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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Ontoto partners with Astrocast: improves borehole monitoring in mines

Astrocast is proud to announce its partnership with Ontoto, an Australian provider of world-class telemetry solutions to the mining and environmental compliance industry. Ontoto has successfully integrated Astrocast's Astronode S into its Vibrating Wire Data Logger. This data logger is being used with great effect across the mining sector to monitor mining boreholes remotely using SatIoT connectivity.

The Ontoto Vibrating Wire has been designed to monitor the pore pressures and static water levels in the ground surrounding a mining operation. This information is vital for mining operations to monitor the effects that their works are having on the environment – and for managing risks associated with mining, such as tailings dams’ failures. Coupled with Ontoto’s industrial cloud solutions, mining operations receive constant and effective data from the Vibrating Wire Data Logger. This data allows operational teams to respond quickly and effectively according to the information received, ensuring mining operations maintain environmental compliance. Astrocast’s SatIoT enables this data transmission remotely.

"One of the key challenges mining companies face is the lack of efficient connectivity in remote areas," said Tim Blake, CEO of Ontoto. "Astrocast's satellite connectivity solution provides us with a cost-effective, and low power consumption alternative to traditional providers, enabling us to offer enhanced monitoring capabilities to our customers."

The Astronode S, integrated into Ontoto's Vibrating Wire, offers seamless connectivity via the Astrocast satellite constellation, making it an ideal solution for mining sites located in areas with poor or no terrestrial connectivity. By partnering with Astrocast, Ontoto has decided to replace its previous legacy satellite connectivity supplier.

The mining sector is set to benefit significantly from this collaboration too. Mining remains Australia's largest sector by share of national GDP, accounting for 10.4% of the country's economic output. The introduction of SatIoT technology within this context allows improved automation, waste elimination, and optimised production. Further, there are aspirations across the mining sector to create a "connected mine", consisting of enhanced monitoring capabilities, remote diagnostics, and predictive maintenance – all of which contributes to reducing unplanned downtime and maximising operational efficiency and safety. This is something that Ontoto and its Vibrating Wire (among other solutions) is designed to achieve.

"We are excited to support Ontoto in their mission to provide innovative monitoring solutions to the mining industry," says Eric Menard, VP of Strategy and Business at Astrocast. "Our collaboration enables the deployment of efficient and cost-effective satellite IoT connectivity that is well adapted to Australia's mining sector, bringing numerous benefits to the industry and its stakeholders."

Ontoto has extensively tested and successfully integrated the Vibrating Wire in several mining sites. Ontoto currently provides exclusive satellite connectivity for several mines on the harsh west coast of Tasmania. This experience has proved invaluable in developing a product that is robust enough to satisfy the most demanding applications. The product is now available for sale on Ontoto's website. Astrocast will continue to work closely with Ontoto, providing ongoing support to ensure first-class service delivery to customers in the mining industry. This partnership signifies Astrocast's growing influence in the satellite connectivity market, particularly in sectors with unique connectivity challenges from remote operations, such as the Australian mining industry. By replacing legacy operators, Astrocast is establishing itself as a leading provider of SatIoT solutions.

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