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Tailings Dam Monitoring – Drone Use Case

Josh Spires | View more use cases

Featured image for Tailings Dam Monitoring

Tailings dams are used to store byproducts from mining operations. These dams are often constructed using some of the byproduct itself as a structural component and are built to hold more material as needed.

What is Tailings Dam Monitoring?

As the materials in a tailings dam are often hazardous to humans and the environment, they are considered a safety hazard and must be checked regularly. Drones are used to quickly get into the air and monitor the tailings dam for any leaks or potential fault points. A drone can also be used to check the level of the tailings dam.

How does Tailings Dam Monitoring work?

  1. A drone is sent up by the safety team and flown manually or autonomously.
  2. The drone will then monitor the dam for a period picking up any sign of shifting or points of weakness with photos and videos.
  3. The image data is then looked over and a next step is decided by the team.

Benefits of using drones

  • Monitoring frequency and length can be increased thanks to the use of rechargeable batteries and tethered drone systems.
  • The cost of monitoring the dam is less compared to helicopters and surveying planes.
  • The higher point of reference will allow the team to see more than possible on foot or in a vehicle.

Image: InQLD

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