The Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia has selected Reutech Mining’s Movement and Surveying Radar (MSR) 300 as its primary monitoring system to provide early warning against potential slope failures. Batu Hijau, a large open-pit copper and gold mine, is operated by Newmont Mining Corp. subsidiary, PT Newmont Nusa Teng-
gara. It mine is located 1,530 km (950 miles) east of Jakarta on Sumbawa Island.

According to Reutech, the MSR 300 is the most advanced slope monitoring radar system in the world and the only mining radar that can effectively operate up to a distance of 2,500 m under severe weather conditions. All data from the MSR is fully geo-referenced, allowing measurement data to be merged with the mine’s Digital Terrain Models (DTMs). Geo-referencing enables the capability of deploying and operating the system under any condition, day or night, without the requirement to visually see the mine slope that is being monitored.

An exclusive feature allows for various layers of the DTM to be imported, which in turn allows the user to see slope movement accurately correlated to various geotechnical structures, rock types and other materials. With the DTM and the geo-referenced capabilities, the MSR is also able to provide geo-referenced data for resultant correlation of all geotechnical sensors (e.g., slope monitoring prisms) in the mine.

Extensive testing, beginning last Feb-
ruary, was conducted before the mine’s management made the decision to deploy the system on a long-term basis, as the primary slope stability monitoring tool.

The system is now fully integrated with the mining department, including the operational dispatch control center. According to Reutech, mining operations continued uninterrupted at a reduced level of risk during the commissioning and operation of the MSR system.

Trijanto Poespito, superintendent–
geotechnical and hydrogeology at the mine, said, “As the open-pit expands and gets deeper, the mine becomes increasingly in need of a real-time monitoring system that has high availability and reliability during the contrasting weather conditions to which Batu Hijau is subjected, on a 24/7 basis. We are very satisfied with the performance of the MSR 300.”

According to Jan de Beer, Reutech’s mining business manager, ome of the challenges faced in the radar system’s deployment included the remote location of the mine and the extreme tropical conditions in which the system must operate. However, Reutech reports that the system has been operating at Batu Hijau for the last seven months with an operational availability of more than 99% and has already detected and provided early warning on rock falls at distances over 1,700 m.