The recent advances in digital imaging technology, specifically around photogrammetry, have facilitated precision measurement in the difficult conditions encountered in an underground development mining environment. With the recent downturn in the resources industry, many mining houses have begun to focus on cost reduction projects and driving efficiencies. The application of digital photogrammetry has allowed greater insight into the development mining cycle and supported a focus on areas where efficiencies and cost savings can be achieved. Data collation, via digital image capture, can be completed with minimal disruption to the development mining cycle with analyses taking a nominal time to process and interpret. The result can be a stark visual representation of the result of blasting and associated activities of the development mining cycle. Many millions of dollars of benefit can be derived from understanding the impact of each component of the development mining process, with some of the biggest savings associated with conformance to drill design and the minimisation of overbreak during blasting. This paper will explain the image capture process, analyses and instigated improvement opportunities that were undertaken at a number of mine sites to improve efficiencies and drive savings in their development mining processes.
Klaric, P, Swart, N and Barnes, S, 2017. Digital imaging provides valuable insights into underground development mining, in Proceedings 13th AusIMM Underground Operators’ Conference 2017, pp 129–134 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).