A Down-Hole Probe for Real-Time Ore Grade Assessment in "Look Ahead" Mining
Small Business Information
611 N. Wallace, Suite 7, Bozeman, MT, 59715
Abstract73147B03-I The removal, sorting, disposal, and treatment of waste rock in mining operations are expensive processes, wasteful of energy, hazardous, and environmentally damaging. The best possible remedy is to avoid creating the waste rock in the first place. This can be accomplished with existing mining techniques if Â¿look-aheadÂ¿ ore grading were used to evaluate unmined rock in real time. This project will develop a down-hole sensor that will fuse recently developed optical techniques with induced polarization and resistivity sensors, to provide look-ahead ore grade assessment. The probe will allow miners to assess the local ore grade before blasting, thereby enabling selective mining. In Phase I, feasibility demonstrations of the optical, electrical, mechanical, and power systems of the down-hole probe will be made. Based on the results of this research, plans will be made for a Phase II prototype. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The down-hole probe, specifically targeted for Â¿look-aheadÂ¿ mining applications, should decrease the amount of waste rock generated, improve mine safety, and decrease energy usage. The technology should become increasingly valuable as near-surface ore bodies are depleted and smaller, deeper ore bodies are targeted.
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