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3D Models Mine Maps for Hidden Gold


oredigger62

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3D mapping for mining has been around for years. We've done a bit ourselves for those with the moola. There is no lack of software for doing very high quality 3D modeling. It all comes down to the quality of the data. That is where the bottleneck is and will be for the foreseeable future.

Bouguer gravity modeling at it's best is only "accurate" to about 2.4 Km (a little less than 8,000 feet). That's a lot better than the 6-8 Km resolutions available publicly but nowhere near good enough for mine development. Digging a hole nearly a mile and a half away from an ore body just doesn't cut it.

Drill sampling is the most accurate data to build a 3D model on but it can get very expensive. Seismic modeling can be a big help when done right. These are the methods most big mining companies use almost exclusively for their models.

If your data is weak your 3D model will be weak. Garbage In Garbage Out as we say in computer modeling.

As a smart geophysicist once told me, 3D models are great for sales presentations or helping the boss understand what you are talking about. We are a long way from easy aerial or satellite 3D mineral deposit models. More 3D software will not get us there - we need much better data gathering techniques.

There may be some mining companies that have advanced methods none of us know about but the mining business is so competitive that we will never see those methods available to other companies much less the small miner.

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There may be some mining companies that have advanced methods none of us know about but the mining business is so competitive that we will never see those methods available to other companies much less the small miner.

Core drill sampling costs big bucks. Plus, plotting the holes is difficult task in itself. The longer the hole, the harder it is to get it where you want it. Because of the flex where the rods connect. Plus vein structure ore is generally far softer than the country rock adjoining it. Where they can drill holes follow the least resistance. I have seen cases where they thought they drilled through 8 or so feet thick high grade ore. Then drive a $1M cross-cut to the intersect. To find out, in fact the vein was only a few inches thick & the drill head followed the narrow vein for 8 feet.

Now, they have little digital data loggers that will fit in a drill rod head. Once they have pulled the rod & cores. They insert the data logger in the drill rod head & run the hole again. The data logger will tell you distance, bearing & elevation of every foot of the hole length. Then they compare that data with the cores. Then do a 3D model of the hole. With enough holes, you can get a pretty good picture of what’s out there. But, that costs BIG BUCKS.

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Many moons ago I saw a crew using a man portable seismic gizmo, It used shotgun shell, blanks I would presume, to put the thump in the ground and they had an array of sensors to gather the data. Don't remember what they were hunting for but it was a cool device for doing the job.

Gramps

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The trucks they use these days have what looks like a giant sheep's foot between the wheels. They lower it to the ground and it sets to shaking like a SOB.

Then remote trucks and such pick up those shakes and use very precise distance, timing, and amplitude of the received vibrations to figure out what it looks like underground.

Very cool indeed.

player
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Yeah, that particular one was in LB. I think they were trying to locate weak spots along the faults there. Not really sure.

There are other vids and such to see. Siesmic geophysical truck is a good search.

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