Canadian Mining Journal


Free Software to Access, Share and Communicate Earth Science Results

Toronto-based Geosoft Inc. has released a free version of its Oasis montaj core technology for earth science decision-making. The v5.0 interface is an Internet-enabled software application that gives ...

Toronto-based Geosoft Inc. has released a free version of its Oasis montaj core technology for earth science decision-making. The v5.0 interface is an Internet-enabled software application that gives geoscience professionals an easy-to-use technology for verifying data, developing interpretations with team members, and making faster, more effective decisions.

One of the main benefits is that professionals can now work with many different types of data, maps and images using a single interface–eliminating the need to deal with time-consuming data format issues. The software also facilitates greater collaboration through exchange of E-maps–a technology for compressing maps, grids and map data and sending compressed results securely via E-mail. And when hardcopy results are required for interpretation and presentation, the user can prepare reports using images copied from the desktop or simply print results to a variety of output devices.

Available for download at, the free Interface represents a special class of software called a “thin client”. Regardless of whether professionals are using the thin or thick client, the objective is to enable more effective communication of results with managers, team members, clients or contractors responsible for earth science quality control, interpretation and decision-making.

Major Advance in Pipeline Instrumentation

Pipe transport in small-diameter systems has always been a rheological challenge to industry. A technological leap has occurred that is helping users to quantify frictional losses, identify shock losses, locate damage regions, ferret out high pressure or vacuum regions, and allow for determination of routing extensions to existing systems.

Engineers at Paste Systems Inc. in Sudbury, Ont., in association with CAMIRO have designed a 1.4” x 2.75” device that travels pipelines of extreme lengths and configurations. While en route, the device samples pressure at user-defined rates up to 10 per second. The eight-hour lithium onboard battery and data logger collect up to 16,000 pressure readings in ASCII format that is easily and quickly downloaded to the user’s PC.

The resulting pressure trace allows for diagnosis of frictional losses, freefall regions, impact zones, water hammer, flow velocities, etc. Pump designers can also use the device to quantify the performance of their units over the long haul. While existing models allow the users to examine pipelines as small as 3” diameter, the 2001 generation of pills will be half the size and should allow analysis of 2” diameter systems. Future pill designs include thermocouples, accelerometers, three-directional gyros and pipe-wear or pipe-diameter sensors.

The “PSI-Pill” (pat. pend.) was developed to identify rheological characteristics in mine pastefill systems, but of course has application in any piping system. In order to be of any use, the untethered device had to be capable of withstanding pressures ranging from -15 to in excess of 5,000 psi and any abrasive or chemical interaction that might irrigate the housing. Further, the pill needed to survive freefall regions higher than Toronto’s CN tower.

The last challenge included making the pill invisible to the flow. That is, the specific gravity of the device had to be alterable so that regardless of the transport material (water s.g. = 1, pastefill, s.g. > 2), the pill would not be dependent upon differential pressure behind the device to cause it to move through the line.

One of the exciting revelations specific to pastefill systems and highlighted by the pill is the extent to which friction is dependent on pressure. A unique line of pill catching devices has evolved as fast as new applications for the device are being found.

Paste Systems Inc. is an EPCM company involved in all aspects of mining backfill.

Super-rugged Multifunctional Wireless Phone

TELUS Mobility, based in Scarborough, Ont., has introduced the Mike r750plus from Motorola, a tough, multifunctional wireless phone made for clients who work in physically demanding environments. Like all Mike phones, the r750plus integrates Mike’s Direct Connect two-way radio with digital phone, paging, Internet microbrowser, e-mail and fax services.

The Mike r750plus features a hands-free speakerphone, rubber overmolded grip, large raised buttons, emergency call button, selectable backlight timer, Quickstore for rapid directory storage, missed call indicator, last 10 numbers sent and received, Turbo Dial one-button dialing and VibraCall discreet alert. A line of ruggedized accessories is also available.

The standard r750plus costs $799, while the Intrinsically Safe version is $899.

Non-destructive Wire Rope Tester

The MSM Group of North Bay, Ont., now offers the MTW-2 NDT wire rope tester for operators of equipment using wire rope. The MTW-2 tester is designed to facilitate, with no downtime, the simultaneous analysis and location of quantitative loss of metallic cross-sectional area (LMA), plus localized faults (LF). These real-time results are available for instant analysis visually, and can be either printed or downloaded to a computer for further interpretation or as a record of inspection.

The test is designed for one-person operation. This lightweight, compact unit allows for simple operation in most locations. It tests wire ropes ranging in diameter from 12 to 72 mm, at test speeds ranging from 30 to 180 m per minute, providing a LMA accuracy of +/-0.5% and +/-50 mm for LF.

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