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Achieving over 95% accuracy in a complex historical mining district with the ABB MineScape mine planning model

The client

ROMONTA is the world’s largest crude montan wax producer. It operates the Amsdorf opencast mine, located in the Central German lignite mining area. From the bitumen-rich soft lignite, approximately 15,000 tons of crude montan wax are extracted per year from 500,000 tons of lignite. Over the past 100 years, the deposit has been mined underground and opencast (in the outskirts of the mining area). The high-grade mineral allows today’s economic extraction with opencast mining.

The challenge

In the lignite deposits of Amsdorf, new mining areas are rare, because historical opencast and underground mining operations have been in existence throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Several independent mines were previously combined over time and consolidated to create today’s mine site. As a result, confusing pit geometries across a network of underground mine tunnels and caving areas exist in the mine site. For these mining areas, little or no historical modeling has ever been done; with the complex structure of the underground mines, finding mine planning that could accurately model the area was difficult.

The solution

To help address their unique challenges, ROMONTA turned to ABB’s MineScape. Specifically developed to meet the mining industry’s rigorous demands, MineScape has been proven in the most complex mining operations throughout the world. 

The results

Using the MineScape solution, ROMONTA modeled the Amsdorf underground mine, including the complex infrastructure of old mines, to create an optimized mine plan model. A geological model was built that accurately represented the stratigraphic coal deposit with all the deformations caused by the old underground mining. A triangulated model of the old underground workings was constructed to visualize the areas affected by the past underground excavations. All this combined information provided an accurate geological and quality model, accurate resource estimates and mine plan.



Location Central Germany
Industry Mining

Solutions used

ABB MineScape

“With the MineScape model, the mine quality layout, reserves and geological map can be visualized and calculated, thus improving the mine plan with higher mineral quality excavation.”

– Maximilian Hertrampf, Specialist Mining Engineer, ROMONTA

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