Engineering & Mining Journal

NOV 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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SLOPE STABILITY 34 E&MJ • NOVEMBER 2018 www.e-mj.com Over the lifespan of a large open-pit mine, the design and ongoing work needed to maintain pit slope stability can evolve into an ongoing, sometimes complicated dance between safety and economics with uncertainty, variability and other forms of risk providing the music. It's an area in which red-flag terms such as "resistive vs. destabilizing forces," "high failure consequences" and "extreme events" are part of the jargon. Another term often encountered in the discipline's past liter- ature is "lack of…", as in lack of useful software for collecting and applying data, technologies for subsurface observation and monitoring, and sharing of geotech- nical information throughout the industry to improve overall understanding. In fact, rock slope analysis was regarded as a dor- mant area of research for decades leading into the early 2000s. However, due to technological advanc- es and higher awareness of the need for solid geotechnical knowledge and advice following various slope failures at several large mines, new geotechnical instrumen- tation and software solutions have been emerging at a much quicker pace lately. And, as we'll see later in this article, ef- forts are under way to attract future ge- otechnical engineers and train them to more effectively navigate the corporate terrain of a rapidly changing industry. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, most of the notable technological ad- vances in this area have occurred in three sectors that overlap the industry's current technical focus in general: sen- sor systems, information management and data visualization. The Slope Sta- bility 2018 conference and exposition, held April 10-12 in Seville, Spain, of- fered an opportunity for geotechnical equipment and service providers to showcase their latest offerings, many of which featured new capabilities drawn from those three technologies. In par- ticular, radar- and LiDAR-based systems — both already in wide use throughout the industry, and now incorporating both ground- and satellite-based technolo- gy — continue to evolve with expanded feature sets and better data collection and management capabilities. Reutech Offers an Independent View Reutech Mining introduced two new prod- ucts at the conference — the Slope Vision georeferenced camera system and MSR Connect software suite. Slope Vision, ac- cording to the company, is an advanced georeferenced camera. "While performing real-time monitoring utilizing Reutech's Movement and Surveying Radar (MSR), Slope Vision provides the user with an independent view of the pit. Once slope instability is detected, the camera can be pointed to the affected area that allows the radar to continue with its prime func- tion," said Daryl Grobler, project manag- er. "In an operational environment where reaction time is critical, and manpower limited, Slope Vision offers an extra pair of eyes when most needed." Slope Vision can be mounted inde- pendently in the pit and on multiple plat- forms — MSR or Reutech's Multi-Purpose Platform (MPP) or any fixed location. Working in conjunction with the MSR through the local Wi-Fi network, the cam- era is capable of operating autonomously. Grobler added, "The high-end cam- era has 30X zoom, low light capability and a cold temperature rating of -45°C (standard) and -51°C (extreme cold unit), which allows it to operate in low tem- peratures and other adverse conditions. It has user-friendly georeferencing soft- ware when coupled with the MSR system. The user can view a scanned point in real Measuring Motion: New Angles for Slope Stability Monitoring Companies with the best prospects for managing geotechnical risks are committed to having access to good data, rigorous design and topnotch engineers. Here's a look at the newest options available to meet the challenges. By Russell A. Carter, Contributing Editor Reutech's Slope Vision system comprises a high-definition camera and advanced software that enables the user to direct the camera to specific georeferenced coordinates or points of interest.

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