Glencore has used LiDAR technology to gather comprehensive aerial imagery and topographic information from its Mount Isa Mines and George Fisher Mining operations.
The airborne survey covered the general lease, production areas and tailings dams as well as Lake Moondarra and Rifle Creek.
LiDAR, otherwise known as Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges and variable distances.
Glencore said the light pulses measured millions of points per square kilometre and, combined with other data recorded by the airborne system, were used to generate highly accurate, three-dimensional maps or ‘point clouds’ of its operations.
“Mount Isa Mines is a complex industrial site with both zinc/lead and copper mines as well as processing and smelting operations,” HSEC senior environmental engineer Corey Jacobson said.
“Using LiDAR technology allows us to examine both natural and manmade environments with a high level of accuracy and precision.
“Conducting the survey didn’t impact on any of our day-to-day operations and inaccessible and high risk areas were able to be safely monitored and surveyed.”
The three-dimensional information can be used for effective site mapping and measuring of assets including stockpiles and plant equipment, helping plan road corridors and informing where to build new plant and machinery.
It also assists in the environmental monitoring of revegetation and water levels, and the design and management of site drainage and containment systems.
“This innovation has the ability to improve the safety and productivity of our operations,” Mr Jacobson said.