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RPM Global introduces scheduling and design tool for underground potash operations

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Fertilizer,

The company has announced the release of its newest integrated mine planning and scheduling product which has been specifically tailored for the Underground Potash industry.

Working closely with a number of potash miners, RPM Global (RPM) has developed Underground Potash Solutions (UGPS). The package will address the challenges of underground potash operations, and can be used for design, reserving and scheduling across all scheduling horizons — from strategic to short term.

95% of the world’s potash is used as a nutrient to improve the fertility of soils. It is also a key component of feed supplements used to grow livestock and enhance milk production. Underground mining is the most common form of potash mining, accounting for over 80% of global potash production.

Commenting on the new product, Richard Mathews, RPM’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are proud to have worked collaboratively with our development partners on UGPS to ensure it meets the everyday practical needs of engineers working in underground potash operations.”

We are confident UGPS can drive a pivotal step-change in mine design and scheduling at potash operations.”

The release of UGPS includes parametric scheduling benefits developed by RPM to automate the repetitive and time-consuming tasks that can often take a mine planner days or weeks to perform.

Instead of having to manually draw the mine layout in a computer-aided design (CAD) package, the parametric design techniques of UGPS enable a planner to rapidly generate and analyse multiple scenarios.

Changes to any aspect of the design or geology are automatically applied to the final schedule with minimal intervention. This allows mining engineers to focus on applying their skills to run different scenarios, deepen analysis and deliver more value.

Mr Mathews said UGPS provides a single product that incorporates all aspects of the scheduling process in one.

“Scheduling changes are often triggered by changes to the mine layout, and in such instances, users are forced to make numerous manual adjustments across several independent tools to correctly model and understand the impacts,” he said.

“UGPS undertakes detailed modelling of the potash deposit in 3D, creating a complete mathematical model of the mine. Moreover, users are able to import existing designs, create new designs or use a combination of both.”

UGPS also introduces enhancements to the scheduling process that have been configured specifically for potash operations.

Whilst users generate detailed schedules for each item of equipment, automated mining rules ensure logical mine development sequences are always followed. This allows the engineer to focus on alternative equipment deployment strategies, while having confidence that the detail is being managed automatically in the background.

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