The prototype system was successfully tested in tomographic surveys at the Reocin underground and open-pit mine in Spain, the Grimsel rock laboratory for radioactive waste disposal in Switzerland and two Ruhrkhole AG sites in Germany. These surveys gave excellent results using drill holes from the surface or underground and in wet or dry conditions.
The Exploration Area test work, carried out in deep drill holes, gave poor results because the open joints and cavities in the karstified dolomites reduced the strength of the seismic transmissions. The seismic equipment operated well and there is a strong possibility that the results would have been good in geological environments where the rocks are less effected by deep weathering.
The seismic tomographic technique can be used immediately for short hole surveys of the type required by many civil engineering projects, such as dam construction, underground radioactive waste disposal projects and to assist specific mining problems. Furthermore, the technique has considerable potential for use in deep hole exploration in suitable geological environments.
The proposed research will develop a seismic tomographic package of instrumentation and software designed specially for the mining, mineral exploration and radioactive waste disposal industries. The techniques will provide non-destructive data on rock conditions for mining and radioactive waste disposal purposes and penetrate the blank ground between deep drill hole in mineral exploration programmes. Instrumentation and software will be developed to provide the high resolution data required in hard rock mining and exploration conditions. The major research tasks are :
(i) instrument/software design and prototype construction.
(ii) preliminary prototype field tests in three working situations; a major base metal mine, an exploration programme and a radioactive waste disposal project.
(iii) refinement of instrumentation and software.
(iv) full-scale prototype test work at the three industrial operations.
(v) acquisition of new geological data to support the geophysical interpretation.
(vi) test drilling at the mine site and exploration area for cross-hole tomography
(vii) evaluation of results and assessment of market potential.
Successful development of the seismic tomographic package will lead to increased safety and cost-effectiveness in underground operations of all types and will have a major impact on mineral exploration drilling strategy.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
NG12 5GG Keyworth