Muon Tomography for High-Resolution Void Mapping

Located and mapped a 100 metre-long section of a 2.5m x 2.5m mine conveyance tunnel, imaging upwards from the existing mine adit, with zero drilling required to map a subsurface volume of over 300,000 m3 and clearly delineate the low-density feature sitting approximately 35 m below the surface. 

NORCAT Mining Transformed

PROJECT

Sudbury, Canada

LOCATION

Panel & Borehole In-Mine

IDEON DETECTOR TYPES

Linear voids/tunnels

TARGET FEATURE


BACKGROUND

The NORCAT Underground Centre in Sudbury is the world’s only operating underground mine designed to enable the development, testing, and demonstration of emerging technologies poised to transform the global mining industry. The Centre is hosted in the former Fecunis Adit Mine, previously owned by Falconbridge (now Glencore) and closed for operations in 1977.  NORCAT hosts the Mining Transformed technology exhibition in the mine, expediting technology adoption and diffusion of innovation across the global mining sector. 

IDEON SOLUTION

This project was designed to showcase capabilities of the newly released Ideon in-mine imaging solution. Ideon installed its in-mine imaging solution at the Centre in February 2024, gathering data for 3 months prior to the Mining Transformed event. The target was the overburden above the main tunnel of the facility and the imaging program was conducted blind: no geological information was available for the area.  

Following system commissioning, data intake and analysis were conducted remotely throughout the imaging period to verify quality and calibration. During analysis, a strong low-density feature emerged that – when compared with hand-drawn maps of historic subsurface workings in the area – aligned directly with a conveyance tunnel measuring approximately 2.5m x 2.5 m (8 ft x 8 ft) that once carried ore to the surface of the mine.