Inmarsat delivers remote tailings dam monitoring with real-time analysis

By Daniel Brightmore
Inmarsat will collaborate withKnight Piésold UKto enable mining companies to remotely monitor dam status in real-time, with independent analysis to gui...

Inmarsat will collaborate with Knight Piésold UK to enable mining companies to remotely monitor dam status in real-time, with independent analysis to guide critical decision making.

The collaboration agreement with Knight Piésold UK, a member of the international geotechnical, tailings management and engineering consulting group, will combine Inmarsat’s satellite-enabled IoT (Internet of Things) solution, with Knight Piésold’s industry-leading consultancy. 

Their goal is to enable smarter decision making, improved safety standards and support regulatory compliance; offering a new approach to the way tailings dams are currently audited and managed.  

Mine tailing audits are typically carried out at infrequent intervals, with employees and third-party consultants making long distance trips to collect data and audit the status of the dam. The proposed solution makes data available between site visits to any accredited users, anywhere in the world. 

Inmarsat said it would allow for current, on-site auditing practices to be supplemented with a remote, customisable, ‘daily management cycle’, with auditor recommendations and real-time decision-making available to on-site engineers.

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Read the February issue of Mining Global here

Inmarsat’s solution collects data from a range of industry standard sensors via edge connectivity such as LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network), before it is transferred across Inmarsat’s L-band satellite network to a single cloud dashboard. This enables mining companies and national regulators to gain a comprehensive view of the status of their dams with granular metrics such as pond elevation, piezometric pressures, inclinometer readings and weather conditions displayed in one place, no matter where the mine is located. The solution also features sensor-agnostic capabilities, so it can work with both existing sensors and new devices. 

Richard Elmer, Regional Manager for Knight Piésold UK, commented: “The current tailings auditing and management business consists of semi-annual or annual site visits with recommendations based on these visits. Instrumentation data is often collected on-site and mining companies are largely reliant on human activity for the collection, storage and analysis of the data. Our collaboration with Inmarsat provides our clients access to the latest and best available technology for real time data collection and analysis. We see this as a game changing improvement in how companies monitor their current tailings storage facilities.” 

Commenting on the new solution and partnership, Paul Gudonis, President of Inmarsat Enterprise, said: “We have been working with Knight Piésold’s UK practice since 2017 to develop an approach to tailings dam monitoring that supports smarter, safer and more regulated mining practices. Following successful trials we are pleased to bring a truly disruptive solution to market. We know that the industry is committed to zero-harm and by teaming with Knight Piésold to launch this tailings dam solution, this is another step towards achieving complete health, safety and operational success in the mining sector.” 


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