Aussie tech company opens tailing dams monitoring centre in Chile

In January, leaked tailings from Vale’s Feijao mine spread into the mine’s administrative area and to parts of the local community Vila Forteco, near the town of Brumadinho. Photo by Portal | Twitter

A high-tech centre that provides 24/7 real-time radar and laser monitoring services for tailing dams and mines was just established in Chile’s capital, Santiago.

The company behind the project is Australia’s GroundProbe and according to its executives, the idea is to provide services throughout North and South America in Spanish, Portuguese and English. 

In a press release, GroundProbe said that 45 specialised geotechnical engineers work at the centre monitoring live slope stability data and reacting to alarms, reporting to mining companies.

“We’ve witnessed a boom in Brazil for continuous, real-time monitoring of tailings dams, with a huge increase in demand for our remote, 24/7 geotechnical expertise,” GroundProbe’s CEO, Brian Gillespie, said in the media brief, referring to what has happened in the South American country following the collapse of a dam at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in January. 

“We saw it as an absolute necessity to bolster our offering and extend our support services from Asia Pacific to the Americas,” Gillespie added.

According to the exec, the Santiago remote monitoring centre is already monitoring many tailings dams, a massive hydro-electric dam and even a landslide on a national highway in Colombia.

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