Virtual reality coverage of mines is already well known in the sector in terms of training simulators from the likes of Immersive Technologies, ThoroughTec and others. However, a market for VR in mining that has been less explored is a more basic one – for visualisation of the mining property for the purposes of helping mining analysts, mining investors, the media, regulatory officials, even mining staff from other parts of the company, to be able to “walk” around and experience the setting of a mining site, and explore key areas and assets without having to physically go to site.Reality Check Systems Ltd (RCSL) is a UK-based start-up that is soon to launch its 360 degree video tours offering, following a concept launch at PDAC 2017 in Toronto. The company states “Using our tools and methodology you can quickly and cost effectively create an immersive virtual tour experience of your operation and seamlessly distribute the production to your audience of stakeholders, potential investors and regulatory bodies. The cloud infrastructure comes ready built to store, optimise and distribute your 360° HD video, still images and 3D Models, which together with our data augmentation tools create a useful and engaging site visit experience for your audience. We help you to showcase what is there at site today as well as what your site could look like in the future. Carefully constructed with input from both the mining industry and investment community, we provide a professional customised platform to our clients emphasising the critical components of your operation. Our consistent involvement with the investment community provides an established audience of institutional and retail investors waiting to view your content. Such a cost effective, scalable and virtually instantaneous way to give your audience a deep understanding of your assets has never existed, until now.”Founder and CEO, Johnny van Eeghen told IM: “Where we differentiate ourselves is that we can take 3D models of anything, from surface and underground infrastructure to orebody and drift models, photographs and pop-ups of production and performance stats, and have all these combined and accessible in the 3D platform. It gives interested parties a good initial understanding of the minesite layout and a sense of the mine day to day operation, without having to visit what is often a remote area. We are not looking to replace analyst and similar visits, but it gives a good alternative when they are not possible due to cost and time constraints.”Following preliminary meetings with Barrick at PDAC 2017, RCSL was asked to deliver a fully immersive, data augmented tour of the Pueblo Viejo gold mine in the Dominican Republic for Barrick’s sustainability day on May 9. A screenshot of the mine entrance, visualised from a VR headshot is shown attached, with some company info also being accessed by the user.Van Eeghen adds: “Despite the tight turn-around we were able to work with Barrick’s head office and local management team to plan, execute and deliver to schedule. Reality Check were able to advise, plan and guide the client through the creation of their first VR site visit project, ensuring zero operational impact to their day-to-day business. Our highly professional production unit worked efficiently to gather the data needed for the project which was essential given the tight time schedule of only five days and limited weather windows that the job dictated.”The client was also very satisfied. “Reality check executed very well,” said Peter Sinclair, CSO, Barrick Gold. This was a pilot project, but Barrick has since commissioned a full visualisation of a second gold mining site.And there has also been good initial feedback from mining investment groups. “I would love to go on one of these tours for every company I own,” said Scott Winship, former PM, Investec Gold Fund. “It makes the due diligence process smoother and more time efficient,” said Pim Kalisvaart, PM, Hawkes Point.The commercial launch of the RCSL to the mining industry is imminent, and will be featured in the January print issue of International Mining.