Mine Tailings Surveying

satellite photo with contours

Mine tailings are too soft for conventional ground surveying

Mine tailings beaches are ideal for satellite surveying. They are usually too soft and wet to walk or drive safely on. They are too flat to be surveyed by ground-based laser scanning. Airborne LiDAR and photogrammetry require mobilization, complex logistics, and long processing delays.

PhotoSat regularly surveys open pit mines and tailings

open pit mine

PhotoSat regularly surveys mines around the world. For example, we have surveyed the tailings systems for the Suncor Millennium and Steepbank mine every two weeks since 2013. This includes measuring the thickness of Mature Fine Tailings in increments of 15cm thickness.

Waterbodies, beach length and freeboard measurements

Satellite surveying allows surveys to be delivered in formats suitable for immediate use by tailings engineers. Waterbody size and location, beach length and other measurements can be done quickly with confidence.

mine tailings beach

15cm accuracy PhotoSat surveying replaces ground surveys and LiDAR

PhotoSat’s 15cm accuracy mine site satellite surveying replaces ground and LiDAR surveying on many mine sites. The PhotoSat accuracy has been established with numerous accuracy studies. These accuracy studies include tens of thousands of ground survey points and direct comparisons to highly accurate LiDAR surveys.

Hundreds of square kilometers surveyed in minutes

Modern satellites take high resolution stereo photographs of hundreds of square kilometers in minutes. This gives an instantaneous snapshot of the entire mine site. Mine pit, waste dump, ore stockpile, tailings and leach pad volumes are measured simultaneously for easy and accurate reconciliation of volumes.

For more information, contact PhotoSat at info@photosat.ca or 1-604-687-9770

Mining Applications
Satellite Surveying
Satellite Surveying Overview
PhotoSat Survey Accuracy Studies 

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