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Inmarsat: innovation in IoT mining

Inmarsat is disrupting the mining sector with innovative technologies, including its award-winning tailings dam monitoring solution

|Jul 12|magazine6 min read

Inmarsat is the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications. 

It owns and operates the world’s best global portfolio of satellite networks, specifically designed for customer mobility, and holds a multi-layered, global spectrum portfolio, covering L-band, Ka-band and S-band, enabling unparalleled breadth and diversity in the solutions it provides. 

Inmarsat’s global distribution network includes not only the world’s leading channel partners but also its own strong direct retail capabilities, enabling end to end customer service assurance.  

The company has an unrivalled track record of operating the world’s most reliable global mobile satellite networks, sustaining business and mission critical safety & operational applications for over 40 years. 

It is also a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications, sustaining its leadership through a substantial investment and a powerful network of technology and manufacturing partners. 

Inmarsat operates across a diversified portfolio of sectors with the financial resources to fund its business strategy and holds leading positions in the Maritime, Government and Aviation satcoms markets, operating consistently as a trusted, responsive and high-quality partner to its customers across the globe.

How real time tailings dam monitoring works

In collaboration with Knight Piésold UK, Inmarsat is delivering remote tailings dam monitoring with real-time analysis. Inmarsat’s satellite-enabled IoT (Internet of Things) solution collects data from a range of industry standard sensors via edge connectivity such as LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network), before it is transferred across Inmarsat’s L-band satellite network to a single cloud dashboard. 

This enables mining companies and national regulators to gain a comprehensive view of the status of their dams with granular metrics such as pond elevation, piezometric pressures, inclinometer readings and weather conditions displayed in one place, no matter where the mine is located. 

The solution also features sensor-agnostic capabilities, so it can work with both existing sensors and new devices.

Inmarsat's Director Mining Innovation, Joe Carr, explains: “Taking readings manually is not efficient. If we want to know what's happening on the dam, it's easier to get on a plane and fly there than it is to try and get the information on site. 

"We live in the 21st century, it's crazy! Mine tailings audits are typically carried out at infrequent intervals, with employees and third-party consultants making long distance trips to collect data and audit the status of the dams. Our tailings dam monitoring solution makes data available between site visits to any accredited users, anywhere in the world. In this way, we support the mining industry’s commitment to zero-harm, while enabling our customers to minimise environmental risk and achieve high levels of safety and operational success.”

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