Mining is a significant industry all over the world, and it is also quite a traditional one. Digitalization is nevertheless becoming an emerging trend also in the mining industry. In this blog article we discuss on few reasons how the utilization of 3D data can bring mining companies clear advantages in safety, communication, and efficiency.
Safety risks are characteristic to mining industry, as you are dealing with huge masses and heavy machinery. Naturally, the industry is also known to have high standards of safety. All the risks can’t be totally prevented, so it is essential to have enough information to predict risky events and minimize the risks that way.
Modern remote sensing technology with 3D data software is one key to predictive safety operations. For example, drone surveys are an efficient way to monitor critical mine walls. Traditionally assessing mine wall safety has been done by Geotechnical Engineers with different technologies, such as Total Stations, radars, 3D risk assessment models, and of course visual inspection on site.
Visual inspection of high walls can be difficult, but nowadays you can fly a drone at close range of the inspected wall, getting an extremely sharp photogrammetry model, which can then be uploaded to the cloud-based software for visual inspection. Geotechnicians can view the model and make remarks of the findings. The repeated surveys can be compared to see if the changes on the wall are alarming, and if there is a need for safety measures.
The mining site includes many actors from excavator drivers to site supervisors and subcontractors. It is essential to have up-to-date information to all the workers on a site to ensure the smooth production chain. When a mining site is scanned frequently, and the data uploaded to the cloud service, that information can easily be shared in daily meetings, for example. This way all the stakeholders get a review of the progress and next steps of the operations.
Mining industry is considerably regulated, hence there is an extensive need for different kinds of reports. Updated information about the ore reserves is one key value in reporting, and that can be easily extracted from the 3D model.
Many mining companies use machine control technology to guide excavators and trucks. That data could be linked to the georeferenced 3D model to see exactly where the machinery is working. It decreases the need to drive to the site, saving time and money. The operators in the site can check the updates from the model and the progress can be communicated forward.
Real-time monitoring of operations enhances the planning, and a clear overall picture of the mining area enables the full use of resources. Good communication always improves efficiency as there is no need to hunt information, but it is easily available for everyone.
How to get started?
VRT Finland is a pioneer in utilizing 3D data in asset management, and we have added the drone surveys to our service repertory. We are eager to discuss how our surveys and online 3D data management software GISGRO could aid your business in the mining industry. Contact us for more information.