Worldsensing has been featured in a Catalan government listing of 100 companies embracing circular economy practices. Worldsensing’s inclusion in the Leading Circular Economy Solutions in Catalonia publication is an important independent recognition of the company’s efforts to apply innovation to major societal changes.
The catalog lists Worldsensing as “improving waste management operations for a more sustainable world” by allowing mining operators to manage tailings dams more effectively.
“Mining companies can now monitor waste and tailings facilities with reliable data,” says the catalog listing. “Having access to this information and real-time insights enables operators to anticipate needs, manage their workforce, diminish risks and contribute to the prevention of disasters.”
Circular economy projects for sustainable development
The work is aligned to two sustainable development goals (SDGs): SDG 9, which is related to industry, innovation and infrastructure, and SDG 12, for responsible consumption and production. The catalog, published by the Government of Catalonia and Catalonia Trade & Invest, explores circular economy use cases in water, waste, energy and new materials, split by sectors such as education, packaging, built environment, design industries and sustainable mobility.
All use cases were selected according to criteria around replicability, business model, degree of circularity, amount of impact and coverage, and level of use of technology and innovation. In addition, the companies and projects were chosen for meeting the three key circular economy values of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use and regenerating natural systems.
Catalonia’s circular economy ecosystem encompassed more than 390 companies and 70,400 employees in 2014 and generated €4 billion in revenue in 2015, Catalan government figures show. Companies featured in the catalog alongside Worldsensing include water administrator Aigües de Barcelona, filter maker Tapp Water, wine giant Torres, steelmaker Celsa Group, secondhand retailer Humana, ecological greengrocer Veritas, waste processor Suez and carmaker Seat.
Helping to improve the safety of tailings dams
Worldsensing’s support for the mining industry includes the provision of monitoring systems and services that can play a critical role in controlling the stability of tailings dams. These are large reservoirs containing the byproducts of mining, frequently in the form of toxic water or sludge. Unlike natural lakes, which are bounded by geological structures, tailings dams are often enclosed by man-made embankments that can sometimes fail under the effects of heavy rainfall or other circumstances.
Such failures have in the past led to major human and environmental catastrophes, claiming lives and destroying local ecosystems. Worldsensing’s wireless monitoring solutions have been used on tailings dams in markets including Australia, Canada and Mozambique to improve the collection of data regarding site conditions, helping operators to identify emerging faults and take remedial action in good time.
Worldsensing technology is particularly suited to this kind of application because it relies on low-power, long-range LoRa communications technology that can be placed in the field and left to work reliably for years. Worldsensing also offers one of the highest levels of technology integration in the industry, allowing tailings dam operators to attach a wide range of monitoring devices to a single network. And recent developments such as event detection further increase safety.