Laser scanner tested at the world’s deepest gold mine

March 2nd, 2014, Published in Articles: PositionIT


csiro-218-02-2014The ZEB1, a mobile, handheld, rapid laser mapping system, has been tested at the world’s deepest gold mine. The Mponeng Mine in South Africa, owned and operated by AngloGold Ashanti, is more than two kilometres below sea level and, through sequential-grid mining, produces more than 500 000 ounces of gold a year. The mapping system was demonstrated in an “up dip stope panel”, with the resulting 3D model conforming to existing plans of the mine workings. Developed by CSIRO and commercialised by 3D Laser Mapping, the laser uses a robotic technology called Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM). The system includes a lightweight laser scanner mounted on a simple spring mechanism, which continuously scans as the operator walks through an environment. As the scanner loosely oscillates about a spring it produces a rotation that converts 2D laser measurements into 3D fields of view. Its ability to self-localise makes it suited for covered environments where traditional solutions utilising GPS don’t function well. The mine already operates a traditional terrestrial laser scanner (Riegl VZ-400) to monitor workings for signs of deformation, and to determine off-line and grade mining, eradicating the need for later redevelopment and therefore reworking of areas already mined.

Contact Dean Polley, 3D Laser Mapping, Tel 012 940-0515,

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