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Modeling and exploitation of earth resources

Keywords: ore deposit, geostatistics, numerical model, mining and quarrying, reclamation
Fig. 1. Ornamental stone image analysis: variograms in 4 directions of grey tone image of “Crevola” marble tile (picture by R. Bruno).

The mineral raw materials are the basis of any process of economic development of man. The team deals with the characterization, modelling, selection and exploitation of mineral deposits and deposits of industrial materials.

Specific topics are the spatial variability studies and modelling of useful substances and of petrophysical properties of the materials, the optimization of their sampling, the selection of the exploitable resources, technically and economically. Geostatistics is one of the major theoretical frameworks adopted; estimated and simulated models are typical tools used. The best international geostatistical software is available (ISATIS, ...) besides its own library.

In the sector of ornamental stone characterization, in the last 15 years the team coordinated or was partner of several international projects supported by the European Union (COSS; OSNET; FARO). In this field, an original technology was developed, and then patented, for the characterization of ornamental stone by image analysis. An advanced image processing of the surface of slabs and tiles can achieve goals related to aesthetics, such as quality certification, certification of origin, the automatic selection of different products and the degradation analysis.

The research topics in the sector of exploitation of raw materials are mainly focused on:

  • planning and design of mining activities, at regional and local scale;
  • processes of selecting the most appropriate methods for mining;
  • environmental impact assessment and monitoring of surface and underground mining;
  • safety in underground, namely for methane emissions during stopes and excavations;
  • reclamation aspects in planning and design;
  • reclamation modelling and requalification projects;
  • rehabilitation of abandoned mines and quarries.

Design software for ventilation networks, blasting, environmental control for open pit mining, was developed. In situ tests are done by advanced technologies (laser scanner, satellite images) and environmental controls are carried out (seismicity induced by blasting, overpressure).

Main publications

Bonduà, S., Bruno, R. and Muge, F., Geostatistical Simulation of Ornamental Stone Images: Results Analysis by Mathematical Morphology, Proceedings of IAMG 2002 Annual Conference, Berlin, Germany, 15-20/9/2002.

Antonazzo, L., Badiali, E., Bruno, R. & Proverbio, M., Certification Mark and Aesthetical Characterisation of Provincia VCO Ornamental Stones, Proceedings of “2003 Con. Int, de la Piedra Natural” - Lisboa, Portugal, 8-9 Maio, 2003, pp.11.

Bruno, R. and Pitavy, O., Stone Characterisation by Image Analysis: Applications and Future Developments, in Needs and Priorities in Stone Characterisation, Chapter 4, OSNET Vol. 6, Bruno R., Montoto M. & Paspaliaris I. Ed. - EUR 20637/6 – Athens, 2004, pp.61-72.

Bruno, R., Cuoghi, L. and Laurenge, P., Quantitative identification of marbles aesthetical features, Proc. IBPRIA 2005, Estoril (Portugal), Book Series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 3523 pp. 674-681; Marques, J.S.; Pérez de la Blanca, N.; Pina, P. (Eds.), 2005, Springer.

Martoro, F., Bonduà, S. and Bruno, R., Non Destructive Characterization of stone products: towards PDO like mark, in “F.A.R.O. Formazione Avanzata nel Settore delle Rocce Ornamentali e delle Geoelaborazioni” Chapter 1, Bruno R. & Focaccia, S. Eds, Bologna, Italy, 2009, pp. 25-42

Costa, A.G., Bruno, R. and Becerra Becerra, J.E., Rochas ornamentais nos monumentos: Um guia para a caracterização e a valorização, in Formação avançada no Sector das Rochas Ornamentais e do Geoprocessamento, Chapter 15 – A.G. Costa & A.C.Moura Mourão Eds –LABTECRochas / IGC-UFMG, Belo Horizonte, Brasil, 2009, pp. 185-194.

Berry, P., Squarci, P. and Gambini, G., Subsidence Resulting from Solution Mining of the Buriano Salt Deposit, Italy, Proc. Of the 6th Int. Symp. On Land Subsidence, Ravenna, Italia, SISOLS, pp. 249- 264, sept. 2000.

Berry, P., Blengini, G.A., Fabbri, S., Tafaro, V.A., Factors Affecting Safety in Diamond Wire Cutting Technology, Mine Planning and Equipment Selection 2001, Proc. Of the 10th Int. Symp on Mine Planning, New Delhi, Oxford & IBH Publishing, pp. 311- 316, 2001.

Berry P., Pistocchi A., A Multicriterial Geographical Approach for the Environmental Impact Assessment of Open-Pit Quarries, Int. Journal of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Environment, Vol. 17, n° 4. pp. 213 – 226, Swets & Zeitlinger, 2003.

Berry P., Capponi S., Fabbri A., Seismicity Induced by Excavation Activities. In: Proceedings of ISMA 2006, Noise and Vibration Engineering. Leuven, Belgium, 2006, LEUVEN: P. Sas, M. De Munek, p. 1849- 1860, 2006

Bandini A., Berry P., Dacquino C., Implementation of a database for risk assessment of abandoned Italian mining sites, in: Mine Planning and Equipment Selection and Environmental Issues and Waste Management in Energy and Mineral Production. Banff, Alberta, Canada, 16 - 18 Nov. 2009, The Reading Matrix Inc., p. 494-502.

Coli M., Livi E., Berry P., Bandini A., Jia X.N., Studies for rockburst prediction in the Carrara Marble (Italy), in: Rock Stress and Earthquakes. Beijing, China, 2010, London: CRC Press Taylor & Francis- A Balkema Book, vol. 1, p. 367 - 373.

Research projects

EC-DGIII - COSS “Characterisation of Ornamental Stone Standards by Image Analysis of Slab Surfaces”, 1995-1998. Lead Partner

EC Competitive and Sustainable Growth Programme - OSNET “Ornamental and Dimensional Stone European Network”, 2000-2004.

EC-EUROPEAID Alfa - FARO “Formaçao Avançada da no sector das Rochas Ornamentais”, 2005-2009. Lead partner.

PA Terni - “Guidelines for the identification, characterization and quantification of mineral deposits of the second category” 2009-2010.

ARPA PUGLIA, 2011, "Individuazione di modelli di gestione pubblico-privato e criteri di selezione per il recupero di paesaggi degradati a causa delle attività estrattive dismesse".