NSS Canada (Northern Survey Supply) is a Northern success story. The company is expanding quickly with the development of its Miner Operated Survey System (MOSS) and its partnership with Hexagon Mining as an Authorized Reseller.
With offices in Mattawa and Sudbury, NSS Canada provides solutions that digitize, connect, and optimize underground mining.
MOSS is an underground surveying software that supports a wide range of Leica robotic total stations, including the MS60, which allows for 3-D face-mapping technology. MOSS is a revolutionary technology for the mining industry as it integrates mine design specifications and drawings when completing markups, and provides real-time information to miners, engineers, and geologists. Data flows fluently from underground to surface if the communication infrastructure is in place to support real-time data.
Being accurate and efficient are two critical elements in today’s mining industry. It is crucial that miners follow mine plans accurately to be as efficient as possible.
With each metre of advance, there is a chance of overbreak, underbreak, and deviation from the mine design. These three factors can result in a substantial loss of time and money. Overbreak, as well as damaged zones, significantly impact the project cost, construction period, safety and performance of the underground structures.
With the use of MOSS software, overbreak is reduced to under 10 per cent, and it can provide very accurate line and grade markups for every round, reducing total costs and avoiding significant unplanned downtime events. The return on investment (ROI) using the MOSS software is almost immediate and will pay for itself by reducing error and streamlining workflow.
Studies show that most mines are looking at an overbreak of 20+ per cent. With MOSS, mines are able to bring the percentage down to under 10 per cent, producing less waste and an immediate return on investment. The cost savings are huge.
“We’re not talking thousands of dollars – we’re talking millions,” said Bruno Lalonde, General Manager of NSS Canada.
Traditionally, surveyors are required to go underground and complete a survey of the freshly blasted round, but this process can impede on the overall cycle time. With MOSS, the miner can do all the work previously done by the surveyors, alleviating surveyors from performing monthly and daily survey pickup tasks and allowing them to focus their time on quality assurance.
Because MOSS is very user-friendly, tasks like face markups can now be done by one operator.
While utilizing the MOSS system at the face, the miner can give himself or herself line and grade and markup the entire round in less than 13 minutes.
This major advantage can greatly decrease the time required to cycle a round.
When Lalonde and Marty Warkentin, President and CEO of NSS Canada, demonstrated MOSS to the Hexagon Mining Group in Vancouver, it came to the attention of Carl Brackpool, Corporate Product Manager and Director of Innovation for Hexagon Mining, that MOSS was the missing link and could drastically improve workflow from the planning/engineering departments to the operations department.
Brackpool was very interested in the technology.
“I pressure tested what they do with some mine managers like Dave Loring at Freeport McMoRan’s Henderson Mine,” Brackpool said.
He was informed that, indeed, overbreak and underbreak was a common problem.
“I then told him about MOSS and how I went to the NORCAT experimental mine in Sudbury for a MOSS demonstration, and he was blown away,” Brackpool added.
“This digital transformation of overbreak and underbreak data at the working face saves so much time. I thought, ‘We definitely needed to partner with these guys.’”
Partnering with Hexagon Mining provides NSS Canada the opportunity to sell Hexagon’s portfolio of mining products.
NSS Canada was also recently invited to sit on the Hexagon Client Mining Advisory Board and will be consulting with Hexagon for their underground mining division.
Being able to connect all parts of a mine with technologies that make sense of data while integrating, automating, and optimizing critical workflows is shaping the way data is looked at. Optimization is key.
With more demand for productivity, mines need to keep up and generate an ROI for any investment it makes. Accuracy and efficiency, as well as understanding how to handle this data, is how companies are becoming more marketable to their investors.
As a solution with more functionality and a significant increase in accuracy and efficiency, MOSS is a total underground solution, proving its ROI almost immediately.
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