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ALROSA approves wireless monitoring of its hydraulic structures

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Global Mining Review,

ALROSA has approved the installation of automated wireless monitoring systems at its hydraulic facilities.

The switch to automated monitoring is being made with the aim of reducing the risk of emergencies, improving the operational safety of the structures, and facilitating the accumulation of operating data for future analysis.

The automated wireless monitoring system (AWMS) consists of a network of sensors that will be installed at the existing observation wells of the hydraulic structures (HS) at tailings dumps. They will serve to provide early warnings in case of deviation from safe parameters.

The system will monitor all the key parameters of a hydraulic structure, including: water levels in open reservoirs, water pressure in wells, and soil temperature.

Konstantin Kolegov, ALROSA’s Deputy Chief Engineer for Hydraulic Structures, comments:

“Industrial and environmental safety is our top priority. The company’s dedicated units gather the HS data according to the schedule. The AWMS minimises the human error factor and reduces the risk of emergencies at HS, including tailings dumps and hydraulic power systems, as it can send real-time alerts of changes in key parameters. Moreover, the system, which was first introduced last year at Aikhal Division, will help accumulating and analysing data on the condition of hydraulic structures to optimise their performance.”

Cutting-edge technologies provide an opportunity to source necessary information much faster and significantly more frequently compared to manual monitoring. Thanks to the manufacturing execution system integration, the collected data is made available to every expert in the company.

During the first stage of implementation in 2020, the equipment was installed and commissioned at the tailings dump of processing plant No. 14 at Aikhal Division. Stage two aims to provide for the AWMS to be installed at two tailings dumps of processing plant No. 12 of Udachny Division in 2021, and at two facilities of Nyurba and Mirny Divisions in 2022. Following this, the system will be expanded to include the remaining hydraulic structures in Mirny, Udachny, Aikhal, and Nakyn.

Total investments during the two stages are estimated at around RUB 100 million.

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