You are on page 1of 6

THE USE OF GEMS AS AN INFORMATION MANAGEMENT TOOL Jeffrey Mulabisana De Beers Group, Venetia Mine

SYNOPSIS Venetia mine is an open pit diamond mine located in the Limpopo Province, close to borders of Zimbabwe and Botswana. The mine has about 15 kimberlite intrusions of which only two are currently mined. The mine has been using and implementing GEMS for the past few years in an effort to integrate data to be manipulated and utilized more efficiently. Commencing with a drilling strategy that will enable the Geologist and Geotechnical Engineers to achieve the most optimal results. GEMS is also used to provide an updated ore reserve model for end-users to plan and design the mining process more efficiently. Gems provided a platform for better information management. At present, the ore reserve model is used to plan new drill sites for optimal information retrieval, updating the model with the exploration data as well as blast hole information to create a new updated and accurate ore reserve model. Data is also manipulated in GEMS to determine the internal waste component of kimberlite that may contribute to mining dilution. Both the ore model and dilution model contributes considerably to the planning and mining processes of the mine. The systems and data that the Geotechnical Engineer uses, are integrated into GEMS to provide end users with information like rockmass ratings, fracture frequency and blastability indexes. The end result is block model being created and updated to view different features of the rockmass.

INTRODUCTION Venetia is located in the northern part of the Limpopo Province, 30 kilometers south of where the Botswana, Zimbabwe and South African borders meet. The mine is approximately 80 km west of the town Musina and 37 km north east of Alldays.

Venetia Mine has integrated most of its mining systems in the past few years. GEMS (Gemcom Enterprise Mining System) has been a key software in integrating Geological,


The attributes that one can link to the data are also quite handy for further interpretation of drillhole information. Once a hole is drilled and logged. Trial holes are displayed in both 3D and 2D views to see if they are intersecting the required geological features. and hole position to design an optimal drillhole. THE USE OF GEMS AS AN INFORMATION MANAGEMENT TOOL . See Figure 2 below for an example of the information one can extract from a database using GEMS software. azimuth and dip are recorded and used to position the drillhole in the field. Changes can be made to hole azimuth. GEOLOGY Ore reserve drilling and delineation In the last few years Gems has been used extensively to design diamond drill holes at Venetia Mine. The information captured from the drillhole is plotted in GEMS for interpretation. dip. This paper is aimed at giving the reader a preview of some of the uses of GEMS as an information management tool at Venetia Mine. the information is captured into a GEMS central database. The optimal hole position.MULABISANA . Polylines of the existing geological model are used to identify areas that need to be drilled in GEMS. The ability to view the data in 2D and in 3D makes it easier to interpret the data. Thousands of data points can now easily be plotted to produce a block model that becomes useful information for interpretation. Trial holes are then designed to intersect the required geological features at depth. Section of Venetia Mine showing some drilled holes and planned holes for future drilling. GEMS has provided the platform for better information management. Survey and other mining data. Figure 1 below shows some of holes designed in GEMS. Figure 1.Geotechnical.

kimberlite geological model. Updated polylines are then used to create solids for the block model.e. The information deduced from the drillholes is used to delineate kimberlite contacts and other lithological units. Contacts are updated by revising polylines positions. Drillhole with different rock units depicted in different colours to show the local stratigraphy. The geologist update geological information for each blast hole in Gems. Blast holes with their corresponding geological information. Geological block models are created from the identified lithological units. Figure 3. i. Ore Reserve Model Update The ore reserve model.Figure 2. During the mining process. Newly created solids are used by Surveyors to do their depletions. blast holes are logged in the field and updated in GEMS. The information from blast holes is used in GEMS to revise kimberlite contacts.MULABISANA . is updated on a monthly basis in GEMS. Blast holes positions are merged into GEMS through the Survey System. These block models are also updated regularly using additional drillhole information. The integration of the Survey and Geology Systems has opened an opportunity for the mine to reconcile monthly THE USE OF GEMS AS AN INFORMATION MANAGEMENT TOOL . Figure 3 shows a blast pattern with geological information associated with each blast hole.

Bench Face Mapping are THE USE OF GEMS AS AN INFORMATION MANAGEMENT TOOL . (b) Core holes in GEMS discriminating kimberlite from waste. Pit Mapping GEMS is also used in pit mapping. Joint sampling. The latest mapping techniques in GEMS gives us the opportunity to use point data to digitize maps on the screen using polygons. the Blasting Engineer wants to avoid blasting waste and ore together in a single blast. but also provided the short-term planning process with valuable information. (a) A block of country rock within kimberlite. Figure 4 (a) shows waste rock embedded in the kimberlite. This data has been integrated into GEMS to produce useful information for Geotech purposes. The integration of Survey and Geological Systems has not only opened the opportunity for the mine to reconcile monthly volume depletions more efficiently. blast hole (Aquila System). Previous maps have been scanned and integrated into GEMS. Attributes of each polygon are entered into the system and basically describe the rock type and its structure.MULABISANA . This makes it easier for using this information together with other mining information etc. This system is still in its infant stage but it has shown a lot of potential for what we can call mapping information made easy. He also considers internal mining dilution and blastability indexes (next section) for optimal blast designs. Different profiles can be used to extract different information from the same set of drillholes. display profiles were created to pick up those features only (Fig. The accessibility of the latest geological model has a farreaching impact on the mine planning process. To achieve this. It was easier to pick areas with high concentrations of waste. Drillhole and blast hole information was used to create a dilution model for Venetia Mine K001 kimberlite. The dilution model was used successfully for better mine planning and geological ore quality control. Selective blasting is one important and value adding process at the mine. GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING There are a number of systems and other data sources for Geotechnical Engineering use. (a) (b) Figure 4. To pick up features of interest in drillholes.volume depletions more efficient. Drill core. The latest geological model is used to design the blast outlines considering kimberlite/waste contacts that will minimize mining dilutions and maximize grade. Both the Short-term Planner and Blasting Engineer need the most updated and accurate model to provide the miners with an achievable plan to conform to long-term budget targets. 4b). Dilution Model The ability to integrate information into GEMS from different sources makes it easier to make better geological interpretations.

Figure 6 shows a schematic representation of Geotechnical Engineering data flow.main source of Geotechnical data. Rock Property Tests. Drill core. GEMS has become a very useful information management tool that reduces all the unwanted small tasks of data management and provides required information at a ver short space of time. face mapping and joint sampling information are entered into GEMS database drilling workspace. 6). Information Management Dril l core Logging Int erpret at ion and A nal ysis Information Management Face Mapping and J oint Sampl ing Rock Propert y Test s Sl ope Monit oring GEMS Dril l ing W orkspace Geot echnical Dat abase ( Access) GEMS Dat abase ( SQL) Fail ure Document at ion Fail ure Back. Block models created in GEMS are used to provide valuable information for risk management and mine design. Failure Documentation. THE USE OF GEMS AS AN INFORMATION MANAGEMENT TOOL . (Fig. rock strength.anal ysis Post . After the data is entered into the Geotechnical database. Face mapping and joint sampling data is interpreted before entered into the database. Figure 6: Fracture frequency block model. a Microsoft Access database. Block models are also created from the data integrated into Gems Database. Fracture frequency etc. Block models are used for information ast Face A nal ysis Geot echnical Dat abase Aut omat ed RMR cal cul at ions for Core Logging and Face Mapping Model l ing and Design Processes (a) Figure 5: (b) (a & b).MULABISANA . Whilst the information is in GEMS it is then used to create Geotechnical Block models. Block models are used for designing purposes. and Post-blast Face Analysis data is entered into a Geotechnical database. Schematic representation of Geotechnical Information management system. Failure Back-analysis. Block Models are created to view different features of the rockmass like blastibility. Slope Monitoring. automated calculations are done and information like rockmass ratings (RMR) for core logging and face mapping are fed into GEMS database.

The importance of adding value to the overall mining process must never be underestimated. THE USE OF GEMS AS AN INFORMATION MANAGEMENT TOOL .CONCLUSION GEMS has been used creatively at Venetia Mine to integrate lots of data and to produce valuable information for both Geological and Geotechnical engineering and down the line end users (the mine planners). it has at this stage been used to obtain very useful information. In the same time more information becomes available for the first end users like a short-term plan and blast outlines that helps communication between the different sections on the mine.MULABISANA . While there is a lot of potential to do more with the system.