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JSC PIMCU completes the latest phase of its “Geodynamic Range” project
Priargunsky Industrial Mining and Chemical Union (JSC PIMCU) has completed the latest phase of its “Geodynamic Range” project, which is aimed at increasing the safety of miners working at the Union’s underground facilities.
The Geodynamic Range, a multilevel system for monitoring the behavior of subsurface rock, has been designed to predict and prevent mine shocks (microquakes leading to the instantaneous destruction of subsurface rock and the cave-ins capable of trapping people).
Within the scope of the project, the entire Streltsovskoye ore field, which is being developed by PIMCU, was outfitted with underground GPS-navigation sensors, acoustics, and seismic-survey equipment. The information they relay makes it possible to identify hazardous sectors for mining operations, predict the behavior of these areas and take the appropriate steps to prevent accidents. In the event of the threat of elevated rock pressure, the sensor signal allows miners working in the mine to return to the surface on time without risk to human life.
Implementation of the “Geodynamic Range” project began at PIMCU facilities in 2010. Aside from specialists from ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. and JSC PIMCU, the project features the participation of representatives from the “Gorny” (Mining) National Raw Minerals University, Kolsky Research Center, the Mining Institute of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics SB RAS, and other research enterprises.
The system includes a new device – a laser deformograph, installed at “Gluboky” (Deep) mine. “This is a highly sensitive instrument, one which allows us to register the precursors to rock-mass movement within a radius of one kilometer,” explains Igor Rasskazov, Director of the Mining Institute of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “This unique advancement makes it possible to study tension build-up in specific zones – all of the relevant data are relayed online to the surface, where they are analyzed by specialists of forecast and prevention of rock bursts unit. In other words, even at the planning stage of mining operations, based on the data yielded by the rock-pressure control system, the possibility of running into dangerous situations can be avoided.”
The deformograph installed at “Gluboky” mine is considered most sensitive within a frequency band of from 0 to 1000 hz. Its sensitivity amounts to 0.3 nanometers or 3*10ˉ¹º meters, making it possible to study tension build-up in specific zones. Even slight changes in temperature or pressure are recorded by the device’s highly sensitive elements.
“For us, ensuring human safety is of paramount importance, and each implementation phase of the “Geodynamic Range” project increases this safety level. Whereas our specialists were previously able to determine danger level solely by looking for the external signs of elevated rock pressure at mine openings, now, by utilizing the most cutting-edge scientific advancements, they’re able to identify the danger spots at the depth of subsurface rock masses, predict the behavior of these sectors, and prevent accidents,” stresses Dmitri Tyurin, Chief Surveyor at JSC PIMCU.