Trevali rolls out digital technologies to further digitalisation goals

4th April 2022

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer


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Canada-headquartered base metals miner Trevali is increasingly rolling-out its use of the Emmesent Hovermap simultaneous localisation and mapping light detection and ranging scanner, both underground and on the surface, as the miner moves towards increased digitalisation of its mines.

With its 90%-owned Rosh Pinah zinc/lead/silver mine in Namibia, its 90%-owned Perkoa zinc mine in Burkina Faso and its fully-owned Caribou zinc/lead/silver mine in Canada, the miner is aiming to digitise its assets and automate physical processes, partly enabled by using the Hovermap platform to visualise the mine and infrastructure.

South Africa-based mining technology integration partner Dwyka Mining Services is assisting Trevali in the implementation of the Hovermap platform, both using drones and non-drone mounted applications such as on a backpack, handheld or vehicle mounted.

Dwyka MD Jamie van Schoor says that, from a Hovermap integration perspective, Dwyka has been working closely with the Trevali team. “Traditionally, [Trevali’s] scanning methodologies were quite time-consuming, and coming into the Trevali operating team was quite a shift to what was done in the past.”

Trevali technology and innovation head Wayne Hempel explains that, this year, Trevali intends to deploy Hovermap to a greater degree underground on drone-mounted platforms for mine surveying, surface surveys and to enable so-called “blended visualisation” in an effort to compile three-dimensional (3D) point cloud models of assets and operational areas.

Using Hovermap to scan and compile 3D models is key to Trevali realising its digital twinning ambitions of assets and infrastructure. This is backed up by the miner using the platform for construction monitoring and various other computer-vision and artificial intelligence integration solutions.

With these objectives, Trevali is aiming to reduce costs and increase service enhancement and volume at all its operations.

Meanwhile, with equipment provided through Emmesent, the Rosh Pinah mine is using a Slim Gyro system to inspect drill holes.

Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation senior surveyor Gerhard Louw says this specific use-case is for blended visualisation as the mine progresses. “We have had the Slim Gyro for some time now, and it has improved our production strategies and outcomes by leaps and bounds.”

By using the slim gyro and drone-mounted Hovermap platforms, Trevali’s operations are freed of spatial dependence, enabling instant repeatability, moveability and adjustability of the digitally-enabled ecosystem, he adds.

In turn, this enables for a standardised mining method and rich data-driven insights to aid in both a lean, centralised management structure and the ability to make continuous improvements across its operations, says Louw.

The Slim Gyro is an instrument with running gear, is lighter than some competitor products and is “very accurate”, he says.

“Proven results we have done onsite confirmed a 0.2%, or 8 cm at 40 m. It uses a system whereby you have stabilisers around the tool and can measure any size of hole.”

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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