Many mine planners who use Minemax software for their strategic mine planning trust Matthew LaBonte from the Denver team with his advice. When problems get complicated, Matt is the one to talk to about your strategic mine planning challenges. He is an out-of-box thinker who excels at problem solving, model building and stretching Minemax Scheduler to its limits to deliver real results to clients with big ideas.
With close to 8 years of experience at Minemax, Matt has been involved in all aspects of software deployment from software demonstrations, training, consulting and technical support for customers across the world, with a focus on North and South America.
We’ve caught up with Matt recently for a short interview to reflect on his career at Minemax.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to join Minemax?
I was in the middle of a Master’s program where I was focusing on Optimization and related fields when I learned about Minemax. Minemax seemed like a perfect place for me to use my mining knowledge and further learn and use optimization techniques.
What is it like to work at Minemax?
Every day is a new challenge. I am usually looking at a new model or helping a client with a different unknown issue every day, sometimes there are multiple models in the same day.
What are some of the challenges you help your clients with during consulting sessions?
Consulting projects vary widely. Sometimes the clients don’t have time to update models and run scenarios on their own. Because I am so familiar with our products I can cut down on modelling time and the number of scenarios that need to run in order to find the results that are needed.
My favorite challenges are when a client wants to model something that they, and sometimes we, have never tried before. Then, I have to twist my brain and push the software to the limit to incorporate unconventional constraints, revenue streams, or processes into model and see if we can get a result.
What is the most satisfying aspect of the work you do?
I enjoy working on different mines and new problems everyday. I find it much more engaging than working on the same problem for months at a time.
What’s the best career lesson you’ve learned?
That setting proper expectations with a client upfront can solve a lot of issues. Always try to under promise and over deliver.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to enter your field?
Learn about optimization and what the algorithms are trying to do. When you get a weird result or think something may have been mismodelled, knowing how the algorithms work will cut down on your troubleshooting time considerably.
What is on your wish list for the next 5 years with Minemax
I am ready to get back to traveling and going to conventions. I have been stuck at home for over a year and this has been the longest time since my childhood that I have not been on a plane.
Thank you Matt for taking the time to answer these questions and for all the hard work serving Minemax customers globally!
If you’d like to connect with Matt, you can reach him here.