Case story — Hellas Gold

Hellas Gold is a gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper mining company based in Athens, Greece. Since 2004, the Kassandra Mines in NE Halkidiki have been developing and operating responsibly, safely and under the strictest environmental conditions, employing over 1,600 employees.

The GeoCore X10 drill core scanner was installed early November, 2018 at Hellas Gold facilities at Stratoni Halkidiki and the scanning work commenced. Since the deposit at Mavres Petres is structurally controlled, the decision was later made in 2019 to drill 850 meters of oriented drill cores to map out geological structures.

Project timeline

Here are the milestones we’ve passed so far.

Mission

The mission was to demonstrate the benefits and define the use cases of using the GeoCore X10 drill core scanner on-site. With a focused objective on informing decision making using novel sensing technologies. The efficiency and sustainability of mining operations can be improved based on the insights generated from the innovative integration X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), X-Ray Transmission (XRT) technologies. In addition the integration with mineral mine planning software systems, was put to the test.

Implementation

The GeoCore X10 drill core scanner was installed on the first week of November, 2018 at Hellas Gold facilities at Stratoni Halkidiki. Training was performed onsite on the 8th and 9th of November, 2018. The training included radiation safety, handling of the machine, and loading and operation of the device. Moreover, there was also training in how to process the results of the analysis in Orexplore Insight software. The machine was deployed in a separate room close to the core shed facility to gain easy access to drill cores for scanning. The scanning was finalised in summer 2020 and the machine was sent off to new adventures in Cyprus.

Result

The team used the scanned data in the following practical applications:

  • Digital high resolution structural core logging
  • Quick and non-destructive Identification of geotechnical features
  • Data enhanced 3D Geo modelling

It was particularly interesting to see how measured structures in the oriented drill cores could be imported into Leapfrog and aligned with the global coordinate system. Another key finding and next step, is to incorporate the produced density model to the monthly reconciliation process comparing mine and mill output. Please read more about the applications below.

“The GeoCore X10 analyser adds value to our work by identifying quickly, and non-destructively, geotechnical features like fractures, joints, lithology contacts and density measurement.”

— Sofia Kalampaliki, Geologist

Hellas Gold — results in detail

Quick and non-destructive Identification of geotechnical features

The data sets retrieved from the digital structural core logging were used to measure and identify geotechnical features such as fractures, joints, lithology contacts and obtaining density measurements. The datasets could be applied to the normal workflow and also to support enhanced modelling using the density measurements, something that was not previously routinely measured.

Digital structural core logging

The HG team conducted a comparative study, between traditional manual structural logging working with the physical core and working digitally with the 3D tomographic representation in Orexplore Insight. The comparison shows a significant time saving. The manual logging required two geologists and the corresponding digital workflow using the GeoCore X10 and Orexplore Insight required one geologist. Hence, the other geologist’s time could be allocated to other tasks.

Data enhanced 3D geo modelling

There was no need to change the geo modelling software and the Orexplore continuous high-resolution scanning data was routinely exported to Leapfrog. The additional datasets led to more accurate 3D ore modelling. The density data from the Geocore X10 analyzer were compared with historic Hellas Gold measurements validating the results. A 3D-density model was created with inverse distance estimation method and assisted in evaluating the Mavres Petres resource block model. A next step is to incorporate the produced density model to the monthly reconciliation process comparing mine and mill output.

Hellas Gold — documentation

See the GeoCore X10 in action at Hellas Gold's Stratoni Halkidiki site as part of the ambitious X-Mine project.

"With the drill core analyser, we have the chance to see a whole suite of elements – non-destructively – which is extremely useful for exploration purposes. It’s effortless to use for achieving density and structural data which traditionally it takes much more time. It is a very powerful tool."

— Pavlos Tsitsanis, Exploration manager

Hellas Gold operates as a subsidiary of the Canadian-based Eldorado Gold Corporation and is a gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper mining company with headquarters in Athens. Since 2004, the Kassandra Mines in NE Halkidiki have been developing and operating responsibly, safely and under the strictest environmental conditions, employing over 1,600 employees. The philosophy of Hellas Gold is expressed through the triptych: essential cooperation with the local community - respect for the environment that hosts us - security for our people and their families. Our commitment to serve these authorities consistently and responsibly, as well as our commitment to operate to the highest standards of safety and environmental management internationally, ensures the sustainable development of the Kassandra Mines.

Read More — hellas-gold.com