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NWPC Introduces Seismic Monitoring for Mine Safety

North-Western Phosphorous Company (NWPC) has installed an automated system for seismic monitoring at its Oleniy Ruchey underground mine to improve mining safety and efficiency. The scalable, all-digital hardware uses modern electronic components to continuously record seismic events and evaluate their focal parameters.

Seismic monitoring achieves multiple interrelated goals, from ensuring mine safety and minimising ore loss to guaranteeing peak technical and financial performance. Geomechanical data obtained through monitoring is instrumental for setting the safest course for underground mining and planning preventive activities to relieve stressed deposit areas. It is also useful for assessing the effectiveness of safety measures.

The rock safety system continuously monitors the dynamic conditions and human-induced processes accompanying underground mining and provides real-time comprehensive operational assessment of geomechanical rock conditions. All data is displayed at the mine control unit.

In addition to collecting seismic data, Oleniy Ruchey’s new system processes and interprets that data for forecasting. Deposit seismicity is one of the most important components in assessing a mine’s geodynamic, environmental, and technology-related risks, allowing for timely measures to prevent or reduce the negative consequences of dynamic conditions.

Through seismic monitoring, NWPC is able to identify and locate potential destructive seismic events, determine unexpected changes in spatial and temporal seismic parameters that could cause a rock burst in the mine, and provide timely notifications to personnel.