VR, AR, Desktop
Time to Delivery
- Millions saved on site visits and project timeline accelerated by 6 months
- Teck started operations two years early, saving $2.3m in non-operational mineral lease fees
Teck Resources (Teck) is Canada’s largest diversified mining company. It has business units focused on copper, steelmaking coal, zinc, and energy, and major operations spread across both North and South America. While Teck is an internationally known and respected name, the Galore Creek Project, of which Teck owns 50%, had lacked momentum.
Located in northwest British Columbia, the Galore Creek deposit is one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold-silver deposits in the world. The Galore Creek Project is managed by the Galore Creek Mining Corporation, of which Teck Resources has a 50% stake. The highly remote nature of this site, combined with a desire to restore momentum to the project, and a constant pursuit for ways to harness innovation, led Teck to engage with LlamaZOO to develop a solution addressing several key challenges:
Remote projects are costly to get to, logistically challenging, and introduce environmental health & safety risks.
Mine planning data is often located across non-interoperable software packages and different departments, not accessible by all stakeholders, and updated with varying frequency.
Projects only move forward when stakeholders give them attention. Without a compelling way to tell the story, it can be challenging to reignite interest in developments that have stalled.
We worked closely with Teck to develop just such a solution: a 1:1 scale Virtual Reality “digital twin” replica of the Galore Creek development that visualizes 30,000km2 (11,500mi2) of the project and surrounding area, in visually stunning high fidelity.
The entire solution was planned, developed, and delivered to Teck in only 6 weeks. Within 4 months of receiving it, Teck had saved $250,000 dollars in site visit costs, while accelerating the project timeline by 6 months.
“This should be used unabashedly as a communication tool across all level. Up, down, left, and right.”
– Colin Joudrie, VP Business Development, Teck Resources
The goal for this solution was to make a positive impact on Teck’s business objectives for Galore Creek, not to be a flashy demonstration of AR/VR technology. The teams from LlamaZOO and Teck began with a collaborative planning phase to design a solution that directly addressed the Galore Creek development’s unique characteristics and challenges.
We built this solution for Teck on our MineLife VR technology framework. The framework enables us to combine and integrate any data type into a single, unified visual repository, and significantly decreases the time and costs of development typically associated with a solution of this depth and functionality. Immense amounts of data were integrated to create a 1:1 scale, interactive, centralized, holistic visualization that all project stakeholders could leverage to become more aligned, unlocking significant value.
30,000km2 worth of GIS, DEM, shape files, drone photography, and other surface data is integrated to build a lifelike up-to-date replica of the entire development that can be navigated around freely.
60+ years and 393,000 meters of drill hole data from Leapfrog Geo can be interactively toggled and visualized to explore the history of the project.
Pits & Ore Bodies Directly from Industry Standard Software
The size and positioning of Galore Creek’s Bornite and Chalcopyrite ore bodies, and planned mine pits, are visualized in 3D space, imported from Leapfrog Geo and Vulcan – painting an accurate, clear picture for all stakeholders of the project’s tremendous scale and potential value.
Camps, Facilities, and Infrastructure
Our solution integrates the infrastructure of the project and surrounding area to visualize the existing and planned locations of everything from camps, to facilities, to highways, to airports, and beyond.
Tailing, Regions, and Waypoints
To complete the lifelike virtual site visit experience, the solution also visualizes tailings, nearby mine sites, first nations land, and other regions of interest. Predefined waypoints enable immediate transport to any of the projects key data.
“Our expertise is in bringing clarity to complex data. It’s exciting to work so closely with Teck to discover just how applicable AR/VR is for the mining industry, and the significant value it can create.”
– Kevin Oke, Co-Founder & VP Business Development, LlamaZOO Interactive
Reducing Site Visits
The Virtual Reality experience enables engineers, executives, and external stakeholders to immerse themselves in the mine plan, and interact with it through all the years of its life cycle; whether thousands of feet in the air, or down on the ground.
From employees and contractors, to investors, to community stakeholders including government and first nations – Teck uses this solution as a viable replacement and supplement to costly, time-consuming, and potentially hazardous physical site visits.
Enhancing Communication, Across All Stakeholders
Engineers, geologists, and executives can now communicate out of one centralized data source. Data visualizations can be viewed “on the ground” from any angle, unlocking new perspectives, surfacing potential issues earlier, and speeding up iteration through quicker communication. Networked sessions enable colleagues and experts to visit the mine site and collaborate, no matter where they are on the globe.
In additional to the Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and desktop options for accessing this solution, we also built-in features for Teck to easily record, replay, and export high resolution screen captures and fly-throughs.
Due in part to the complexity and scale of information, the mining industry often struggles to maintain a current perspective on all the work that’s happened on projects. If certain files go dormant for a while, they can quite literally be forgotten.
This solution provides Teck with a centralized platform to present the data in its current state. As much of the critical information related to the Galore Creek project is highly 3-dimensional by nature, the VR, AR, and desktop applications become even more powerful.
“MineLife VR has provided an innovative platform from which Teck can communicate the Galore Creek story. Anyone can self-navigate various stages of project development through immersive visualization in virtual reality and related video capture.”
– Dave Donaldson, Manager – Geospatial Solutions, Teck Resources
$250,000+ saved on site visits
Increased stakeholder alignment
Project timeline accelerated by 6 months
Demonstration of Teck’s innovation
With the help of a centralized, holistic communications solution that brought clarity to the project, Newmont Mining Corporation acquired a 50 percent interest in the Galore Creek Partnership in the summer of 2018, accomplishing Teck’s goal, and reigniting the project’s momentum.
Following the positive results at Galore Creek, Teck is continuing to work with us to create digital twins of additional mine sites. Each mine comes with its own unique customization, while our MineLife VR framework enables the data integration process and solution development to be seamless, and accelerated. Besides Teck, the software is used by other global mining companies for planning, business development, communication, and regulatory use cases.