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?
- A drone is sent up by the safety team and flown manually or autonomously.
- The drone will then monitor the dam for a period picking up any sign of shifting or points of weakness with photos and videos.
- 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.