Field augmented reality in mineral exploration and mining (FARMIN)Copyright: CGRE
Knowledge of the exact location and depth of valuable mineral deposits below the earth’s surface is the basis for any successful exploration and mining operation, but also one of the greatest challenges. Accurate geological observations and data are needed to build a 3D model of the subsurface and, on the basis of this model, to accurately target such mineralizations. Accuracy is important since a fewer number of highly expensive diamond drill holes are needed to subsequently verify the existence of a mineralization.
Geological data are typically collected in the field, whereas 3D geological models are constructed using an office computer. Since the model is only available on the computer without seeing the rocks in the field, it is difficult to test how accurately the model resembles the real geological situation.
The FARMIN project aims to build a smartglasses device app (based on, for instance, Microsoft HoloLens), with which mining professionals can take the geological model to the field, visualize it in its exact location and test if it resembles accurately the configuration of the rocks in nature.
If inaccuracies are discovered, the user will even be able to make necessary modifications to the model directly, without having to take notes and to adjust the model later in the office.The product represents a radical upscaling innovation that will help to save working time, improve the quality of the geological models, and thereby facilitate decisions and decrease costs in exploration projects and mining operations. In addition, geological work results can be shown directly in the field to other mining professionals, managers or other stakeholders, which makes important work results much easier to comprehend and improves the general communication and understanding of geology.
The project is funded by the EU through EIT Raw Materials. The project is lead by LTU Luleå and further partners are Boliden Mineral AB, DMT GmbH & Co. KG, Minas de Aguas Teņidas SA, and Roboic Eyes GmbH.