Palabora Copper Mine proudly hosted the IMSSA (The Institute of Mine Surveyors of South Africa) Limpopo Annual General Meeting and Colloquium 2017 in Phalaborwa, and Promap were pleased to be able to attend and show our commitment to the Limpopo Mining community.
The event, on 2nd November 2017 was hosted by Johan Bezuidenhout and his team, and involved a tour of the Palabora Mine, including a trip to the open pit and the service shaft winders.
The mine has an interesting history:
- It was founded in 1956, the last blast in the pit was in 2002 and their fall of ground was recorded in 2004
- The pit measures approximately 1.6km by 1.9km, and at it’s deepest the pit measured 822m.
- Mining underground is at approximately 1.2km deep.
Promap is responsible for the annual aerial LiDAR and imagery survey, which brings challenges as we have to measure LiDAR points at the bottom of the pit - bearing in mind that the area is 450 m above sea level, so the pit is essentially below sea level and 822m deep!. Over and above getting enough LiDAR data to cover the bottom of the pit, the imagery must be free of shadows. The Promap team relish such challenges, we have consistently met our client's specifications, becoming the preferred supplier for Palabora Copper.
Over and above the daily challenges faced at a mine, the personnel not only battle high temperatures in summer (up to 44 degrees centigrade with a high humidity), they have regular visitors from the neighbouring Kruger National Park, which includes the temperamental and unpredictable buffalo, who casually wander between the office buildings, pachyderms weighing up to 3.5 tons and predators which include lion and leopard, also regular visits from the mischievous and very destructive baboons.
The mine is also an animal sanctuary and all wildlife is protected. There was a fence erected between the Kruger and Palabora Copper but the elephants repeatedly pushed it down, clearly stamping their authority on the place and letting all and sundry know who is boss!
After the very interesting and informative tour we were taken on a night drive in the Kruger National Park with dinner under the stars, ably protected and hosted by the Parks Honorary Rangers.
Promap is proud and honoured to be associated with Palabora Copper and to be an ongoing sponsor for the Limpopo Branch. We would like to thank the IMSSA Limpopo Branch and Palabora Copper for hosting this special event.