TOMRA Sorting Mining is bringing ore sorting testing capabilities to its stay-at-home mining customers though the development of virtual testing facilities that enable them to take informed purchasing decisions for their processing plants, regardless of location.
This is the latest action in the company’s plan to provide its customers the support they need to take their business forward in the face of current COVID-19-related restrictions.
“Ensuring business continuity at this time is of paramount importance for mining operations,” TOMRA Mining said. “This includes taking forward ongoing investment projects in sorting equipment to improve their efficiency and the quality of their product.”
TOMRA Mining is leveraging digital technology to help customers identify the best sorting solution for their mine by offering them remote access to its Test Center in Wedel, Germany, a facility that has capabilities for all applications, according to the company.
“TOMRA’s temporary Virtual Demonstration and Test Solution will enable mining companies to test the sorting solutions on their samples without leaving their office,” the company said. “They will just need to book a session with their TOMRA sales representative and ship a sample of their minerals to the Test Center, which will conduct the test.”
Once testing is complete, mining customers will receive a video of their material being sorted and be able to discuss the results with a TOMRA sales person and the Test Center’s experts via video call, the company said. “With their support, they will be able to make a decision on the following steps and take the project forward without delay,” it added.
Albert du Preez (pictured), Senior Vice President and Head of TOMRA Sorting Mining, said: “At TOMRA, we work closely with our customers to devise the solution that is perfect for their operation. The visit to one of our test centres can be an important step in this process, as it enables them to work out with our teams the best combination of technologies and develop the flowsheet for their ore sorting plant.
“With this virtual solution, we are able to provide this support, taking our Test Center to our customers’ office so they can make an informed decision on an important investment. This means that they are able to take their business forward in the current situation.”
TOMRA’s test centres play a key role in the company’s collaborative approach to supporting customers with their ore sorting requirements, according to the company. Based on the tests conducted on TOMRA equipment with material from the customer’s mine, the centre can provide an initial feasibility study and detailed reports on the machine’s performance with the sample. With this information and the advice of the centre’s experts, the customer can proceed with their investment with confidence, the company says.
The opportunity for the customer to see first-hand the equipment at work on their sample and discuss the options with TOMRA’s team provides important added value, according to the company.
This was the experience of John Armstrong, VP Mineral Resources at Lucara Diamonds, who visited the Test Center in Wedel when researching a solution for the diamond mine in Karowe, Botswana.
“We gained a lot of confidence in the people at TOMRA, in the technology that they were presenting to us, and the possible solution that it provided to the Karowe mine…We could also see that they had already gone down the road of the next step in X-ray Transmission (XRT) technology, so they were not just focused on one particular module to present to us, but they were working on different modules.
“That helped alleviate some of our concerns about the robustness of the platform and the technology itself, which ultimately led us to use TOMRA as the solution.”
Lucara has since gone on to recover some of the largest diamonds in history with the TOMRA XRT system that was installed following this visit to the Test Center.
In addition to developing this Virtual and Demonstration and Test Solution in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak, TOMRA has increased stocks of critical components to ensure its ability to fulfil current and future orders, and to ensure the supply of spare parts without disruption.
And the company is leveraging digital technology not only to take the expertise of its test centres to customers, but also by using its remote service and training tools to support their equipment while respecting social distancing safety measures, it said.