The Cartographic Unit of the JBI was established in January 1976. At that time, it relied heavily on the production of high quality hand drawn bauxite reserves and property maps by draftsmen using pen and ink at light tables. The unit has evolved over the years both in terms of it activities and the technology used, in response to the demands of the local and international bauxite industry.
The work of the Cartography Unit now centres on the production and manipulation of digital data to support the work of the Bauxite Land and the Reserves Divisions. The main activities of the JBI's cartography unit are property and reserves mapping and assessment, the mapping and analysis of exploration work, and general map production. The unit uses IKONOS imagery and GIS and Computer Aided drafting software to facilitate the data analysis and the production of maps. It operates a number of computers, digitizers and plotters in carrying out these tasks.
The unit is currently heavily occupied digitizing orebody maps (drill maps) from survey data obtained from the North Manchester Exploration Project. Assay data obtained from the laboratories are added to these maps and transformed to the JAD2001 coordinate system.
The Cartography Unit operates under the expert guidance of a highly skilled Chief Cartographer who has been in charge of the unit since September 1976. The unit has a reputation for precise mapping of a high quality and has been a fertile training ground for a number of cartographers who have excelled both internationally and locally.