Accessing the Inaccessible
The new Carlson Cavity Auto-Scanning Laser System (C-ALS) Gyro is currently being used to support the extraction of high-grade uranium at one of the largest deposits in the world, the Cigar Lake Mine located in northern Saskatchewan.
The C-ALS Gyro is an upgraded version of its predecessor, the standard C-ALS. The C-ALS Gyro provides greater navigational capability by ensuring that the probe’s position, when deployed, can be determined without relying on the mechanical alignment of deployment rods or a magnetic compass.
At the Cigar Lake Mine, the C-ALS Gyro is deployed upwards for approximately 70 metres until it enters the uranium cavity, where it can then scan and survey a newly mined void. This happens after Cameco’s Jet Boring System (JBS) has been deployed.
JBS extraction for uranium begins with freezing the ore and rock, located nearly 450 metres below the surface, in order to provide stability and to prevent water from entering the mine. The JBS platform is then deployed and uses highly pressurized water to cut through the ore. The ore is then transported through a network of pipes to be processed. There is no mechanical control over the rotation of the JBS platform so the Carlson C-ALS Gyro is deployed to provide a correctly orientated, final scan of the mined-out area.
A C-ALS is usually deployed along a borehole to access the cavity. The system must be able to track the path of the borehole from a known starting location to the probe’s final scanning position so the position and orientation of the model can be established in the mine’s local coordinate system. The internal gyro within the C-ALS Gyro ensures this can be done without using a magnetic compass and without needing to rely on any mechanical alignment devices.
With the C-ALS Gyro, the inclination and heading of the probe can be established at any angle whether the probe is being deployed downwards, upwards, or in a horizontal hole. The data recorded provides the production team with information needed to optimize and monitor the operation.
To learn more about the Carlson C-ALS Gyro, visit info.carlsonsw.com/cals-gyro.
About Carlson Software
Founded in 1983, Carlson Software Inc. specializes in CAD design software, field data collection, laser measurement and machine control products for the civil engineering, surveying, GIS, construction, and mining industries worldwide, providing one-source technology solutions for the entire project cycle. Carlson Software is headquartered in Maysville, KY., U.S.A., with branch offices in Boston, MA; Almere, The Netherlands; Brisbane, Australia; Ottawa, Canada; and York, England