Gemcom Software International Inc.

Gemcom Software International Inc.

October 25, 2010 11:00 ET

Gemcom Whittle 4.4 Significantly Increases NPV With Latest Advancements in Strategic Mine Planning

New Simultaneous Optimisation Module Incorporates Techniques Shown to Increase NPV by as Much as 25%

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2010) - Gemcom Software International Inc., the largest global supplier of mining software solutions, today announced it has released Gemcom Whittle™ 4.4, the latest version of its industry leading strategic mine planning software for open pit mines. When exploration and mining companies need to evaluate the financial viability and the optimal mine strategy for a deposit, they turn to Whittle because it enables them to determine their investment strategy and to deliver robust mine plans that maximise profitability. This release incorporates the new Simultaneous Optimisation module which allows mining companies to unlock additional Net Present Value (NPV) from their mining operations by handling optimisation mechanisms concurrently rather than sequentially.

The Simultaneous Optimisation module marks a continuation of the relationship between Gemcom and the Whittle family. Since Gemcom purchased Whittle Programming in 2001, Jeff and Gerald Whittle have remained at the forefront in the field of strategic mine planning, providing consulting services to clients around the world through their company Whittle Consulting. During that time, they developed the simultaneous optimisation methodologies that have now been incorporated into Whittle 4.4 via an exclusive agreement with Gemcom. 

"We are delighted to be able to build upon the relationship between Gemcom and the visionary family that defined the field of strategic mine planning," said Cameron Reed, Gemcom's vice president of corporate development. "The mining industry is in search of new ways to maximise the economic value of their businesses and the Simultaneous Optimisation module will play an important role in enabling this goal to be realised. With the Whittle software in use all over the world, mining companies can quickly begin benefiting from the additional value the new module will deliver."

The agreement between Gemcom and Whittle Consulting also provides the foundation of a business alliance between the two companies. Together, they will offer the mining industry the most comprehensive combination of product and services for addressing the full spectrum of optimisation opportunities in the mining industry from mining operations to the entire enterprise. 

"Our history with Gemcom and its leading market position make it a natural partner for bringing the latest advancements in strategic mine planning further into the marketplace," said Gerald Whittle, managing director of Whittle Consulting. "The incorporation of some of our proprietary algorithms into the Simultaneous Optimisation module will provide many mining companies with a powerful new solution that reflects the fact that all mines are money mines, whose planners are tasked with maximising economic return. Simultaneous optimisation techniques have been found to significantly increase NPV because they allow for the consideration of the interaction between several optimisation mechanisms."

Through the facilitation of optimisation over mine schedules, stockpiles, cut-off grades, and blending in a single step, the Gemcom Whittle Simultaneous Optimisation module reduces the complexity of configuring each of these optimisation mechanisms independently. This ensures that all optimisation mechanisms are utilised and that maximum value from the product is derived.

Since operational constraints and bottlenecks limit the ability to generate cash flow, NPV must be optimised on multiple factors in the value chain simultaneously. Decisions made in one part of the business will impact the others. For example, a change in cut-off grade will affect the schedule, and a change in the schedule will affect the selection of mining phases.

"By taking a step beyond traditional sequential optimisation techniques, the Simultaneous Optimisation module unlocks hidden NPV in mining projects to bring forward positive cash flows," said Robin Sweeny, Gemcom's product manager for Whittle. "With the module, mining companies have new, sophisticated, powerful algorithms to optimise mine schedules, stockpiles, cut-off grades, and blending concurrently. Using the module will provide mine planners a better understanding of where to mine, the quantities involved, blends, and the cut-offs required in each period. Further, this module will make it far easier for users to take advantage of all optimisation mechanisms, such as cut-off grade, available within Whittle." 

In addition to the Simultaneous Optimisation module, Whittle 4.4 includes numerous new features and system enhancements designed to improve personal productivity and add new economic value to projects. Incorporated into the software are new and refined capabilities, including more controls for modelling mining constraints, and the ability to optimise larger block models..

For more information about Whittle 4.4, visit www.gemcomsoftware.com/whittle.

About Gemcom

When mining companies seek to increase mine productivity, they turn to Gemcom for technology and services. The Company is home to world-renowned mining solutions like GEMS, Surpac, Minex, Whittle, and InSite and to industry thought leaders who are pushing the boundaries of what's possible in mining. Established in 1985, Gemcom has a global reach delivering comprehensive solutions in all major mining centres in more than 130 countries. Every major mining company, including BHP Billiton, Codelco, De Beers, Newmont and Vale is a Gemcom client. Through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions, the Company has become the largest global supplier of mining software solutions. For more information, visit www.gemcomsoftware.com.

Gemcom, the Gemcom logo and combinations thereof, and Whittle are trademarks of Gemcom Software International Inc.

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