Underground mine surveying – moving from measuring to management and implementation
To maintain and increase profitability and meet the steadily increasing demand for the metals and other materials and elements they produce (e.g. gemstones, rare earths etc.), modern underground mines are going deeper and wider and producing greater quantities of ore than ever before.
As underground mining continues to develop and expand in Australia (and other countries around the globe), advances in surveying technology & equipment are helping to facilitate this growth.
In particular, the increasingly widespread use of LiDAR laser-based 3D scanners, especially the industry-leading uGPS Rapid Mapper™ mobile mine scanner, is changing the role of surveyors and engineers performing this role.
Better surveying technology & equipment is shifting the primary focus of underground mine surveying personnel away from concentrating on taking accurate measurements and gathering other data to focusing on the interpretation of that data and using it for a variety of purposes.
Some typical use cases for the data gathered by the robust, easy-to-use uGPS Rapid Mapper™ 3D mobile mine scanner are:
- Developing accurate 3D models that make it easy to visualize new developments or expansion areas in existing mines
- Providing an accurate, visual way to determine if sufficient provision has been made for the movement of vehicles and equipment through the mine in a real-world scenario (“will it fit” analysis)
- Driving the implementation of safety and production strategies
- Facilitating the ongoing monitoring of factors that affect, or threaten, safety and productivity
The uGPS Rapid Mapper™ 3D mobile mine scanner requires very little maintenance and is purpose-built for underground mining, not merely a surface device with minor adaptations. This gives it the ruggedness to be able to cope with the extreme conditions often found within large underground mines in Australia (heat, dust etc.).
On top of all these benefits, the ability of this scanner to generate dense, accurate, 3D point cloud data while on the move makes using it a logical part of any program to update the surveying technology & equipment within any underground mine.