It’s tempting to think that Kevin Oke might be taking a friendly interoffice challenge a little too seriously. But when the co-founder and Vice President of Business Development at Victoria’s LlamaZOO Interactive straps on his HTC Vive virtual reality headset and grabs his wireless controller-paddles, he’s not about to dominate the office pool on Doom VFR or Star Trek Bridge Crew. He wants to help planners, stakeholders, and decision-makers get a detailed and immersive 3-D view into the design and operation of a mining project thousands of miles away without leaving their office. Oke and his colleagues are responsible for the creation of MineLife VR, which gives an exhaustive, 3-D virtual reality
representation of a mining project. MineLife VR is capable of combining almost every imaginable project detail—the characteristics of the orebody itself and its drillholes over time, the mine plan, tailings dams, roads, buildings, area topography, nearby waterbodies, and mine operations—into a real-time virtual reality experience that allows engineers, geologists, mine staff, and executives to work from a centralized data source. MineLife VR is one of the most prominent examples of the way that engineering and geoscience work is quickly transitioning towards digital technologies and leveraging big data: that is, extremely large data sets (versus what used to be small, disparate, and soloed data sets) and imagining new ways to use it.
MineLife VR combines data frommany disciplines and sources to provide a visual, 3-D representation of an entire mining project. MineLife VR can combine geological and drillhole data (both current and historical); orebody shape, composition, and location; mine features like tailings dams and pits; and infrastructure items like roads and buildings. It can also incorporate real-time machinery GPS and sensor data, giving operators immediate insight into mine operations.