FaceCapture tech coming to Hecla mines
Mine face mapping tech offers safe, precise real-time data Metal Tech News - February 27, 2023
Last updated 2/27/2023 at 6:04pm
It is not miner's faces that will be recognized by the new technology being deployed by Hecla Mining Company. Instead, Mine Vision Systems' FaceCapture system will be used to map the mine face at two of the company's underground operations in North America.
First introduced at the MINExpo 2021, MVS's FaceCapture technology quickly and accurately captures detailed and dense images of underground mine faces that are georeferenced to laser-based surveys to generate reliable 3D models.
This underground mapping system provides real-time insights at a level of precision not previously available while simultaneously reducing the geologist's time at the mine face by more than 80%.
"Our engineering efforts have been focused on building a system that delivers the right information at the right time without disruption to existing processes," said Scott Thayer, chief strategy officer at Mine Vision Systems. "FaceCapture integrates georeferenced 3D point cloud and high resolution images into 3D meshes that can be imported into mine plans through industry standard file formats, providing real-time information to geologists to help them make the decisions they were trained to make."
As a company that has been in the underground mining business for over 130 years, Hecla is quick to recognize new technologies with the potential to increase both productivity and safety – a mapping system that increases the quality of data from a freshly blasted mine face, lowers the time to collect that information, and keeps its miners a safe distance away fits the criteria.
"Our production, productivity and safety objectives are directly affected by multiple decisions we make at the mine face every day," said Matt Blattman, director of technical services at Hecla Mining Company. "FaceCapture will allow us to process high quality 3D mine face data in real-time, permitting our team to make critical production decisions and with reduced exposure at the mine face."
For MVS, having its new mine face mapping system being used by the largest silver producer in the United States and soon to be the largest in Canada is a sterling endorsement of its cutting-edge tech.
"Hecla has over 130 years of experience driving and embracing new and innovative methods to achieve company objectives," said Mine Vision Systems CEO Mike Smocer. "We are proud to support Hecla's culture of innovation and desire to provide better data to key employees when they need it."