On August 5, 2010, a wall column in the San José mine in northern Chile collapsed, trapping 33 miners 700 meters underground. The challenge was how to rescue the miners as quickly as possible, as well as ensure that their mental and physical health was maintained while the rescue mission was planned and implemented.
During the crisis, mining expert Manuel Viera, the CEO and managing partner of engineering consultancy Metaproject, was asked by the Chilean government to advise on the best way to rescue the miners. Mr. Viera developed a new risk analysis solution model using Palisade’s decision tree tool PrecisionTree to calculate the method that would subject them to the least risk.
PrecisionTree presented a matrix of statistical analysis results for each branch tree (i.e. rescue option). This was a unique, but fitting, application for software that is more often put to use in decision analysis for applications such as exploration and production!
Manuel Viera explains: “Palisade’s PrecisionTree is an excellent tool for modeling and conceptualizing real-life problems, and analyzes alternatives that are technically feasible and economically viable in an Excel format. This can be applied to complex problems that have a big impact, and was therefore ideal for a major disaster such as the trapped miners.”