Tailings Dams Monitoring using Satellite-Enabled Technologies

Maral Bayaraa
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Catapult Co-Authors: Maral Bayaraa, Stephen Spittle, Chris Williams, Vladimir Stoiljkovic

Tailings dams risk reduction is one of the highest priorities within the mining industry and presents significant challenge. Tailings dams are often in remote or difficult to reach locations and any catastrophic failure can cause devastation. Even less catastrophic failures, such as leaching through dam structures and aquifers, can have far reaching effects on the local infrastructure, resulting in general public’s characteristically poor perception of the extractive sector. Unfortunately, in most developing countries, including large areas of Latin America, illegal or informal mining activity greatly increases the risks posed by tailings, so implementation of adequate monitoring and management systems is essential. These and other socio-economic and environmental concerns are now driving the development of improved and automated structural health monitoring systems for Tailings dam Management Facilities (TMFs).

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