Vulcan training in Mongolia

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Maptek technical services staff from Australia have been training geologists and mining engineers at Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia.

Last year, Vulcan was acquired for exploration, geological modelling and engineering design of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in the Gobi Desert of southern Mongolia. Oyu Tolgoi LLC, which will build and operate the project, is a partnership between the Government of Mongolia, Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto. Commercial production is scheduled to begin in 2013.

Mining engineer Mike Winfield and geologist Julian Cosson visited the Oyu Tolgoi site in March 2011. A total of 23 personnel received specialist training in Vulcan geology, block modelling, resource estimation, geotechnical, underground survey and engineering tools.

Geotechnical training started with building and populating databases. Core is logged into spreadsheets and stored in the acQuire master database, then exported to csv format and imported into Vulcan.

The massive amount of data collected by site engineering contractors required transfer from CAD format into Vulcan. Site staff learned how to structure the data into one comprehensive geotechnical database so it can be used effectively.

Geotechnical staff can load all their structural data, such as joints and faults, and run Vulcan’s stereonet tool to view areas of strength/weakness in the mine.

Downhole televiewer data can also be loaded into the Vulcan geotechnical database. Registering the 3D downhole images onto the holes adds a further element to the interrogation process.

‘Rather than looking at each hole individually, you can load it all and do some analysis; for example to work out where failure planes are likely to intersect your mine’, said Winfield.

Staff also learnt how to use the tools to generate data using the survey instrument to get data directly into Vulcan. This will lead to more accurate survey volumes for design and geotechnical analysis.

Six geologists undertook introductory Vulcan training to become familiar with CAD, triangulation and block modelling tools. Drillhole database design, creation and validation, and statistical methods for analysing drillholes were also covered.

The site resource geologists underwent training in the specialised tools for drillhole database, statistics, grade estimation, block modelling and scripting tasks. Workshops using Oyu Tolgoi site data helped the technical personnel to become confident in using the new tools.


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