Boliden is a high-tech metals and mining company with over 5,000 employees throughout Europe. With its origin and part of its operations in Boliden, Skellefteå, northern Sweden, the company has been mining and smelting metals for close to 100 years.  

Challenge 

Identify and measure groundwater seepage and consequent water flows from waste at a decommissioned Boliden gold mine that – due to seepage from the oxidizing waste rock – has been listed as a potential hazard to the surrounding environment. Provide accurate real-time data from the site that is located in the middle of a forest, has poor cellular coverage and extreme weather conditions, ranging from -30C to +30C. 

Solution 

Advanced 2D/3D models of the site and surrounding area were developed to provide a full geological map of the rock formation and underground water flows. A custom solution based on Aqua Ductus’ battery-driven IoT water monitoring equipment was installed in run-off streams. These measure flow rates and contamination levels and send the data to a central web portal for analysis. 

Map

How we did it 

Firstly, we took Electrical Resistivity Tomography measurements of the entire site with specialist equipment, in order to generate the 2D/3D maps. We then designed, built and tested a system that could take measurements of the water and send it remotely, while withstanding the harsh environmental conditions. Finally, we provided a secure portal for Boliden to access the transmitted data. We also worked closely with Boliden at every stage of the process to analyze data and decide on the best actions to take.  

Benefits 

Thanks to the 2D/3D geological measurements, Boliden was able to identify new underground water flows. They were then able to remotely monitor surface water run off as opposed to making manual flow measurements. Based on this and other data, Boliden have been able to take the necessary measures to ensure the old mine rock waste is no longer a potential hazard to the environment.  

Customer Quote 

“We approached Data Ductus with a problem and they came back with a way of solving it. That’s exactly what you want from a partner, they don’t just roll out an off-the-shelf solution unless that’s exactly what you need. They create what’s best for you both at that particular moment in time and for the long-term.”  

Andreas Vallmark, 
Development Engineer, HR and Sustainability
Boliden