US: Over the past three years, there has been a significant increase in the use of 3D photogrammetric, or stereophotogrammetric, blasting survey and profiling technology for both surface and underground mining applications throughout the US, Canada and Europe, according to international blast engineering and consulting firm, RA McClure (Ram). Meanwhile, South Africa is also starting to expand the use of this technology in its mining and construction sectors and explosives industries, said Robert McClure, President of Ram.
Photogrammetry is the science of taking measurements from images, while more modern stereophotogrammetry involves the measurement of 3D information from two images showing the same object or surface from different angles. Further, the blast can be georeferenced to local or global coordinates by using the system’s advanced blast design software to survey the targets and enter their coordinates.
The technology can be applied in both surface and underground operations to characterise rock mass, design bench blast patterns and provide drilling information and minimum burden reports for optimised blasting.
During BME’s nineteenth annual explosives conference, McClure said industries that use explosives are challenged to find the right equipment and experienced personnel to profile, survey, design and lay out blast patterns to meet today’s demanding performance and environmental needs. “Companies often use a variety of profiling and survey technologies that are selected for their simplicity and do not meet the performance level needed to ensure blast safety or performance,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, complexities of other technologies require significant training and make it difficult for the occasional user to maintain proficiency. These challenges have left the industry seeking improved technologies that deliver the performance level needed, while offering user-friendly software that requires minimal training. McClure observed, as a result, industry role-players are recognising the benefits and the superior performance of 3D photogrammetric survey and profiling technology.
“Advancements in this technology are providing the industry with a more accurate and efficient approach to profiling and surveying, while significantly improving safety and performance. As a result of the technology’s various benefits, the industry is looking to standardise its equipment and training needs to manage its surveying and profiling programmes more effectively,” McClure stressed.
Source: Mining Weekly