Skip to main content

Mining rock salt – using a 3D model with respect to economic requirements

Intending to improve mining and exploration processes within a rock salt producing mine all available geological information were collected, evaluated and prepared to create a 3D subsurface model. Besides geological information the drifts were visualized in 3D, too. Amongst other data borehole information from above and subsurface were considered to create a block model showing the grade distribution within the deposit and the geological mining boundaries. One challenging aspect was to harmonize the borehole database that grew over several decades. The block sizes of the model were created due to the customers’ needs with respect to dimensioning issues.

Based on the results of the geological model drift planning and excavation processes can be optimized. With respect to the geological exploration program the targets can be outlined in a more distinct way using the 3D model. By precising mine design and exploration targets workflows for short and long term mine planning can be improved. Beyond that reserves and resources of the deposit can be described more precisely. By updating the model on a regular basis thickness, depth and distribution maps as well as profiles can be requested easily from the model considering all available information.

As the geological model was created with the help of SKUA-GOCAD (AspenTech®) and AutoCAD® data exchange can be realized using for example CAD-based formats as well as column-based files. Furthermore, the geological model can be implemented into a mine planning software to improve daily routine at the mine site.


Anne Engler1, Thomas Kießling1, Marie-Luise Richter1, Anne Baum2
1ERCOSPLAN Ingenieurgesellschaft Geotechnik und Bergbau mbH; 2Glückauf Sondershausen Entwicklungs- und Sicherungsgesellschaft mbH
GeoBerlin 2023