In copper mining, after the mineral extraction and processing through flotation, copper concentrates and tailings (mining waste) are produced. On one hand, tailings are thickened to recover a fraction of its water content and then carried to the storage site, a tailing dam, through a transportation system formed by pipes and/or channels. On the other hand, the copper concentrate is carried from the processing plants to the harbour through a piping system. These ducts are generally very long (over 30 km) and run mostly underground.
There have been occasional damages in this type of ducts, causing leakages with a high environmental impact. Knowing the condition of the ducts in real time would enable the anticipation of faults and the implementation of the necessary prevention actions to stop future damage.
ACCIONA is looking for startups that help us with the management and maintenance optimization of the piping system for both tailings and copper concentrates. How can both types of ducts be monitored in real time? How can incidents in the system be detected in real time to activate an action plan? How can the maintenance plans for the pipes be optimized? How could the monitoring solution be used to improve future piping systems?
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