#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The Nornickel Polar Division’s Innovation Department together with the contracting company Interrascan LLC, is testing a deep ground penetrating radar at the Nornickel mining enterprises. With the help of electrical signals, it investigates the boundaries between media, the presence of ore zones and anomalies.
The innovative tool will provide additional information about the ore body geology where exploration wells have not been drilled. The GROT-12 deep ground penetrating radar makes it possible to obtain data on rock lying at a depth of up to 50 meters. Through innovation, researchers determine the ore nature and identify possible anomalies such as voids or water.
The georadar is a unique device that emits high-power electromagnetic signals up to 9 kilowatts into a mountain range. The use of a receiver with high sensitivity (150 microvolts) and an almost continuous step in the study of ore zones makes it possible to obtain high-precision signals on the geoelectric parameters of the environment.
Encrypted data is immediately displayed on the laptop screen – thus, the georadar use allows you to get additional information about the geology of the ore body where exploration wells have not been drilled, as well as save time and human resources.
The device was designed on the instructions of the Institute for Space Research in 1994 to study the Mars surface structure: compact equipment was to determine whether there was water on the planet. Over the past 20 years, space technology has also been used on Earth, and since 2021 Interrascan has been improving the methodology for studying ore bodies and introducing it into industry.
“One of the needs we had was to refine the contour of the ore body in order to make life easier for the mine. We will know more precisely where to drill, how to drill, and, perhaps, this will even lead to a decrease in impoverishment (admixture of waste rock, concrete to ore). This is one of the main problems in the extraction of minerals”, said Anton Maksimov, the Nornickel Polar Division’s Innovation Department’s chief manager.
Now the technology is being tested at Bystrinsky GOK – measurements were taken on the surface of the tailings dam, where the depth of the study reached more than 50 meters, as well as at the Nornickel Polar Division’s Taimyrsky and Komsomolsky mines, where GPR is expected to receive data on the rock characteristics underlying at a depth of 25-30 meters. If the device test use results are positively assessed, Nornickel may continue to use it for industrial purposes.
Earlier, Nornickel presented the metallurgy future technologies – robots, exoskeletons, drones and VR. The company is developing a precise positioning system at the mines.
Text: Anzhelika Stepanova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division’s press service