Three-Dimensional Reflection Seismics: Worth Its Weight In Platinum

Trickett, J.-C.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2005
The high-resolution three-dimensional (3-D) seismic reflection data acquired for Impala Platinum between 1998 and 2002 in the western Bushveld Igneous Complex form an integral part of Impala?s mine planning and development programme. These data are of sufficiently high quality to provide unprecedented 3-D models of the geological structure of the Merensky Reef and UG2 Chromitite Reef, from which the mine deduces the size, geometry and distribution of mineable blocks. Conversely, the seismic data details zones of un-mineable ground caused by structural disturbances in the form of potholes, fault zones and pegmatoid intrusions. Furthermore, variations in dip and strike are well imaged, allowing the mine planners to optimize the mine design and layout. Current interpretation work is focused on enhancing the accuracy of these geological models even further through the analysis of ?seismic trace attributes.? Preliminary testing on the Impala Platinum 3-D seismic volume has shown that attribute analysis has the potential to illuminate a number of geological reef disturbances that are otherwise ?invisible? in the original seismic time volume. Potential areas of improvement include inter alia: ?Improved definition of major fault zones ?Improved definition of zones of reef depression (?slumping?) ?Identification of reef terracing and/or reverse dip. Keywords: 3-D reflection seismics; Impala Platinum Ltd; seismic attribute analysis; seismic micro technology (SMT); rock solid attributes; dip-azimuth; instantaneous phase and similarity.
Full Article Download:
(3068 kb)