From Boom to Bullion, Imaging Technology in Mining

Tom Charles Palangio, Thomas William Palangio,
Abstract The mining industry has come to rely on imaging devices to monitor and record all kinds of
activities. We use them to measure, improve the process, ensure security, increase production
and automate machinery. Cameras can be installed in locations most people wouldn’t want to
live and be our “eyes” to record the events at that location.
This paper discusses digital imaging, the equipment, methods, techniques and information that can be learned in the drilling, blasting, crushing, grinding, flotation and refining stages of mining operations.
The guy who said “a picture is worth a thousand words” probably understated it.
Images are the perfect way to document conditions before, after and even during mining activities. Today’s wide choice of cameras, camcorders and other digital devices allow us to record most activities and events. The technology is advancing at a high rate. Digital cameras
and camcorders are marvels of technology with high resolution optics, compact size, automatic
time and date stamp, great battery life, shutters to freeze motion and computers to auto focus and
eliminate jitter (image stabilization). Add to this the economical price and ease of use and
everyone in this industry should be aware of the possibilities.
Keywords: Optimization, blast size measurement, flotation monitoring, energy reduction, Image analysis, Process control, borehole cameras, Fragmentation analysis
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