Long Range Laser Scanner Supports South African Mine Expansion

October 01, 2012 -- South African based mining group Exxaro has purchased a long range laser scanner to support a range of expansion projects and the building of two additional coal processing plants. The VZ 1000 purchased from 3D Laser Mapping, will be used to survey stockpiles for volume verification, provide height analysis on earth works and blasting, as well and collecting highly accurate measurements for terrain mapping and modelling. The state of the art solution will also minimise staff exposure to the largest health and safety risks within the mine.

“I was given the task of looking at cost effective solutions that would enable us to cope with the increase in workload resulting from current and future expansion projects, without the need for additional surveyors,” commented Thys Smith, Chief Surveyor at Exxaro’s Grootegeluk Coal Mine. “The obvious solution was laser scanning. Critical factors in my choice of scanner were safety, accuracy, speed of operation and confidence in the resulting data. Cost was also a consideration in the selection of the VZ 1000.” He added, “The VZ 1000 will also allow us manage risk, minimising surveyor contact with moving equipment and potential fall of grounds and reducing the need to work at height.” 

The RIEGL VZ 1000 purchased from 3D Laser Mapping will initially be used at the Grootegeluk Mine in the Waterberg area of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. An open pit mine employing approximately 2,000 people Grootegeluk produces 18.8 Mtpa of final coal products using conventional truck and shovel operations. Grootegeluk Mine covers a surface area in excess of 17,500 hectares with a mining right area of approximately 6,500 hectares and a current pit size of 820 hectares. Current expansion projects include the Grootegeluk Medupi Expansion Project and future plans consist of the Exxaro Thabametsi Mine project which includes the building of two additional plants.

Smith continued, “To cover a mine the size and complexity of Grootegeluk calls for a team of expert surveyors supported by the latest technology. The work we do includes bench surveying, volume verification, height analysis, as built surveys, terrain mapping and modelling, and ground control and contouring. The VZ 1000 gives us the necessary range and distance on the coal face combined with the accuracy of data we require. The results can be integrated with our current software and solutions already in place in other areas of the business.”

The RIEGL VZ 1000 is a high speed laser scanner with a wide range of view. The VZ 1000 utilises unique echo digitisation and online waveform analysis to achieve superior performance and accuracies of measurement, even under adverse weather conditions. Achieving accuracies of 5mm at ranges of up to 1,400 metres the VZ 1000 can measure up to 122,000 points per second with a 100 x 360-degree field of view

Charlie Whyman,
3D Laser Mapping Ltd,
Email Contact,
tel: +44 (0) 1949 838 004,

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