Gap delivers on GET detection

A new technology developed by Gap Explosive Ordnance Detection (Gap EOD) is helping organisations detect deep buried material in magnetite stockpiles, a solution to a costly problem which the company likens to finding a needle in a needle stack.

Gap EOD’s UltraTEM system can be used to detect ground engaging tools (GETs) and broken machinery parts in stockpiles, a problem previously deemed by many to be impossible to solve.

“Failure to remove these broken machinery parts can result in costly damage to processing machinery, consequent downtime and a slowdown in production,” Gap EOD Director Stephen Billings said.

“Repairing a crusher can cost up to $1 million every time it’s damaged plus the knock-on cost of production delays.

“Most mines view this as an occupational hazard and those that have tried to locate the lost metals traditionally used a very tedious time-consuming process with little success.”

Part of the challenge with finding GETs in magnetite stockpiles is that the tools are typically made of steel, a conundrum UltraTEM overcomes using deep mineral exploration principles.

Traditional means of finding GETs in stockpiles involved physically lifting sections of the stockpile and spreading them on the ground.

“UltraTEM consists of very sensitive electrical receivers and high-powered transmitters which enables us to scan 2.5m to 3m of stockpile at a time,” Dr Billings said.

“This compares to traditional methods capable of scanning just 15cm. The UltraTEM system allows for ultra-high definition digital mapping with high efficiency.

“It can distinguish closely spaced individual targets, provide accurate estimates of object position and depth and produce auditable digital recording of all data.”

CITIC Pacific Mining is one company to have benefited from the capabilities of UltraTEM, using the technology to remove historical GETs from a 5 million tonne stockpile at its Sino iron project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

CITIC Pacific Mining Geology Manager David Mason said removing the GETs without causing operational inconvenience and expense had been a challenge in the past.

“We’ve spoken to a lot of geophysical experts about this issue, finally landing on the Gap EOD solution with positive results,” he said.

“It’s a clean process, in and out and you’re not left with equipment you can’t use.”

The time savings on offer are also a major benefit, according to Dr Billings.

“UltraTEM makes the process easier, faster and more effective,” he said. “In one case the projected time to sift stockpiles was six months, but with UltraTEM we did it in six days.

“For mining companies it means extracting lost machinery parts will no longer cost millions of dollars, halt production and hold up the entire project.

“We believe it will have a major impact on the sector with the technology applicable to a wide variety of ore, not just magnetite.”

latest news

St George hits more nickel mineralisation

Aspiring nickel producer St George has confirmed further drilling intersections of nickel-copper sulphides across its three prospects at the Mt Alexander project about100km west of Leonora in the northern Goldfields.

Read more

Lithium Australia gets new lithium sniff in WA

Lithium Australia’s penchant to get ahead and stay ahead of the pack that is feverishly hunting for lithium in WA keeps paying off for the ASX listed lithium expert.

Read more

BHP uses laser tech to speed up shiploaders

BHP is harnessing the same cutting-edge laser technology used in driverless cars at its port operations in Port Hedland.

Read more

Johnston wary of Govt role in battery production

WA Mines Minister Bill Johnston has greeted with caution a mining industry report calling on governments to take a bigger role in securing WA’s stake in the looming global electric vehicle revolution.

Read more

WesTrac to unveil 'most advanced excavators ever'

They don’t quite drive themselves but at the rate Caterpillar is developing its kit, it is only a matter of time before they do.

Read more

Elon Musk’s Tesla moves in on WA lithium

Kidman Resources has struck a binding offtake deal with Elon Musk’s Tesla for the supply of lithium hydroxide to be used in the batteries that power the company’s electric cars. 

Read more

 

industry insight

Tracking the trends into 2018 and beyond

The future is full of change for the mining sector, according to Deloitte’s Tracking the Trends

...
Products & Technology

Collaborate and plan

People & Projects

Fuchs goes big in at Beresfield 

Occupational Safety & Health

Two-pronged approach to frontline innovation 

interview

A fleeting opportunity

Western Australian Chief Scientist Professor Peter Klinken believes the time is now for battery metals.

Read more