Rio Tinto has partnered with CRCMining, Newcrest, and Elexon Electronics to develop cave flow tracking systems for use in block caving operations.

CRCMining’s cave tracking technology uses 3D positioning systems to enable real-time monitoring of sensors in the block cave, which move with the ore, to optimise flow of caved materials and minise ore dilution.

“The Cave Tracker system will enable real time mapping of cave material movement, which can be used to minimise dilution and maximise recovery from caves,” CRCMining’s hard rock and surface mining program leader Dihon Tadic said.

“Monitoring the material flow in block caves has not been possible previously, leading to poor control of block cave operations and sub-optimal outcomes.

“The technology will assist in development of improved caving models, which will enable miners to design better cave layouts, ultimately improving mine safety and productivity,” he said.

Rio Tinto’s general manager of geotechnical engineering and cave management for copper, Andre van As, explained the miner’s support, stating “we now have a way of remotely and wirelessly tracking rock mass movements in real-time, and preserve the integrity of the resources”.

Source: Australian Mining- See full article