Canada-based Roctest has been awarded a US$244,728 to provide fiber optic sensors for the Mauro tailings dam in Chile, as well as on site training.
Part of the Los Pelambres mine project, the dam is located in the mountains to the north of Santiago. This project is a first for this type of application with fiber optic instruments.
Immune to electromagnetic interferences and static electricity found in high altitude, fiver optic equipment can offer an advantage over traditional vibrating wire technology sensitive to harsh environments. Los Pelambres mine is located at an altitude of 3200m where dry air produces static electricity. The area is also affected by earthquakes which will be monitored by the installation of seismographs connected to the fiber optic instruments so that high speed dynamic measurements can be taken during a seismic event.
The Los Pelambres project is 60% owned by Chilean Anaconda-Antofagasta (Luksic group), 15% by Nippon Mining & Metals Co, 10% by Mitsubishi Materials Corp, 8.75% by Marubeni, 5% by Mitsubishi Corporation and 1.25% by Mitsui and Co.