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In today’s hyper-competitive market, all resources need to be utilized and optimized fully to extract the highest value and gain competitive advantage. In a complex environment the execution of the enterprise strategy is dependent on many different variables and seemingly opposing constraints.

To make sense of the complexity and inter-dependency of the various entities and functions of an enterprise, simulation modelling is used to model the interaction inside and between these entities. Ceenex applies simulation modelling and optimization, together with the principles of the Theory of Constraints to these complex environments. Our solutions are used by management to gain insight into their end-to-end operation and help in the short, medium and long term decision-making process.

Ceenex has a long track record of successful simulation implementations in the mining, logistics and manufacturing sectors. Ceenex has also applied its industry knowledge and Industrial Engineering techniques to help our clients in the mining sector achieve better product mixes, higher throughput and better utilization of resources.  This is accomplished through detail modelling and its integration into the planning and production processes.

Mining digitization promises improved and faster decision-making capabilities, fully utilizing the knowledge and data available to the modern miner. Ceenex empowers this knowledge and real-time data by embedding it into a short- and medium-term decision-making simulation tool. This toll is used to determine the probability of being able to deliver on the mine plan given the current operating parameters. It is also used to identify bottleneck processes and then by means of scenario analysis optimize the mine plan and execution plan. It is also used to predict future KPIs and cost measures for specific operations within the production process as well as for the final product.

Ceenex follows an object-oriented systems approach to modelling. Because the models are object based, they are often migrated to operational management systems such as optimizing tools, schedulers and simulation-based schedulers. Simulation-based schedulers are used for training or to test control systems and transaction systems (including integration with enterprise resource planning systems).

Ceenex has the capability and expertise to apply various modelling and simulation tools and techniques to a project, depending on the relevant case environment and requirements. We have a long history of developing simulation solutions for industry in South Africa and Internationally. These include mathematical, financial and statistical concepts either developed as a standalone tool or integrated within an existing application or system. We utilize several “best in breed” off-the-shelf modelling and simulation software products, including Simio and Gensym G2.


How many trains do I need?

Increased production at the mining operations associated with the commissioning of new shafts and expansion of existing operations was expected to place a heavier load on the ore transport system in future. Ore was transported by rail from shafts to plant. The rolling stock (locomotives and hoppers) requirements needed to be confirmed to ensure that the production target was met and if it is possible exceeded.

How do we get the ore from pit to ship?

A bulk ore mine in South Africa operates an open pit mine located in the Northern Cape. Phase 1 of the mine has been designed to produce ore that will be railed and trucked to two South African ports for export. During the design and construction phase of the project, Ceenex was requested to assist with advanced quantitative analysis of the mine’s material supply chain from pit-to-ship.  An optimal supply chain in terms of equipment quantities and parameters, stockpile sizes and identified bottlenecks was required to minimize risk and maximize return on investment.

Will the new plant design deliver?

A mining company was designing a massive coal mine in the Waterberg. The design of the Coal Processing Plant had to be tested for throughput capability, determination of constraints and capabilities and the determination of stockpile sizes.

Which layout and operating methodology will achieve the coal terminal’s offload target?

When designing a offloading system for coal with a tippler, there are several options and configurations to consider, given the specific layout, train consists and throughput profile. Apart from the rail layout there are also several capital investment decisions and operating philosophies to consider. Ceenex was requested to do a simulation study of the rail and offloading logistics in order to determine the potential throughput for different operating methodologies, rail yard and tippler configurations.  The prerequisite of the coal terminal was to achieve at least the minimum tonnage requirement per annum while keeping loco turn-around time to a minimum.

Can the radial stacker be automated to build a uniform flat stockpile?

The client was in the process of implementing a radial stacker to build a heap leach stockpile for the Zambia. An automated stacker that could stack a rectangular shaped stockpile of radial sweeps or single stacked cones would be used. The stockpile top was required to be flat to allow multiple layers to be stacked. An operating sequence that could be programmed in the PLC to control the automation of the radial stacker needed to be developed.

Which logistical alternative has the greatest financial benefit to load a vessel?

A mine in South Africa transports ore in bulk containers from the mine to a Container Terminal for loading onto bulk vessels. The possibility exists to offload some of the bulk containers at a depot close to the port onto a stockpile and from there using haul trucks to load the vessel. Staging shipments using a stockpile at the depot carries different capital and operational costs  compared to stacking containers at the port itself.  These need to be analyzed for different operating conditions to determine throughput, risk and return.

Can a blending strategy be developed that reduces the number of surface stockpiles?

A manganese mine located in the Northern Cape, South Africa had a stockyard with many small stockpiles, each individually graded. Large variations in ore quality of the ore body made it impossible to predict with accuracy prior to being mined and tested in a laboratory. Rail shipments were compiled by hand, selecting a set of surface stockpiles which combined should meet the quantity and grade requirements of a consignment. This process was slow and prone to inaccuracies. The impact of blending stockpiles to reduce the number on surface required investigation.

How to restructure an underground mining cycle for higher productivity and throughput?

As part of a restructuring process of an underground manganese mine, a new underground team structure was proposed, which could lead to higher productivity and throughput. The new structure would focus on dedicated teams for each process in the mining cycle. In order to test the envisaged design and determine the throughput capability and bottleneck, a dynamic simulation model was required.

Can the workflow be optimized to achieve maximum throughput while maintaining resource efficiency ?

A new pipe fabrication facility was planned to replace the current constrained and aging operation. An industrial engineering study was requested to design the facility layout for an optimized workflow that will ensure operational resource efficiency and maximize throughput for a variety of items manufactured. A deployment plan specifying the equipment/resources requirements for future demand needed to be established for sustainability. The architect and engineering team would use the recommended layout for the design of the facility.

Which bulk vessel loading system will meet future commodity export capacity?

The Transnet Saldanha Multi-purpose Terminal (MPT) had exported and imported a variety of bulk and break-bulk commodities amounting to the terminal’s capacity. Volumes were expected to grow in the upcoming 3 years, with future growth expected thereafter. In order to meet the anticipated future demand, the need had arisen to review the operating methods for bulk exports. As part of a FEL 2 study, an EPCM company appointed Ceenex to conduct a comprehensive throughput analysis. The objective was to analyze the operational needs and quantify the time and space requirements for various bulk commodity vessel loading systems to achieve the required export for bulk commodities on a single berth.

Will the newly designed water treatment works operate within specifications?

Ceenex was requested to provide the Civil, Electrical and Mechanical design of a 60Ml/d extension of an existing water treatment works in the Limpopo province. The existing treatment works has a capacity of 60Ml/d and the extension aims to double the design capacity of the plant. To test the design of the extension to the water treatment works a simulation model was required from the Business Engineering unit of Ceenex. The model should be developed in such a way to test the impact of changes made to design parameters.

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