Mining might be chiefly about what comes out of the ground, but when it comes to safety and protecting assets, some of the largest risks come from above.
The weather presents some challenging hazards to safe mining operations: lightning poses a risk to personnel involved in heavy equipment operation, explosives handling and construction activities; heavy rain can close mines and bog down access roads; winds disrupt blasting; high temperatures can affect staff and machinery.
However, with effective planning, the disruption caused by adverse weather can be minimised and risks mitigated.
Mine operators can now proactively and effectively manage pending weather patterns with technology which tracks weather changes, delivers proximity alerts, and forecasts activity over the coming hour.
MetraWeather solutions, for an example, can monitor for heavy rain events now and up to six hours into the future, and the ePD system provides accurate forecasts of temperature and wind speed up to 15 days ahead.
Guidance is delivered via a tailored online platform and email alerts warn when severe weather is expected, promoting immediate action. The forecasting may be easily integrated into Health & Safety policies, risk assessment and Trigger Action Response Plans (TARPs).
These forecasting solutions have been developed to support a myriad of operational needs in the sector:
- Weather Matrix: produced by a meteorologist trained on your site, gives a simple graphical ‘traffic light’ summary of weather risks day-by-day for one day to one week ahead.
- site-specific rain, wind and other weather forecast data, hindcasting services and customised solutions for all stages of a mining project.
- Meteorologist briefings: talk to an operational meteorologist to further interrogate forecasts or to gain a second opinion for an important operation.
- ePD probabilistic wind forecasts: trained upon on-site observations, these forecasts let you precisely judge the percentage risk of high winds.
- StrikeCast: Cloud-to-ground lightning strike observations and storm tracks with visual proximity alerts ensure operational and planning teams are kept aware of the threat, effect and timing of lightning storms in the area
- Downtime forecasts: Using your criteria, we forecast ahead the number of hours per day that weather can impact on your operations to the point that operations have to be halted.
- Alerts: Automatically generated weather alerts, sent to you when observed or forecast conditions exceed agreed trigger values.