Free webinar

Mine Site Surveying Pitfalls and Errors


The webinar reviewed the most common mine site surveying pitfalls and errors that PhotoSat has recognized and analyzed, over the years, when performing several hundred mine site surveys.  Accurate survey data is essential for confirming that the mine site earthworks construction conform to the re-engineering designs.  This is especially true for mine tailings facilities.  The investigation report on the  2019 failure of the Brumadinho tailings dam states the following:

 “Topographic data, which show the physical state of the facility at the time of the survey, tend to be the most valuable source of information when examining construction history.”

This webinar will be particularly relevant for Responsible Tailing Facility Engineers, Engineers of Record, Senior Technical Reviewers, Members of Independent Tailings Review Boards and all managers and engineers with responsibility for mine site earthworks stability and safety.  They will benefit by learning how to recognize the most common types of mine site survey errors.

Course Outline

  • Detecting and measuring mine site survey errors using Satellite Surveys. 
  • Examples of errors in mine site GPS, LiDAR and drone surveys.
  • Discussion of mine site survey errors with the following causes:
    • Different survey benchmarks with vertical offsets from each other
    • Incorrect or unknown vertical references
    • Custom mine grids with poorly defined transforms from GPS geographic coordinates to the mine grid coordinates
    • Custom geoids


Sam Rivet – Sales Engineer at PhotoSat

Sam Rivet is a Registered Professional Mining Engineer within the Province of Alberta. Sam has worked at the technical level in both the mining and civil construction industry. He was a tailings, project and efficiency engineer at CNRL’s Horizon Oilsand Mine. Following that, he worked as a mining consultant for a number of Open Pit operations. Prior to joining Photosat, he was a Project Manager on the earthworks portion of a Highway Construction project in Calgary. Recently,  Sam joined Photosat as a Sales Engineer, lending his planning and operational surveying experience to the organization

In Partnership with:

Vancouver-based PhotoSat, founded in 1993, has invented a new technology to produce highly accurate satellite survey data.

Photosat specializes in elevation surveying for civil engineering infrastructure projects and the planning and design of resource development projects.

Photosa’s expertise in geophysical data processing methods combined with extensive experience has resulted in the world’s most accurate satellite surveying. PhotoSat’s team has delivered over 1000 surveying projects and produced data with better than 20cm elevation accuracy.

PhotoSat’s goal is to provide engineering quality satellite surveys that shorten project timelines and eliminate survey delays.