Geological mapping is a reliable and cost-effective technique used to reduce geological and mining uncertainty, to avoid loss and assist with Health and Safety.According to Statistics South Africa, between June 2019 and June 2020, building material commodities decreased in both production volumes and sales by 42.3% and 31.7% respectively. For quarries and other high-volume, low-value operations, this makes cost reduction and resource optimisation paramount. Why wait until the lease boundary is looming - updated geological mapping adds significant value to short-term planning and will strengthen strategic operational decision making.
Data facilitating planning
Geological mapping and structural data from an excavated pit wall will always reveal more detail than percussion chips and builds on and/confirms drilling information. Interpretation of this information based on the depositional environment and ore formation, increases the confidence in the extrapolated data in a geological model. Technology assists collection of geological information by including the use of digital photography, videography, global positioning systems (“GPS”) and drones. Software viewers are freely available to enable the user, and not just the model creator, to view and rotate geological models in 3D space for a better understanding of your operation’s geology, thus facilitating higher quality planning.
Building useful models
Geological information is fundamental to building a useful model includes defining rock characteristics and homogeneity. Colour, texture, and structural discontinuities are important attributes to consider for domaining of a building material deposit. Mapping the weathering profile and associated alteration is essential for correct product categorisation (brown vs blue rock). Mapping information aids in the delineation of the deposit producing more accurate volume estimates. An easily executable and low cost in-situ density sampling exercise will also produce more accurate tonnage estimates.
Geotechnical data collection enhances the understanding of the ground conditions for suitable excavation design and risk reduction. A fracture survey considers preferential fracturing direction, fracture frequency, intensity, and density. In addition, rock quality designation (“RQD”), rock mass strength and groundwater conditions provide a rock mass rating (“RMR”)which can provide useful quantitative risk information to models that require more complex geotechnical domaining.
VBKOM – Geological Consultants Services
VBKOM can propose a mapping program appropriate to your specific project, based on your unique conditions and production profile. VBKOM can also assist you in implementing a highly cost-effective density monitoring system for both consolidated and unconsolidated materials. Contact us to learn more about our mapping service and how it can benefit your project.