AME Roundup 2019 in Vancouver, BC, finished on 31 January 2019, and here are my observations about some of the events. (Previous post: Mining Methods and Sorting Systems to upgrade BC Porphyry Mines – UBC)
3. New Afton: An overview of a successful BC block cave – New Gold Inc.
The catch with new technologies is finding an operation on which to test it, to prove the business case. Until that time, it is a solution looking for a problem to solve.
During their presentation at Roundup, Mine Geologist Nimmi Dhadwal and Josh Parsons, Mine Engineer, from New Gold, presented a nicely tied-in talk on the matrix of mining methods used at New Afton copper-gold mine. Their talk focused on block caving – the method that makes it economically viable to introduce ore sorting, as Dr. Bern Klein explained in his presentation that preceded theirs (previous post). Parsons mentioned that this is being done by, for example, sampling at 300 drawpoints underground.
They showed this video, quite the best video explaining block caving I have seen. It is interesting that they use drone surveys as well as GeoSlam ZEB1 handheld scanners to survey and build 3D maps of their operation. (Source: New Gold, http://www.newgold.com/operations/new-afton/project- summary/default.aspx, hosted on YouTube.)
Next: Innovation Hub, Additions to the Geoscience Toolbox, Jan 30, 2019