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Experts assess geospatial tech uptake in mining and exploration

Hyderabad, India: “Innovations in geospatial technologies are happening faster than their applications and the reason is low level of awareness about the technology amongst end users. So, ‘geospatial’ as a subject must be part of school curriculum,” observed N P Singh – General Manager – Geomatics, Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI), India. He was addressing the seminar, Exploration and Mining, on the second of India Geospatial Forum 2013, in Hyderabad, India, organised by Geospatial Media & Communications.

Singh stated that CMPDI has been extensively using geospatial technologies for the last two decades. It uses satellite data to assess areas of planatation, water bodies, wasteland, agriculture land and forest in leasehold area. In addition, satellite data helps in the status assessment of mine land reclamation and helps in taking remedial measures if any required for environmental protection. He urged Survey of India to replace approx 25 years old toposheet with the better one.

Singh was joined by Rajneesh Kumar, Sr. Manager – Remote Sensing, CMPDI, Ranchi, India. According to Kumar, in terms of land, India ranks 7th in the world, however per capital land availability in India is 0.250 hectares (203rd in the world). Land use in coal mining is limited to 0.36 million hectares (0.10%). Opencast mines in India produce 5 million cubic metres. Kumar explained that the coal mines are not contributing to deforestation. Total forest cover area in India is 21.05 percent of total land and coal mining has taken only 0.05% forest land and 0.012 % of total land on lease.

Vijay Saradhi, Consultant, Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. (APMDC), India, talked about geospatial practices in Barytes mines, which are located near Mangampeta, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India. He explained that using geospatial technologies, APMDC could join toposheets and study mineral status in continuity. It was important because better study of toposheets enabled APMDC to answer Ministry of Environment’s concerns with respect to ground water, flora and fauna, et al. He requested Survey of India (SoI)to make its upcoming 1:10k scale maps (investment of INR 3000 crore) compatible with WGS 84. At present, conversion of SoI’s maps are difficult.

Tech solutions
Charles L. Werner, Vice President – Executive Board and Senior Project Scientst, Amigo Optima, deliberated on applications and benefits of ground-based radar interferometry technology. He explained that the ground-based radar interferometry technology provides high spatial resolution, high deformation accuracy (<1mm), and sensitivity at the level of 0.03mm. In-situ measurements provide rapid, timely information, which makes multi-aspect measurements possible to obtain vector deformation data. According to Werner, a radar interferometer, developed by GAAMA Portable Radar Interferometer (GPRI), is a versatile instrument with four major interferometric data acquisition modes:
– Monitoring of very rapid deformation such as over bridges with the radar fixed on a defined position;
– Height map measurements using the upper and lower receiving channels;
– Rapidly deforming features such as glaciers where deformation occurs on minute time-scales;
-Observation of slowly moving features such as landslides where deformation occurs on monthly or yearly time-scales and reinstallation of the radar is required.

Ratan Awasthi, Senior General Manager, Elcome Technologies, India, explained that Elcom’s radar technology provides high speed accurate scanning capabilities. It provides sub-millimetre slope movement detection and 100% slope coverage. Its radar technology does not get affected by dust, mist rain, etc. He also shared a success story, Blackwater mines in Australia. Elcom’s solutions enabled operational controller to see in real time the position of each machine. It also enabled uses to track material movements from load location to dump location. Spatial information was stored in open database allowing engineerings to update the mine plan with the latest plan updates.

At the end of the seminar, Adam Christopher Wojciechowski, Manager, Geomatics, GIS & Analytics, GEOSEIS, Canada, explained ‘Augmented GIS with Interactive Analysis’. He stressed that the GIS analytics have allowed many users to interactively and visually analyse attribute data, leading to rapid information uptake and faster actionable insight.

Session forges partnership across borders
Also during the Forum, a session brought together Indian and Canadian geospatial professionals and companies to interact with each other through one-on-one meetings. “Alberta India Geomatics Match-Making Session” was jointly organised by Alberta Canada, International Science and Technology Partnership (ISTP) Canada, TECTERRA and Geospatia Media and Communications Pvt. Ltd.

ISTP Canada develops and implements R&D collaboration programmes under S&T cooperation agreements between Canada and its key trading partners – India, Brazil, China and Israel. In addition, ISTP Canada and Indian funding partners provide Canadian and Indian companies applicants funding support for collaborative R&D projects. ISTP Canada is funded by Canadian Federal (Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada – DFAIT) and provincial governments (Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario). Indian funding partners include Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology and Global Innovation and Technology Alliances (GITA).

Source: Our Correspondent

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