Following an integrated approach in mine operations


Running a mine requires a fine balance between managing production and controlling liabilities which is associated with operations. On the production side, it includes optimising efficiency which is directly related to haulage and yields. In contrast, liabilities can take on many forms in the short or long term prospect of the mine. The most notable are managing waste and water at a site as both are directly linked to mining and can affect the social licence to mine. They invariable consume the most energy to manage and contain components that are difficult to control unless an in-depth understanding of it is developed early in the mining life of the project.

In a few mining operations, a single assessment of risks at the start of the project is sufficient as the geology is simple and there is very little variability in material properties. The presence of groundwater and surface water is controlled, and there is no real cause for management except where it relates to waste facilities. Unfortunately, these mines are very uncommon as minerals and mines tend to conglomerate where geological change has created a soup of concentrated trace elements, dynamic geological and hydrogeological environments. In addition mine plans are not a fixed entity and tends to adapt to resource definition and market drivers.

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To cope with the change in conditions, a number of studies are performed during exploration, feasibility and operation phases. But one down side of all of this data collection is that it is managed by different people with diverse requirements. It is during on-site expansion that this discrepancy becomes evident as reports collected does not address requirements for the new development. This results in inefficiencies due to waste of effort and lost opportunity management.

At GeoSquare we have highly trained individuals which span across multiple disciplines which can supply not only specialist advice but also understand operational needs and have the ability to incorporate the big picture into your assessments. We try to assist mine sites in getting the best value from analysis performed but also to assist in developing a better understanding of risks and opportunities. Projects tend to underutilise opportunities due to single subject specialists not communicating with each other or driving agendas which are not the best interest of the client or environment.

Our approach is to deliver an enhanced product that could consist of three dimensional representations (3D) or conceptual level models that can be easily interpreted. The latter can be purely graphical or associated with risk profiles at the site which is mapped. Models can contain technical information from hydrogeological, geochemical, geological or hydrochemical components that are evaluated to international risk assessment standards. Secondly, data analytics can be applied to extract additional information which can be used to make rapid management decisions based on real data.

Finally, assessments can be scaled depending on the needs of the project. If an expansion of a tailings facility, waste rock dump or new resource is required, we can deliver a site specific evaluation that clearly presents current understanding of site conditions and potential operational options. At GeoSquare we believe in ‘Earth Inspired Solutions’ which drives us to reduce waste and improve on-site management options.