In all underground mines, the shafts are a key component of the overall mine infrastructure. As shafts are used to facilitate the movement of personnel, material and equipment in and out of the mine, any shaft downtime has a negative effect on the safety and productivity of the mine.
Because of their importance, mine shafts are always inspected according to a strict schedule, generally on a weekly basis. These manual inspections are not a very efficient way to do things because they tie up two or more staff members for the duration of the inspection. These staff members are also exposed to a hazardous environment for long periods of time while they travel down the shaft at slow speeds.
The tedious nature of this type of inspection, coupled with a lack of accurate prior data for comparison purposes, creates a very real risk of human error; for example, failing to notice something significant or manually recording an incorrect location if something is noticed.
In comparison, 3D mine scanners like the uGPS Rapid Mapper™ have the potential to radically change the way mine inspections are performed, as they offer a quicker, safer, and more informative alternative.
3D mine scanning using the uGPS Rapid Mapper™ offers the following advantages over traditional mine shaft inspections:
- The 3D mine scanner can be installed on any existing shaft conveyance
- Shaft inspections can be performed as required without the need for personnel to spend time riding along
- Records of shaft inspections can be maintained for later analysis and comparison
- High-intensity point cloud data can be displayed to visualise wet spots, cracks and other potential problems
- Shaft infrastructure can be easily monitored and evaluated
- Shaft ground support installations and rehab areas can be easily monitored and evaluated
Click this link to see an example of the uGPS Rapid Mapper™ 3D mine scanner in action.