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Article

Monitoring and Controlling Saturation Zones in Heap Leach Piles Using Thermal Analysis

by 1,*,†,‡, 2,‡, 2,‡ and 2,3,‡
1
CEDENNA, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago 9170019, Chile
2
AMTC, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8370451, Chile
3
Department of Electrical Engineering, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8370451, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current Address: Avenida Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins 3363, Estación Central, Santiago 9160000, Chile.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Minerals 2021, 11(2), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11020115
Received: 30 December 2020 / Revised: 14 January 2021 / Accepted: 18 January 2021 / Published: 24 January 2021
This manuscript describes a method that is based on the implementation and setup of a mechatronic system that can recognize and detect, through thermal analysis, the zones where heap leaching piles may become locally saturated. Such a condition could trigger the potential of liquefaction, generating local or general collapse in the pile. In order to reduce this potential danger, and therefore achieve full stability in the pile, the irrigation system must be properly controlled; for instance, in potentially saturated zones, the irrigation flow can be reduced or eliminated until the saturation has disappeared. The mechatronic system consists of a hexacopter, equipped with a thermal infrared camera mounted on its structure and pointing down to the ground, which is used to obtain the temperature information of the heat transfer between the heap pile and the environment. Such information is very useful, as the level of saturated zones can then be traced. The communication between the operator of the irrigation system and the mechatronic system is based on a radio-frequency link, in which geo-referenced images are transmitted. View Full-Text
Keywords: heap leaching; computer vision; image processing heap leaching; computer vision; image processing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Daud, O.; Correa, M.; Estay, H.; Ruíz-del-Solar, J. Monitoring and Controlling Saturation Zones in Heap Leach Piles Using Thermal Analysis. Minerals 2021, 11, 115. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11020115

AMA Style

Daud O, Correa M, Estay H, Ruíz-del-Solar J. Monitoring and Controlling Saturation Zones in Heap Leach Piles Using Thermal Analysis. Minerals. 2021; 11(2):115. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11020115

Chicago/Turabian Style

Daud, Omar, Mauricio Correa, Humberto Estay, and Javier Ruíz-del-Solar. 2021. "Monitoring and Controlling Saturation Zones in Heap Leach Piles Using Thermal Analysis" Minerals 11, no. 2: 115. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11020115

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