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Wednesday, 19 June 2013 00:25

Mining Exploration - Part 2

From the past to the present, mining exploration and prospecting principles have not changed greatly, except in the diversity of minerals that are now being prospected for due to global expansions and the integration of the world´s mineral industry. Modern living standards and the need for global power have driven the industry to grow exponentially and into regions of the world that have not been explored before. The use of new sophisticated technology has enabled these areas to be explored more effectively and productively.

Many methods are used in exploration and we will look at some of them to show how and when certain methods can be used. In the Geophysical method of exploration many techniques are used, some are mentioned below:
  • Gravity
  • Magnetic
  • Gamma-Ray
  • Electromagnetic

The Geophysical method is used for finding answers to the geometry of subsurface geologic relations that cause geophysical anomalies, environmental geophysical problems and detecting materials at deeper levels. Techniques as gamma-ray spectrometry and remote sensing are used with in this method to find materials closer to the surface. Various techniques are used for the differing materials being explored. Airborne applications can be used also for aerial mapping and surveys within the geophysical method. Thermal and some electrical methods are used to find relatively shallow materials but can also help in finding materials at a deeper level.

Magnetic technique is used for explorations to find iron ore deposits and are useful in working out what type of minerals are within the exploration area. It uses small variations in magnetic mineralogy among rocks. Magnetometers are used with this method to help with the needed results. It is mainly used for surface or just below the surface of the earth exploration.

Gamma Ray technique is used for the exploration of potassium and uranium as it can provide direct detection results. Spectrometers are used in this method as they can provide quantity and geo-environmental information. This method is used for exploration in the upper 50cm of the earth.

Electromagnetic technique measures the magnetic fields of the measurable currents of the earth. It is used for finding minerals of the sulphide family. Airborne applications are useful for this type of exploration as it is able to screen and map large areas for materials and discern the structural features of the minerals to be mined.

There are many other techniques available which can be used in the exploration for minerals and oil and the sophisticated technology that can now be used, improves on all these methods. It makes them more effective and the results they give easier to come by and more reliable.

Chopper Worx gives support to this exploration area of mining with their helicopters, providing platforms for the equipment needed to execute these various techniques of exploration. Other areas of the mining industry they can support are:

  • with the long line drill moves,
  • equipment relocation,
  • LIDAR,
  • all kinds of material sampling
  • site clearances.

Providing airborne solutions to problems of varying kinds for many industries or even of personal nature is their expertise accomplishing the required result quickly and efficiently.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 00:18

Mining Exploration - Part 1

Mining is a process in which minerals and other substances of value are removed from the earth.  Substances that are commonly mined are precious metals, coal, diamonds and rock together with many others.  Oil, gas and water are also mined from the oceans, deserts and other areas.

It is not a new idea to mine for these substances and has been done since prehistoric times. Only the techniques and methods have changed in finding these substances.  Today mining is able through sophisticated technology to dig and drill deeper and explore for all these valuable substances easier.

In the earliest ages of man, he made cutting tools out of flint, natural glasses and siliceous rocks that he found on or just below the surface of the earth. Copper that was fashioned also into tools and weapons was most likely the first metal to be mined; this was in about 7000 BC. Gold and natural silver were probably mined earlier than this.

3 main methods of exploration for metallic ores have been used over the years,geological, geophysicaland more recently geochemical. For the exploration of water in earlier times the divining rod was used and is still used to day quite successfully.

Geological prospecting can discover many kinds of resources and only in the last two hundred years has science improved on the older techniques. Information is brought together such as outcropdata, borehole data and core samples.  Thesemining techniques have now enabled us to explore under the oceans to the sea floor.  Some of the oldest techniques are those of magnetic and gravity prospecting where regional anomalies within the global magnetic or gravitational field are found indicating places where various substances may be found.

In the 18th century in Europe, a simple magnetic compass was used to find iron ore veins.  Improvements were made on this technique in the 19th and 20th centuries to make exploration faster and enable exploration through magnetic surveys be done from the air.

In 1919, a salt dome was found in Texas by a seismic survey.  This is sending shock waves into the ground by pounding the earth with giant vibration trucks or as in the past exploding small dynamite charges in shallow holes.  Shock waves travel into the earth boundaries between the rocks, reflect the waves back and these waves are then detected by listening devices called geophones.  The data is processed and converted into seismic lines which gives a two dimensional picture of the underground geology giving hopefully an oil bearing supply area.

However! Drilling is the only sure way to find out if an oil or gas field exists in an area.

Oil and gas have been used for centuries.  Ancient cultures found petroleum by simply looking for oil seeps or gas seeps hoping they led to an adequate source nearby.  The Chinese used natural gas to light their Imperial Palaces.

Tar was used by the Ancient Egyptians to cover their mummies.  The word mummy is a derivation of the Arabic word for tar.

In part two, the final part, we will look at how modern day sophisticated technologies are brought into the exploration field of the mining industry.

Published in Blog
Monday, 11 April 2011 23:05

Helicopters in Industry

As each new breakthrough surpasses the last and we continue our pursuit of innovations that will make things even better, faster, many of our various older feats of mechanical genius seem to be forgotten.

For example, helicopters, to some, are such an everyday sight these days that we pay them no heed as they fly by us. The helicopters we see are, more often than not, police or emergency services helicopters, keeping an eye on things from up in the air, or bringing us up to speed on the state of the roads below as we brave the morning rush traffic to work.

But the number of ways in which these remarkable machines contribute to the speed with which our world’s demands are met is nothing less than astonishing, if you really think about it. Here are a few examples:

Mining Exploration

Helicopters are excellent for accessing various different types of terrain quickly and without too much difficulty, and thus eliminate long, costly mining survey projects. They can be used for a variety of services to the mining industry, including geophysical surveys, aerial surveys, LIDAR, aerial mapping, thermal scanning and various others.

Power Line Work

Power line construction and live line maintenance, power line inspections and insulator washing are all done quickly and with the minimum interruption to power supply when using helicopters.

Air Cranes

Their excellent manoeuvrability makes helicopters particularly well suited to the construction industry, as they can be used to hoist large, heavy machinery and components vertically and to far greater heights than what cranes could reach. If you’ve ever wondered how all those ridiculously tall high-rise buildings we read about are kitted out with their state-of-the-art air conditioning and various other systems and finishes, wonder no more. Helicopter assisted construction is one of the ways in which legendary, sky-scraping landmarks are made possible.

Medical Evacuations

Countless lives have been saved over the years thanks to the speed with which trauma victims are able to be reached and transported by helicopter, ensuring that they receive immediate care.

Other industries in which helicopters have proved a highly effective and efficient option include telecommunications, aerial photography and cinematography and fire fighting.

Published in Blog

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