Brisbane-based Elexon Mining Enters International Partnership to Develop World-First Geotechnical Monitoring System for Mining Industry
A partnership between Elexon Mining, CSIRO Chile, the Advanced Mining Technology Center (AMTC) of the University of Chile, CSIRO Australia and Itasca International will use the Australian-developed Smart Marker technology to create a world-first system to measure and monitor slope deformation using wireless in-ground markers.
This system will allow ground movement to be monitored from the mine´s onsite office using data from strategically-placed markers. This data will allow operators to detect in-ground movement before it reaches the surface and causes slopes to fail. Such a proactive approach will help identify potential slope failures at an early stage and therefore increase the chance of preventing slope failures or at the very least, minimising the consequences of failures. Elexon Mining and its partners are working with major Chilean mining companies to develop and validate this system.
Elexon Mining’s Development Manager, Simon Steffen, said, “This partnership will allow us to create a system that will enhance a mining operation’s geotechnical monitoring capabilities and improve their ability to deal with major safety and production risks related to slope stability.
We are building on the proven Smart Marker technology to create a wireless in-ground monitoring solution. The new system will be easy to install, low maintenance and efficient to manage. It will provide accurate, real-time information to detect potential slope stability issues at an early stage through measuring in-ground movement and changes in pore pressure”.
The development of the new monitoring system is part of the “Smart Open Pit Slope Management” Project which aims to “better understand the behaviour of the rock mass and its influence on mining operations through improved monitoring, geotechnical and hydrogeological data analyses and modelling, and field validation of this emerging technology. Thus, the partnership between the research organizations (CSIRO and UCh-AMTC), developers (Elexon), service providers (Itasca) and the mining industry is the best combination towards delivering on the R&D in the shortest possible time” adds AMTC Project Leader, Dr Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart.
Elexon anticipates that the first mine trials of the new system will be conducted in 2016 with a commercially viable product that can be sold to mine sites around the world within one to two years afterwards.
About Smart Markers
Smart Markers were released in 2009 and are a world-first electronic cave flow monitoring product used in most sub-level and block caving mines around the world. Cave mines are exposed to the significant risks of elevated waste ingress and ore loss, both of which have a direct impact on a mine’s financial bottom-line. Smart Markers assist in reducing these risks through the delivery of flow and recovery data that allows mine personnel to make informed decisions leading to operational improvements. Smart Markers were developed in Brisbane, Australia by Elexon Mining over a period of four years with the support of the Mass Mining Project and major mining companies worldwide.
About Elexon Mining
Elexon Mining is a division of Elexon Electronics. Elexon Mining develops, manufactures and implements electronic monitoring systems for mines. In addition to Smart Markers, Elexon Mining has developed the Cave Tracker System and the Networked Smart Marker System. The Cave Tracker System is another world-first product that tracks ore flow at near real-time while it is still in the cave.