TRE ALTAMIRA’s mine mapping services remotely measure ground deformation over all mining surfaces, structures and assets.

Deformation rates from millimetres to metres are measured with high-resolution radar images collected by satellites eliminating the need for the installation of ground equipment.

Mine wide deformation mapping. Satellites provide a synoptic view of the entire mine. All assets can be monitored regularly and precisely for deformation. Active faults can be identified, slope movements delimited and accelerations monitored. The information can be easily displayed and analysed on TREmaps™, our online webGIS service.

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Explore our satellite monitoring solutions for:

Pit Monitoring

SqueeSAR™ can detect millimetre-scale displacements over pit slopes providing long-term monitoring solutions for in-pit mining operations. Coupled with the RMT analysis, active faults can be identified, slope movements delimited and acceleration assessed at deformation rates ranging from millimetres to metres.

slope monitoring
fault identification

Reporting on pit slope monitoring programs is carried out on two time scales. The first is a situation report that can be delivered monthly, weekly or even after each new satellite data acquisition. This Fast Reporting Service (FRS) provides a deformation map and brief write-up of the motion observed. The second time scale is quarterly, 6-month or annual analyses performed with TRE ALTAMIRA’s industry leading SqueeSAR™ technology. This technique provides a full deformation history over thousands of sample points.

Pit Monitoring

Pit monitoring by SqueeSAR™. In-depth analysis is carried out with the cross section tool on the right. The section highlights a rapidly moving portion of the pit, enabling the identification of movement boundaries.

Waste Piles and Tailings

Radar satellites provide an excellent monitoring tool over slopes and surfaces where Health and Safety concerns limit access for conventional survey techniques. No need for ground instrumentation.

slope monitoring

Waste Piles

The barren rock and gravel cover of waste piles provide excellent targets for SqueeSAR™ monitoring. Sample point densities of greater than 10,000 / km2 offer a more complete coverage than any other survey technique and displacement measurements with millimetric precision.

Waste Piles

Waste pile: sample point densities of greater than 10,000 /km2 provide more complete coverage than any other monitoring technique.

Tailings Dams

Tailings dams are uniquely suited for SqueeSAR™ monitoring thanks to the high density of measurement points from the top and dam face. An analysis with the profile cross-section tool highlights areas of concentrated deformation. Tailings beach areas are optimally monitored with weekly or monthly updates.

Tailings Dams

Dam compaction is shown in the cross-section profile. This profile (line A – B) was generated by TRE ALATAMIRA’s ArcGIS tool bar and shows a maximum compaction rate of 32 mm/year indicating an area where seepage through the dam was found.

Heap Leach Monitoring

SqueeSAR™ can provide thousands of sample points over leach heaps to supply an accurate record of time series of displacement. The settlement rates can be easily monitored without impacting operational activities for the installation and maintenance of ground instrumentation.

Heap Leach Monitoring

Heap leach pad monitoring with TRE ALTAMIRA’s weekly Fast Reporting Service (FRS) indicates a maximum compaction of 21 mm.

Underground Mines

SqueeSAR™ monitors surface deformation occurring over active and abandoned underground mines.

subsidence monitoring

Longwall Mining

Monitoring of longwall mining with SqueeSAR™ can precisely identify the area affected by subsidence and characterize the angle of draw.

Longwall progression

Monitoring of surface deformation over a longwall mined coal seam: advanced analysis of the SqueeSAR™ results (right image) can identify areas of increasing rates of subsidence (red), as the longwall operations approach, and decreasing subsidence rates (blue), after the initial longwall operations have passed. The displacement measurements provide valuable information for further operational analysis.

Angle of draw analysis

The progression of longwall mining operations is well represented on the profiles over old workings (A) and higher velocities over active mining (B). The advancing subsidence front is characterized by an increase in the subsidence rate with the passing of each new longwall operation (C). Given the operating depth and measuring the distance to the subsidence edges yields an accurate Angle of Draw for each particular cap rock configuration.

Mining operations

Block caving

SqueeSAR™ ground motion monitoring is able to detect different rates of subsidence and drops over block caving craters which can be directly linked to the underground extraction activities. Unsafe and difficult to access crater areas are monitored safely since SqueeSAR™ uses images acquired remotely from space.
Additionally, ground motion analyses help to obtain parameters for further mine expansion planning. Measurements of small deformations along the edge of the crater provide indications of areas that may be vulnerable in the future.

Block Caving

Monitoring of ground deformation over a block caving mine: the subsidence crater is delimited and different types of motion magnitudes measured, millimetric to centrimetic motion on the left, metric motion on the right.

Abandoned Mines

Old abandoned mine workings are often not well mapped until damage to buildings above appears many decades later. A SqueeSAR™ analysis provides a strong non-intrusive method for detecting subsiding areas associated with old mine drifts.

Abandoned mine

The structural damage is identified from the SqueeSAR™ measured subsidence in an urban environment.