Boliden Aitik, situated outside the town of Gällivare in the very north of Sweden, is Sweden’s largest copper mine. Vast quantities of rock are mined and transported around the clock every day at Aitik’s open pit. The deposit consists of chalcopyrite and pyrite yielding copper, gold and silver. Pore pressures around the open pit are a crucial parameter for the pumping strategy as well as for the stability of the slopes. Proper dewatering plans of wet production areas in the pit optimize the copper ore extraction processes in the Aitik open pit mine.
In 2010, Boliden Mine started controlling pore-pressures by means of 120 piezometers installed in 40 boreholes in and around the open pit. Initially, the mine obtained the piezometric data manually, but later started using a standalone system to gather data automatically and collect it on a monthly basis. The disadvantage was that mining operations were not updated with the latest information on water behavior in the pit. Boliden, the mine operator, had to rely on monthly feedback, prone to human errors. Manual data gathering in general is time and labor consuming, and implies additional risks for workers’ safety.