Metals and Mining

Design, construction, and operation of metals, mining, and minerals facilities

Case Study
Case Study - New Zealand Steel
New Zealand Steel Updates System with SmartPlant®

This steel company uses locally sourced iron sand to produce around 650,000 tons of steel a year, and some 60 percent of the company's output is exported. With that scope of work facing it, the engineering design team at BlueScope Steel needed to move from a CAD environment to a data-centric setting.

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The metals and mining industry provides basic raw materials such as iron ore, steel, copper, aluminum, and potash to major sectors of the world economy, including automotive, consumer goods, agriculture, construction, and electronics. The process of getting the raw materials into the hands of end-users presents formidable challenges to the industry – from mining to materials handling, mineral processing, de-watering, smelting, refining, and shipping. Metals and mining facilities are increasingly complex and large in scope, with mega-projects becoming the norm. Hexagon PPM solutions can help the industry meet the challenges of achieving higher production goals and operational excellence through better engineering data management and improved fixed asset performance from initial design to plant operations.

At every step of the way

3D Design & Visualization

Processing plants for major mining operations are large and complex. The amount of data required to design, procure, and construct such facilities can be massive. During the capital project, large volumes of engineering data are created, together with all of the drawings and documentation required to construct the facility. Intergraph Smart™3D is a data-centric solution that was designed to create, manage, and organize all of this information, generate detailed deliverables, and then make that data easily accessible to the relevant people.

Transportation of ores represents a major cost for mining owners and are the arteries of the entire operation. The Smart 3D material handling environment (MHE) is unique to the industry and allows detailed fabrication and visualization of conveyor systems, which are key transportation systems for a mining facility. These bulk material handling systems can then be added as digital assets to the overall facility for better quality control, visualization, and cost control.
Most companies today that are doing design of materials handling systems use MCAD or other CAD to piece together these material handling systems, but when done outside of the intelligent 3D environment, they lose their value as digital assets that can be managed by the overall system. Smart 3D solves this critical problem within the industry.


Hexagon PPM's costly and potentially dangerous system failures in plants and piping systems that operate under extreme pressures, temperatures, and conditions. For example, Intergraph CAESAR II®, the world’s most widely used software for automating pipe stress analysis and design, includes the latest global codes and standards and has been proven in the most complex, challenging applications and conditions where reliability of results is critical. Intergraph PV Elite® automates the analysis and design of vessels and exchangers to ensure reliable design while improving engineering design efficiencies. Intergraph TANK™ automates the analysis and design of tanks for storing oil and other petroleum products associated with these facilities. Intergraph GT STRUDL® structural analysis software is a high-quality, fully integrated, and database-driven system for comprehensive frame and finite element analysis, and steel and reinforced concrete design.

Asset Lifecycle Information Management

Data is a key resource for mining companies and EPC contractors in the mining industry. Mining operations generate huge amounts of documents and data, coming from thousands of sensors, from planning, engineering, and/or from communications systems, etc. Mining companies today are looking for a way to harness this data and centralize it so that it is always up-to-date, organized in a way that everyone can find efficiently, and accessible to the right people at the right time.

SmartPlant® Enterprise for Owner Operators provides a data-centric engineering data repository to capture, organize, and manage all of this information in a way that makes it visible to the right people at the right time, with full traceability. Hexagon PPM’s Asset Lifecycle Information Management systems help many of the top mining companies to harness the world’s resources and maintain efficient extraction operations.

Engineering & Schematics

SmartPlant® Engineering & Schematics offers data-centric solutions for early engineering of the plant configuration with specific systems for P&ID design, electrical schematics, instrumentation, process design, and engineering integrity. These solutions are rule-based and relationship-driven to promote design consistency throughout engineering. These systems are fully integrated and exchange engineering information in a controlled manner, which is key for better design consistency across disciplines and for enhanced quality control. Integration and consistency is also maintained with the 3D model. SmartPlant Process Safety is a new addition to the SmartPlant family of solutions and can design safety into the plant as part of early design.

Procurement, Fabrication & Construction

For a typical mining plant facility, 10 to 15 percent of the total cost goes toward engineering design while 70 to 80 percent of the cost is related to material. Surplus materials caused by ineffective materials management, even to levels of only 5 percent, can result in the loss of millions of dollars on an average capital project. Without continuous management of materials throughout the supply chain, it is difficult to take the appropriate corrective action to prevent schedule delays, material overspend, and increased logistics costs. Flow of information within the supply chain is incredibly complex and it is critical that owners and EPC contractors have complete visibility and traceability into where materials are at any given moment so that delays can be reduced and problems can be quickly diagnosed.

Intergraph Smart® Materials provides full supply chain visibility and traceability and total materials management for plants and capital projects. Intergraph Smart® Construction combines data from engineering, materials, and scheduling for an innovative, integrated solution for construction planners.

Antofagasta Minerals Saves $5 Million on Chilean Mine Project
Hexagon PPM enables a quicker facility shutdown for Antofagasta Minerals, resulting in a $5 million cost savings in complex mining project in Chile.
TUF group, Intergraph, Smart 3D
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Intergraph Smart® 3D TUF Group:
Intergraph Smart 3D provides all of the capabilities needed to design plant, marine, and materials handling facilities, and then maintain their 3D “as-built” representations.

Operations & Maintenance Excellence with SPO

Watch this excerpt from the webinar "Operations & Maintenance Excellence with SPO". Learn how Lumina Copper's use of SPO enabled the organization and management of information for its Caserones project in Chile.

SNC-Lavalin Completes Feasibility Studies in Record Time with Intergraph Smart 3D

Rule-based, automated 3D technology enables engineering firm to improve accuracy and efficiency of materials handling projects for increased competitiveness. Learn more about its use of Smart 3D.

TUF group, Intergraph, Smart Materials
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Intergraph Smart® Materials TUF Group
Smart Materials offers total materials management and subcontract management.

Hexagon 2012 Keynote Large Mining Project in Chile

El Teniente in Chile, operated and owned by Codelco, is the world's largest underground copper mine. When the need to expand arose Codelco turned to Sinclair Knight Merz, leading mining engineering company, for the project.

SmartPlant® Enterprise for Metals and Mining White Paper

Read the SmartPlant® Enterprise for the Metals and Mining Industry White Paper.

Operations and Maintenance Excellence with SPO

South American mining company Minera Lumina Copper Chile implements Hexagon PPM; solutions to integrate engineering information from engineering to operations.

Intergraph Smart® Materials Handling Edition

Intergraph Smart® 3D Materials Handling Edition is a specific solution for the metals and mining industry, leveraging Hexagon PPM's innovative Smart 3D technology. Watch now to learn more.

Metals and Mining Industry Brochure

Hexagon PPM; products for the metals and mining industry are designed to help meet these challenges.