Inmarsat and Glass Terra to develop tailings monitoring solution

28 October 2019: A new collaboration with geo-spatial Internet of Things (IoT) specialist Glass Terra will integrate Inmarsat’s Tailings Dam Monitoring Solution with Glass Terra’s IoT Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) capabilities to provide complimentary real-time technologies to deliver transparency to tailings facility management in Australia.

By uniting our instrument monitoring and Glass Terra’s IoT Lidar solution technicians and auditors can monitor the structural integrity of tailings dams, as well as piezometric pressure, water quality and flow rate in real-time, to allow for more informed and safer tailings management.

Glass Terra’s Lidar scanning devices will build a three-dimensional picture of the dam and detect whether there has been any soil slippage or movement in the embankment while our instrument agnostic solution, which visualises key data on a cloud dashboard via our highly reliable Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) satellite connectivity, will allow miners to proactively manage their tailings facilities.

Real-time monitoring

Sophia Li, CCO of Glass Terra, said: “The combined solution will demonstrate the ability to conduct real-time monitoring of unplanned movements of earth such as embankments on tailings facilities. Currently, under safety regulations, unplanned movements of earth are generally classed as high potential incidents which need to be reported and investigated.

“Real-time monitoring of tailings facilities’ embankments enables prompt reporting; investigation and mitigation of high potential incidents which can enhance the safety of tailings facilities and the safety of our community; improve the protection of our environment and advance the social performance of the global mining industry.”

Commenting on the relationship, Joe Carr, Director of Mining Innovation at Inmarsat, said: “We are excited about the collaboration between Inmarsat and Glass Terra, a project that will mark the first time Lidar and real-time instrument monitoring have been used in tandem like this.

“It represents a step-change in terms of the detailed data picture that engineers will be able to access, increasing their ability to manage mine tailings facilities effectively. Satellite connectivity-enabled tailings monitoring solutions, such as those delivered by Inmarsat, can play a pivotal role in providing this kind of transparency at closed mine sites where there is no connectivity infrastructure, as well as at active mines in remote areas.