HomeGoldDigital technologies deliver tailings dam risk management systems

Digital technologies deliver tailings dam risk management systems

Mining services partner Fraser Alexander is making quick headway in becoming a global partner to the mining industry through smart value add solutions in its fields of expertise which most recently includes tailings management (deposition and re-mining).

Fraser Alexander’s business strategy has evolved over recent times and today includes a firm focus and alignment with the fourth industrial revolution.

This article first appeared in Mining Elites in Africa 2020

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“We believe that there are great opportunities through digitalisation within the mining sector. Within the company we are re-skilling and re-directing our workforce focus and are currently investing in higher value technology driven solutions,” starts COO Lourens de Koning.

“We see the industry currently moving towards the use of major technologies across various stages of the mining value chain, including the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, a growing adoption of Internet of Things (IoT), an increasing prevalence of virtual reality and augmented reality solutions and the use of 3D mapping solutions, drones, smart wearables, 3D printing, robotics and wireless telecommunication.”

Using digital technology to monitor tailings storage facility risks

While Fraser Alexander has implemented various digital technologies since 2016 but is particularly proud of its more recent initiative – the development and implementation of its Technical and Operational Risk Assessment System, TORAS.

TORAS has been developed over a number of years and started as a manual system to assist in the identification and monitoring of tailings operational risks. “As part of our digitalisation drive it was decided to digitise the system and incorporate additional features resulting in a revolutionary tailings dam risk management system, as commented by external reviewers,” De Koning explains.

The system now provides a platform for the capturing and analysing critical tailings dam metrics. It incorporates industry best practice typically applicable to mine owners, regardless of the fact that Fraser Alexander does not own any TSFs, but is useful for the company own internal risk assurance.

“Our TORAS system is revolutionary and provides for the highest level of senior management accountability, both at Fraser Alexander and our mining clients,” De Koning ends.