Consultants ATC Williams improve their mining client’s dam wall monitoring with Birdi

Written by
Brooke Hahn
July 11, 2024


ATC Williams is an Australian-based consulting firm servicing the mining, resources and government sectors. They specialise in providing custom solutions for tailings water, and resources recovery projects.

ATC Williams came to Birdi looking for an improved tailings dam monitoring solution for one of their key mining clients. Their client typically used manual processes on-site for tailings dam monitoring, and found them to be time consuming, expensive and inefficient.


With Birdi, ATC Williams have been able to improve their mining client’s dam wall movement monitoring methodology, with the use of drone data capture and prism monitoring in the Birdi platform. This has enabled them to improve efficiency and accuracy, save time and money, and most importantly, increase safety on site.

ATC Williams and their mining client solve their use case in the following ways:

Blog Post

"Utilizing Birdi’s cutting-edge geospatial software, we at ATC Williams have not only enhanced our service delivery but have also revolutionized the way we monitor and manage critical infrastructure, such as tailing storage facilities. Birdi’s platform has provided us with precise information, enabling us to offer tailored and prompt technical solutions that keep our clients a step ahead in safety and efficiency."‍

ATC Williams logo

Michael Munro
Senior Associate
ATC Williams

Ground Control Points and prisms installation 

Birdi worked closely with ATC Williams’ in-field team to lay a permanent GCP network at their sites and install prisms on the dam walls. These reference points were crucial for accurate data processing and visualization.

Drone data capture

Once GCPs and prisms were installed on the dam walls, Birdi’s drone pilot network first conducted test captures of the sites to ensure the system was calibrated successfully. Once this was determined to be successful, the mining client then took over flying their own drones for fortnightly monitoring. 

Geospatial data visualization and processing

The captured data along with GCP and prism reference sets are then uploaded into Birdi. The mapping data captured is then transformed into outputs such as orthophotos, DSMs, DTMs, contours and 3D model point clouds, and visualized in Birdi. While these outputs are primarily used for reporting and insights, they also provide their mining client with visibility to track issues that affect the stability and integrity of the dam structure, such as cracking, subsidence and uplift.

Reports generated in Birdi for insights and monitoring

Dam wall stability monitoring through prism movement reporting

Birdi’s prism trend report tracks the centimetre-level movement of each individual prism on their client’s dam wall. The data is displayed in a range of graphs, highlighting changes in prism positioning over time. When movements of the prism exceed the established tolerance levels, it initiates several predefined actions. These include inspections and notifications, which are carried out to identify the reason behind the prism’s movements.

Material level tracking through difference grid reports

Birdi’s difference grid report enables ATC Williams’ client to measure changes in their site material levels by comparing elevation models over time.

Stockpile level monitoring with volumetric reports

Digital elevation model outputs are used for volumetric reporting; enabling ATC Williams to track stockpile volumes to support their client’s resource management and planning.

Results and benefits of using Birdi

  • Improved monitoring accuracy: Birdi's advanced visualization and processing capabilities enable ATC Williams to achieve high-level accuracy in monitoring dam wall movements. The ability to track centimetre-level changes and produce detailed reports ensured that ATC Williams could respond promptly to any issues at their client’s mine sites.
  • Enhanced reporting and analysis: The prism trend reports, difference grid reports and volumetric reports provide ATC Williams and their mining client with comprehensive insights about their tailings dams and sites overall, enabling them to make informed decisions based on precise data.
  • Time and cost savings: By improving their data capture and insights with Birdi, ATC Williams saves their client significant time and manual effort. The efficiency gained translates into cost savings and allows the team to focus on other critical tasks.
Brooke Hahn
Brooke has been involved in SaaS startups for the past 10 years. From marketing to leadership to customer success, she has worked across the breadth of teams and been pivotal in every company's strategy and success.