About Tailings Facilities

Globally, more than 12,000 tailings facilities exist. To properly manage these massive earthwork structures, tailings engineers require extensive survey data to plan, monitor and maintain these facilities. To meet operational demands, this survey data must be accurate and delivered without delays.

In reality, many conventional surveying methods do not work well for tailings facilities. These sites are often too large for drones, and the material is too soft and inaccessible for ground surveyors. Although LiDAR is highly accurate, the logistical challenges of LiDAR can be problematic or and slow.

Tailings engineers need accurate survey data

The surveys that we produce from satellite photos have a vertical accuracy of 15 cm RMSE or better, with a symmetrical distribution around the mean. As a result, our data has high relative accuracy. When using these surveys to measure volumes, we see a markedly low error of ~1% of total volume.  At this level of accuracy, our surveys provide valuable data for tailings engineers and add integrity to the survey record.

Time-stamped photos capture entire tailings facilities

One pass of a satellite covers hundreds of square kilometers in about a minute. As a result, a single photo can include the entire tailings facility. Time-stamped and detailed, these high-resolution photos form auditable records of tailings deposition.

Satellites can quickly access any site

Satellite surveying is a practical method for large or remote sites. Size, terrain, and altitude – none of these pose a barrier to satellite surveying. Since no ground personnel are required, your site operations can continue without interruption.