3D Visualization of Underground Mineral Orebodies

3D Visualization of Underground Mineral Orebodies

It takes years for a qualified geologist working for a junior mining company (a grassroots mining company) to identify an area with potential for mineral resources.

Whether the mining company is looking for precious metals such as gold, silver, or platinum, or they are looking for a base metal such as copper and iron, the geologist would walk the land to find indications of the minerals that he is looking for.

After years of geological work, collecting samples, and doing geophysical surveys, the geologist will make a map of the area he is interested in. (mining claim)

This mining claim will allow the mining company to do its exploration on the claim area. The mineral rights and any discovery will belong to the mining company, excluding royalties and taxes to the government.

After the mining claim is set up, the geologist will identify the most promising area, and set up a grid for drilling activities. The mining company will do some test drilling. They will do a series of test drills with a special drill which has a hole inside that can remove part of the ground called a core. The core will be put in special boxes, called core boxes. Based on the geologist’s prediction, drilling can be very shallow or deep.

The drilling cores will be cut in half and put in two separate boxes, one kept at the mine site, and one shipped to the laboratory for testing to identify what kind of minerals exist in the core.

In case that one of these test drills shows signs of the desired metals (gold, iron, etc.), the geologist will create a more detailed grid for large drilling activities. The drilling activities could include hundreds of different drill holes to identify the shape and the depth of the ore body.

After all the core boxes have been tested by the laboratory, and the minerals in the core have been identified, the results will be entered by the geologist or a geological software technician in an excel file. After data cleanup, the data will be imported into geological software such as Gemcom, Surpac, Datamine, and Vulcan and others.

The geological software using point information to create a 3D dimensional model of the ore body based on original data from the laboratory and different cutoff grades (percent of the mineral in the ground). The geological software can produce an accurate representation of the ore body that will give the mining engineer a clear idea of the shape and depth of the ore body in the ground.

Although the geological software can visualize the shape of the ore body and create different cross sections, it is not designed to create a smooth running 3D animation.

A technical 3D animation house such as ImageMaker in Vancouver is able to work with this technical information from the various geological software and import the data in 3D animation software such as Maya and 3D Max, and adding texturing and details to the ore body and the drill holes can create a smooth running technical 3D animation showing the underground ore body with as much accurate detail as possible.

As the market capitalization of the mining company is based on their metal in the ground, having a clear and accurate 3D animation of their ore bodies will help a mining company to showcase their resources and reserves to their potential investors to raise money.

As the process of discovery and defining an ore body could take more than ten years, and cost millions of dollars, it makes perfect sense for a mining company to spend $10,000 to visualize its biggest assets – their metal in the ground.

If you would like to visualize your underground ore bodies, call us for a free consultation meeting and a free quote. Our Vancouver office will be very happy to create a stunning 3D animation of your ore bodies. Call us at 1-604-675-6999.

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