RAPID RESPONSE TIME
On 10 September 2014, the Retiro do Sapecado tailings dam, owned by Herculano Mineração (Herculano Mining), failed, resulting in three fatalities and damage to three mine trucks and two excavators. Preliminary investigations indicated the accident was caused by a geological phenomenon (inversion of relief) caused by underground channels.
Following the collapse, Herculano Mining’s challenge to GroundProbe was to provide a slope stability monitoring and early warning alarming solution to secure the ongoing safety of their staff, surrounding communities, and environment.
GroundProbe immediately provided Herculano Mining with a leased, safety-critical mobile radar (SSR-XT) – GroundProbe’s tactical, targeted radar solution designed to critically monitor known movements that pose a potential or immediate threat to staff safety or mine productivity.
Complimenting the advanced hardware offering, GroundProbe’s intuitive visualisation software SSR-Viewer enabled the geotechnical team to begin collecting data daily to pinpoint movement hotspots immediately. SSR-Viewer represented the data visually through a colour gradient heatmap draped over a photographic representation of the area, making the complex data more easily reportable.
To further improve safety at the mine site Herculano Mining leased an additional SSR-XT to monitor and assess risks. At the same time, they carried out reinforcement work in the affected areas and the desilting of three tailings dams.
Herculano Mining Geotechnical Consultant, Antonio Augusto, said the radar is now imperative for site operations:
“I think it would be impossible to operate the cleaning of dams without the presence of the radar.”
For the best possible results, the radar was stationed in a frontal position to the area where the slide occurred. (Image 4).
The data, collected by SSR-Viewer in Brazil, was uploaded and checked daily by GroundProbe’s geotechnical engineers in Australia, who provided daily reports back to Herculano Mining highlighting potential operational risks.
To further improve safety, both parties collaborated to develop an in-pit alarming solution. This included new site procedures, a control room, and a watchdog connected to office sirens and alarms to automatically message the mobile phones of key personnel, ensuring safe site evacuation.
Antonio Rocha, Brazil Business Manager, GroundProbe, said:
“This is evidence of two companies working together to provide a safer workplace for future operations. With new advanced safety procedures in place, monitored mine safety, and emergency alarming, together with experience and advanced training, Herculano Mining can provide a safer workplace for future operations. I am proud to have played a small role in helping ensure our community stays safe.”
GroundProbe is proud to have shared its world-class expertise in providing real-time solutions for measuring and monitoring geohazards with Herculano Mining to restore their on-site mine safety.
GroundProbe is the most trusted brand for real-time geohazard monitoring. With a track record that speaks for itself, our fleet of cutting-edge technologies deliver the most precise and valuable data.
|Image 1. Before and after the collapse
|Image 2. SSR-XT on site
|Image 3. Data collected via SSR-Viewer
|Image 4. SSR-XT on site