Submitted by Editor on Thu, 05/08/2004 - 23:32

A Queensland invention is saving lives around the world by detecting rock failures in open cut mines BEFORE they occur.

State Development & Innovation, Tony McGrady


The Slope Stability Radar (SSR) is now being used in mines in Australia, the United States, South Africa, Indonesia and Zambia.

Minister for State Development and Innovation Tony McGrady today visited Milton-based innovation company, GroundProbe, to congratulate them on winning a prestigious State award and to see a demonstration of their world-first mining technology.

Last week, the company was named the winner of the Rising Star Category for Businesses Operating Under Two Years at the 2004 Premier of Queensland Smart Awards.

"The award recognised just how much GroundProbe has achieved in the last 12 months," Mr McGrady said.

"The company's Slope Stability Radar (SSR) has the potential to revolutionise the world's mining industry. Put simply, the system can monitor and graphically display minute movements in massive rock walls. Improved safety and greater productivity are the result.

"I'm told this radar has detected over 40 rock failures in open cut mines in the last 12 months.

"Rock failures are one of the hazards of open cut mining. In October last year eight people were killed after a slippage at the giant Grasberg Open Pit Mine in Indonesia.

"That mine now uses one of GroundProbe's radars

"The SSR is a single unit which provides precise measurements and movements, allowing geo-technical engineers and mine managers to assess when a wall failure is likely to happen.

Mr McGrady said GroundProbe had grown enormously in the past 12 months.

"The company started with one operational SSR and three staff, and now has 40 staff and is leasing 12 radars to mines in Australia and overseas," he said.

Mr McGrady said the State Government provided GroundProbe with crucial assistance to help them achieve commercial success.

"We provided the company with $85,000 through the Innovation Start-Up Scheme which has helped a total of 48 Queensland companies since 2000 to progress their ideas from the developmental stage to the marketplace," he said.

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