Building a common operating picture

Innovation in exploration, process and design

A leader in the iron ore industry, recognised for its innovation and industry leading development of world class infrastructure and mining assets in the Pilbara, Western Australia, worked with NGIS to build a state of the art solution. The solution helps to efficiently and effectively deliver products from mine to market through innovation in exploration, process and design. 

Since 2012, NGIS has worked closely with the company to develop and build solutions that capture and leverage the use of the data to drive business decisions, productivity and efficiency improvements crucial to their business.

As a large and dynamic enterprise, with data changing at a rapid pace, they required a solution that alleviated the limitations that teams faced when accessing datasets from a large catalogue of specialised software and data sources.

Moving off an unsupported platform

In early 2018, the company learned that Google Earth Enterprise would no longer be supported. Given that their solution was built using Google Earth Enterprise as a platform, they needed to find a viable replacement.
The replacement would require minimal change management and would have to supply the company with the power of subsurface 3D visualisation, which was not previously possible using Google Earth Enterprise.
We knew if we could use 3D visualisation to bring together the underground drilling, the underground services and the mine planning to see what a two year or five year mine plan might look like, we would get a lot more benefit with decision making

- GIS superintendent


NGIS used Skyline TerraExplorer, a technology built to handle a wide variety of 3D data, in the new solution. Using high performing 3D intelligence functions, it enables the company to do more with their data, driving productivity and efficiency improvements.
The solution was built as an intuitive, self-service application to enable their entire team to leverage location data and integrate 3D spatial technology into traditional mining activities and operations. 
The solution was designed with analytical capabilities and integration points, leveraging outputs from existing business systems. It has also enabled the creation and utilisation of a full picture digital twin, which is a replica of physical assets, processes, people, places, systems and devices that can be used for various purposes.
Internally, the usage of the solution continues to grow with over 15,000 actions spread across 3500 individual user sessions per month.

As of October 2020: 

  • There are around 800 active users leveraging the solution to make informed decisions
  • It is now available for all company employees as part of their Standard Operating Environment
  • More than 18 respective business units are using the solution in day to day mining activities, spatially enabling the vast majority of their business units

All teams working from the same view

The solution provides a common operating picture of it’s mining operations and activities, on demand. It allows the organisation to have an immersive spatial experience where employees can optimise gathered data.
Furthermore, it has given the company the opportunity to refine and improve business systems and processes, while being used as an integrator that combines a range of disparate business systems together into a holistic operating picture.
It is also used among their business areas from Risk Management, Projects to Surveying and for various business cases from line of sight scenarios, plant design logistics to floodplain analysis.