News Article

Introducing IMAT: Transforming Mining Analysis Solutions

Minneapolis, Minnesota — June 4, 2024 — ITASCA, a leader in innovative geomechanics software, is excited to announce the launch of IMAT (ITASCA’s Mining Analysis Toolbox). This state-of-the-art software suite provides mining professionals with advanced modeling and analysis tools specifically designed to meet their unique requirements. IMAT features an intuitive point-and-click user interface, ensuring effortless navigation and operation for users at all skill levels.

IMAT is designed by mining professionals to provide a user-friendly and powerful platform for simulating and analyzing diverse mining scenarios without the need for scripting. Featuring powerful numerical tools and an intuitive interface, IMAT enables mining engineers of all skill levels to simply and rapidly build and model intricate mining operations, optimize designs, perform seismic analysis, and manage risks effectively.

Powered by FLAC3D, IMAT is a pre- and post-processor explicitly designed for mine-scale applications. It leverages the concept of time in mining development sequences, enabling comparisons between numerical modeling and actual real-world events such as displacements and seismicity.

Designed to keep the user interface as simple as possible, IMAT is a collection of mine simulation tools that are modular by design. This approach provides a structured modeling workflow and an intuitive user interface — with simplicity as the guiding principle. IMAT uniquely brings many mining analysis tools into one view.

Developing a simple-to-use mine modeling software powered by FLAC3D is crucial for empowering engineers at all skill levels to effectively simulate and analyze mining scenarios, IMAT’s intuitive interface and powerful numerical tools streamline complex processes, enabling users to optimize designs, perform seismic analysis, and manage risks efficiently. Our goal is to make advanced modeling accessible to everyone, ensuring that mining professionals can focus on what truly matters—enhancing safety, efficiency, and productivity in their operations.

Jim Hazzard, Product Director at ITASCA

Powered by the FLAC3D engine, IMAT's simplified interface is tailored for rapid construction and resolution of complex models, eliminating the need for commands or scripting. By streamlining the process of geometry importation, material property and in-situ parameter definition, and mining sequence specification, engineers can swiftly configure simulations, achieving model setup and octree meshing for multiple resolutions in minutes.

Additionally, IMAT provides advanced analysis such as:

  • Management and visualization of block models
  • Visualization of boreholes
  • Management of material properties
  • Importing model geometries such as geological structures and mining development solids
  • Creation of movies for easy analysis and communication of results over the mining sequence

For engineers requiring more control of the model, IMAT offers access to enhanced features and capabilities. For example, although scripting or commands are not needed, IMAT automatically generates FLAC3D data files. These files are fully accessible and editable.

Optional components include a seismic data analysis module and an advanced constitutive strain softening model (IMASS). The seismic data module enables the user to import and analyze recorded seismicity for comparison to numerical modeling results. Analysis tools include in-situ stress directions, rock mass failure mechanisms, and tracking cave mine propagation via energy index and seismic source mechanisms.

The ITASCA Constitutive Model for Advanced Strain Softening (IMASS) has been developed to represent the rock mass response to excavation-induced stress changes. IMASS represents the damage around an excavation, slope, or caving process by accounting for the progressive failure and disintegration of the rock mass from intact, jointed, and/or veined rock to a disaggregated, bulked material. IMASS is based on empirical relationships and uses strain and zone-size dependent properties that reflect the impacts of dilation and bulking as a rock mass undergoes plastic deformation.

IMAT represents a groundbreaking advancement by seamlessly integrating numerical modeling with advanced seismicity analysis. This integration not only enhances the accuracy of mining simulations but also provides invaluable insights into seismic behavior, empowering engineers to optimize designs and mitigate risks effectively.

Gys Basson, Seismologist and Software Developer at ITASCA

Additionally, IMAT + Seismic is available, without the FLAC3D engine, to microseismic hardware manufacturers, offering a powerful tool for mapping and analyzing seismic events.

IMAT is now available for purchase. For detailed product features, pricing, and licensing options, visit itascasoftware.com/IMAT.

ITASCA's commitment to advancing mining engineering solutions is evident in every aspect of IMAT. With its innovative features, streamlined workflows, and unparalleled modeling capabilities, IMAT represents a groundbreaking and accessible solution for mining professionals worldwide.

About Itasca

ITASCA is an employee-owned, engineering software development and engineering-consulting company with offices worldwide. It is one of the world leaders in engineering design and numerical modeling of geomechanics and hydrogeology related to mining, civil engineering, and energy extraction. ITASCA blends local experience with a global perspective and maintains an internationally diverse team of leading engineers, software developers, and scientists.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, ITASCA manages ten global offices and over 200 employees. Together, we strive to deliver functional, actionable, and long-term sustainable solutions from an environmental and societal perspective.

ITASCA on LinkedIn and YouTube.

Press Contact: James Arth, Director of Marketing, marketing@itascacg.com

IMAT mine model
Contours and Excavations
Seismic events mapped with mine model.
Beaconsfield Mine modeled in IMAT showing the automatically generated octree mesh.
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