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Chinese researchers use muons imaging technology to detect mine

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-22 17:08

LANZHOU -- A Chinese research team has successfully used muons imaging technology to detect the internal structure of a mineral deposit, providing a new approach to mineral exploration and geological structure imaging.

The research results were recently published online in the Geophysical Journal International.

The exploration of underground orebodies and the precise location of goaf areas have been some of the challenges faced by the mining industry. Traditional mineral exploration techniques have high economic cost and low accuracy.

As one of the fundamental particles in nature, muons have a significant penetration capability, which can realize non-contact, deep penetrating, and non-destructive imaging of large objects. Compared with conventional artificial ray devices, they have incomparable advantages, said Liu Zhiyi, research leader at Lanzhou University.

The research team used muons as detection rays to obtain images of the large objects, which is a new, green, non-destructive technology for studying the internal structure of mineral deposits.

Muons imaging technology is expected to provide a more efficient solution for mineral resource development and utilization.

The technology can also confirm the position and shape of orebodies through large-scale scanning, reducing costs and risks as well as improving efficiency.

Muons imaging technology reduces environmental damage and pollution, compared with traditional exploration methods such as batch ground drilling or the use of explosives.

Based on the technology, the team developed detection equipment sets complete with its independent intellectual property rights, and conducted field measurements in a gold mine in Northwest China's Gansu province.

The team used six sets of equipment to scan a large area of the gold mine, and it yielded remarkable results, said Liu Juntao with Lanzhou University.

The imaging results clearly showed gold veins, several goaf areas, and a low-density geological structure above the scanned area, said Wang Yuxi, an engineer on the project.

The research team also used muons imaging technology to check the condition of the renowned Xi'an ancient city wall in Northwest China's Shaanxi province.

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