IM inducts the man behind the essential software for block and sub-level caving – Tony Diering

Beating Alun Phillips (RPM Global) into second place and the Caterpillar Minestar team into third, Tony Diering is the 2015 inductee in mining software into the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame (Hatch the lead sponsor). Dr Diering has been involved in the development of mining applications for more than 30 years and is the pioneer behind Dassault Systèmes’ innovative block-caving GEOVIA PCBC and sub-level caving GEOVIA PCSLC software applications, which are used by the majority of the world’s mines employing these specialised mining methods.

He began his career at SRK in Johannesburg, where he developed a number of stress analysis systems including two and three dimensional boundary and finite element analysis systems. At SRK, he was largely responsible for the development and initial marketing of DMIPS, a computerised mine planning system. Throughout his long-standing tenure with Gemcom Software International (acquired by Dassault Systèmes in 2012), Diering held several positions including Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Advanced Technologies. As the former Vice President, Block Caving, he played a central role in setting up Dassault Systèmes’ GEOVIA operations in South Africa in addition to overseeing the global development, marketing, training and consulting for both PCBC and PCSLC.

It was in 1987 that he, in conjunction with Dr Dennis Laubscher (a previous inductee into the IM Technology Hall of Fame), developed the world renowned PCBC software while working for a premier diamond mine in South Africa. In 1994, once again with Laubscher, performed the first major implementation of PCBC for the Northparkes mine in Australia, prior to the opening of the mine’s first block cave section, which resulted in a proven product and very useful design tool for use in both operating mines and producing feasibility studies.

To complement the PCBC software, Diering successfully developed the following applications for use with PCBC:

  • Foot Print Finder enables a quick study of different footprints at different elevations, before a more detailed footprint with explicit draw points is set up in PCBC
  • Cave Management System (CMS) is a daily draw order production system that monitors daily actual tonnages and status per draw point, and uses this to produce daily draw orders that can be fed to an LHD dispatch system
  • LSQ is a least squares draw point sample analysis tool, which enables calibration of draw columns against actual measured sample grades.
  • PCSLC is similar to PCBC, and is used by planning engineers for feasibility studies as well as for operating mines that use sublevel caving.

Don’t forget to put your nominations in (to for the 2016 inductions. There are 12 categories:


2.Underground development

3.Underground Production

4.Surface mining



7.Mining software


9.Bulk handling


11.Environmental management and stewardship

12.Outstanding innovator.


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