Understanding Stopes in Underground Mining
A stope is an excavated space within a mine, serving as a crucial area for holding extracted ore or minerals. The creation of stopes involves drilling and blasting, forming an open space. For the mining industry to function smoothly, having well-defined stopes is imperative. This necessitates a method for surveyors and engineers to safely and efficiently gather data from these often hazardous and hard-to-reach areas, contributing to safe and efficient mining operations.
The Challenge of Traditional Stope Inspection
Traditionally, Cavity Monitoring Systems (CMS) have been the go-to method for inspecting stopes. This involves a LiDAR scanner mounted on a boom pole, which can be time-consuming to setup and costly to operate, with prices of existing systems exceeding $100,000 USD. Moreover, CMS can produce incomplete data due to its inability to reach and scan beyond stope edges.
Introducing the Hovermap Solution
The Hovermap, a game-changing SLAM LiDAR technology that utilizes a drone for increased maneuverability, allowing comprehensive coverage of all areas, including previously blind spots. The Hovermap, paired with a Matrice 350 drone, not only costs about half as much as traditional CMS but also enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of scanning complex environments.
The Hovermap system, developed by Emesent, enables remote operation from a safe distance, with autonomous scans completed in as little as five minutes. The entire process, including data processing, can be done in about fifteen minutes, marking a 75% reduction in turnaround time. The quality of data is also significantly improved, offering shadowless, Geotech-rich information that aids in risk evaluation and optimization of in-stope blast patterns, leading to better end-of-month reconciliations.
Key Features of the Hovermap
- Efficient Scanning: The Hovermap simplifies the mapping process, requiring just one operator and lightweight equipment, with scans completed rapidly.
- Superior 3D Mapping: Offering shadowless, Geotech-rich 3D outputs, the Hovermap provides a more comprehensive view of the stope than traditional CMS methods.
- Autonomous Flight: Equipped with real-time point cloud capture, the Hovermap can autonomously navigate and map challenging environments, featuring advanced collision avoidance.
Key Benefits of Using Hovermap for Stope Mapping
- Increased Productivity: The Hovermap streamlines the scanning process, significantly reducing the time from data collection to processing.
- Enhanced Accuracy: The technology captures more accurate, shadowless 3D point-cloud data, enriched with Geotech details.
- Improved Safety: The Hovermap enhances safety by eliminating the need for operators to approach dangerous areas.
The Future of Mine Mapping
Autonomous drone technology, combined with LiDAR capture, is set to replace outdated CMS methods in stope scanning. Hovermap's versatility extends beyond stope mapping to applications like digitizing old workings and providing accurate volumetrics for above-ground stockpiles, making it an invaluable tool in modern mining operations.
Interested in integrating Hovermap into your mining operations?
Contact us today for a comprehensive consultation on the Hovermap solution, complete with complimentary training as per the Candrone Standard. Discover how Hovermap can revolutionize your mining surveys and operations!