Tag Archives: AIMEX

Doppelmayr opens up vertical transport options in underground mining

Doppelmayr has turned its RopeCon® system on its head, designing a new vertical material transport concept for the underground mining space called the Vertical Shaft Conveyor.

Unveiling the concept at the AIMEX 2019 event in Sydney, Australia, the company said the Vertical Shaft Conveyor “opens up new material transport options for underground mining and gives the chance to reduce the haul truck fleet and exhaust emissions”.

Doppelmayr has become synonymous with its RopeCon installations at global mine sites across the globe. These innovative continuous conveyors (pictured) can be adapted to uneven terrain, transporting material on a flat belt with corrugated side walls, elevated off the ground on tower structures. Installations include the ELG gold complex in Mexico (Torex Gold) and Booysendal South in South Africa (Northam Platinum).

The Vertical Shaft Conveyor, meanwhile, comes with a vertical lift capability of up to 750 m, a conveying capacity of 2,000 t/h, a maximum lump size of 150 mm and clear shaft diameter requirement of 3.5 m. The company pointed out these specifications are all dependent on the material specifications and operating conditions with, for example, a 700 m vertical lift application coming with a conveying capacity of 700 t/h.

System advantages the company stated included:

  • No access to shaft required – neither for installation nor operation;
  • Maintenance can be carried out in the terminals;
  • Re-use of existing ventilation shaft is possible;
  • Continuous material flow, and;
  • Heat development is reduced with the main drive installed above ground.

The company says: “Maintenance is simple and cost effective, as all moving parts are mounted to the belt and will pass the terminals at regular intervals. Ropes and shaft are inspected by a camera system which is attached to the belt.”

Like a conventional conveyor, the system can be loaded by transfer conveyor or by an ore pass, with the material transported to the surface on a conveyor belt.

“This belt is equipped with side walls and cleats, forming pockets for the material,” Doppelmayr says. Above ground, the material is transferred to another conveyor, another RopeCon installation or discharged onto a stockpile.

The company puts the vertical lift capabilities down to, among other things, the belt being turned after discharge. This sees the entire belt tension deflected via on return drum, with the entire belt width can be used as a bearing surface.

Another reason for the lift capability is the wheel sets run on guiding rails at the loading terminal, which safely guide the belt into the shaft. Ropes in the shaft always guide the belt during operation.

Community engagement and automation on the AIMEX agenda

Day one of AIMEX 2019 in Sydney, Australia, was as varied as mining events come. Against an exhibition backdrop that organisers say included more than 500 suppliers, leaders in the industry took to the conference stage to debate some of the industry hottest topics.

The morning sessions started off with discussions on the relationship between the mining sector and local stakeholders, an area of dialogue that becomes more dynamic with every mining, extraction or water use permit issued in Australia.

Stephen Galilee, Chief Executive Officer of the New South Wales (NSW) Minerals Council, was the first speaker to confront the topic and was, rightly, keen to talk up some of the success stories that the state had seen in the recent past.

He said the NSW Minerals Council addressed local community’s priorities through its Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue project, which he believes is one of the world’s best engagement community practices.

A panel, chaired by Austmine CEO Christine Gibbs-Stewart, followed shortly after Galilee and expanded on this line of discussion, with Mark Jacobs, Executive General Manager – Environment & Community, Yancoal Australia, and Ngaire Baker, External Relations Manager of Mach Energy, providing specific examples of how their companies have developed a working relationship with not just the communities surrounding their mines, but also interested parties within the states in which they operate.

Jacobs said the digital age and transparency of reporting has brought miners a lot closer to the communities that surround them than, say, 20 years ago, but he admitted Yancoal Australia and his peers in Australia needed to do more to rebuild the trust that was lost in previous decades. He added that local media played a strong role in this quest.

Baker, meanwhile, recalled several anecdotes about how Mach Energy was building strong community relationships by effectively communicating how the mining company was going about its business of starting up the Mount Pleasant thermal coal mine in the Hunter Valley, explaining what effects this might have on local businesses, as well as inviting them to the operation to gain a better understanding of the mine.

Jacobs and Baker made compelling points, but Anna Littleboy, Programme Leader – Mine Lifecycles, Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, made it clear the success of a mine or project was contingent on not only winning over the local community.

“I’m not sure the image of the industry is made or broken at the community level,” she said.

The Adani Carmichael coal project, in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, is a case in point, where local stakeholders have made it clear they would like the thermal coal development to go ahead, but issues on a national and international level have made it increasingly difficult to proceed. This is despite the company recently receiving a significant permit to proceed with construction.

Before the panel discussion ended, the speakers talked about what impact technology may have on local communities, with Gibbs-Stewart questioning what mine site communities could look like in an autonomous future where people no longer operated the machines.

The panellists said these communities could potentially become technology hubs servicing such operations, but Jacobs remarked that local and state governments needed to ensure the infrastructure was in place to allow such a transition to take place.

The next few conference sessions picked up the automation ball and ran with it.

Craig Hurkett, Managing Director, Enterprise Improvement Solutions, explored the challenges and opportunities that came with delivering autonomous vehicle maintenance. His talk touched on just how expensive the current fleet of autonomous machines were to keep running at full tilt.

Robin Burgess-Limerick, Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, took a different angle in his presentation: ‘Human-systems integration for the safe introduction of automation to mines and quarries’.

He made it clear that automation would change the established safety systems in place at both open-pit and underground mines. He also touched on some accidents that had occurred both above and below ground when autonomous equipment came into contact with either personnel or manned vehicles, but then countered this with details of a past paper he had co-authored on operations at the Northparkes underground mine in New South Wales where the use of autonomous vehicles had seen significant safety improvements as well as a 23% productivity boost compared with previous manual mode.

Factoring this in, he said mining companies and equipment manufacturers needed to ensure that autonomous equipment was designed for the specific operation it was going into and that manual overrides were not used as a workaround to improve productivity – which in the underground US coal mine example he gave resulted in a fatality.

It was then the turn of Dr Joe Cronin, Co-Founder, Australian Droid + Robot, on stage. Cronin, who has helped design autonomous underground systems at both Northparkes and the Syama underground mine (Mali), was positive automation was coming to mining at a pace that would catch many industry participants off guard; meaning they needed to invest to facilitate this change now.

His talk, ‘Using Telepresence technologies for the safe deployment of wireless mesh networks and underground inspection robots in mines’, focused on the improved communications infrastructure in mines and ability for robots and drones to travel into increasingly difficult areas of a mine. This, he said, would see risky tasks currently carried out by people, in the future, taken on by these machines.

Personnel would no longer need to travel underground to carry out sampling in active stopes, with these robust and agile robots able to give them the information they needed through payloads that could carry out 3D scans, take high resolution photos, sense dangerous gases and interpret potential rock falls.

This would not only increase safety underground, it would also allow autonomous operations to run 24/7, according to Cronin, with these robots working unimpeded alongside autonomous equipment.

Reflecting on the proliferation of drones in the open-pit mining space, Cronin estimated that in five years’ time, every underground mine would be using robots or drones to inspect hazardous areas of their mines.

The future of mining under the AIMEX spotlight

As the future of mining is being discussed by all levels of government and across the wider community, one of the most important events of a decade will be held in Sydney, Australia, this week.

The event will see the world’s mining leaders and decision-makers come together at what is Australia’s largest and longest-running mining exhibition and conference.

Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX) will hold its 2019 edition at the Sydney Showgrounds from August 27-29, commencing at 10 am each day.

More than 500 companies will be on-site to demonstrate their products and services to more than 6,000 visitors from across the globe, according to event organisers. Brands such as Hitachi, ESS Engineering Services, Alfagomma, Cummins, Fuchs, Davey Bickford Enaex, Mine Site Technologies, Dana Brevini and Volkswagen will join with hundreds of others to shine a light on mining’s future, they said.

Embedded within the exhibition will be a free-to-attend multi-stream mining conference that brings together some of the industry’s innovators and disruptors. The AIMEX Conference, presented by Davey Bickford Enaex, is being held for the second time and features keynote presentations, panel discussions and case study presentations across a number of themes including policy, community engagement, workforce, technology advancements, governance and automation.

It is expected that one of the busiest parts of AIMEX this year will be the all-new Mining Pavilion which will see some of Australia’s biggest mining companies come together to outline their own enterprises, connect with suppliers and drive their own recruitment strategies, organisers said. Centennial Coal, Glencore, Mach Energy, Whitehaven Coal and Yancoal Australia will all participate in this unique AIMEX activation.

AIMEX Event Director, Brandon Ward, said the addition of the mining pavilion alongside the very strong conference program and the extensive exhibition makes attending AIMEX the most important decision for a mining leader in 2019.

“No other event in the Asia Pacific region has the same offering for visitors to interact with over 500 exhibitors, discover the latest products from leading suppliers and then actually meet those miners out there doing the work every single day,” Ward said.

“This year’s edition of the free-to-attend conference has again shown our ability to explore the important mining issues of the day and then secure the best professionals to not only discuss these issues but explore what is going to happen next.

“AIMEX provides every visitor with the ability to not only hear about topics such as the latest advances in automation or renewable energy sources at the conference but then walk a few metres and see the products in action on a supplier’s stand.”

Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Minerals Council, Stephen Galilee, will kick-off proceedings on day one of the conference with the opening keynote address about the relationship between the mining sector and regional communities. He will explore how the NSW Minerals Council addressed the local community’s priorities through its Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue (UHMD) project – one of the world’s leading community engagement practices.

Another highlight will be on day three with the panel discussion on adapting to climate change and emissions and what this looks like for the mining sector? The panel will be made up of Jackie McKeon, from Business Renewables Centre Australia, Donna Dryden, an Environmental Scientist from Centennial Coal, Jason Sharam of Linked Energy and the Managing Director of Element 25, Justin Brown.

Along with the panel discussion, Justin Brown will also share insights from Element 25’s Butcherbird manganese project where it used hybrid renewable generation and leach processing innovation, co-developed with CSIRO to use cheaper, lower emission renewable energy for the electrolytic process to make metal.

“The aspect of the project we are going to focus on is the renewable energy component and there are a few threads to that,” Brown explained.

“There’s the baseload power part of the project, with 50% gas and 50% renewables, and also some pretty exciting research on how to maximise renewable penetration in the manufacturing of metals in Australia.

“AIMEX also allows us to share with all visitors the project right from the mining through to the production of these high purity low carbon footprint products and the renewable energy piece will get a particular focus.”

Attendance to AIMEX is free for both the exhibition and conference with registrations still open online or register at the event on each of the days from 10 am to 5 pm. For a full overview on the AIMEX Conference including session topics and speakers, plus a complete list of exhibitors please visit the event website aimex.com.au

International Mining is a media partner for the AIMEX event

Cummins powers up for AIMEX show

The Cummins stand at the upcoming AIMEX event in Sydney, Australia, will feature its QSK60 MCRS ‘Advantage’ engine (pictured), a rare 1922 3 hp engine and the new HSK78G gas generator set.

The QSK60 on display will highlight the lower life cycle costs that are being achieved with this latest technology 60-litre V16 platform.

Close to 200 ‘Advantage’ engines are now in service across Australia’s mining regions, powering 2,500 hp haul trucks, according to the company.

The high-pressure Modular Common Rail Fuel System that features on the QSK60 is, according to Cummins, a key element of the technology roadmap for mining companies as they strive to increase productivity while reducing operating and maintenance costs through lower fuel consumption, longer life-to-overhaul and longer service intervals.

The ‘Advantage’ engine also features a big reduction in diesel particulate emissions of 63% compared with the earlier QSK60, Cummins says. This means less soot loading in the oil, less visible smoke, and reduced particulate exposure, it added.

At the other end of the horsepower scale, Cummins will display a 3 hp, single-cylinder 1922 engine to highlight the company’s 100th anniversary. This rare diesel engine was one of the first built by Clessie Cummins in Columbus, Indiana – the launch pad for the company.

The HSK78G will also be previewed at AIMEX, a generator set aimed specifically at the mining industry. With a power density of 2 MW from the new Cummins 78-litre, V12 gas engine, the HSK78G provides high electrical efficiency up to 44.2% on a wide range of pipeline natural gas down to 70 methane number (MN) without impacting power and efficiency output, according to the company.

“In fact, the new genset has been designed to provide reliable power, regardless of the natural gas source or the environment, including extreme heat up to 55°C and extreme altitudes,” Cummins says. “In its class, the HSK78G also has the industry’s longest major overhaul service cycle of 80,000 hours.”

Visitors to the Cummins display can step inside the HSK78G Experience Pod room and go through a journey of different extreme and urban environments, from blistering hot deserts to cityscape settings, to understand the full capabilities of the HSK78G series, the company says. An interactive touchscreen will be displayed, allowing visitors to explore the complete HSK78G generator model in 360° mode and learn more about its key technical features.

Cummins will also be displaying the KTA19GC gas engine for various mining applications such as powering underground coal mine ventilation systems. With ratings up to 420 hp at 1,800 rpm, this 19-litre natural gas engine shares the proven heritage of Cummins’ K-series Diesel engines, the company said.

Innovators and disruptors heading to AIMEX 2019

Technological advancements, workforce changes, community collaborations and environmental challenges are just some of the concepts that will be discussed at Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX) 2019 edition, in August.

Focused on the future of Australia’s mining industry, AIMEX is the country’s largest and longest running mining exhibition and conference, according to organisers.

Speakers and key topics of the free-to-attend conference have been announced, with the line-up for the three-day event set to provide visitors with a “unique opportunity to hear from mining innovators and disruptors at the same venue where the technology is on show”, the organisers said.

Sponsored by Davey Bickford Enaex, the AIMEX conference has been developed with direct input and consultation from key mining personnel, industry associations as well as key mining companies.

On the opening day, a panel of speakers from across the mining spectrum will dissect the industry’s image and discuss ways that the mining sector and the community can work more collaboratively together in the future. Mach Energy’s Ngaire Baker, Mark Jacobs from Yancoal, Dr Kieren Moffat from the CSIRO and Anna Littleboy from the University of Queensland will lead the discussion.

Ngaire Baker, External Relations Manager for MACH Energy, said it is crucial the mining sector demonstrates the value it can offer communities, especially in regional and rural areas.

“I’ve worked and lived in some of Australia’s most remote mines and mining towns, combined with towns such as Orange, Parkes and Singleton, in New South Wales; I have experienced first-hand just how vital it is for the mining industry to look after these communities and to do our jobs to the best of our ability so that both parties reap the benefits,” Baker said.

“The mining industry can bring so many benefits to regional areas and to have the opportunity to discuss these very important issues with experts from all sides of the spectrum at the AIMEX conference is invaluable.

“I have been attending AIMEX since the mid ’90s and I make every effort to connect with suppliers and learn about new technologies that will benefit the operation I am working in. To be able to attend the conference as part of AIMEX is invaluable, we are all time poor and this conference is a key part of the three days of AIMEX, it provides me with a rare opportunity to hear from visionaries, engage with my peers and challenge the current mindset.”

A highlight of day two, organisers say, will be the panel discussion on how the mining community can reinvent its approach to talent acquisition and retention for today’s agile, digital, mobile, analytical, and technologically-driven workforce.

Mining Leaders Group Founder, Brett Cunningham, CEO of Weld Australia, Geoff Crittenden, and Jamie Frankcombe, Whitehaven Coal’s Chief Operating Officer, will lead the thought-provoking discussion that will exchange ideas and share current thinking to prepare for tomorrow’s demands in areas such as recruiting, educating schools, upskilling and diversity.

The organisers said: “Other highlights of the conference include Dr John Cronin’s presentation on using telepresence technologies for the safe deployment of wireless mesh networks and underground inspection robots in mines, cross-industry learnings from the oil & gas industry that define and mitigate HMI risk with technology and analytics, and the final day panel which looks at adapting to climate change, emissions and what does this look like for the mining sector?”

More than 6,000 mining industry professionals and over 500 exhibitors are expected to take over Sydney’s Showgrounds across three days from August 27-29 .

Embedded within the exhibition and conference, five of Australia’s biggest mining companies, Centennial Coal, Glencore, Mach Energy, Whitehaven Coal and Yancoal will for the first time, come together to create the AIMEX Mining Pavilion.

AIMEX Exhibition Director, Brandon Ward, said no other mining event gives you access to this volume of suppliers and this calibre of speakers for free.

“AIMEX is about pushing boundaries and challenging operations and business to innovate not just through technology but through workforce practices, social engagement and policy reform,” Ward said.

“This year’s AIMEX Conference is our most extensive yet which means mining professionals have a forum for open and transparent dialogue that will drive the sector forward.”

Attendance to AIMEX is free for both the exhibition and conference with registrations now open. For a full overview on the AIMEX Conference including session topics and speakers, plus a complete list of exhibitors, visit the event website aimex.com.au.

International Mining is a media partner of AIMEX.

AIMEX back with a bang in 2019

As the Australia Federal Election campaign continues to see all sides of politics weighing in on where they see the future of mining heading in the country, the industry is gearing up for one of Australia’s largest and longest running mining exhibitions and conferences.

Registrations for Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX) 2019 edition are now open with more than 6,000 mining industry professionals and an additional 2,000 exhibitor personnel set to take over Sydney’s Showgrounds across three days from the 27-29 August, according to AIMEX organisers.

More than 500 exhibitors are expected with the likes of Contitech, ESS Engineering Services, Alfagomma, Cummins, Hitachi and Volkswagen signing up for the exhibition, they said.

One of those exhibitors is global technology leader Cummins. Cummins South Pacific Director of Mining, Oil and Gas Business, Steve Cummins, said Cummins’ involvement in AIMEX during its own 100th anniversary year is very important and it is proud to be involved in the exhibition as a major player in the mining industry around the world.

“A pioneer in power systems technology for 100 years, Cummins has the total power solution for the mining industry – high horsepower Quantum engines to ensure lowest cost-per-tonne, CustomPaks for mine dewatering, and power generation systems ranging from single gensets to turn-key power stations,” Cummins said.

“At AIMEX 2019, Cummins will introduce its innovative HSK78G gas generator series, a completely new design from the skid up providing reliable power regardless of the natural gas source or climate.”

For the second year, a free-to-attend multi-stream mining conference will be embedded within the exhibition providing visitors with a “unique opportunity to hear from mining innovators and disruptors at the same venue where the technology is on show”, the organisers said.

The AIMEX Conference organised by Davey Bickford Enaex, will focus on key themes surrounding the changing of mindsets and how to survive the impact of future technological, social and environmental changes. The conference will also look at the rise of automation and robotics and the use of AR and VR to enhance safety training for staff amongst other topics.

In a first for AIMEX, five of Australia’s biggest mining companies will also come together to create the AIMEX Mining Pavilion. Centennial Coal, Glencore, Mach Energy and Whitehaven Coal will join Yancoal Australia to outline their own enterprises, connect with suppliers and drive their own recruitment strategies.

Centennial Coal’s Executive General Manager Approvals, Sustainability & Corporate Communications, Katie Brassil, said involvement in the AIMEX Mining Pavilion allows the company to promote its initiatives and engage with industry and suppliers more broadly.

“We think it is a perfect opportunity for us to tell our story, not just our story in terms of Centennial and what we do and that we are loud and proud coal miners, but also the story of our communities and our most valuable assets our workforce,” Brassil said.

“Our people look forward to AIMEX. As a company, we encourage and promote innovation and more recently have been on a digital transformation journey. AIMEX provides a fantastic opportunity for our people to experience the latest products and equipment up close and to network with suppliers and industry peers.”

AIMEX Event Director, Brandon Ward, said the newly launched Mining Pavilion along with the conference component of AIMEX adds significant weight to encourage mining professionals to attend the biennial event this year.

“AIMEX is the most important mining industry event in 2019.  During these changing times it is vital that AIMEX provides a platform for suppliers to showcase their latest innovations and to give the industry a chance to come together, explore new technologies and embrace the wider mining family,” Ward said.

“We are delighted to welcome five mining companies onboard this year as part of our first AIMEX Mining Pavilion and excited to bring together our second free to attend conference which will again give attendees the chance to hear from industry experts and challenge them on what the future holds for the sector.

“Every two years, delegates from across the globe continue to make Sydney and AIMEX their home for three days in Sydney in August, and this year’s event is certainly one to lock into your diary now.”

Registrations for AIMEX are now open with full details of topics and speakers for the conference to be announced once they are confirmed. To register and keep up to date with conference news visit aimex.com.au.

International Mining is a media sponsor of AIMEX 2019