October 18, 2017

Mine surveying technology

Mine surveyors are responsible for maintaining an accurate plan of a mine as a whole and will update maps of the surface layout to account for new buildings and other structures, as well as surveying the underground mine workings in order to keep a record of the mining operation.

The surveyor has to measure and calculate volumes of ore from the mining operations as well as the volume of the dumps.

He can literally be called the resource manager.

The surveyors role means therefore that he has to do a lot of measuring in order to come up with maps of a mine site both above ground and below in order to optimize the mining process and he needs reliable equipment to perform this task accurately. Surveying has gone beyond the ubiquitous theodolite and todays surveying relies heavily on technology to provide accurate maps of the topography with safety and speed in mind. To measure distances lasers are now used which offer safety and accuracy while wall mounted prisms enable the surveyor to make fast and accurate calculations from a comfortable position. Robotics also mean additional safety because remote controlled equipment means the surveyor doesn’t undertake unnecessary risks. Today’s equipment is also able to integrate with software such as AutoCAD in order to offer the surveyor the ability to produce 3D mine designs while superimposing measurement data on the design layout. In this issue we take a look at what else is out there in the market today and the new breakthroughs that technology is offering this age old profession.

Laser Atlanta

Laser Atlanta has been designing and manufacturing laser measurement systems for professionals since 1989. Laser Atlanta is the premier source for laser systems for the mining industry.   Its Advantage™ laser systems have a higher level of accuracy (± 15 cm measurements, versus ± 30-100 cm for competing systems), allowing them to perform accurate remote stockpile and face profiling measurements, with volume accuracy better than 1%.

Advantage is available in three versions the standard Advantage S, the ruggedized Advantage R, and the compact Advantage B. The Advantage R laser is the most durable laser on the market, mounted in a durable, shock-resistant and dust-resistant housing, which includes thick rubber bumpers to protect the laser from damage if it is dropped.

According to International Sales Manager John Broxon their products are available in Africa and can be purchased from them directly. John also added that their Ruggedness fit in the African environment in that it is sealed against dust and dirt, fitted with bumpers to absorb shock when dropped, the heads-up display is enclosed in the housing for added protection; it operates at temperatures up to +60 C; and has the highest accuracy, to accurately measure volume and rock face profiles.

Their range of products work in Speed, distance, height, width, volume, 2D and 3D profiling – no matter what you need to measure, Laser Atlanta has a solution that makes it faster, easier and safer than ever before. Their rugged designs give you accurate readings for a lifetime of use.   Inclinometer and compass functions are internal and can be augmented with an encoding tripod. Advantage is compatible with most GPS systems and RS232 devices

MCE Lasers

Australian laser manufacturer MCE Lasers design lasers used for alignment and leveling used in a wide array of applications. In its mining division they are typically used for tunnel construction and alignment of tunnels driven by tunnel boring machines, drill and blast, pipe jack or conventional hand techniques.

The full range is rugged and entirely made from materials such as stainless steel, anodized aluminium and brass. The lasers incorporate diode technology and can be powered by a variety of battery supplies, from ‘D’ cell batteries to LR44 cell batteries, suited to the customer’s ideal operating time and physical size requirements.

MCE Lasers is a 30 year old Australian company that specializes in the manufacture and design of lasers for alignment and leveling. After years of review and consultation with some of the biggest mining laser clients, such as Rio Tinto, Newcrest, Xstrata Coal and BHP, the mining industry can be confident that the complete range not only meets but exceeds expectations.  The range offers a unique array of features such as user defined focusable green or red beam for extra long range, single and dual beam lasers, line generator optics, beam splitter optics, intrinsically safe lasers for use in explosive areas. MCE Lasers has also developed an extensive range of laser levels, receivers and measuring units for the global market.

Daniel Ramondetta from MCE Lasers advices that mine surveyors should look at product specifications and do not be influenced by low prices by some low quality manufactures

Carlson Software

Carlson Software got its start in 1983 in the land surveying industry and many aspects of its extensive mining applications — Carlson Geology, Carlson Underground Mining, and Carlson Surface Mining modules – utilize technology derived from Carlson’s still popular survey options.

All of Carlson Mining and also Carlson Survey and Carlson Civil are affordable and easy-to-learn modules, which can be adapted depending on each individual mine’s needs. Whether the application is permitting, geologic mapping, underground mining, surface mining, reserves studies, reclamation or machine control, Carlson provides uniquely powerful automation combined with its trademark ease-of-use. Carlson Mining also has a comprehensive set of mine mapping tools, including projections, symbol placement and mine quantity calculations.

These mine mapping features in Carlson Mining allow users to process survey data and generate the mine map seamlessly. They also enable calculation of end-of-month tonnage on each section in one of three ways with Quantities, by: Average, Grid, or Centerline. The software’s Mine Symbol Library allows the automatic connection of survey data in addition to building a customer library of mining symbols, pillaring plans, point symbols, or map symbols.

Carlson mining’s Solids menu, used for underground and tunnel applications, provides more options for hard rock mining modeling.  New commands to import surveys, connect the ribs, convert sections to solids, and calculate sections volumes support this industry. These applications can also be used in the tunnel construction environment to aid in the survey, drawing and volumetrics of tunnels and mines.

Carlson Mining software is CAD-based – it comes with IntelliCAD® built-in and works on AutoCAD® – which means that users can be in the same environment with a common language as the surveyors and outside civil engineers they work with and be able to push the same files back to them.

Recent enhancements to the software have included expanding 3D abilities within bench pit design, added methods to assign block sequence by rules with added real-time display of selected quantities and qualities in scheduling selection; augmentation of the haul truck cycle analysis routines; enhanced visual feedback in the underground timing sequencing, and increased ability to produce customized, more professional reports.

In addition to working seamlessly with Carlson’s data collection (Carlson SurvCE) and survey software, Carlson Mining software also translates to Carlson’s machine control software, Carlson Grade, TruckPro, and Fleet Manager Office, to allow mine management to increase productivity, accurately track materials, and enhance safety on the site. For reclamation needs, Carlson’s unique Natural Regrade program enables mining operations to not only meet, but also exceed environmental standards.

With its software offerings covering the full gambit of what’s needed on a mine site, Carlson Software is the largest provider of software for mines in the United States and its use is rapidly expanding in Russia, India, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and more. Grant Wenker, co-director of the Carlson Mining Division, says that when buying mine survey software, look for ease-of-use and options that allow you to receive data and send data

Pix4D SA

With over ten years of leading scientific research and founded in 2011, Pix4D has become the leading provider for professional unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) processing software. Started as a spin-off of EPFL’s (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) Computer Vision Lab in Switzerland, Pix4D is a dynamic and rapidly expanding company and is pursuing its R&D efforts by collaborating with industrial partners as well as EPFL in research projects supported by the Swiss Government.

Pix4D software technology makes management of extraction activities and environmental protection issues an easy to handle and cost effective task without exposing workers to dangerous conditions. Compared to traditional surveying technology that is labor, skill and cost intensive, mapping of open pit mines, quarries and pits using UAVs or air-born imagery to produce orthomosaics, DSMs and point clouds add to safety, efficiency and accuracy all the while keeping cost and labor to a strict minimum. This new and effective process of generating up-to-date information allows for continuous monitoring and well-structured decision making for any areas of mining sites. In addition, the results obtained with Pix4D software over time make results traceable in order to comply with environmental standards.

Pix4Dmapper is your software solution to convert thousands of aerial images, taken by lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or aircraft, into geo-referenced 2D mosaics and 3D surface models and point clouds. With its advanced automatic aerial triangulation based purely on image content and unique optimization techniques, Pix4Dmapper software package enables civilian drones to become the next-generation mapping and surveying tool.

Sonja Betschart, Chief Marketing Officer at Pix4D, sees the future of surveying in UAV based photogrammetry with the use of imagery from standard (compact/SLR) cameras as an upward trend. It will lead to increased safety of surveyors and cut down on data delivery time as well as hardware and software cost. In addition, it provides site managers and mining headquarters with a new tool to assess quarries and pits, having not only DSMs and point clouds to calculate volume extraction in specific areas but also to gain an overview of the complete mining site with the geo-referenced orthomosaic, not available with traditional surveying methods.

3D Laser Mapping International Ltd.

3D Laser Mapping is a provider of laser scanning technology. Established in1999, their technology draws on many years of experience integrating laser scanners in innovative ways and developing highly effective solutions for multinational companies around the world. They are a provider of LiDAR software and hardware and provide pre and post sales support for both Riegl LMS and third-party products.

SiteMonitor4D is a state-of-the-art laser measurement based system. Developed in partnership with geotechnical engineers and mining surveyors, SiteMonitor4D is a simple to use reliable solution that has the flexibility and performance to function in a wide range of monitoring applications which measure and monitor the stability of rock faces, landslips and man-made structures, On-going periodic measurement of volumes – stockpiles, cutbacks, and waste dumps and high-speed laser scanning for regular mapping of large areas by mounting the scanner on a vehicle.

Designed from the ground-up to be simple-to-use, SiteMonitor takes advantage of the benefits of laser scanners to provide solutions that offer a unique combination of range, accuracy and repeatability unrivalled in the market. 3D Laser Mapping is the pioneer of LiDAR for monitoring in open pit mines. Recognizing the potential benefits of laser scanners across the monitoring industry, the development of SiteMonitor was driven by the need for a mapping and monitoring solution that takes full advantage of the benefits of laser scanning whilst remaining easy to use.

“Laser technology is developing rapidly as an alternative monitoring solution above other technologies, with significant improvements in accuracies and finer resolutions” said Dean Polley, Regional Director for Africa. “Scan ranges of up to 6,000m are being achieved, with powerful software applications complementing the latest technology developments, providing more meaningful business intelligence information”, Polley added.


Fugro is involved throughout the entire life cycle of mining projects. From initial desk studies, via reconnaissance and exploration through feasibility and construction into operation through to closure, they provide all supportive geological, hydrological, geotechnical, environmental and survey services and supply integrated mine data.

Fugro is experienced in slope stability analysis for open pits, tailing dams, dumps and stockpiles, in mineral reserve and resource estimation and classification as well as economic analysis, mine planning and feasibility studies and also assist with approval procedures in accordance with applicable standards, laws and special regulations.

With more than 20 aircraft equipped with a broad range of cameras and sensing technologies, Fugro have successfully completed photographic, mapping and LiDAR surveys of numerous mining sites around the world. LiDAR is a rapid, highly accurate and non-intrusive survey method used to capture and create a detailed model of the terrain, infrastructure or vegetation.

The satellite mapping capabilities offered by Fugro are an invaluable image source for inaccessible/remote mine sites and for detecting and monitoring illegal mining operations by identifying vegetation cover disturbance and deforestation, unmapped access roads and the presence of colored acid water bodies.

Fugro has worked on projects for mining companies in Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’ Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauretania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. They have also carried out work for various governments and engineering firms and are currently working with a major mining company to provide a web-based service environment for their mine data.

Niamh O’Hagan, Marketing Manager, says “Mining developments are often multi-billion dollar investments. Delivering complex projects on time and budget with world-class standards of health, safety, environment, and quality (HSEQ) is essential. On a mining development, technical risks associated with ground conditions are large, and collection and interpretation of quality data and development of cost effective technical solutions is imperative. However, sound technical solutions in themselves are not sufficient in a project development environment. Owners and contractors need partners with the highest standards of project management. In addition to solving the technical risks, delivering on-time and on-budget while managing HSEQ and delivering local expectations are essential”.

Leica Geosystems AG

Leica Geosystems Mining is a division of Leica Geosystems. They provide a complete portfolio of class-leading positioning technology to measure, monitor and model every phase of the mine life cycle – from pit to port, and exploration to remediation – for the life of mine.

Leica Geosystems Mining focuses on delivering production optimization and measurement technologies that are OEM independent and FMS agnostic, allowing seamless integration into existing mine site infrastructure and deployment of a complete portfolio of industry leading technology.

The trusted, Leica Jigsaw fleet monitoring and GPS guidance solutions unearth site productivity and efficiently control by optimizing all operations. Decision making is enhanced via the seamlessly integrated, state-of-the-art, real-time analysis and reporting software. Surveying, slope monitoring, scanning, mapping, machine autonomy and GNSS solutions further enable informed decision-making, optimized productivity, heightened safety and unparalleled performance. This, coupled with total commitment to after sales support, ensures Leica Geosystems Mining will journey with you through the entire mine life cycle

Niel Prinsloo, Business Development Manager Africa, advises mine surveyors to seriously consider support capabilities and the willingness of a supplier to accommodate the customer before purchasing mine measurement technologies.

Helica srl

Helica operates in the field of airborne remote sensing using high resolution laser scanning systems (LiDAR) digital cameras, gyro stabilized high resolution electro-optics devices and geophysical sensors. Helica produces digital models of the terrain, aerial photographs, topographic and geologic maps, physical analysis of the environment and digital cartography.

Thanks to the considerable experience acquired by its team, they provide accurate analyses of the produced data. This data can be integrated into a GIS (Geographic Information System) or managed using other dedicated tools for the analysis of ground resources, for the assessment of environmental impacts or hydrological risks and for the design and maintenance of civil engineering works.

Helica is based in Amaro (Udine), in northeastern Italy and has been active on an international level for years and is established for the design and maintenance of civil engineering works.

Airborne remote sensing has been the company’s core business from the very beginning, in April 2000 and holds a number of licenses and operator certificates in this field.

The aim is to supply high quality products derived from remote sensing data quickly and accurately, in line with international standards, to fully meet their client’s needs. Helica operates in partnership with companies with a specialized experience in remote sensing projects worldwide to complete its management and analysis capacity for the collected data.

Diego Plos from Helica srl says that they had invested on equipment and aircrafts that at best meet conditions in Africa. He adds on that their products are available in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone and they are looking for local competent agents to sell their products in Africa.

senseFly SA

senseFly Ltd is a Swiss company based in Cheseaux-Lausanne. The company was founded at the end of 2009 as a spin-off of the EPFL*-based Laboratory of Intelligence Systems, a leading research organization in robotics and artificial intelligence. Since summer 2012 senseFly has been a member of the Parrot group.

They develop, assemble and market autonomous mini-drones and related software solutions for civil professional applications such as accurate mapping of mining sites, quarries, forests, construction sites, crops, etc.

Their eBee product solution is one of the easiest to use and safest drone systems available worldwide. Being one of the lightest drones in the industry, weighing less than 700g (1.5lbs), you can rest assured of safety onsite while still completing projects fast and efficiently. Their system can be used to take aerial imagery of your site, any time, without complex infrastructure or long and complex preparation times. Their drone is a turnkey solution and includes all the accessories required for operation, as well as their control and monitoring software eMotion 2 and their image processing software Postflight Terra 3D-EB.

senseFly has around 60 employees taking care of R&D, production, marketing and sales. At senseFly, they are always on the edge of technology innovation. The company holds several patents in the field of aerial robotics and is pursuing multiple research projects to expand its offering.

Sophie Secretan, the Communication Manager says that they have dealers selling their drones in Angola, Congo, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda and they are currently looking to expand their dealer network in the Northern part of Africa too.

IDS Ingegneria Dei Sistemi

IDS is a global company and a leader in providing robust, reliable and user-friendly radar systems for safety-critical slope monitoring applications in mining using the IBIS radar family.

IBIS radars are designed to address the specific needs of the mining industry by improving safety measures and to assist with production optimization and geotechnical risk mitigation.

With more than 90 installations in open pit mines all around the world, the IBIS-FM, IBIS-FMT and FPM360 have today defined new standards for safety critical slope monitoring of pit walls. The long record of successfully tracked failures has been possible by the innovative SAR radar technology employed by the IBIS radar. IBIS-FM is able to measure the entire range of spatial scales of the typical slope instabilities on gentle and steep slopes, from bench scale to overall slope failures and over four order of temporal magnitude of slope movements, from fast movements (cm/day), to very slow movements (mm/year), thanks to the advanced multi-scale analysis engine, becoming an essential component for geotechnical risk management and to evaluate wall movements over a period of time that extends beyond the real time monitoring. The FPM360, a unique solution offered by IDS, allows the users to integrate multiple IBIS units for a complete 360 degrees coverage of the pit slopes, providing refreshed global information on slope stability in less than 3 minutes.

IDS and worldwide subsidiaries and partners provide everyday support to mining customers thanks to a network of highly qualified engineers. IDS standard support includes daily remote connection in order to evaluate radar performances and suggest ways to improve data quality. Continuous software updates, training and certification programs are always provided.

Coli Niccolò the regional sales & marketing Manager says that their products are reliable, require low maintenance and have high performances, a perfect mix for the demanding African mining environment. He adds on that they are present among the major mining companies in African countries like South Africa, Botswana, DRC, Mauritania and Ghana, and are proud to be contributing to today’s high safety standards of the mines.

Ohmex Ltd

Ohmex Ltd is located in the UK which is one of the largest commercial shipping ports in the world. Established in April 2000 Ohmex is primarily a manufacturer of equipment involved in Environmental Science applications such as Environmental Data collection, Land and Hydrographic surveying systems. Product names manufactured and distributed under license from Lymtech LLC include EDAS, HydroLite, SonarLite, TidaLite, SonarM8, TideM8, TideMet and SonarMite.

The SonarMite Echo Sounder was the result of nearly two years research and development to further extend the boundaries of shallow water hydrographic surveying equipment. The introduction by Ohmex of the SonarMite, the world’s first truly portable echo sounder system, has been a hard act to follow and it remains the portable instrument of choice with many survey companies around the world. The release of the SonarMite MTX/BTX instrument marks the next stage introducing a series of equipment designed around the WinSTRUMENT concept using the latest portable computers integrated with new measurement technologies.

They have many mining users in Africa who use their portable hydrographic survey equipment mainly in mapping of mine tailings and settlement ponds. They also have an ongoing education program where they have supplied equipment to University of Kwazulu in South Africa.

Ted Read from Ohmex Ltd says that their products are of low cost, robust, very light and portable. He adds on that they are available all over Africa.

vComp Pty Ltd

vComp Pty Ltd is an Australian based company that specializes in software development, consulting and training for Tcl scripting under the Surpac software environment. vComp is a leader in the development of both Surpac extensions and other third party software products that compliment any major mining software package. Through its Mine Solutions web site it has software present on mines in over 20 countries including the DRC, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Namibia, RSA, and Tanzania.

Their products include the MSO application that is used to process and create raw data files from the Leica Geosystems range of survey equipment. The application will read/write data from/to TPS1000, TPS1100, TPS1200, GPS1200, and the new TS15 instruments. MSO creates data files for these instruments from a Surpac string file or stations database in either the on board DBX or GSI format. The application uses an FLD (Field) file to process data making it easy to view edit and interpret observations.MSO also maintains an instrument collimation log and a processed job log for auditing purposes.

Another of their survey products is the FlexiSurv which is a suite of programs. The FlexiSurv functions streamline many of the daily survey tasks putting them into a simple process making what is normally a time consuming and error prone set of manual tasks into a logical single process. The FlexiSurv suite includes functions to manage survey lasers including producing laser offsets easily. It has a customizable survey memo system eliminating hours of plot editing. The level solids function takes survey pickup strings and drive outlines to effortlessly create a wireframe model. It includes a unique process for calculating and reporting over-break/under-break. A number of other functions are also available in the application. New developments include CMS filtering and stitching. The unique feature about these products is that the features have universal appeal but features can be customized for each mine

David van de Ven, Managing Director, says that these products are proven time and money savers as they automate manual tasks a surveyor would otherwise have to perform

Langley Technical Services Pty Ltd.

Langley Technical Services was established in 2006 and is managed by Troy Langley a Registered Mine Surveyor. LTS aims to give all mine surveyors the ability to model and understand the accuracy of their survey control networks and to produce objective evidence of the accuracy of these survey networks. With the power of modern software, detailed survey networks can be modeled and compliance test run to prove networks accuracy or to find problem areas in the network.

With increased regulation requiring accuracy statement for survey networks, the need for surveyors to have complete confidence in their survey control has never been greater. LTS offers customized training for all surveyors, who at the end of this training will be able to take daily electronic fieldwork and produce detailed survey control network models with one button compliance tests.

LTS offers the following Services: General mine setouts and pickups, volume calculations, end of month mining pay calculations, short term to long term surveyor coverage, registered mine surveying, check surveying, ICSM SP1 statements for survey networks, for old and new fieldwork, submission of mine plans to the new work safe Australia’s survey and drafting directions, submission of plans for QLD Standard 10 directives. Submission of plans for WA Class 1 standard. Auditing of department internal systems and compliance to design reports

Troy Langley from Langley Technical Services Pty Ltd says that the emerging trend in the mine survey industry is that there will be more regulation and the need to produce “objective evidence” to the quality of survey control networks.


Stonex Europe is a multinational company, based in Italy, designing and manufacturing high precision surveying instruments for different applications: civil engineering, topography, security, transportation and mining. It is considered a young company, with huge aims and stable steps to the future.

The company runs operations worldwide (today Stonex branded products are used in more than 70 countries) through a high skilled network of distributors and dealers.

Stonex product range includes: Total stations, Field controllers, GNSS/GPS receivers, Handheld GIS with embedded GeoGIS software, networking systems for continuous operations and Laser Scanners.

One of their latest products, Stonex X300 is the best solution for any application, balancing economic efficiency and highly accurate outputs. The sealed external case protects optic and EDM components allowing the scanner to operate in dusty environments without risk of damaging sensitive parts. X300 has achieved WIA (Wichmann Innovations Award 2013) in Germany.

A deep knowledge of market and technologies, joined together with an unbeatable professional expertise allow them to offer a variety of top quality services, to satisfy any kind of pre-sales and post-sales need.

Stonex business is based on a B2B model applied on a loyal worldwide network of added value local distributors and resellers. This network has seen an impressive growth of 42% during the past twelve months.

Khalil Aldnifat the Sales Manager/Middle East & Africa says that their products are of high quality, perfect performance, and have affordable prices making them suitable for African environment. He adds on that they are available all over Africa.


Softree has been providing high quality software for surveying, mapping and engineering for more than 20 years. Their products are used by more than a 1000 companies in North America and internationally for applications in the natural resource and transportation industries.

In the race to provide new functions and features, most mapping and engineering software packages have become complex but Softree has taken a different approach. They have gone out of their way to make our software easy and intuitive. Their products are not limited to computer specialists and CAD operators.

According to Softree’ marketing manager Dave Savory currently their products are available in African Countries and can be purchased from them directly through their website. Dave added that their products are unique in the market in that they are lightweight and easy to use, unlike large CAD based software packages.  It is ideal for mine development, and rural road and site design.  We also provide a new and exciting technology call SoftreeOptimal.  SoftreeOptimal determines the best location to put a road.  This new technology has been developed with the University of British Columbia.

Their terrain Tools 3D is a software toolkit for mapping and terrain modelling. Versatile and easy to use, it includes functions for surveying, coordinate geometry, image manipulation, digital terrain modeling, site grading, design, visualization and report generation.  It has been used extensively for applications in mine surveying, quarrying and stockpile design.

Softree has RoadEng which is a site and road design software package. It works either as an add-on to other civil design software or as a standalone system. It includes functions for data collection, terrain modelling, contouring, volumes, profiles, sections, and road design.

Helimap System SA

LiDAR mapping technique survey and Digital photogrammetry provide essential information in the field of mineral resources assessment and exploitation. The assessment phase is based on geological modelling. High resolution oblique LiDAR and imagery show morphologic details necessary to identify surface deformation, faults or to model precisely model outcrops.

During the exploitation phase, planning, checking and assessing the extraction of materials require a precise periodic 3D mapping. High precision LiDAR and orthophoto data allow volume measurements and permit multi-epochs comparison.

Helimap System SA is a Swiss company providing services in LiDAR and Digital photogrammetry data acquisition and processing, using exclusively helicopters. The company employs its own in-house designed equipment under the name Helimap System®.

A successful integration of a digital camera, a laser scanner, an inertial measurement unit and a GPS receiver enables high mapping accuracy to be attained(down to ~2cm).

Helimap SA can provide data such as digital Surface/Terrain Models with high point density (up to~150 pts/m2), high resolution orthophotos/ true-orthophotos (pixel 2-10 cm), and linear and surface features Helimap System® is especially intended for small and medium area (up to 10’000 ha) acquisitions and suitable for complex terrains or special applications.

The system is handheld, highly flexible and allows fast deployment worldwide. It can be installed within one hour in a huge variety of helicopter type. Moreover, it can be operated in vertical or oblique configuration in the same flight providing high precision 3D data with homogenous density and accuracy.

Those characteristics make Helimap System® an effective tool in the field of mineral resources assessment and exploitation by providing:

●3D textured models of steep slopes, vertical and overhanging natural or mine cliffs.

●High resolution oriented imagery for textured 3D mesh.

● Fast data acquisition of several sites in a single day.

●Data processing is near real-time in providing volume data and height maps, allowing for fast and effective decision making.

Richard Vuitton, the Business Developer & Sales Manager says that they have already worked in several African countries such as Congo, South Africa, Gabon, Rwanda, Djibouti, Madagascar, Chad, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Algeria.

DAT/EM Systems International

Based in Anchorage, Alaska, DAT/EM Systems International® is a company that has been developing digital mapping and photogrammetric software and hardware since 1987. Summit Evolution™ is a full-featured digital photogrammetric system designed to be powerful, flexible and customizable to your needs. It makes mapping easier and provides precise data collection with fast, vivid 3D stereo viewing along with other DAT/EM software including: Landscape™, Capture™, Contour Creator™, MapEditor™, Airfield 3D™ and Ortho+Mosaic™.

DAT/EM Summit Evolution is DAT/EM’s flagship product and the primary tool for vector information collection from stereo images. Using the proprietary DAT/EM Capture interface, vectors are collected directly into one or more companion CAD or GIS programs. Capture works in the background to send 3D (X, Y, Z) ground coordinates to the companion application. Simultaneously, 2D or 3D features from the CAD or GIS program are rendered back in true relative 3D position in the stereo display using DAT/EM Super/Imposition™ for immediate feedback and feature verification. The user’s experience and productivity are enhanced from precise and instantaneous validation of their work.

Currently supported companions are AutoCAD®, MicroStation®, and EsriArcGIS®; the Capture API (Application Program Interface) is also available to enable development for other CAD and GIS programs. The stereo capture capability is a real boon to people trying to interpret imagery: urban planners, foresters, wetlands biologists, geologists. Enter the powerful world of 3D digitizing and drawing file editing with DAT/EM Summit Evolution.

DAT/EM Capture also interfaces to DAT/EM’s other flagship products, the Landscape point cloud editing toolkit, and hence to the companion CAD or GIS applications. Landscape, Summit and Capture all work seamlessly together in the stereo environment to present a unique means of overlaying and working with vastly different types of terrain data. When melded with the out-of-the-box terrain, data validation, and vector construction tools, DAT/EM software provides unprecedented insights into one’s environment.

Asked on her advise to mine surveyors, Tara Tate Marketing Coordinator, says “Look for quality and support. Reliability is key to productivity. The power, stability, and ease of use of DAT/EM software are reasons for its widespread and growing adoption, which are powerful indicators of the confidence thousands of users have placed with us. We would advise our users to pay attention to the proliferation of new sensors from satellite-, airborne-, and ground- based platforms. These new forms and types of data will grow in availability and variety, and become increasingly cost-effective alternatives to traditional data gathering methods. Leveraging these tools increases the efficiency of people on the ground. Lidar is becoming increasingly important and data-rich, and its availability mirrors that from image-based solutions. New platforms, including Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are at an exciting stage of development and are worth watching. New bathymetric systems for offshore (fresh and marine) environments are also a developing technology”.

Caliper Corporation

Caliper Corporation (founded 1983) develops state-of-the-art Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. With a focus on usability, Maptitude (released 1995) is designed to be a cost-effective professional mapping software product. The Maptitude Mapping Software delivers easy-to-useprofessional mapping tools at the affordable price of only US$695. Annual (optional) upgrades costUS$395 per user/license. Key features include: Released annually with full data and software updates, 64-bit enabled; supports Windows 8.1, a single price for a single integrated product, supports the wide range of available data sources: Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Excel, Access, CSV/txt/TAB/ASC, dBase and more GIS formats has a powerful relational database engine, accurate coordinate, locational, and GPS support, has an extensive array of file format support and import, includes basic world map data and comes with a free detailed Country Package such as that for South Africa: http://www.caliper.com/press/pr20130213.htm, integrates with free open source data to allow download of free maps for Africa, integrates with Google Earth aerial imagery.

GIS software lets you produce maps and other graphic displays of geographic information for analysis and presentation. With these capabilities GIS is a valuable tool to visualize spatial data or to build decision support systems for use in your organization. A GIS stores data on geographical features and their characteristics. The features are typically classified as points, lines, or areas, or as raster images. On a map, mining data could be stored as points, road data could be stored as lines, and boundaries such as natural resource fields could be stored as areas, while aerial photos or scanned maps could be stored as raster images. GIS stores information using spatial indices that make it possible to identify the features located in any arbitrary region of a map

Maptitude implements a professional-strength relational database, a feature critical for GIS software. Attribute data may be freely joined to and detached from geographic layers and tables. Relational data manipulation is integrated with robust and powerful geo-processing for spatial queries, polygon overlay, and other location based analyses. This is supported seamlessly so that data are moved easily to and from relational tables and geographic databases. Its fixed-format binary table supports 32,767 fields and 1 billion records, and has unlimited character field widths. Maptitude is robust GIS software with extensive functionality, allowing the mining industry to benefit from mapping tools without unnecessary costs or complexity.

Stewart Berry of Caliper Corporation emphasizes that Maptitude is a complete and robust solution ideal for the large and complex datasets involved in resource mapping in Africa.

“I use Maptitude mainly because it seems to handle large data faster. This makes Maptitude an easy tool to generate quick answers and display it on a map. Some of the smaller things I enjoy from Maptitude are the ability and easiness to tag and aggregate data. Maptitude also makes it easy to manipulate and control the filters on a layer. I especially love that you can build filters based on a heat map.” – Nicolas James Kemp, South Africa

Advanced Geophysical Operations and Services Inc.

AGCOS designs and manufactures innovative and reliable multifunction geophysical instruments, equipment, sensors, accessories and software for offshore and onshore geophysical surveys

They play an active role in the development of high frequency Magnetovariational Profiling (MVP) technique. Due to the introduction of precision field tripods, this non-grounded all-season technique became not only high sensitive tool for mapping and mining exploration, but highly productive as well. Multifunctional receiver Gepard can handle all known ground electro prospecting techniques and can be used for marine EM surveys as well. Receivers are equipped with sunlight readable touch screen display, convenient user interface which allows easy, intuitive operation, have an option of displaying some survey results in the field and can also work in autonomous mode. Geophysical instruments manufactured by AGCOS utilize world’s latest electronic, computer and communications technologies and is designed to significantly increase measurement accuracy, productivity, simplify field installation procedures and to dramatically reduce survey costs.

Asked of his advice to mine survey clients Igor Ingerov President of AGCOS says “There are significant cost savings and flexibility for the customer upon purchase of Multifunction EM receivers and other geophysical instruments from AGCOS. Configuration could be upgraded and system capabilities expanded by adding additional geophysical methods/functions at any time by purchasing software license(s) for additional method(s). When field surveys are properly planned and carried out effectively using several geophysical techniques, acquired field survey results allow for additional information about potential anomaly and to estimate its parameters in the field. There are also possibilities for rapid resource estimation and quick setting of borehole coordinates. All their systems are designed to be simple and effective to use in the field with minimal training, to minimize operator errors, dramatically increase productivity, sensitivity and accuracy, and to reduce end-user’s field survey costs”.

Digital Globe

DigitalGlobe is a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions. Sourced from the world’s leading satellite constellation, its imagery solutions deliver unmatched coverage and capacity to meet customers’ most demanding mission requirements.   Each day customers in map making and analysis, mining, environmental monitoring, and oil and gas exploration depend on DigitalGlobe’s geospatial solutions to gain actionable insight.

DigitalGlobe’s satellite imagery and analysis can be used for mining throughout Africa to plan exploration, perform daily operations, ensure environmental compliance and complete land reclamation. Its imagery solutions help mining professionals identify, analyze, and act on geological data. Additionally, they reduce the time and resources required to find, mine, and recover the resource site. Existing vegetation, hydrology, population centers, soils and infrastructure are easily mapped using satellite and aerial imagery.

DigitalGlobe can also help evaluate before and after images to show progress, boundary compliance, and restoration needed to return the site to pre-mine health. Because satellite imagery eliminates much of the onsite field study previously required for day to day and follow up operations, the industry gains valuable insight and efficiencies about investments and operational impact, while enjoying significant cost savings. A DigitalGlobe base map of high-resolution imagery is valuable for feature extraction, analysis and classification through all stages of the mining lifecycle.

Kumar Navulur, DigitalGlobe’s Director of Next Generation Products, says “DigitalGlobe’s sixth satellite, WorldView-3, is scheduled to launch this summer. WorldView-3 is the first multi-spectral, high-resolution commercial satellite. Operating at an expected altitude of 617 km, WorldView-3 provides 31 cm panchromatic resolution, 1.24 m multispectral resolution, and 3.7 m shortwave infrared resolution. WorldView-3 will offer the most spectral diversity available commercially and be the first to offer multiple shortwave infrared (SWIR) bands that allow for accurate imaging through haze, fog, dust, smoke and other air-born particulates by determining what is outside of the human vision spectrum. The SWIR bands on WorldView-3 will enable new and unique applications for the mining industry, such as mineral identification. WorldView-3 can identify different rock types, weathering regimes and surface materials, including their mineralogy and their alteration signatures.”

Mine & Process Service, Inc

Mine & Process Service, Inc. has been serving the US mining industry for 30 years, offering unique, simple-to-use and rugged products to make mining safer and more efficient.

Their intrinsically safe Mk7 lasers from Bramall Laser Systems stand up to harsh underground mining environments, while remaining simple to use. When set up with the prealigned hooks, a miner can simply hang the laser from a cord between two spads, providing a straight point of reference with a maximum range of 800’-1500’. Their XY Mount can be used for higher precision. Standard C-Cell batteries power our Mk7 lasers, keeping set up to a minimum as the driveage moves forward.

According to Mine & Process Service, Inc’s Application Specialist Chris Ptasnik they are not fully focused in Africa and they have not done any major business in the continent. Chris also advises on using a laser guidance system as a good way to maximize your workers’ time mining while minimizing setup, leading to higher production and profits.

Accessories for their Mk7 lasers include a fan lens for converting the laser’s point to a line, as well as their Precision Beam Deflector, which is used for curved driveages. The PBD uses a pair of high quality matched prisms to redirect a laser beam up to 15 degrees to a new chord point on a tunnel curve.

Their electronic PMA-2008 Pocket Mining Anemometer provides fast and accurate airflow readings to ensure proper mine ventilation. This tough unit is intrinsically safe, dust-proof and water-proof. Unlike mechanical anemometers, the PMA-2008 does not require correction charts or calibration, simply take a few seconds to change the impeller out after a few months to maintain accurate readings.

Hemisphere GNSS

For over 23 years, Hemisphere GNSS has been designing and manufacturing innovative and cost-effective GNSS and complimentary products for positioning, guidance, and machine control applications. They have established numerous patents and other intellectual property and are a global company with sales in more than 55 countries. Their innovative receiver and antenna technology are sold on the board level to OEM integrators and as positioning and navigation components for use in marine, mapping, survey applications, and more.

Hemisphere GNSS has succeeded by offering the right level of technology for the application. They provide application specific solutions that directly improve performance so that customers immediately realize the benefits and value. The Company is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, with a product development, sales, and marketing facility in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Their GNSS products are focused on marine, land survey, construction, mapping, and OEM solutions. Through high-precision positioning and heading components they address a wide variety of location-based requirements, including hydrographic surveying, navigation, GIS data collection and mapping, marine dredging, machine control, and other applications that require reliable real-time sub-meter 3 dimensional centimeter-level positioning.

Cameron Baird, the Director of Business Development (EMEA) says that in the GNSS industry, products which both track and utilize information from all GNSS satellites (GPS, Glonass, Galileo & BeiDou) will become more dominant as users are looking for more robust and instantaneous solutions.

Jos. Hansen East Africa

Jos. Hansen was founded in 1919 as a trading company in Hamburg, Germany. The company began trading all kinds of products in Europe but soon concentrated its activities in Africa and the Arabian territories.

For several years, Jos. Hansen & Soehne GmbH has been successful in supply and installation of geodetic and geophysical equipment for surveying, mapping, positioning and photogrammetry. Working closely together with leading manufacturers, Jos. Hansen offers consultancy during specifications, professional support in executing the contract as well as installation and training facilities.

According to Jos. Hansen East Africa’s Head of Civil Engineering, Eng. Sikander Mohamed, currently their company focuses in the African market and they have supplied, installed and commissioned projects in most countries in Africa.

Jos. Hansen clients working in the surveying and construction industry are using equipment and systems delivered by well known companies like Leica Geosystems from Switzerland, the market leader for its broad array of geodetic products, or ABEM from Sweden, the leading worldwide manufacturer of geophysical instruments and Matest from Italy for Laboratory Equipment.

In the area of social infrastructure, Jos. Hansen specializes in the supply of laboratory equipment for research and testing, educational training, diagnostic equipment for the health sector and water engineering.

Finding pragmatic solutions in difficult environment is Jos. Hansen’s strength with a dedicated and well qualified staff in Kenya and its subsidiaries. Its extensive knowledge of many products and its competitively priced procurement sources all over the world makes Jos. Hansen an experienced and reliable partner for all clients.

RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH

The Austrian based firm RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems is a performance leader in research, development and production of terrestrial, industrial, mobile, bathymetric, airborne and now even UAS-based laser scanning systems. RIEGL’s innovative hard- and software provides powerful solutions for nearly all imaginable fields of application.

For the mining sector RIEGL is providing a special range of high-performance, high-resolution 3D laser scanners perfectly meeting the demanding requirements of surveying in open-pit mining.

RIEGL’s VZ-Line Scanners are exceptionally compact and fully portable instruments providing detailed and highly accurate 3D data rapidly and efficiently. They make use of RIEGL’s state-of-the-art laser scanning technology: target extraction technique, based on echo digitization and online waveform processing, offers multiple target detection for each single laser shot, thus achieving superior measurement capability even under adverse atmospheric conditions like bad visibility due to dust.

The VZ-1000 provides more than 1,400 m, the VZ-4000 up to 4,000 m measurement range, both working in eye safe Laser Class 1. Due to the integrated Human-Machine Interface (HMI) for stand-alone operation without computer, a single person in the field can easily operate the scanner.

New possibilities in open-pit mining will also be opened up with RIEGL’s latest development, the new VUX-1 LiDAR sensor for UAS offering state-of-the-art survey-grade LiDAR data in UAS / RPAS applications.

Zaiser Silvia, the Manager Marketing & PR says that their products are available in several countries of Sub Saharan Africa, North Africa and in South Africa. She further advices buyers to be careful while comparing products and pricing should not be the one and only criteria.


Trimble is a leader in innovation by setting new industry standards to improve user efficiencies and deliverables; they provide more breadth and depth to their portfolio by offering the first complete aerial imaging solution specifically designed for surveyors and geospatial professionals.

Their latest UX5 is engineered to help mapping and surveying professionals who require the highest accuracy work more efficiently, the Trimble UX5 sets a new standard in mapping and surveying by combining a robust and highly user-friendly system with a custom-designed camera that offers the most impressive deliverables. The Trimble UX5 keeps you productive all day long – whatever job you’re working on.

According to Trimble’s marketing manager Fries Porteman currently their products are available in Africa and can be obtained from their agents and distributors located in Africa. Fries added that their Trimble UX5 is unique in that it is a completely finished package that allows the user to work independently from image acquisition to creating deliverables and do interpretation of these deliverables.

UX5 is designed to follow the latest developments in the prosumer camera market; the Trimble UX5 ensures optimal image quality along with maximum photogrammetric accuracy. The UX5 camera has – unlike a traditional compact camera – a large imaging sensor that captures very sharp, color-rich images, even in dark or cloudy conditions. The 16.1 MP cameras and its custom optics give the UX5 the ability to capture data down to 2.4 cm (0.94 in) resolution.

The Trimble UX5 has been designed to fly in windy conditions (65 km/h (40 mph) & light rain which is a very important feature to be productive above open mines.

AAM Group.

AAM is a leading geospatial services company specializing in the collection, analysis, presentation and delivery of geospatial information. They digitize the real world for business and government. Their depth of resources provides the flexibility to adapt their methods to specific project needs. They are a “full service” company with a wealth of expertise across a diverse range of industries. They also have vast of experience in the areas of mining & minerals exploration, energy, infrastructure, government, forestry and natural resources sectors throughout Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

They have stayed at the forefront of technological change, adapting each new advance in imaging and analysis for the benefit of their clients. As leaders in their field they have built comprehensive expertise in providing solutions to the challenges faced by mining and mineral companies throughout all stages of the extraction process from exploration to rehabilitation

AAM’s products and services range from aerial and land surveys, aerial images, LiDAR, satellite imagery, mobile laser scanning, terrestrial laser scanning, photogrammetry, 3D GIS and visualization, shallow water surveys and engineering surveys. They are the sole distributor of Pictometry in South Africa. This patented product is derived from a 5 camera airborne system that captures the vertical, straight-down and the oblique views from the 4 cardinal directions.

Their exceptional capabilities in business mapping, asset information, geographic information system (GIS) projects, enterprise solutions, and location based services are sought after internationally. AAM has a long-standing reputation for adopting the latest technologies and innovations.

Roger Blewett, Business Development Manager, advises potential clients that safety and data quality are of utmost importance.

Khumsup Ltd

Khumsup is a global network providing full service geophysical consultancy, project management, data acquisition and processing services provider. Their reach across the African continent itself is considerable, working out of bases in Accra, Ghana and Johannesburg, South Africa, and using skilled professionals and personnel with extensive local knowledge and experience in the field.

They offer a fully integrated exploration product that goes well beyond the essential gathering of geophysical data. In addition to the core geophysical consultancy and data acquisition they provide superior project management, administrative and data processing skills. They maintain a highly trained professional network of exploration-focused geophysicists and operate as an integral member of any client’s exploration team. They have the ability to supply technical expertise and add efficiency to exploration and development projects, anywhere in the world, and with minimal logistical support and mobilization costs.

Khumsup’s team members are experienced in managing the quality and processing of all the geophysical techniques they service. These include induced polarization and DC resistivity, time and frequency domain electromagnetics, ground and airborne acquired magnetics and radiometrics, ground and airborne acquired gravity, ground penetrating radar, high definition land based seismics, controlled and natural source magneto-tellurics, and more. In addition, and one of the many items that sets them apart, is their in-house research and development of geophysical acquisition hardware and software.

Whether the project objective is to locate mineral ore-bodies, groundwater resources, contaminant plumes, buried waste, 3D geotechnical mapping or simply assisting the geological team to create inferred lithological and structural maps, Khumsup can help by not only ensuring the very highest quality data, but also by providing the personnel and skills required to extract the utmost value from it.

SBL Infotech Uk Ltd

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are big news at the moment. This will only increase in the future. Indeed some mining companies have already turned to UAVs as an alternative survey method.

First and foremost UAVs uniquely fit for the purpose of mining clients. Virtually all mine sites suffer from the challenges that UAVs are designed to solve. These challenges play to the strengths of UAV technology which are portability- UAV equipment can be transported quickly, at short notice, between countries, greater accessibility to difficult terrain, increased mobilisation speed, reduced dependence on ideal weather conditions and wider range of applications.

In turn these strengths offer a number of benefits over more traditional survey methods for instance cost prohibitive projects become cost effective, unfeasible projects become feasible, issues around preferred accuracy are negated – typically clients can expect a horizontal and vertical accuracy of less than 10cm – and corporate Social Responsibility. The savings and output accuracy provided by UAVs have allowed mining companies to extend the areas of coverage to include other local terrain. The mapping database can then be shared with local communities.

So far SBL has supplied their UAV Services to clients in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Congo.


3D MSI specialize in underground mine surveying and 3D modelling of survey data, using laser scanning instrumentation and if required a specially designed remote surveying vehicle (RSV) to survey underground operations at high speed. 3D MSI use the captured data to provide three dimensional models to document as-built environments to their clients’ specification. The models can be presented as either traditional 2D plan and sectional drawings or 3D format, or both.

According to 3D MSI’s strategic development manager, Nigel Hewitt their products fit well in the African mining industry in that they specialize in working in challenging physical environments, typical of pioneering new and existing mines, or mines that have been abandoned and are being re-assessed for profitable mining.

Using cutting edge, laser scanning technology, 3D MSI can provide accurate and pin-point precision models of working or planned working environments. Their specialism in the field of 3D laser scanning puts them at the forefront of modern surveying methods. From initial scanning of the mining environment, through to the subsequent processing of millions of data points, they can generate precise and comprehensive 3D models of as-built environments at speed.

Reflecting on the value they are able to add, the Company’s founder, Dr James Jobling Purser, added that while a great deal of money is often spent adjusting excavations that deviate slightly from original designs, 3D MSI can reduce this need by more quickly providing a comprehensive analysis to clearly demonstrate levels of deviation from a design before a tunnel or excavation is fitted out with services and equipment. The speed and accuracy of scanning allow 3D plans to be created providing design engineers with definitive plans of the operation to work from rather than limited line drawings.

Autodesk, Inc

Autodesk, Inc is a leader in 3D design and engineering software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, mining, construction, and media use Autodesk software to design, visualize, and simulate their ideas before they’re ever built or created. From blockbuster visual effects and buildings that create their own energy to electric cars and the batteries that power them, the work of their 3D software customers is everywhere you look.

Currently Autodesk products are available in Africa and they have been already used in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Nigeria, and they can be purchased from them directly or through authorized resellers.

Autodesk technology has helped mining companies in Africa to explore, design, and develop mine site infrastructure, plants and mills, and mine equipment. Through the Autodesk Developer Network, They also have a full network that builds tools and technologies to extend Autodesk software to enable it meet specific workflow or regional requirements.  Another distinguishing aspect of Autodesk’s solutions for the mining industry is that it provides (as compared to other software players serving this market segment), lower acquisition, training and maintenance costs.  And in terms of accessibility, Autodesk offers flexible, pay-as-you-go options that scale up and down and embrace multiple disciplines.

Through their apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Android, they are also making design technology accessible to professional designers as well as amateur designers, homeowners, students, and casual creators. Whether it’s a kid looking to build a new contraption, a seasoned pro sketching out a great new idea, or someone who just wants to amp up their creative output.


Devico has more than 20 year experience with directional core drilling(DCD) and borehole surveying. The company from Trondheim, Norway has developed a range of top quality instruments including directional core barrel, core orientation equipment, and both magnetic and non-magnetic downhole survey instruments. Using these technologies, their clients reach their targets while reducing drilling costs. Today, Devico is the global market leader in providing directional coring services directly, and via its network of exclusive agents and subsidiaries.

According to Devico’ business development manager Ben L’Heureux currently their company is focusing on Africa since they have their own agent Devico South Africa. Ben added that their unique system Devidrill use for directional core drilling is the most advanced feature of its kind.  Devico provides directional core drilling and helps reduce the amount of drilling with a mother hole drilling program and can often save over 50% of the exploration time.

To provide top qualified directional core drillingservices to the drilling industry Devico and its subsidiaries Devico South Africa have established an international group of expert field engineers that supervise directional projects around the globe. Devico South Africa execute projects all around Africa and help reduce drilling costs, hit targets, save time and maximize budgets.

Their engineers also work with the project geologists to prepare and optimize drilling plans. They can suggest the depth where directional drilling should be started, and calculate how long the correction needs to be to aim the hole towards the target.

When professionals in the mining industry started to use borehole survey tools on regular basis approximately 40 years ago, they became aware of borehole deviation. They discovered that most of the holes ended up far from where they were planned.


Evorelution is a fully featured open-pit scheduling software solution that has assisted dozens of clients in creating practical, high-value schedules for the life cycle of a mine. Now the software has gone to the next level with Version 3.0 thanks to the addition of industry leading dynamic haulage optimization, and a new strategic scheduling capability that optimizes cut-offs to maximize NPV. Evorelution v3.0 is the only commercial solution that can dynamically create a production schedule with optimal fleet haulage routes, waste dump optimization including haul cycle-times and productivities, which managing director Steve Craig says is a significant product offering.

“Haulage optimization translates into huge operational savings for our clients. This is the first time the mine planning community will have all of these features at their fingertips in a single piece of software, and Evorelution works up to ten times faster than current hybrid workflows. ” Craig says.

Evorelution shows exactly where each block is being mined and its intended destination(s), while considering optimal waste landform construction to keep haulage costs down. The approach fully utilizes a fleet by showing how many trucks are required and, in a number of cases, highlighted that additional trucks weren’t needed, which added up to major capital expenditure savings.

Evorelution Strategy, focuses on optimizing cut-off grades for a complete extraction sequence, also accommodating for opportunity costs.. This is crucial in the value maximization process as Strategy can now determine the overall cost of future cash flows and what this means if value can be brought forward.

Craig says that Strategy produces schedules that help bringing forward value to improve NPV and it is particularly useful used when looking at a resource for the first time, when examining ways to maximize the value of the resource by evaluating different mining and processing scenarios very efficiently.

IT Elite Company

IT Elite Company designs and produces antennas for WLAN, WIMAX, Wifi, LTE, CCTV, and RFID. They are specialized in microstrip antennas for frequencies from 400 Mhz through 700MHz, 900MHz, 1.9GHz, 2.3GHz, 2.7GHz, 3.5GHz, 4.9GHz up to 6GHz.
Their company had the occasion to participate in survey in mining projects in Australia where they had the occasion to offer one of their 3x3MIMO products, namely the PAT50019_3x3MIMO .This antenna was working with the Motorola’s Wireless Broadband Mesh products, with which it was offering both 802.11-based solutions and solutions with Motorola’s industrial strength MEA (Mobility Enabled Access) technology for critical applications and harsh environments.

Since 2001 they have been able to offer their services to customers from all over the world including many clients in Africa, with innovative design and quality manufacturing to ensure their antennas provide high performance and reliability expected by professional wireless networks designers. Flexible manufacturing and production control makes them the leader in providing custom antennas for special needs and projects.

According to IT Elite Company’s marketing manager Michal Patoleta their company is focusing in Africa and currently they are establishing distributors in the region.On emerging product trends Michal added that they have been releasing more and more dual band antennas which offer reduction of mast space by putting two frequencies of their client’s choice into one antenna. Two antennas are running, while taking space of one unit. Additionally they offer antennas dedicated for MikroTik, Ubiquity and Cambium devices, and they are able to adjust them to many more.

As for their custom innovations, they are able to provide a wide range of those starting from putting number of antennas in single enclosure, in a desired frequency needed for a particular project.


FARO is the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement technology. The company develops and markets computer-aided measurement and imaging devices and software. Technology from FARO permits high-precision 3D measurement, imaging and comparison of parts and compound structures within production and quality assurance processes. The devices are used for inspecting components and assemblies, production planning, documenting large volume spaces or structures in 3D, surveying and construction, as well as for investigation and reconstruction of accident sites or crime scenes.

According to Faro’s International Distribution & Marketing Manager Stefanie Meier the company focuses in Africa and has partnered with a network of third party distributors across the continent. Stefanie also added that FARO products are very easy to use portable 3D measurement devices. The whole FARO product range helps solving dimensional metrology problems with an established and well-known level of simplicity.

The smallest and lightest laser scanners on the market , the Focus3D X Series, are ideal tools for 3D surveying – indoor and outdoor, with a range up to 330 meters.

Security is a prime concern in any mine, whether gold mining or coal mining. A laser scanner can identify and record any cracks and fissures, compare these data to previous scans, and identify any areas of concern. This is an enormous contribution to mine safety and a safe work environment.

Ongoing 3D documentation of the mine, carried out by a FARO Focus3D, can prevent a mine collapse, as it instantly detects any alterations in local rock strata, so that appropriate security measures can be taken well in advance. Construction work underground, such as the digging of a new coal mine, is also made easier and safer by the use of laser aided 3D documentation.

In surface mining and strip mining, used for certain types of coal and minerals, the pit also needs careful inspection. The portable FARO Focus3D can also identify specific quantities of rock and raw materials, which make it a valuable piece of modern mining equipment.

The ST Group

The ST Group (STG) is a world class group of companies which strives to be the group of choice for providing Location Intelligence and Mobility solutions across the enterprise. The group is based and operates from its head office in Midrand, Johannesburg.

The group recognises the developing socio-economic infrastructure in South Africa and is committed to conducting all activities with total integrity.

One subsidiary, Spatial Technologies, founded in 1994, is the premier partner for Pitney Bowes Software in Southern Africa. The company has successfully deployed MapInfo Technology and Location Intelligence solutions across a broad spectrum of commerce industry.

STG is a solutions group, focused on the delivery of location-based business intelligence value to their clients. The group’s technology harnesses the power of location and mobility to deliver a competitive advantage to their clients in the shortest time and as cost-effectively as possible by using world-class software and technology.

STG offers software like MapInfo Professional which is a powerful Microsoft® Windows®-based mapping and geographic analysis application from the experts in location intelligence. Designed to easily visualize the relationships between data and geography, MapInfo Professional helps business analysts, planners, and GIS professionals – even non-GIS users – gain new insights into their markets, share information-rich maps and graphs and improve strategic decision-making.

Andre Lombard of ST said that there are many ways in which these products can deliver value in both public and private sectors. An example is the development of the telecommunications asset management software ConnectMaster that is gaining traction all over Africa. This product helps the owners of Telco networks plan, record and manage their physical assets.

Andre also notes that ST Group (STG) also represents Pitney Bowes Software’s Encom range of products including: Discover which provides a comprehensive GIS toolbox of import, visualisation, interpretation and analysis tools for the exploration, mining, engineering and environmental sectors. The Compass Enterprise data management system is suitable for all forms of electronic and physical data, with specialised features for handling geospatial database content.

The company also supplies Engage which is powerful suite of tools that extend the efficiency and analytical capabilities of MapInfo Professional and also provides the option of 3D manipulation, advancing data visualisation and analysis by creating continuous surfaces from point to polygon data.

ModelVision provides a solution for every 3D potential field problem. Whether you work in mineral exploration, diamond exploration, petroleum exploration, environmental geophysics, engineering, unexploded ordnance or underground hazard assessment, the ModelVision application can provide you with a complete modelling and interpretation environment for magnetic and gravity datasets.

PA provides unique display and processing tools suited to interactive interpretation and the consistent presentation of geophysical survey data. The dynamics, interaction and ease-of-use make this an essential tool to ensure the delivery of the best outcomes for your project.

EM Flow offers display, analysis and interpretation of single or multi component airborne time and frequency EM data. The software is designed to operate on large EM datasets and provide conductivity depth sections plus anomaly identification and analysis tools. The program operation is usually tailored by processing one or two lines and then applying the parameters to the remainder of the survey or specified lines.

QuickMag allows you to construct realistic geological models of magnetic anomalies and complete survey interpretations in hours rather than days. Just point at an anomaly, choose a geological style and in seconds QuickMag will automatically construct a 3D model of the magnetic source.

He added that Location Intelligence is a technology that has yet to realize its full potential.

Andre noted that the company also sells a wide range of data, including African data for use with the MapInfo products. The data includes:

  • QSP RSA and Africa              Vector maps and an atlas
  • Detailed Points of interest                Broken into categories
  • Census²                                  Updated censusand lifestyle
  • Business Count Data           Business info and location
  • Postal Code Sets                  Current postal codes
  • Shopping Centre                  Centre info and location
  • Urban Development Data   New development projects
  • SA Income Indicator           Income levels categorised
  • Deeds Data                           Property deed information
  • Medpages                             Medical service providers
  • Cadastral Data                      Erf information
  • Amps Modules                     Information about consumers
  • Lifestyle Data                       Lifestyle in categories
  • ADC Worldmap                    Vector data covering the world
  • African Income indicator    Income data for Africa
  • Africa Profiler                       Demographic information
  • Property Transactions        Transaction history
  • Climate data                         Including lightening strikes
  • Traffic flow data                   Time-based traffic flows
  • Crime                                     Categories by location

Darling Geomatics

Darling Geomatics is a multi-disciplined consulting firm specializing in 3D Laser Scanning and High Definition Surveying for a vastly diverse client base worldwide.

Mines must apply for and comply with an entire suite of environmental permits, adjust to changing regulations, and ever more frequently sustain objections to the project from the public.

According to Darling Geomatics managing director Ryan F. Darling currently their company has not completed any business in Africa but they can offer the services upon request.

In addition to their mine surveying service, their company assists clients with state and local land use, permitting and mining regulatory issues, including wetlands issues, wildlife and wildlife habitat issues, water resource and environmental permitting, and statutory, regulatory, and local government regulation issues.

Through their 3D surveying technology they empower mine engineers to become virtual surveyors from their own desks. They visit a mine and laser survey everything one time. That data is then delivered to the engineer in whatever way they choose, whether it be AutoCAD, 3D surface meshes, or any other mode.

Their 3D mine surveys are accurate to within millimeters. Their surveying data helps increase safety because they can survey from great distances away, eliminating the need to place people and equipment in dangerous situation such as a mine subsidence or slope failure.


Aibotix GmbH was founded in 2010 by a team of experienced entrepreneurs in Kassel, Germany, who have worked intensively together for many years in the fields of image processing, sensors and robotics.

The company introduced the Aibot X6 to the market in 2011, as a new generation of vertical take-off and landing UAV. Intelligent, autonomous and safe, this multi-rotor platform was designed to suit the needs of clients in the industrial inspection, aerial mapping and science industries.

The Aibot X6 is distributed in South Africa by ACIEL Geomatics. Currently Aibotix is developing fully integrated systems and professional workflows for data capturing, post processing and analysis in close cooperation with other companies such as Leica Geosystems, Tridicon or Intergraph, that also belong to the Hexagon Group.

The Aibot X6 is a revolution in the field of geo-mapping. Through the precise management of the camera triggering and control of pace, direction and position of the sensor, the Aibot X6 can map an area by reinterpreting the traditional photography-photogrammetry. 3D models and orthophotos of the highest quality can be created.

To the Aibot’s most important features belong the following: Its flight position can be maintained (position-hold function), it can perform both horizontal and vertical movements, it can produce vertical (nadir) and horizontal (oblique) photographs, it can carry different sensors up to 2 kg (even up to 3 kg with the future heavy payload version), it can do vertical takeoffs and landings – it can take off and land pretty much anywhere and also 100 percent autonomous flight and data collection is possible

TerraCam (Pty) Ltd

TerraCam was started in order to offer affordable but professional aerial services to various industries including Farming, Mining, Land Surveying, Construction, Urban Planning, Energy etc.

They are currently developing their own systems for large-scale agricultural mapping using advanced multispectral cameras. Their current fleet of drones consists of fixed-wing aerial photogrammetry drones and multi-rotor platforms for aerial thermography and photography.

The pricing is dependent on area to be covered [ha], desired ground resolution (determines flight height), site location and type of post processing required. TerraCam offers turn-key surveying solutions or tailored solutions for any conceivable requirement albeit they prefer contract work as this gives them the opportunity to make this technology truly effective.

The surveying technology is based on photogrammetry. The drones fly fully autonomously at a pre-determined altitude following a grid pattern over the site. The drone takes individual pictures at certain intervals that are then stitched together using specialized photogrammetry software. The results comprise of usable geospatial data like 3D digital surface models, 3D point-clouds and detailed Orthophotos. From this they can extract 3D geospatial information such as volumes, contours, gradients, etc.

It can fly between 500-1000ha per day depending on weather conditions. Wind limitations are about 40km/h and they can operate the drones from a distance of 3km away. The flight time of their fixed-wing drones is 45min while their multi-rotors carry more payloads and hence only fly for 10-15min.

Their TerraCopter platform gets fitted with either an RGB camera for normal photography or a thermal camera for airborne thermography or night time flying for intruder detections. The cameras are mounted onto gyro stabilized gimbal that ensures super-smooth video wireless video downlink to the operator on the ground wearing video goggles.

TerraCam is also the official reseller of the Virtual Surveyor software that enables easy and rapid visualization of large DSM and Orthophotos data-sets in a realistic and virtual 3D environment.

Maptek survey technology

Maptek I-Site laser scanning systems streamline all mine survey tasks. Safety and productivity are improved. Integration with survey and mine planning makes accurate results available to all operational decision-making teams.

Maptek manufactures portable and functional laser scanners which meet IP65 environmental standards. The I-Site 8810 and I-Site 8200 scanners can operate longer in higher temperatures and withstand harsh mining conditions.

The I-Site 8810 scanner has a long range out to 2000 metres. A 70 megapixel panoramic digital camera captures high resolution imagery at the same time as scanning, making it ideal for geological and geotechnical mapping. Seamless workflow ensures rapid volume calculations for stockpiles, haul trucks, excavator buckets, pit extraction or blast activities as well as structural studies.

According to Maptek I-Site Consultant Elton du Plessistheir company is a global developer of mining technology and they deliver products and services from 13 regional offices. The African continent is supported by geologists, mining engineers and surveyors working in Maptek offices in Johannesburg, RSA and Edinburgh, UK. Elton also added that their Maptek hardware and software products are robust and reliable, suitable for the harshest mining environments. They are exceptionally easy to use and Maptek provides a range of training courses to quickly bring novices up to speed, and to ensure that advanced users keep abreast of developments. Responsive telephone, online and onsite support and consulting mean that the operational flow is not interrupted. Companies with mining at different sites benefit from having the same systems in use across their operations, as centralised planning can increase productivity and profitability, and personnel can move easily between sites.

Further time savings and safety benefits are realised by mounting I-Site laser scanners to site vehicles. The ruggedized, shock-absorbing system incorporates GPS, registration and back sighting routines.

I-Site software provides user-friendly scan processing and modelling tools with mining workflow built in. Specialised tools allow geologists and geotechnical engineers to analyse structures and surfaces. I-Site data can be visualised and manipulated using Maptek Vulcan mine planning software, with survey data fed directly into Vulcan for updating design and geological block models.

Maptek provides support and training for I-Site laser scanning systems throughout Africa from offices in South Africa and the UK. Expert technical staff can conduct site surveys, delivering data and customised reports in a timely manner.

Altus Positioning Systems

Altus Positioning Systems provides today’s GIS engineers and surveyors with first class GPS/GIS products that are rugged and versatile for any work environment, compatible with most GIS software products, and supported by unmatched reliable one-on-one quality customer service.

The APS-T is a perfect fit for surveying in the mining industry. It features a high precision GNSS satellite receiver with embedded L-Band capability designed to provide seamless TERRASTAR D 10 cm positioning to the surveying market.

Integrated with state-of-the-art technology, the APS-T provides surveyors with a product that automatically utilizes Precise Point Positioning algorithms with L-Band corrections for decimeter level positioning.

For extending capabilities, the APS-T is fully upgradeable to a GPS + GLONASS RTK rover. Simple and easy to use, the APS-T is completely configurable from the data collector via Bluetooth or serial cable.

Clement Ogaja, GNSS Support Engineer at Altus says, “The APS-T is unique for African environment especially for regions lacking local real-timeGPS/GNSS network subscription services. With the APS-T it is possible to achieve 10 cm positioning with the L-band corrections, without a local base receiver or RTK network connection, and if there is need for higher accuracy, it is upgradeable to a RTK rover.”

For more info on Altus products, please visit their website or contact their dealers in Africa below.


Surveying Systems Company

Utility & Positioning Systems Ltd.






Jetts Ventures Limited



Geomatics Civil Engineering Surveyors Limited


South Africa

Afgen Pty Ltd



Technotrade Investment Ltd.

High Tech Systems (T) Ltd was established 1987 in Tanzania with the aim of Supplying, Installing & Commissioning of High Technology Systems & Equipment in Tanzania. Among High Tech Equipment is Land Surveying Equipment. In this line of Survey Equipment include Electronic Total Station, Electronic Theodolite, Automatic Levels, GPS Equipment both Professional GPS & Consumer Handheld GPS. Their customers include Higher Learning Institutions, Local Government, Government Ministries, land Surveying Firms, Contractors both Road and Building Contractors etc.

High Tech System (T) Ltd has a Survey Repair Workshop whereby they repair, service and calibrate supplied equipment.

They are the African agent of Stonex Europe Srl which is a European Company manufacturing very high precision surveying instruments for different applications ranging from Topographical, Cadastral, Engineering, Mining as well as Construction Survey.

Their products are very accurate depending on the model. Apart from accuracy, Stonex Survey Instruments are efficient, flexible, solid, reliable and user friendly. They have judged from the opinion of their customers that the quality of Stonex Instrument is in line with their expectation.


Laser Atlanta

John Broxon




MCE Lasers

Daniel Ramondetta




Pix4D SA

EPFL Innovation Park – Building D

1015 Lausanne – Switzerland



+41 21 552 05 90+41 21 552 05 90


3D Laser Mapping Ltd  

Samantha Bentley





Niamh O’Hagan



Leica Geosystems




Helica srl

Diego Plos



senseFly SA

Sophie Secretan




 IDS Ingegneria Dei Sistemi

Coli Niccolò




Ohmex Ltd

Ted Read




vComp Pty Ltd

David van de Ven




Langley Technical Services Pty Ltd.

Troy Langley





Khalil Aldnifat





Mr. Dave Savory




Helimap System SA

Richard Vuitton, Business Developer & Sales Manager




DAT/EM Systems International

Tara Tate





Caliper Corporation

Stewart Berry




Advanced Geophysical Operations and Services Inc.

Igor Ingerov




Carlson Mining

102 West 2nd Street

Maysville, KY 41056




Digital Globe

Risa Kleen




Mine & Process Service, Inc

Christopher Ptasnik




Hemisphere GNSS

Gabriel Grenier- Baird Cameron Baird





Jos. Hansen East Africa

Sikander Mohamed




RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH

Zaiser Silvia





Fries Porteman




AAM Group.

Felicia Masoka




Howard Selfe


SBL Infotech UK Ltd

Geoff Blissitt/ Andrew Blogg




Nigel M Hewitt   




Autodesk, Inc





Ben L’Heureux





Mark Bright




IT Elite Company

Michal Patoleta




FARO Distribution Team




Andre Lombard

The ST Group




Darling Geomatics

Ryan F. Darling








TerraCam (Pty) Ltd

Rolf W. Schlub

+27 71 140-2568+27 71 140-2568




Maptek survey technology

Elton du Plessis




Altus Positioning Systems

Marisa Strange




Technotrade Investment Ltd.

Gordian Ntake



Mob: +255 784226073

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