SEAM & Millennium Underground Mine

Seam Spatial | Mavis Downs Mine
Seam Spatial | Mavis Downs Mine
Seam Spatial | Mavis Downs Mine


In the fast-moving resources industry, one of the biggest challenges is finding the right people to do the job. Mine contractors, like PIMS Group, rely on surveyors who know the site, its processes and their requirements – to avoid delays and maximise productivity.

PIMS had won a $425 million contract to develop and operate the Millennium underground mine. They needed surveying specialists who could get in quickly and work seamlessly within their team to support construction and ramp-up of mine production.


From SEAM’s first inspection, they identified maintaining accurate control surveys as the biggest challenge at Millennium underground mine. As a bord-and-pillar operation, with drift from an existing opencut high wall, the project was:

  • surrounded by rehabilitated land, and
  • subject to ongoing earthworks in and around the main mining area.

SEAM recognised that the unstable earth and changing situation on the ground would make frequent control updates essential.


The first stage of the Millennium underground mine aimed to produce about 1,000,000 tonnes of coal per year over the next 4 years through:

  • one main development unit, and
  • one floor extraction unit.

However, with plans for a second, pit stage (with a mine life expectancy of 12 years), SEAM Spatial’s reputation as a survey partner who plans ahead would be essential.

With strict operational deadlines, SEAM developed and rolled out a strategy to ensure that the Millennium underground mine could get up and running safely – while being ready for the future. This involved:

Setting up mine site survey control that complied with ICSM SP1

Updating control databases weekly to adapt to frequent environmental changes

Undertaking in-pit survey control and civil works set-out

Supplying and maintaining advanced survey equipment

SEAM specialists also met on-site technical requirements that made day-to-day operations easier for the PIMS team, including:

  • Planning,
  • Completing “permit to mine” processes
  • Building site databases
  • Developing drawing registers

Ramp-up of underground mine production commenced in February 2023, and SEAM has met all key targets to date. As PIMS’ trusted surveying partner, SEAM’s initiatives have helped:

Meet tight timelines – with the introduction of weekly survey meetings and handover processes

Speed up critical process delivery – with SEAM taking on additional responsibilities to ensure 7-day-a-week coverage

Educate production crews about grading and laser installation to reduce the need for design reworks

“We’ve developed a fantastic relationship with PIMS Group and ensured that they’ve received top-notch support since day one. It’s led to them requesting an even larger team of our technicians to help achieve their long-term goals.”
– Brad Wyatt, Queensland Survey Manager at SEAM Spatial

Need a surveying partner who takes everything into account on complex mine sites? Talk to the specialists at SEAM Spatial.