IMSSA: Mine surveyors further explore drone technologies

August 22nd, 2018, Published in Articles: PositionIT, Featured: PositionIT

Members of the Mpumalanga branch of the Institute of Mine Surveyors of South Africa met at the Witbank Golf Club on 17 August 2018 for their annual general meeting. They discussed drone applications, got a glimpse of a new combined laser scanner total station, and elected three new committee members.

The previous committee was re-elected to serve another year-term, with the addition of three new members – Fetanang Mankwe from South32, Zwelethu Hlatshwayo from Exxaro and Enoch Molefe from Thembani Technical Services. Members were also told that registration for the Certificate of Mines exam will be extended from 31 August 2018 to 31 March 2019.

The new committee with the presenters of the day: The new committee with the presenters of the day. Christo Laas, Simon Morula, Ian Mcgill, Dan Maphutha, Joel Price, Enoch Molefe, Oupa Mashele, Granny Mankwe, Willem Scholtz, Tumi Tsotetsi, Zwelethu Hlatshwayo and Credo Unamaca.

The new committee with the presenters of the day: Christo Laas, Simon Morula, Ian Mcgill, Dan Maphutha, Joel Price, Enoch Molefe, Oupa Mashele, Granny Mankwe, Willem Scholtz, Tumi Tsotetsi, Zwelethu Hlatshwayo and Credo Unamaca.

Two presentations on the day looked at drone applications. Rocketmine’s Credo Unamaca explained the use of post-processing kinematics (PPK) for drone surveys, a technology which removes the need of extensive ground control points. PPK combines the drone’s onboard positioning data with positioning data from a referencing station to process and correct the final data product after the survey. He still recommends the use of some ground control points as a best practice and for checks and control, especially over varied terrain and water bodies. Unamaca also reminded delegates to be careful of conversions to difference referencing systems, adding that Rocketmine can help clients with such conversations, which can be tricky for older systems such as the Clarke geodetic datum.

Zwelethu Hlatshwayo then presented a case study on how Mafube Coal Mine is using drones for mine site rehabilitation to monitor the rehab process against its land form design model. Monitoring is crucial to mitigate material sagging, and on a terrain with heavy machinery drones are safer than laser scanners and other manned methods of surveying.

Mike Lundie from Optron also showcased the new Trimble SX10 combined laser scanner and total station. Combos like these traditionally had speed trade-offs and range limitations, which this model has overcome. The combined solution automatically registers the scans, while the system’s three different cameras help users determine scan subjects with greater control. A single software environment also eases the workflow and simplifies software requirements. While it is not intrinsically safe, the system lends itself to numerous applications in and beyond mining, specifically for inspections.

Winners of the raffle: Ria de Klerk, Danie Herbst and Enoch Molefe respectively.

Winners of the raffle: Ria de Klerk, Danie Herbst and Enoch Molefe.

The day concluded with a raffle of a Spectra Precision QM75 disto (sponsored by VI Instruments), a historic level and a theodolite (both sponsored by Caddis Training), won by Ria de Klerk, Danie Herbst and Enoch Molefe respectively.

View the photo gallery of the event here.

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