Alrosa automates tailings monitoring at Aikhal

Russian diamond producer Alrosa is installing a network of sensors at its tailings storage ponds in Aikhal Division that the company says will improve tailings management, safety monitoring and emergency response times.
Alrosa automates tailings monitoring at Aikhal Alrosa automates tailings monitoring at Aikhal Alrosa automates tailings monitoring at Aikhal Alrosa automates tailings monitoring at Aikhal Alrosa automates tailings monitoring at Aikhal

Alrosa's Jubilee open-pit mine

The company said its new automatic wireless monitoring system (AWMS) will use sensors installed onto existing meters at the tailings dump for the division's Processing Plant #14, to monitor key parameters such as water levels in open reservoirs and soil temperatures.

The AWMS provides real-time information on the state of the hydraulic system - it can quickly assess the dynamics of changes occurring there and act immediately in response, said Vyacheslav Zubarev, chief engineer of the Aikhal Division.

"This makes tailings management more stable and eliminates emergencies that could harm the Aikhal plant's and settlement's infrastructure and the region's ecology," he added.

The AWMS, which is the company's first, provides data on 33 thermometric and 31 piezometric wells, as well as level gauges in the tailing dump and storage pond.

The installation of sensors and batteries is currently underway with all installation of equipment and regulatory documents to be finalised by the end of 2020.

The company now plans to replace manual monitoring at other hydraulic facilities with the same automated monitoring sensors.