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HyDrone-ASV and HyDrone-ANP with Single Beam Echosounder for Bathymetric Surveys in Mines.

Key Points from the Case Study Include:

Purpose:
To demonstrate the advantages of using a portable Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) with a Single Beam
Sonar Technology for bathymetric surveys in water bodies at mines, eliminating the need to use manned survey vessels in hazardous or remote mining environments.

Who:
Mining, Consulting, or Surveying Companies that want and need to carry out bathymetric surveys in water bodies at mines.

Problem:
Carrying out bathymetries surveys in mines using conventional survey methods as single beam echosounders on manned vessels, can present several challenges and potential problems. Here are some of the key issues:

1. Safety Concerns:
• The structural integrity and stability of the Tailings Pond and water bodies must be ensured to prevent
accidental breaches or collapses.
• Tailing Ponds and water bodies could have some degree of toxicity and hazards, that could cause health risks to personnel that conduct the surveys.

2. Access and Equipment:
• The remote locations and challenging terrain can difficult the access to the ponds with the required equipment.
• Traditional vessels could be not suitable for very shallow water and small areas.

3. Environmental Factors:
• Adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rains or storms can restrict the entrance to the Tailings Ponds or water bodies for the surveys.
• Using manned vessels that work with fossil fuel and oils can lead to contamination of the
water bodies.

4. Regulatory and Environmental Compliance:
• The requirements of multiple permits and regulations for compliance the environmental regulations can make complex the use of manned boats for surveys.
• The process of conducting a bathymetric survey can disturb the pond environment, potentially affecting the local wildlife and water quality.

5. Technical Challenges:
• Proper Calibration and Maintenance of the equipment is required for the accuracy of the information collected, especially in harsh conditions.
• The availability of trained personnel with the permits required to carry out the surveys is necessary.

Application:
The use of the HyDrone for bathymetric surveys in mines has a variety of applications that are essential for the efficient and safe management of mining operations. Some of the key applications include:

1. Tailings Pond Management:
• Bathymetric surveys are used to monitor the accumulation of tailings and assess the remaining capacity of tailings ponds. This information is vital for planning expansions and ensuring that the ponds do not overflow.

2. Water Management:
• In mines that rely on water for processing ore, bathymetric surveys help in managing water resources by providing data on the depth and volume of water bodies. This information is crucial for optimizing water usage and ensuring a sustainable water supply.

3. Flood Risk Assessment:
• In open-pit mines, bathymetric surveys help in assessing the risk of flooding by providing detailed maps of water bodies within the mine. This information is essential for developing flood management and mitigation strategies.

4. Environmental Monitoring:
• These surveys help in monitoring the impact of mining activities on surrounding water bodies. By tracking changes in the depth and volume of these water bodies, companies can assess the environmental impact and ensure compliance with environmental regulations.

5. Infrastructure Planning:
• Accurate bathymetric data is essential for the design and construction of mining infrastructure, such as dams, reservoirs, and drainage systems. It helps engineers understand the underwater terrain and plan structures that are safe and efficient.

6. Safety Monitoring:
• Regular bathymetric surveys can detect changes in underwater topography that might indicate potential hazards, such as subsidence, erosion, or the formation of sinkholes. Early detection of these issues can prevent accidents and ensure the safety of mining operations.

7. Reclamation Planning:
• For mines that are in the process of closure or reclamation, bathymetric surveys provide data that is used to plan the restoration of water bodies to their natural state. This is important for ensuring that the site meets environmental standards and can be safely returned to other uses.

8. Geotechnical Analysis:
• Bathymetric data can be used in conjunction with other geotechnical data to analyze the stability of underwater slopes and structures. This helps in designing safer and more effective mine layouts.

9. Regulatory Compliance:
• Many jurisdictions require detailed monitoring and reporting of water bodies affected by mining activities. Bathymetric surveys provide the necessary data to meet these regulatory requirements and demonstrate compliance.

Solution:
A HyDrone-ASV or HyDrone-ANP equipped with a HydroLite Plus Dual and a compatible GPS or GNSS, offers a robust solution to many of the challenges posed by conventional bathymetric surveys with manned vessels. The HyDrone significantly enhances safety by eliminating the need for human presence in hazardous or remote mining environments.

They can easily access difficult or dangerous areas, such as tailings ponds with unstable banks or submerged obstacles, without risking human life. This automation also allows surveys to be conducted in harsh conditions that would be unsafe for manned operations.

The HyDrone also improve the efficiency and accuracy of bathymetric surveys. They can be preprogrammed
to follow precise survey paths, ensuring comprehensive coverage and consistent data collection. The stability of HyDrone helps maintain more reliable echosounder readings, even in challenging water conditions. Additionally, the smaller size and agility of the HyDrone enable them to navigate tighter spaces and shallow waters more effectively than manned vessels.

In summary, bathymetric surveys are a critical tool in the mining industry, providing essential data for a wide range of applications that reinforce the safety, efficiency, and environmental sustainability of the mining operations.

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