Explosives and blasting systems company Orica’s subsidiary GroundProbe has unveiled a new laser-based technology that is designed to monitor open-cut mines.
The technology is known as the geotech monitoring station (GMS) and is expected to provide alerts regarding forthcoming collapses of open-pit mine walls, dams, mine dumps and vegetated slopes years before an incident occurs.
It has been developed as an alternative to traditional total stations, which rely on mirrored prisms attached to the slope.
The GMS eliminates the need for prisms and is capable of reflecting its signal directly off the rock.
GroundProbe marketing and technology vice-president Lachlan Campbell said: “Prisms can be dangerous to install, inflexible to changing ground conditions and their repair or replacement can be unsafe, time-consuming and expensive.”
The application of the company’s radar signal and data processing techniques with a long-range laser system allows the GMS to achieve ‘virtual point’ precision.
GroundProbe CEO John Beevers said: “With capabilities well beyond that of typical robotic total stations, the GMS is a complete-end-to-end intelligent monitoring solution with smart data capture, processing and analysis.
“The GMS, and the prisms and points it monitors, complements our Slope Stability Radar suite to provide a complete monitoring strategy for our customers, allowing them to better manage risk, increase productivity and ensure maximum safety.”
GroundProbe noted that the solution serves as an electronic distance measurement (EDM) LiDAR and monitors by automatically measuring up to 1,000 discrete points on a wall in the form of physical and virtual prisms.
The solution is able to monitor mines for periods of months or years at a time, detecting and measuring small-scale movements on tailings, dams, dumps and cuttings prior to a collapse.
Furthermore, the technology offers dual-camera imaging capabilities in order to enable users to precisely view and control the locations of points in real-time.
The GMS also offers the ability to conduct remote visual inspection works.