3D Scanning Gold Mines in China

3d scanning helps surveying become more safe, efficient

Whoa! Talk about a golden idea! Check out what China is doing with 3D scanning.  A company in Shandong Province, ShanDong Gold Company, is pioneering the way for other Chinese mining companies to use 3D laser scanning for their mining projects.  They took about 20 kilometers of scanned data and processed the point clouds. The whole process took them about a year, and it has turned out to be a big success.

shandong's gold mine

Shangdong province is the place to go for gold in China.  That province had the most deposits, and so its no wonder state-owned mining companies are focusing their ingenuity in that area.  To get the most out of their efforts, they are looking for better ways to plan, design, monitor the mining project. Work conditions in the mining industry are dangerous, so these mining companies also need to ensure they can keep their workers safe and yet still make good profit. 3D laser scanning has enabled them to do it even better.

surveying using 3d scanning technology

Using 3D scanning for mining is not a new idea, but in it is actually fruition of earlier ideas to create a digital mine. Back in the 1990s, the idea was started, and today has become a reality. The Shandong Gold Company has proved its success by scanning tunnels 650 meter below ground, where the condition were horrendous. The heat and humidity were intense and data needed to be collected quickly so as not to interfere with production activities. The results were a 3 minute setup of the equipment, and each scan took only about five minutes.

3D scanning has enabled mining companies to survey more efficiently. Surveying the mine is a major part of the mining process, and it is needed throughout the whole project from planning to reclamation of the land.  To say the least, this is not an easy task. Mines are not not an easy field to survey. Spaces are cramped and terrain is rough. Setting up equipment and marking things out through long tight tunnels is tricky. It also tends to drive up cost and time if there is need for accurate measurements and timely data collection. When you are deep underground, all your devices become more limited in their ability simply due to the environment. Even with the best conventional equipment, it is impossible to get a 3D model of the surveyed area of a tunnel.  It seems that 3D scanning has solved this problem, by bring accuracy, speed, and totality to the survey process.

The idea to 3D laser scan a mine has proved to work out great.  It has provided mining companies with a super accurate image of the mine so than they can plan, access, and strategize better as the mining process continues. This way they can also provide a safer environment to all those workers who put their lives at risk.  They can also cut costs by eliminating all of those time consuming and expensive methods. This method I am sure will catch on and start being used by more and more mining companies.


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