Geomodels and data management

Implementation of geomodels and data management for resource development

2013
Greece

Summary

Use of the geological software, together with the database management allows for better management of the mining process of an inhomogeneous orebody, thus allowing for better mine planning, better grade control (for processing) - improving productivity, the recovery rates, the end products and finally the revenues.

Description

The example is the Olympias Mine situated in North Greece. Au-base metals mining is going to take place at Q2 2017. Previously the mine has operated as a Pb-Zn-Au mine. Due to the inhomogeneous distribution of the elements and thus the grades within the orebody a 15m tight drilling followed by extensive sampling at 1m intervals was applied. Sampling covered areas around the orebody to identify possible element dispersion around it. The assays are executed in an acknowledged commercial lab. The core recovered from drilling is logged for the geological and geotechnical properties and portable XRF is used for a first-pass reconnaissance of elements. Core photo documentation is held for every borehole and is maintained in a dedicated software. A very large amount of geological, geochemical and geotechnical data is accumulating on a daily basis. For the better evaluation, handling, quality control and safety of the geoscientific data a commercial database (GIM database from acQuire) is used. Since 2016 the database is integrated with the geological and mining software to become a powerful and reliable system for decision making, identifying exploration trends, grade control, mine planning and budgeting. The data have been used for creating 3D Models of the mine which are used for more accurate grade control and as an extend to that to an efficient mill feed, resulting in higher revory rates and improved products. The data and report generation can be accessed online at any place using a web-based platform.

Impact on the mining value chain

  • EXPLORATION (incl. permitting)
  • EXTRACTION (incl. Permitting)
  • mineral and metallurgical PROCESSING (incl. Permitting)
  • MINE CLOSURE / WASTE management (incl. Permitting)
  • DEEP SEA MINING

Exploration

  • safe and fast remote exploration

Extraction

  • safer and more efficient greater depth extraction
  • increased environmental performance

Processing

  • increased environmental performance

Linked policies

Transferability

Apply best practise upfront for exploration and mine planning and dataset management as this will pay off afterwards in the form of a more efficient mine and better resource exploitation

Impact area(s): 

Area: 
Environment, Ecosystem services and quality of natural resources
Impact on listed area: 

+: Less land required for mining and waste storage due to better mine planning

Area: 
Environment, Quantity of natural resources
Impact on listed area: 

+: Less waste generation due to better mine planning

Area: 
Economic, Financial flows and profitability
Impact on listed area: 

+: Safer and better predictions minimize unforseen expenses

Area: 
Economic, Competitiveness
Impact on listed area: 

+: Higher productivity, better recoveries and better mill feeds

Innovation drivers and barriers
Drivers
Economic
Better designed mine, better performance (recoveries, processing) leading to higher revenues / effective budgeting and cost control
Barriers
Policy
Greek permitting procedure for exploration is very time consuming and cumbersome (any change requires new EIA), could be improved (e.g. set timeframes for the required processes).
Economic
Upfront costs (drilling, analytics, software, people) and investments
Other
Some opposition to change ("we always did it the other way"), short-term cost reduction

Good practice areas

Resource security
Better characterisation of the orebody (geometry and elemental distribution within the ore, geotechnical parameters)
Economic sustainability
Higher productivity, better recoveries and better mill feeds allow for higher revenues / safer predictions, minimize unforeseen expenses
Environmental sustainability
Better recovery, better waste management / minimize unplanned waste from excavations

Organisations involved

Innovation category

System