Mine closures: an industry challenge
In this article:
- Mine closure was the topic of discussion at the recent Future of Resources Technology luncheon, hosted by Business News and Decipher
- In 2017, researcher Matthew Fincuane-Woodman reported that there had been just three cases of relinquishment in WA; while CRC-TiME, CEO Guy Boggs added BHP’s Beenup Titanium Minerals Project in 2018 to that count
- THE collapse of Vale’s Brumadinho tailings dam in Brazil in January 2019 shook confidence in the global resources sector. While WA’s drier, flatter and less populated conditions differ from Brazil’s, making a Brumadinho-style collapse unlikely here, Decipher CEO Anthony Walker said safety and trust issues still need to be addressed, as tailings dam failures are a global threat
- There are now a number of international bodies researching and reporting on risks posed by tailings facilities, setting standards and recommending best practice procedures including ICMM, PRI, and UNEP
- Decipher’s Tailings solution has been specifically designed to adhere to the recommendations and requirements of these organisations
- See what score you get for your Rehabilitation and Closure program
- Find out about Decipher’s Rehabilitation and Closure solution
Driving progressive closure
Tailings Management – Mitigating Risk
THE collapse of Vale’s Brumadinho tailings dam in Brazil in January 2019 was the 11th serious tailings dam failure in a decade. With a death toll of 259, it shook confidence in the global resources sector. The dam was constructed using the “upstream method”, meaning it was made from tailings, and this was the construction method used to build 131 of the 800 tailings facilities in Western Australia. While WA’s drier, flatter and less populated conditions differ from Brazil’s, making a Brumadinho-style collapse unlikely here, Decipher CEO Anthony Walker said safety and trust issues still need to be addressed, as tailings dam failures are a global threat. There are now a number of international bodies researching and reporting on risks posed by tailings facilities, setting standards and recommending best practice procedures. These include Investor Mining and Tailings Safety Initiative, International Council on Mining and Minerals, Global Tailings Portal, Principles for Responsible Investment, and the United Nations Environment Programme.
Mr Walker said:
“Decipher’s proprietary monitoring, data management and cloud platform were specifically designed to adhere to the recommendations and requirements of these organisations.”
The secure, cloud-based product brings together data from Internet-of-Things devices, monitoring, LiDAR, and remote sensing to provide up-to-date information to improve decision making and operational visibility. He describes the integrated end-to-end information management system as one that offers both a macro view, from technologies like satellite imagery “that give a big chunky overview of everything happening on the ground”, and micro level imagery “from technologies such as LiDAR imagery, that can be deployed quickly and have the ability to hone in on those areas of concern, giving results in real time. He said it combines compliance management software with mining waste management, stakeholder engagement, environmental monitoring, and environmental management system tools to help drive safety improvements in the most cost-effective manner.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YiWhH_qXQY[/embedyt]
TO a fast-growing extent, the Internet of Things is trumping the tyranny of distance in the WA mining sector, providing precision data in real time. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the catchphrase for technologies that connect sensors on a range of devices and appliances to the internet and to other machines and equipment. IoT provides a huge amount of data that, handled efficiently, can diagnose faults, detect seismic activity, and enhance safety and security.
According to Decipher CEO Anthony Walker, the key to making it work is having systems in place to reliably store, process and present the data. He explained that a range of new, relatively low cost, devices were available that could provide live alerts and real time data from mine, and oil and gas, sites. One of the best examples of this is the Edge IoT LiDAR module Decipher is now deploying with partner, GlassTerra. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology uses light or non-visible electromagnetic radiation to detect and measure the distance between objects. It can detect minute movements in structures, building topographical models that can be compared to previous data or the system can be programmed to scan continuously, triggering alerts if events happen, such as unplanned earth movements. He said the advantages of using IoT LiDAR were that it offered better real time monitoring of remote locations than Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) from satellite sources, in some cases reducing the need for staff to travel, and that data from a range of locations was stored and accessible from a single source. He explained that data could be integrated with GIS for easy visualisation and interpretations, and it could be formatted and aggregated for compatibility with government and corporate compliance processes, such as environmental monitoring. Decipher can also integrate the LiDAR data with data from other sources, such as maps and weather monitoring, and InSAR data.
Originally published by Mining Technology.
Decipher’s Rehabilitation & Closure Solution
Armed with Decipher’s Rehabilitation & Closure solution, including GIS, remote sensing, monitoring and management tools means you can easily capture and analyse a wide range of environmental monitoring data, manage risks and issues around put backfilling, rapid flooding, slope instability and acid generation, and ensure you’re meeting your environmental obligations and compliance with alerts and notifications of exceedances.
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Want to find out more about mine rehabilitation?
- What is mine rehabilitation and closure?
- What are some key challenges facing mine rehabilitation and closure?
- How much does mine rehabilitation cost?
- What are the advancements in mine rehabilitation technology?
- What are some best practice mine rehabilitation methods?
- How to take a macro and micro approach to mine rehabilitation
- What is CRC-TiME?
- How to become an industry leader in mine rehabilitation
- Download this free Guide to Mine Rehabilitation in Australia
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