Teamwork, dedication and a commitment to safe practices were key ingredients in the ultimate success of the 2010 San José mine rescue. Maptek is proud to have been part of the monumental effort which culminated on Oct. 14 when all 33 miners were safely above ground. They had been trapped underground for 69 days.

Maptek Founder Bob Johnson and Vice President of Maptek South America Marcelo Arancibia praised the professionalism and commitment of staff who were working under pressure in a very emotional environment.

“Gathering and modeling the technical data, which provided a better understanding of where the miners were trapped, was painstaking and at times very difficult,” Arancibia said. “Staff did very well to focus on the job at hand.”

Maptek worked closely with other technology companies to identify a safe access route for freeing the miners. The topography was scanned in 3D using the I-Site laser technology manufactured in South Australia. This data provided an accurate surface model, which was combined with historical 2D plans to build a 3D underground model.

The meticulous task of modeling all the information in Vulcan and designing the orientation of drill holes was driven by the need to accurately intersect the shaft where the men were believed to be sheltering.

“The teamwork on the drilling campaign alone was a testament to the Maptek service ethos,” Arancibia said. “Staff members worked in shifts throughout the nine weeks since Maptek was first contacted on Aug. 11.”

The effort was justified beyond all expectations when all 33 miners emerged through the rescue portal on Oct. 14.

Arancibia says Maptek South America has maintained an interest in the well-being of the rescued men. “Participants in the South American Users Conference in Viña del Mar this week will pay tribute to their bravery.”

Founded more than 30 years ago, Maptek is a provider of innovative software, hardware and services for global mining. Maptek solutions are used at more than 1,700 sites in 75 countries, with applications across the mining cycle. Maptek develops industry-leading software including Vulcan, Eureka, Evolution and BlastLogic for mine evaluation, planning, design, scheduling, operation and rehabilitation.