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sensemetrics Moves into Underground Mining Market in Partnership with Yieldpoint

Mar 18, 2020 | Company News

sensemetrics has signed a co-development and go-to-market partnership with Kingston, Toronto-based Yieldpoint Inc., marking our entrance into the underground mining market — a major new milestone for us. Why underground mining and why now? Many of sensemetrics’ existing customers either already have underground operations or are planning to develop them in the foreseeable future, making this a natural next-step for us.

While adoption of sensemetrics cloud-based monitoring platform for distributed condition monitoring in open pit mines has been very successful, we recognize that the underground mining environment is different and requires specialized experience. And that’s why the partnership with Yieldpoint means so much. Their team brings nearly 20 years of underground mining and geotechnical expertise to the table, including work with some of the world’s largest mining companies and research services for some of the world’s leading institutions. They’ve published numerous academic papers on the topics of cable bolting, rock bolting and underground instrumentation, and their core skills are in the design and manufacturing of monitoring solutions for the measurement of all aspects of rock mass and reinforcement behavior around underground excavations.

Under the agreement, our first major step was to integrate Yieldpoint’s d-Tech suite of digital sensors with the sensemetrics cloud platform. The d-Tech line embeds a microcomputer in every instrument, thereby creating truly smart geotechnical and structural instruments. Combining these smart sensors with the sensemetrics cloud-based platform will result in one of today’s most innovative  approaches to underground mining instrumentation.

Together with Yieldpoint we’ll transform operational performance for underground mining operators globally, drawing upon our track record of breakthrough IIoT innovation and impact. Our mission is to enable underground mine operators to rapidly respond to changing conditions, accurately predict and prevent risk, improve safety conditions, save thousands of hours of high-value engineering time and reduce overall operational costs. 

As we move forward with the integration and the overall partnership we’re excited to see how we’ll be able to deliver force-multiplier productivity improvements across the entire mine lifecycle. Here are a few other things to know about underground mining and our relationship with Yieldpoint:

  • The fast-growing underground mining market can be segmented in several ways — either by mining method, by resource, or by geographic region. Initially we will be targeting mineral and metal mines in the Americas and Australasian regions.
  • Easily accessible resources that are close to the surface and easy to extract are becoming increasingly scarce. Ore bodies are becoming too deep to mine profitably using conventional open pit techniques. The deeper the mines, the higher the risks associated with the operation. The forces acting on the rock increase with depth, so any examination of possible limits to the depth to which minerals can be mined economically must include a consideration of the ability to excavate the rock and maintain serviceable workings for as long as required. This is why geotechnical instrumentation is a fundamental component of underground mining engineering.
  • Instruments monitor a variety of metrics such as strain, pressure, load, stress, vibration, and other parameters, which are critical to the optimal and safe operation of an underground mine. The amount of geotechnical instrumentation needed in an underground mine depends on the complexity of the mine. As an example mines that are in seismically active zones demand higher levels of geotechnical instrumentation. This is where Yieldpoint comes in.
  • Having access to real-time sensor data, risk models and enterprise-wide knowledge sharing has up to now been impractical and costly. This is due to  multiple friction points and complexities inherent in today’s underground mining workflows as data is generated from sensors and transferred to the surface. Yieldpoint’s portfolio of truly smart geotechnical and structural instruments combined with sensemetrics cloud-based platform provides a true transformational impact to mine monitoring, streamlining data and simplifying the task of getting actionable data from the rock face to decision makers.

The bottom line is that the integrated sensemetrics-Yieldpoint solution will empower staff to quickly and accurately navigate their complex operating environment, which is the key to any underground mine’s success.