Inmarsat debuts Tailings Insight to enable safer mining

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Inmarsat, a global enabler in global, mobile satellite communications, has launched Tailings Insight, a new Internet of Things (IoT) solution for monitoring mining tailings storage facilities (TSFs).

The solution builds on and upgrades its award-winning Tailings Dam Monitoring Solution and is available in two new propositions: Tailings Insight – Cloud and Tailings Insight – Plus. The flexible propositions are designed to respond to the differing needs of miners, and reflect Inmarsat’s commitment to building more transparent, safer management of TSFs globally.

Inmarsat launched its award-winning Tailings Dam Monitoring Solution in March 2019 after several years of development with industry partners. As a fully managed service, the solution worked by collecting data from a range of industry-established sensors via Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) edge connectivity, before transferring that data across Inmarsat’s L-band network to a dashboard.

This ensured that mining companies were able to see the status of key metrics in one place and in real-time, facilitating more responsive decision-making and safer mining operations. In order to create its new solution Inmarsat has further developed aspects of the original solution to build a new application and a powerful new interoperable platform that increases the solution’s versatility.

Tailings Insight – Cloud is a software-as-a-service application developed in response to the industry need for a way of compiling tailings data from a multitude of sources. The application easily integrates with existing on-site sensors and connectivity networks to enable real-time monitoring, as well as supporting historical data input for comparative analysis.

With a fully customisable interface, multiple sensor map views, custom alarm monitoring, data logging, journaling functionality, sensor health reporting and easy data export, the updated application provides the most comprehensive set of features of any tailings application. Formerly only available as part of the fully managed solution, the application is now available in its own right, allowing personnel across mining companies and external bodies, such as regulators, auditors and insurers, complete visibility of TSF conditions on a site and global-level in one place.

Tailings Insight Plus – is a fully managed solution that incorporates Tailings Insight – Cloud, as well as featuring sensor integration, edge connectivity, satellite connectivity, and ongoing service monitoring and management. With Inmarsat controlling the entire, end-to-end process, it can offer service level agreements (SLAs) ensuring the continuous gathering of data, which best supports real-time monitoring.

The proposition can be installed at any mine globally and is ideal for TSFs without reliable connectivity, TSFs that require special attention due to their risk status and for mining companies looking to demonstrate their commitment to safe tailings management.

Commenting on the update, Joe Carr, Director of Mining Innovation at Inmarsat, said: “The response to Inmarsat’s Tailings Dam Monitoring Solution in the last year has been very positive. It is clear that the industry wants to develop safer tailings practices, though in the process we have learnt this is not about a one size fits all approach. Miners have explained that there are a myriad of different approaches to tailings monitoring taking place every day. Many miners lack the reliable site-level connectivity required to enable real-time monitoring and management, though on some sites, some companies have this. The common need that we found amongst all of our customers and the miners we have spoken to was a platform to help bring all of their data together.

“This is why we have created two propositions. With Tailings Insight – Cloud, we are removing the challenge of combining data from multiple sources and giving companies global visibility across their global TSF portfolios in one place, which supports faster, more informed decision-making and better governance. We take this a step further with our Tailings Insight – Plus proposition, the gold standard in tailings governance.

Carr concluded: “Both of these propositions will be key in helping mining organisations future-proof themselves and respond to the upcoming changes to tailings regulation globally. They can be used in conjunction with each other at different sites across a global portfolio and upgrading from Tailings Insight – Cloud to Tailings Insight – Plus is easy. We will continue to listen to the mining industry and work towards supporting a safer, sustainable and accessible future for the sector.”