ABSTRACT

We tested the applicability of a newly developed broadband (0–800 Hz) digital-based seismic landstreamer for open-pit mine planning in the apatite-bearing Siilinjärvi mine in central Finland. Four seismic profiles, in total approximately 2.5 km long (2–4 m source and landstreamer receiver spacing), two inside the pit and two on its margins, were acquired in combination with wireless recorders connected to 10 Hz geophones and fixed at every 10 m spacing along the seismic profiles while the streamer data were being acquired. Downhole logging and laboratory physical property measurements on core and rock samples were carried out to not only support the seismic interpretations but also to provide information about the possible geophysical signature of these unique types of deposits. In spite of a highly noisy mining environment, seismic data of high quality were acquired; however, reflection processing and interpretations were challenged by the geologic complexities of several generations of basic and carbonatite dikes. To complement the reflection data imaging and to account for the steep elevation changes and crookedness of some of the seismic profiles, 3D first-arrival traveltime tomography and 3D swath reflection imaging were also carried out. Clear refracted arrivals from the open-pit profiles suggest the possibility of low-velocity zones associated with either blasting or several shear zones intersecting the seismic profiles. In terms of reflectivity, reflections have a different appearance from short and flat to longer and steep ones. The downhole- and borehole logging data suggest that some of these reflections are associated with diabase dikes and some are likely from zones of weaknesses in the alkaline-carbonatite complex. We determine the potential of using seismic streamers for cost- and time-effective open-pit mine planning and encourage further testing in simpler geologic settings to be established.

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