Leica tech boosts safety at Córrego do Sítio

AngloGold Ashanti, which operates four mines in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Goiás, has been using Leica scanning technology from Hexagon Mining to surevy its Córrego do Sítio 1 mine
Leica tech boosts safety at Córrego do Sítio Leica tech boosts safety at Córrego do Sítio Leica tech boosts safety at Córrego do Sítio Leica tech boosts safety at Córrego do Sítio Leica tech boosts safety at Córrego do Sítio

Example of a laser scan in a mining environment

Staff reporter

At almost 400m deep, AngloGold needs detailed information about Córrego do Sítio’s galleries and stopes for volume calculations, 3-D model creation and mine reconciliation.

Traditionally, stope surveys were performed with total stations. These were done as quickly as possible as the surveyor is in a high-risk scenario inside the stope’s structure.

A few points were collected and the dimensions of the space interpolated and generalised. With the use of laser scanning, though, higher data quality became available to mine planners.

Using the Leica ScanStation C10, the procedure consists of pulling the laser scanner inside the stope using mechanical arms, small trucks, forklifts or even wheelbarrows. This places the operator safely out of harm’s way at the end of the gallery.

Using a Leica CS15 controller to remotely operate the wireless-enabled  ScanStation, a set of targets are also collected and coordinated to the mine coordinate systems with a Leica TS06 total station. A few minutes later, the data is processed in Leica Cyclone REGISTER software. The stope is then modelled within seconds in 3DReshaper.

With laser scanning, a time saving of up to seven hours, compared to previous traditional surveying techniques, is achieved. Whereas processing a stope survey previously could take up to eight hours, the mine technicians can now extract it in less than one hour using Cyclone, 3DReshaper and other Leica Geosystems software solutions.

“The Leica ScanStation not only improves the operation regulatory conformity for safety, but it also boosts productivity and gives us huge time savings,” said Ravel Júlio da Fonseca, supervisor at AngloGold Ashanti. “Our teams can survey more locations, optimsing both ore extraction and mine reconciliation. And the level of details on galleries is so high that even outcropping ore and cabling can be spotted, benefiting not only the survey teams but also the rock mechanics team on its field project analysis and layout.”