Sophisticated technology is required to find, extract, and manage the resources in the earth’s crust. Since mining is inherently spatial, requiring accurate knowledge of the areas of earth’s surface and subsurface; geospatial technology is best suited to intelligently oversee all phases of the mine operation. GIS is a comprehensive technology that has been specifically designed to compile, process, analyze, display, and archive extensive volumes of data. A well designed, implemented, and supported mine management system based on GIS is critical in the success of any mining operation. Scanpoint Geomatics Limited provides IGiS mining vertical to mining companies with all the tools companies need to plan and operate mines responsibly at optimum efficiency.
IGiS in mining
In the past mining operations use to rely on paper maps, drawings, old surveys, superimposing transparencies to create layers and composite images. IGiS can replace all these traditional methods by providing tools for ingesting old survey data and maps as well as modern data and satellite imagery and analyzing them through digital overlays and composites.
IGiS is very useful in ingesting various datasets such as geologic maps, geochemical data, satellite images and maps of known mineral deposits. IGiS provides cost effective tools for exploration to manage, display and data analysis resulting in effective discovery of new mineral deposits.
Development and production
IGiS can be used effectively during the development and production stages of the mining operations. Estimation of the available resources, cost per ton and annual production can be linked with the complementary geospatial technology such as GPS. IGiS can be used by planners and engineers to find the lowest cost path to route delivery of supplies to working areas. It helps to find the closest facility, locate the areas within the service range, model inaccessible areas and model mine ventilation networks.
SGL has worked in the area of mining information by developing a vertical for Mineral Exploration and Mining using IGiS technology. Initially SGL developed a system for resource estimation and mine planning for an overseas client in Sierra Leone, Africa.
This experience was used to develop a customized application for Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation, GMDC, Government of Gujarat and was used for resource estimation for manganese.
GIS Enabled Mineral Reserve Estimation for Port Loko Mine
The Port Loko bauxite mine comprising of 638 sq km concession area, is located in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone, West Africa. The objectives of the project included devising a GIS based approach to carry out accurate bauxite reserve estimation and developing a Mining Decision Support System to facilitate efficient work flows. Accordingly, the project has developed an interactive and customized GIS application for bauxite mining business decision support.
GIS models coupled with high resolution satellite imagery and advanced geostatistics modules were used in the application to model the complex process of mineral reserve estimation for a mine. The reserve estimation process involved definition of mineralization, geostatistical analysis of the sample data, and application of suitable grade interpolation technique on the GIS platform.
The analysis generates thematic maps in 2D and 3D formats that are used for reserve estimation and mine planning. A three dimensional analysis involving polygonal approach is applied to the reserve estimation. Since incidence of bauxite displays stochastic behavior over space, a nonlinear approach has been applied to estimate the bauxite distribution in terms of grades and stock at point level. The approach is further qualified by providing a measure of local uncertainty.
The GIS driven analysis has significantly improved accuracy and substantially reduced the time and cost of reserve estimation. The GIS application, developed within a period of 20 weeks, estimated proven bauxite reserve of 306 million tons for the mine, The client, after due diligence, has accepted the reserve estimates in May 2010.
The GIS application created a GIS model that helps estimate bauxite reserves, and provides a framework for optimizing mine specific decision making. Integrated GIS & Image Processing Software (IGiS) with advanced modules has been used for creating the database and developing the model. IGiS supports seamless data creation and handling and related interoperability requirements needed for the analysis. IGiS has been customized to meet the domain specific end user requirements.
Bauxite volume and tonnage has been further considered for differential grades of Alumina and Silica. The block level reserve estimation and mineral analysis has been juxtaposed with other spatial and non spatial variables to formulate decisions regarding mine planning. Such analysis is critical to evaluate the technical and financial risks and robustness of the project.