Instrumentation and Slope Monitoring Workshop

11 May 2020 | South Ballroom, Hyatt Regency Hotel Perth | Western Australia

This ACG workshop will focus on new developments relating to conventional terrestrial monitoring systems such as open pit radars, prisms, laser scanning, and photogrammetry, as well as the integration of the different types of these monitoring systems and their interpretation. Application examples of many companies providing these new technologies include land cover determination, feature extraction, persistent change detection and monitoring, terrain slope characterisation, soils modelling and saturated ground detection. Considerable advances have also been made in remote sensing by using a wide variety of different types of unmanned aerial/piloted vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones and also referred to as remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), in monitoring mine sites. This workshop will also explore the advances in the in-ground monitoring of deformation and pore pressure in open pit mining that may be able to provide advance notice of ground movement and changes in pore pressure that might affect slope stability.


08:20Welcome and introductionProfessor Phil Dight, Australian Centre for Geomechanics
08:30The evolution of the monitoring system in EscondidaRigo Rimmelin, BHP
09:00Reliable slope monitoring with radar satellites: current and future of InSAR technology for
the mining industry
Dr Javier Duro, DARES Technology, Spain
09:30InSAR in the framework of a modern monitoring strategyDavide Colombo, Tre Altamira s.r.l., Italy
10:30Applications and development of the Maptek Sentry LiDAR-based monitoring system at
the Kanmantoo Copper Mine
Bruce Hutchinson, BJH Geotechnical Services Pty Ltd
11:00Leica Geosystems’ monitoring solutionsDr Lidija Spiranec, Leica Geosystems AG, Switzerland
11:30The key to success: selection of appropriate trigger levelsDr Felicia Weir, PSM
13:00Behind the wall: how cloud technology is improving the understanding of causality in slope stability monitoringAlex Pienaar, sensemetrics, USA
13:30Case study: the new SSR-OMNI and Precision Atmospherics algorithm, and its application in a tailings dam in ChileAlbert Cabrejo, GroundProbe North America, USA
14:00The qualification and quantification of risk mitigation efforts with specific emphasis on the application radar technologySharla Coetsee, Reutech Mining, South Africa
15:00The use of ground movement monitoring instrumentation to calibrate a finite element method model at the Yallourn Open CutJack Stipcevich, GHD Pty Ltd
15:30Improving the understanding of movement kinematics by combining multiple Ground-based IBIS radar systemsNiccolò Coli, IDS GeoRadar, Italy
Workshop Facilitator

Professor Phil Dight
Professor of Geotechnical Engineering
Australian Centre for Geomechanics
The University of Western Australia, Australia

Workshop Presenters

Albert Cabrejo
Geotechnical Sales Specialist
GroundProbe North America, USA

Abstract title: Case study: the new SSR-OMNI and Precision Atmospherics algorithm, and its application in a tailings dam in Chile Click to view the abstract summary

GroundProbe has developed a new radar technology called SSR-OMNI. Also, the new Precision Atmospherics algorithm has been developed and coupled with the SSR-OMNI. In this workshop, we will review the key characteristics of different radar technologies and share some of the results with the new algorithm and how it is advancing the monitoring practice around the world for improved safety and productivity. The results of a practical case study will also be shared. We will compare the results from a synthetic aperture radar versus the SSR-OMN,I which is a 2D-RAR on a tailings dam in northern Chile.

Albert is a civil engineer and has more than 13 years of experience. He has been involved in geotechnical engineering in the fields of consulting, construction of underground structures and slope monitoring for open pit mines. In his current role, Albert provides geotechnical training to the users of the slope stability radar and provides remote support and consulting to the mine sites. He has a meritorious thesis from the National University of Colombia. He is currently managing the geotechnical support services team for GroundProbe Pty Ltd.

Niccolò Coli
Director Mining Business Unit
IDS GeoRadar s.r.l., Italy

Abstract title: Improving the understanding of movement kinematics by combining multiple ground-based IBIS radar systems Click to view the abstract summary

 Slope Monitoring IBIS radars technology is a standard practice in the mining industry to manage the hazard of rock slope deformations in open pit mines. Besides the early warning application, the information provided by IBIS radars can be used to improve the geotechnical understanding of the movement kinematics by combining two or more SAR systems to rapidly record continuous spatially dense line-of-sight displacement data of an open pit slope in ‘stereo’ with the potential to provide detailed vector movement directions (TrueVector). Three case studies are presented from open pits located in Finland, Chile and Australia where the combination of data collected from several radar systems and the extraction of displacement vectors improved the understanding of the 3D kinematics of multiple mine sectors and further assisted in better understanding slope behaviour allowing more efficient mine operations.

Niccolò has a MSc in Geology and a Ph.D. in Geological Engineering. He has extensive experience in the fields of slope monitoring, field testing and numerical modelling.
He joined IDS in 2012 and, since September 2015, he is Director of the Mining Business Unit of IDS GeoRadar, providing advanced radar systems for the real time monitoring of slope stability in open-pit mines.
He has more than 20 publications in scientific journals and international conferences in the fields of slope monitoring and rock mechanics.

Sharla Coetsee
Group Technical Engineer
Reutech Mining, South Africa

Abstract title: The the qualification and quantification of risk mitigation efforts with specific emphasis on the application radar technology
Click to view the abstract summary

There are a multitude of technical papers that discuss risk in mining, from addressing the risk itself in terms of likelihood and consequence, to rating it, and then communicating geomechanical risk at all levels. There are a selection of risk analysis tools and procedures that allow for the administration of the risk-management process, Hadjigeorjiou (2019) describes risk registers, risk matrices, and geotechnical review boards that are applied to qualify and quantify geomechanical risk.

Davide Colombo
Business Development – Mining
TRE ALTAMIRA s.r.l., Italy

Abstract title: InSAR in the framework of a modern monitoring strategy
Click to view the abstract summary

Safety critical monitoring is a key element for any modern mining operation. As geotechnical engineers use a variety of ground instrumentation to ensure risk is properly managed, InSAR provides a convenient service to tackle strategic monitoring and integrate RTS and radar systems. The presentation provides several case studies, observing displacement over pit slopes and TSF dams and embankments, addressing the benefit of high resolution InSAR when safety critical monitoring is a non-negotiable component of a mining operation. Examples will be presented about how InSAR supports ground-based radar for strategic monitoring, as well a few test cases in Australia, Scandinavia and South America will address the value of InSAR monitoring over TSF.

Davide joined TRE in 2001, working on satellite SAR interferometry development. He has been working on integration of data into GIS and WebGIS, focusing on the application of remote sensed data for surface displacement measurement. In 2004 he has been appointed Operations Manager, engaging in several international project, with both governative (ESA, EU, Ministry of the Environment) and industrial institutes (oil&gas and mining companies). Since 2008 he has been actively working on training courses for satellite radar application. In his current business development position he is responsible for the mining industry and its challenges: instability over pits, waste piles, tailing dams and infrastructures.

Dr Javier Duro
DARES Technology, Spain

Abstract title: Reliable slope monitoring with radar satellites
Click to view the abstract summary

Continuous slope stability monitoring with the highest reliable measurements is key for mining operators. Safety in mines must be maintained at highest level, but at the same time mining operators face cost reduction pressure with low raw material prices and high volatility in raw material prices.

Alex Pienaar
Director of Mining
sensemetrics, USA

Abstract title: Behind the wall: how cloud technology is improving the understanding of causality in slope stability monitoring
Click to view the abstract summary

Geotechnical engineers are first and foremost tasked with focussing on ensuring the safety of the people working at the bottom of steep man made slopes- a high stress, high pressure  task. With so much data at their disposal, particularly from Satellite based radars, Ground based radars, laser scanners and UAVs, it’s easy to shift focus from truly understanding the underlying cause-and-effect mechanics that are at play. This presentation takes a “behind the wall” look at how real time data from Cloud connected  sensor networks are allowing geotechnical engineers to improve their decision making process through a better understanding of causality. Real world case studies from the world’s largest mines will highlight the delicate interdependencies present within an open cast mine.

Alex Pienaar is the Director of the Sensemetrics Mining Division based in San Diego, California. Sensemetrics is an IoT company that connects organisations, people, and machines, centralising sensor data and providing real-time insight. Prior to this he worked for Reutech Mining as regional marketing and sales manager for North America, Australasia and China. Alex initially joined the Reutech group as a design engineer, where he focussed his efforts on the research and development of cutting edge radar-based applications. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering as well as an MSc degree in Engineering Management from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

Rigoberto Rimmelin
Global Practice Lead, Geotechnical

Abstract title: The evolution of the monitoring system in Escondida
Click to view the abstract summary

Escondida mine is one of the largest open pits in the world, and the largest one in terms of copper production. This open pit has experienced a journey since 1998 to present, going through different views and technology for monitoring and instrumentation as critical control to manage geotechnical risks. Starting at the beginning with the implementation of robotic stations in the early stages, going forward to current views based on best practices on the industry with much more instruments (radards, Satellite InSar, Ground InSar, etc) and an integration of all into a monitoring room and systems, tell us the story about the evolution of Escondida as a reflection of the industry in monitoring for open pits


Dr Lidija Spiranec
Application Engineer Monitoring Solutions
Leica Geosystems

Abstract title: TBA
Click to view the abstract summary

Over the years, with a growing importance of monitoring to ensure the safety and stability of a(n) object/site or its surrounding areas during the planning, project execution and structural health monitoring phases of a project, the demand for monitoring systems have been steadily increasing. To keep up with demand and everchanging nature in which projects are monitored, monitoring technology has also been rapidly developing. With over 30 years of experience and over a 1000 projects running, Leica Geosystems has been present in automatic deformation monitoring market longer than any other provider has.

Providing a wide array of in-house monitoring solutions comprised of consulting expertise, monitoring sensors and software, Leica Geosystems’ monitoring solutions cater to the five main target segments: Transportation Infrastructure, which includes bridges and railways, Building & Structures, Environmental Monitoring, Mining as well as Energy Infrastructure including dams. Every monitoring project however, is always unique and different to the last. Thus our solutions combine versatility and flexibility in being able to adapt to each project’s requirements, regardless of the object of monitoring or its environment.

With the seamless integration of monitoring hardware and software, Leica Geosystems is able to provide users with instantaneous results which they can visualise and analyse from the browser of any computer or mobile device ensuring that the essential information is always at their fingertips.

This presentation will feature multiple case study examples from all segments where monitoring system installations were tailored to a project’s requirements, also showing the solution’s scalability from a simple, single total station, campaign monitoring project to permanent monitoring projects which consists of hundreds of sensors.


Jack Stipcevich

Abstract title: The use of ground movement monitoring instrumentation to calibrate a FEM model at the Yallourn Open Cut
Click to view the abstract summary

The presenter will outline the philosophy of the established network of surface and subsurface ground movement monitoring equipment installed at the Yallourn Open Cut, operated by Energy Australia. The philosophy of the applied data reduction and interpretation techniques for the purposes of Finite Element Model (FEM) calibration and ultimately the prediction of ground movements along a critical section of the mine, which facilitates the progression of mine development into the Maryvale Field (MVF) will also be discussed.

Jack is a geotechnical engineer in the Mining and Geosciences Team of GHD, Victoria. He has his master’s degree in engineering science and bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Jack has undertaken postgraduate research which focused on potential re-use options for sub-bituminous coal ash for the Loy Yang Mine.

Jack has professional experience working on large-scale open cut mining projects, predominantly in the Latrobe Valley, and has a fervour for mine site rehabilitation. During his time at GHD he has been involved in range of various rehabilitation works as part of the Hazelwood closure, including geotechnical investigations, earthworks quality assurance and control, and long-term stability assessments.


Dr Felicia Weir

Abstract title: The key to success: selection of appropriate trigger levels
Click to view the abstract summary

Displacement monitoring systems, particularly radars are commonly used across the industry for both detecting slope movement and managing the risk those movements present to people and operations. However, the success of the system in achieving these aims is highly dependent on the selection of appropriate alarm / trigger levels. The selection should not be left to system defaults and requires an understanding of the engineering geology and the failure modes you are likely to encounter. It is also a balance to limit false alarms (which may impact production) against undetected failure events (which present a safety issue). The presentation provides a case study on the selection of trigger levels through back analysis of a large-scale failure. A comparison to trigger levels in a different area of the same wall is also provided.

Felicia Weir is a Principal Engineering Geologist of Pells Sullivan Meynink Pty Ltd, with over 12 years’ experience in her field. Felicia joined PSM after completing her PhD in Geomorphology. Felicia’s primary areas of practice include engineering geology, 3D geotechnical models and stability assessments for open cut mining.
Felicia enjoys a spectrum of projects from short life operations to large scale pits in complex risk settings. The development of accurate ground models and appropriate slope designs is her greatest pleasure. With recent work as Acting Geotechnical Superintendent at Ok Tedi Mine she has a good appreciation of the challenges faced in operations.
Felicia has worked on numerous major mining projects across Australia, Asia and Africa, including a number of large and technically challenging projects including Olympic Dam Open Pit Expansion, Ok Tedi operations and design in geothermal conditions at Lihir Gold Mine.