Accurate stope volume results with Hovermap

Hovermap was recently introduced into Barrick’s Bulyanhulu narrow-vein gold mine for stope mapping by Emesent partner, Dwyka Mining Services, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. The mine was seeking a solution to safely scan partially or fully empty stopes for accurate volumetrics. They implemented Hovermap with immediate results.  

Mine personnel were also impressed with Hovermap’s autonomy and collision avoidance capabilities. In AL2 Autonomy-mode, they flew Hovermap into a stope with cables and mesh hanging down from the roof. Hovermap was able to perceive and navigate itself around these obstacles while the crew watched the scan in real-time on the controller. The high-resolution data from the stope capture revealed detailed geotechnical information and a much more accurate volume than they had been able to achieve with boom scanners.

 Dwyka Mining Services CEO, Jamie van Schoor, believes that customers’ success with Hovermap comes from the repetition of tested workflows. 

“During training, we focus on establishing repeatable “Plan, Scan, SLAM” workflow,” said Jamie. “It’s essential to plan out the survey points and have those surveyed in, ahead of the stope scan. Scans usually take around five minutes and are amazingly easy with Hovermap’s autonomy. But having the survey planned out ahead of time minimizes production delays.” The last step of the workflow is processing the Hovermap data. “This is done in Emesent’s software and is quick, about 1:1 to the flight time. It’s possible to process and view the scan before returning to the surface. That way, the surveyors are assured of a complete capture.” said Jamie.

Uses for Hovermap extends to the surface operations. The mine also uses Hovermap to scan stockpiles and to accurately measure volumes in its tailings storage for compliance reporting. 

The image below shows a CMS and Hovermap scan of the same stope. The Hovermap scans produced amazing quality, near 100% coverage, and detailed geotechnical information. In contrast, the traditional boom-mounted CMS scans achieved 80% coverage, at best, and left the surveyors adjusting triangles to estimate the volume. With Hovermap, the mine survey team receives accurate volumes straight from the data and believe “it’s 100 times better than a boom scanner”. 

Learn more about how the Bulyanhulu gold mine is improving End of the Month with quality stope volume data in this webinar.

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