Proven monitoring systems help underground miners envision the previously unforeseeable, forge plans, streamline processes and cut costs
Technological advances are increasing the real-time data available to block cave operations. A system of magnetic beacons and readers first tested in 2007 and trialed in a diamond mine in 2014 have reportedly proven capable of tracking cave propagation and ore flow in real time. Separately, a system of RFID chips and readers that was upgraded in 2015 enables heightened draw control and material movement monitoring. Both are claimed to nix costs by enabling tight planning, controlling dilution and reducing operator error. And both are now being pitched as proven technology available today.