If the maxim in building is measure twice, cut once, then the underground mining equivalent would be to measure production hole deviation and analyse before blasting. Underground mining is challenging and the environment unforgiving of mistakes that often carry cost and safety implications.
IMDEX Commercial Manager – Underground Survey Applications Mike Ayris has been promoting the importance of surveying blast holes since he founded Downhole Surveys in 1989. DHS was majority owned by directional drilling specialists Devico and became part of the IMDEX group when IMDEX acquired Devico earlier this year.
For Mr Ayris, the process is not Drill and Blast; it’s Drill, Measure, Analyse, and Blast. IMDEX is developing a new system for the job: IMDEX BOLT TM , a production hole survey tool for underground applications measuring blast hole deviation using a north seeking gyro.
BOLT TM is in the commercial prototype phase and has been installed at four sites with two trials underway. Recent design changes have reduced the weight, making it easier to deploy overhead, thereby solving one of the key challenges of working in an underground environment.