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Software may ‘revolutionise’ sector

A GROUND-breaking addition to the Whittle range of mining optimisation software that could revolutionise this multi-billion dollar sector, forms the centrepiece of a new $4.75 million public offer by Whittle Technology Limited.

The new technology will form the basis of one of three marketing channels for Whittle Technology, which was formed earlier this year to acquire the business and technologies of the company, originally founded in 1984 by nuclear physicist and mathematician Jeff Whittle.

Known as the Whittle Blending Pit Optimiser and the Whittle Blending Scheduler, the new software products could replicate the impact of the original Whittle pit optimisation software on the gold mining industry in the mid-1980s for the bulk commodities industry.

Mr Whittle and his wife, Ruth, developed a range of software products, starting with Whittle Three-D in 1985 — which changed the face of the open cut gold mining industry by automating the block modelling process to determine the optimal outline for an open pit.

Subsequent versions have provided sensitivity analysis for long-term mine planning, analysis of multiple elements within a mine plan, and optimisation of life-of-mine, cut-off grades, enhancing returns and improving economics for hundreds of mines around the world.

Whittle software has been supplied to 427 mining companies in over 48 countries. Most mining packages now include a Whittle interface option, highlighting the technology’s acceptance as an industry standard.

Whittle Technology lodged a prospectus earlier this month with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for the issue of up to 19 million shares at 25c each, together with 6.3 million free attaching options, to raise up to $4.75 million. The options are exercisable at 25¢ each up to September 30, 2001 and at 40¢ each after September 30, 2001 and on or before September 30,2002.

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