Maptek expertise helps with Chile rescue

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

On 11 August, 2010, Maptek received a call from the team that was working on the rescue in San José mine, asking for help on the drilling control and 3D display to map the drillholes.

We immediately sent one of our Mine Engineers, Alvaro Quezada, to the site to help. Following this, Estíbaliz Echevarría from the Maptek I-Site team travelled to the site to conduct surveys of the region.

This data was taken into Maptek Vulcan 3D software to create an accurate topographic model and 3D representation of the complex underground workings to understand where the 33 miners were trapped

Alvaro then helped to design the direction and orientation of the drillhole which targeted the tunnel, named the Esperanza Drillhole – Hope Drillhole. Maptek Geologist, Sandra Jara, working the shift on 22 August, witnessed the first contact with the miners when she heard the men tapping on the drill as it entered the chamber where they were trapped.

She immediately telephoned Maptek South American Vice-President Marcelo Arancibia and exclaimed “Marcelo, there is life down there!”

Sandra then helped to design and control the orientation of the next two drillholes that also successfully made contact with the 33 miners down below. This final drillhole was the one used for the Plan B access shaft that was used to rescue the men.

This team work, between staff from companies such as BHP Escondida, Codelco, Collahuasi, Geoatacama, Geotec and Maptek, was carried out discreetly and efficiently, with the sole focus on achieving the amazing outcome.

Maptek is grateful to Walter Veliz, Nicolas Cruz and Marcus Bermudéz (BHP Escondida), Oscar Castro  and Andre Sougarret (Codelco), and Felipe Matthews (Geoatacama) for their assistance and guidance. Maptek is honoured to participate and to be able to use our skills and technology to help with the rescue.

Maptek Chile Mine Rescue

Maptek and BHP Escondida staff with Chilean government representatives working to accurately define the underground development to access the trapped miners.


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