What do sites have in place to ensure historical survey data will be available for future requirements considering the general long term life of many mines and cycles that many sites will go through? This goes beyond the standard statutory mine plans and more towards survey control, aerial photography, digital data etc and other historical needs.
In todays world of most things digital, corporate polices, computor lock downs, storage capacity limits, IM controlled systems etc what guarantee is there that someone looking for historical data in 30, 40 or 50 years time will find it and maybe more importantly be able to access, read or use it?
Some may say 40 year old data will be off the radar but one can never say never. Having had the need to research/require historical survey data at several sites it highlighted the fact that some sites have/had extremely good (hardcopy & digital) archives going back to day 1 while others have "lost" just about everything. From what I have observed loss of data was more about lack of ownership, re-structuring, no importance placed on archives and a general lack of understanding.
Today survey staff are generally much more itinerant than years gone by where survey offices were typically well established, long term where surveyors moved up and maintained a historical background. Are mine surveyors today considering what may be required in 40 years time, what do they have in place to ensure this or are they more interested in the present and their own patch?
Last edit: 4 years 6 months ago by Kerry Matthews.
That is a very good issue you've raised Kerry. I've worked at a couple of old mines where scanned plans, traverse ledgers and old survey operating procedures/manuals are a regular "go to" resource to suss out historical mining in old areas.
If a mine has maintained continuous operations and has had long term competent staff, then records and history are generally easily traced. The passing boom and high staff turnover, especially those that knew relevant history certainly changed many mines for the worse
If I might add further, an issue I've found is when data is finally traced but survey marks and physical connectivity to old workings has disappeared. Trying to validate historical workings then becomes a painful exercise.