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Tide Monitoring Installed at Cape Preston

ES&S has developed and installed an automatic tide station for the main harbour at CITIC magnetite mine at Cape Preston in WA.

The ES&S system monitors the large tide ranges (up to 5.5m) at the barge loading harbour for the huge mine, which is the largest magnetite mine in the world. Ore is extracted in an open cut mine about 30km inland, and transferred in a slurry to the harbour. Barges then transfer the magnetite from the harbour to the ships waiting 20km off shore. Because of the large tide ranges, monitoring the tide is a crucial for safe and efficient loading of the barges.

Managers at the harbour wanted a self contained, self powered tide gauge which would be mounted on a caisson near the loading area. ES&S designed a customized solution using its PTG500e tide system. The gauge itself is located at the harbour caisson, very close to the loading docks. It is powered by solar panels, and so does not require any specialized mains power to be provided, which would have been difficult at this isolated caisson. A radio link communicates the tidal information to the harbour office, where the tide data is displayed in graphical format with the TMDS software, also developed by ES&S. The TMDS software displays the tide in real time along with predictions, allowing harbour managers to monitor the current tide while shipping operations are taking place. All data is automatically stored in a long term database, so that historical records of tide are produced.

ES&S has a long history of producing tide monitoring systems for specialized applications. The company was chosen for this installation because of its expertise in customized tide monitoring solutions.

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