July 2017
Volume 69    Issue 7

Aerial drones used to sample pit lake water reduce costs and improve safety

Mining Engineering , 2017, Vol. 69, No. 7, pp. 20-20
Castendyk, Devin; Straight, Brian; Filiatreault, Pierre; Thibeault, Stephanie; Cameron, Londie


Working on or near water at active, closed or abandoned mine sites is inherently dangerous. Between 1996 and 1999, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported 17 fatalities involving drowning at U.S. metal, non metal and coal mines (MSHA, 2000). Openpit mines which fill with water following mine closure, called pit lakes, present numerous risks to environmental monitoring teams including: a) drowning, b) hypothermia, c) falls to the ground from the top of high walls, d) collapse of unstable access roads, e) rock falls and avalanches from pit walls, f) avalanche-generated tsunamis traveling across the lake surface and g) rapid degassing events.  

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