TSF VWP Telemetry Upgrade 

Northern Territory & Northern Queensland Australia

Project Background

One of the world largest mining companies operates and maintains a series of large Tailings Storage Facilities near operating mines across Northern Territory and North Queensland. As with all TSF’s, monitoring of these facilities is regulated under the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM). Remote monitoring is critical for safety, environmental impact and risk management. 

Across 4 TSF’s there were thousands of existing vibrating wire piezometers installed to measure pore pressure in the Earthen dam walls.

Previously there had been attempts to implement remote monitoring of these VWPs using a series of LoraWan Radio datalogger networks which resulted in unsatisfactory outcomes for the client with highly unreliable communications caused by changing terrain interfering with radio signal, centralised gateways losing power and having lack of cellular network connectivity. 

EWS’ unique Iridium Satellite telemetry VWT dataloggers were selected to replace ~1000 redundant radio dataloggers and bring the remote monitoring networks back to life, providing mine operators with timely and reliable data on critical pore pressure readings across the TSFs. 


    The solution implemented by EWS involved retrofitting over 1000 existing vibrating wire piezometers with EWS Iridium Satellite enabled VWT devices across the four TSF’s. 

    Retrofitting VWT Devices: The existing vibrating wire piezometers are equipped with EWS Iridium Satellite enabled VWT devices. These devices enable remote monitoring and data transmission direct from device over the Iridium network.

    Data Logging and Transmission: Each VWT device logs four data points per day and transmits the collected data once per day over the Iridium satellite network. This ensures regular and consistent data collection from the piezometers.

    Data Export to Existing Database: The formatted data is exported from Orion Cloud into the mine's existing database. This integration allows for seamless integration of the monitored data with other relevant data sources and systems used by the mine operators.

    Remote Configuration Changes: The solution also allows for remote changes to the log and transmission configurations of the VWT devices. This feature enables mine operators to adjust the frequency of data collection and transmission based on specific requirements or when higher frequency data is needed for more detailed analysis or during critical periods.

    Outcomes & Benefits

    By leveraging satellite communication through the EWS Iridium Satellite telemetry VWT dataloggers, the mine gains a superior remote monitoring solution for their TSFs. The outcomes and benefits include enhanced reliability, global coverage, timely data, improved data integrity, scalability, flexibility, and increased operational efficiency. These advantages contribute to safer mining operations, improved risk management, and more effective environmental impact mitigation, ultimately aligning with the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM).




      Enquire with EWS

      EWS Australia specialise in the manufacture of vibrating wire satellite telemetry and geotechnical monitoring for remote environmental monitoring applications and design bespoke solutions to suit your needs.

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