgold.