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3. Formatting stage

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Note: the examples in this page are made with the Marvin dataset that comes pre-installed. Still, these steps would be the same if you were using your own data.

In order to use the software, you need to import your block model into the system. To do this, it is necessary to follow certain formatting specifications and assign the proper field types to each column of the block model.

Formatting Specifications

  1. Regularized block model: All blocks must be the same size.

  2. Air blocks must be removed prior to importation. This is the way MiningMath recognizes the topography.

  3. Coordinates of each block in the 3 dimensions.

  4. Header Names should not have special characters or have them exceed 13. Use this recommendation for folders and files also.

  5. The data format should be a CSV file (Comma Separated Value), which might be compatible with most mining packages. An example can be seen below.

Good practices

  • Configure Microsoft Windows number formatting to use dot as the decimal separator.
  • Use the metric system.
  • Set multiple fields that will consider different economic values, material types, contaminant limits, and any other variable you wish to analyze or control.

Field types

Field Types are the fields MiningMath can understand. Each column imported should be assigned to the proper field type so that the software treats each variable accordingly with its meaning.

Mandatory Field Types

To run any optimization scenario, you will need to at least one field for each of these variables types:

Coordinates X, Y, and Z Your geo-referenced information.


Any variable that could be controlled by means of minimums and maximums considering its average: grades, haulage distance, and other variables.

Economic Value

Columns with the economic value when sent to the available destinations. It is possible to import multiple economic values at once, and they may be used simultaneously (ex.: multiple processing streams) or calculated in the internal calculator.

Optional Field Types

Density Block's density.


Slopes varying block-by-block, which gives the flexibility to define slopes by lithotype and sectors


Recoveries varying block-by-block.


Any variable that could be controlled by means of minimums and maximums considering its sum


Information that you wish to have in the exported outputs


Any variable that should be ignored. This field type might help improve the runtime since these variables will not be considered and will not be exported along with the optimization outputs.

Software conventions

The model’s origin must be placed at the bottom portion

It should start to count from the minimum coordinates at X, Y, and Z (in this order). To clarify, the Z-coordinate grows first, followed by the Y-coordinate, and then the X-coordinate. In the Marvin example you can see how Z grows first for the same values of X and Y.

Note: Each software uses its own conventions for data format, naming, numbering systems, etc. These differences should be observed to prevent conflicts when working with data from multiple software.

What you must know

MiningMath uses coordinates (X,Y,Z) for which Z represents the elevation starting upwards

Other mining software may use indexes with IZ starting downwards. MineSight is an example that uses this notation.

To invert downwards coordinates use the following formula to convert: new(Z)=max(Z)+1–current(Z)

Air blocks

MiningMath recognizes that all imported blocks of your model are underground. This means it is necessary to remove all the air blocks prior to importation. Unless your topography is totally flat, which is unlikely.

The non-removal of air blocks may lead to unsatisfactory results and long processing times, since it would be considering blocks that do not exist in reality. The following video shows how to remove air blocks using filters on MS Excel. These tips are also applicable to any mining software of your choice.

Common issues

If you are having issues formatting your CSV check some common problems here. You can also post questions in our forum so the community can quickly help you. 

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