Payback of automated geotechnical instrumentation monitoring for open pit mines as compared to manual data collection

CIM Vancouver 2016
Dr Pierre Choquet (Vice-President of Sales - RST Instruments Ltd.), Mr Cory Byerley (Manager Services - RST Instruments Ltd.), Mr Rob Taylor (CTO - RST Instruments Ltd.)
Geotechnical instrumentation is used in two essential areas of an open pit mine operation: for monitoring the stability of the open pit itself and for monitoring the stability of the tailings dam that are associated with the tailings ponds in which the ore processing residues are stored.
Geotechnical instrumentation in those two types of works consists in piezometers and inclinometers, both of which can either be manually read or automated, as well as a variety of other sensors (for seepage measurement, turbidity, …). Recent advances in small low-power and reliable dataloggers and radio telemetry enable to automate reading and data collection of geotechnical instruments in a very cost-effective way, in addition to providing this data in a systematic and timely fashion to the mine office and remote mining headquarters and consulting engineer offices. Other advantages include the possibility of setting alarms in case of exceeding thresholds and considerable cost savings, time savings and quality enhancement in displaying the data in useful graphical form.
The paper covers RST Instruments platform of RSTAR and DT-LINK datalogger and radio telemetry platforms and highlights the rapid payback period of investing in automated data collection.
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