Instrumentation monitoring for a variety of mining structures

Reducing staffing demands through automation.

Our client operates two mining sites approximately 70 kms north of Fort McMurray, AB. Both sites contain sensitive earth structures that require monitoring to confirm their predicted geotechnical performance. These structures include two external tailings facilities (ETFs), several in-pit dykes (IPDs), waste dumps and stockpiles, and extensive mine open pit walls. Monitoring activities on these structures focuses on the measurement of any lateral deformation, as well as groundwater levels.

Our client's staff are responsible for monitoring these earth structures, including installation, monitoring, and maintenance of all geotechnical instrumentation. There are 1,600+ instruments at the two sites, so monitoring is a major undertaking. To reduce staffing demands, our client wished to begin automating the instrumentation monitoring process. Thurber has been supporting them since 2015 in installing automated geotechnical instrumentation at over 200 stations. Today, our client is benefiting from automated data collection from vibrating wire piezometers and shape arrays.