4D real-time geotechnical hazard assessment and reporting

Ultra-deep mining under high stress carries severe rockbursting and other geotechnical risk, endangering personnel, equipment, and production. Mitigation of geotechnical risk requires rapid assessment of hazards as they are evolving and practical decision support tools for their management.

We have been awarded a major R&D project from the Ultra Deep Mining Network (UDMN) called “4D Real-Time Geotechnical Hazard Assessment and Reporting”. We will develop a system that builds directly upon a number of recent advances in data management, modelling, and risk computation – the three key technologies that must come together in a single system for real-time geotechnical hazard assessment.

Valérie Laflèche and John McGaughey at the kick-off of the project with Douglas Morrison - President and CEO, CEMI and Damien Duff - Vice President, Geoscience and Geotechnical R&D, CEMI. Managed through CEMI, UDMN aims to become the leading expert in Ultra Deep research and innovation.

The problem of geotechnical hazard assessment is amenable to risk identification methods developed recently in the field of “predictive analytics”, currently one of the most research-intensive areas in computational science. Through the UDMN project we will bring the power of predictive analytics to geotechnical hazard assessment.

We will also develop the capability of maintaining continuously updated “living” rock mass and mine models. Hazard assessments will be automatically updated as the underlying model of the mine evolves, providing real-time calibration and hazard estimation. The continuously updated mine and hazard models, and their underlying primary data, will be managed by Geoscience INTEGRATOR, our 4D geoscientific data management system.

A project deliverable is an operational real-time hazard monitoring and reporting system at Glencore’s Nickel Rim South Mine in Sudbury, Ontario.

This will form an important part of our commercial offering of geotechnical hazard assessment solutions starting mid-2016.

John McGaughey – President

John is the founder and President of Mira Geoscience. He has extensive mining industry experience focusing on quantitative, multi-disciplinary 3D and 4D interpretation for mineral exploration and geotechnical decision support. He currently leads our technology strategy and our geotechnical business. Prior to founding Mira Geoscience in 1999, he spent 10 years at the Noranda Technology Centre as a Senior Scientist in their rock mechanics group. He obtained an MSc in geological engineering and a PhD in geophysics from Queen’s University. John is based in Montreal.

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