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Tailings Dam Monitoring

Updated on 18 October, 2021 | Use Cases

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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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