Blue Ocean Monitoring completes monitoring of subsea tailings placement
Blue Ocean Monitoring (BOM), a provider of real-time ocean data services, has completed a contract in Indonesia working for PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara (PTNNT), a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corp. BOM’s task was to use its Slocum Glider to monitor PTNNT’s Tailings Placement Program at its Batu Hijau copper-gold mine in Sumbawa, Indonesia. The tailings from the mine are piped (3.2 km) out to sea and deposited off the Continental Shelf, where the depth reaches in excess of 4,000 m.The glider, an autonomous underwater vehicle, was deployed to monitor that the tailings were not being disbursed into the coastal environment of Sumbawa or surface waters. The monitoring program lasted for three weeks.BOM has a fleet of four gliders, making it the largest commercial Slocum glider operator globally. The glider provides persistent near-real time ocean information via a secure proprietary data acquisition and visualisation system.Tonny Bachtiar, PT Newmont’s General Supervisor Environmental Monitoring stated “The monitoring project, led by Ben Hollings of Blue Ocean Monitoring, in our view was very successful and demonstrates our willingness to introduce new technology to show our commitment to the environment.”Simon Illingworth, CEO of Blue Ocean Monitoring said “The project ran smoothly from start to finish and the data returned by the glider showed the Placement Program is proving to be a success. The glider was able to determine quickly at the outset of the project whether Newmont’s Tailings Placement Program was doing what it had been designed to achieve. This was very important given the cost, magnitude and environmental sensitive nature of the program.”BOM says “the glider is an ultra-efficient autonomous underwater vehicle that collects persistent ocean data at a fraction of the cost of vessel based sampling. The modular architecture allows for sensor payload on the glider to be configured to address multiple applications simultaneously that include environmental water quality monitoring; dredge plume monitoring; physical or biological oceanographic studies and baseline environmental data collection.