Tag Archives: Automine

Codelco El Teniente on its way to fully-automated mining solution, Sandvik says

Sandvik says it will deliver AutoMine® fleet solutions for underground trucks to Codelco’s El Teniente mine in Chile, continuing the copper miner’s “vision of creating the most advanced underground mines in the world”.

This AutoMine Fleet system is the first step in implementing a fully-automated mining solution using Sandvik trucks at El Teniente, the biggest underground copper mine in the world, Sandvik said.

“Codelco’s goal is to dramatically increase the productivity, safety and efficiency of its operations with AutoMine. Together with the existing OptiMine® system, the mine will become a world-class benchmark,” the mining equipment maker said.

This agreement follows the April announcement that Sandvik will deliver its AutoMine and OptiMine solutions to Codelco’s Chuquicamata mine as it converts the site from open pit to an underground mine. This development is part of Codelco’s 10-year strategic project to extend the life of its existing mines.

Rafael Guzman, Chief Engineer for Automation and Technology at El Teniente, said: “As a state-owned mining company, it is our responsibility to implement technology and solutions that ensure the safety of our people and the sustainability of our mines. Being a good corporate citizen is not negotiable. It is critical to our success.”

Sandvik and Codelco started their automation journeys together at El Teniente with the first-ever AutoMine Loading system installation, in 2004.

Patricio Apablaza, Vice President for Andean and South Cone, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “We are proud that Codelco continues to choose Sandvik as a strategic partner for its most innovative projects. Our technology will drive even safer, smarter and more productive mining for Codelco.”

The AutoMine product family allows customers to scale up automation at their own pace, according to Sandvik. The solution covers all aspects of automation, from remote and autonomous operation of a single piece of equipment to multi-machine control and full-fleet automation using automatic mission and traffic control capabilities. AutoMine installations have logged more than 2.5 million hours with zero lost time injuries.

OptiMine, meanwhile, is a suite of digital tools for analysing and optimising mining production and processes. It integrates all relevant data into one source, delivering both real-time and predictive insights to improve operations. “OptiMine is open and scalable, giving customers the flexibility to build at their own speed and incorporate other equipment, systems and networks,” Sandvik said.

Sandvik to automate and digitalise Codelco’s Chuquicamata underground mine

Sandvik says it will automate and digitalise Codelco’s underground copper operation at Chuquicamata, in Chile, creating one of the “most efficient and advanced underground mines in the world”.

Sandvik’s AutoMine® and OptiMine® solutions will allow Codelco to operate its new fleet of Sandvik LH621 loaders in fully autonomous mode, the mining equipment maker said.

Codelco is converting Chuquicamata from an open pit to underground mine as part of a 10-year strategic project to prolong its existing operations. It is due to start up in 2019.

Sandvik said: “The open system integrates manual operations and autonomous equipment into one powerful solution with AutoMine and OptiMine, enabling full transparency and real-time control over the parallel production and mine development activities.”

Andrés Avendaño, Operations Manager, Chuquicamata Underground, said: “Using our mines to full effect is part of our focus on sustainability and a key driver for our business. Automation and optimisation are critical to getting the most from our mines and keeping our people safe while we do it.”

Sandvik and Codelco started their automation journeys together with the first-ever AutoMine loading system installation at Codelco’s El Teniente copper mine, in 2004, Sandvik said.

Riku Pulli, Vice President, Automation, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “Codelco has been an important partner for us from the beginning. It’s fantastic to continue the partnership as our visions are well aligned. We look forward to working with Codelco to deliver even smarter, safer, more productive mining through digitalisation.”

Codelco is the number one copper producer in the world and is owned by the Chile government. It controls about 19% of the world’s copper reserves and is also the second producer of molybdenum worldwide, with 24,000 t produced in 2018.

Sandvik’s digital solutions, including AutoMine, OptiMine and “My Sandvik” are working in hundreds of mines around the world.

The AutoMine product family allows customers to scale up automation at their own pace, covering all aspects of automation, from remote and autonomous operation of a single piece of equipment to multi-machine control and full-fleet automation using automatic mission and traffic control capabilities. AutoMine installations have logged more than 2.5 million hours with zero lost time injuries, according to the company.

OptiMine, meanwhile, is a suite of digital tools for analysing and optimising mining production and processes. It integrates all relevant data into one source, delivering both real-time and predictive insights to improve operations, Sandvik said. OptiMine is open and scalable, giving customers the flexibility to build at their own speed and incorporate other equipment, systems and networks.

Sandvik introduces new ‘intelligent’ LH621i underground LHD

To expand its existing “intelligent” offering, Sandvik has introduced its second i-series loader, the Sandvik LH621i.

The LH621i is the loader of choice for rapid mine development and large-scale underground production, according to the company, and is a matching pair with the previously introduced 63-t payload Sandvik TH663i truck.

Sandvik said: “The Sandvik LH621i sets the industry standard in the 21-t underground loader range.”

It has been built on technology inherited from the Sandvik LH621, and now enters the market equipped with further improved features, according to the company.

“With superior hydraulic power for fast bucket filling and drivetrain power for high ramp speeds, the Sandvik LH621i is designed to quickly clear tunnel headings for rapid advance rates,” Sandvik said. “Engineered with operator and maintenance personnel safety in mind, the rugged loader offers long component lifetimes and low costs per tonne.”

The Sandvik LH621i features the latest Sandvik Intelligent Control System and My Sandvik Digital Services Knowledge Box™ on-board hardware as standard, providing product health monitoring and faster troubleshooting, according to the company.

The equipment has been designed automation ready, enabling the installation of Sandvik’s AutoMine® installation as a retrofit in just a few days. To improve comfort and productivity in manual operation, improvements have been made to the operator’s compartment, as the Sandvik LH621i features a more spacious and ergonomic cabin with increased visibility and 7 in (17.8 cm) touch-screen colour display.

“In the engine compartment, a fuel efficient 352 kW Stage II/Tier 2 engine deliveries powerful thrust for fast bucket filling and high-speed tramming for high productivity. A new, more powerful 375 kW Tier 4 Final/Stage IV low emission engine option is available with the use of ultra low sulphur diesel fuel,” the company said.

The diesel engine brake in the Stage IV/Tier 4 Final engine provides better control of vehicle speed downhill, minimising brake and transmission overheating and brake wear. Further, SHARK™ ground engaging tools are available on a wide range of bucket sizes, optimised for loader productivity and extended bucket service life.

Olli Karlsson, Product Line Manager, Large Loaders, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “The new Sandvik LH621i competes in a space of its own. This new 21-t capacity loader truly represents a new breed of productivity and emphasises Sandvik’s capability to develop robust and efficient underground load and haul equipment.”

Sandvik’s i-series loader and truck family now includes two loaders and three trucks – the Sandvik LH517i, Sandvik LH621i, Sandvik TH545i, Sandvik TH551i and Sandvik TH663i.

Sandvik showcases digital mine offering at Chile event

Last week, more than 200 leaders in the Latin American mining industry met in Santiago, Chile, for Digitalization in Mining – Through the Rock, a two-day summit, hosted by Sandvik.

This event focused on leading-edge mining technology, and the digitalisation journey contemporary mines face, Sandvik said.

“Digitalisation is helping companies to grow and optimise their operations,” said Patricio Apablaza, Vice President, Sales Area Andean and South Cone, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. “Our partners are here today because they know that this is critical to making their mines sustainable for the future.”

Day one featured speakers from mining companies from around the Americas, as well as leaders in mining technology, process optimisation and automation. The speakers detailed the benefits their companies have gained by implementing automation and process optimisation, as well as the mind set it took to get there.

Tyler Mckenzie, Automation Project Manager, Underground Mine Department, Rangold Kibali gold mine (KGM), Democratic Republic of the Congo, said: “Since the implementation of the MCS AutoMine Multi at Kibali mine site, we have seen a significant reduction in our operation costs compared to conventional operation. In 12 months, our three main autonomous LHDs have averaged 4,500 running hours and moved over 1 Mt each. The reliability of the system and the machines is higher than we even hoped for.”

“In Q1 of 2019, KGM will be using similar technology on our production side of the mine (Sandvik’s AutoMine® Multi-Lite) where one operator will have the ability to control up to three separate machines on multiple levels throughout the mine from the surface. With the multiple machine control from the surface KGM has reduce the number of expats from underground, and will continue to improve our local automation operator team.”

The second day participants travelled to the Sandvik Chile headquarters to participate in live remote visits to Sandvik customer sites around the world, enabling them to experience mining digitalisation in action. Those present took part in virtual visits to: Democratic Republic of Congo, Bulgaria, Ireland, Canada, Chile and Finland.

“It was a really interesting experience,” said Enrique Patron Costas of Canteras Piatti. “Sandvik showed that it is a leader in the space, and it was important for us to be part of this event. The access to technology and automation is closer than we imagine.”

Throughout the day, Sandvik demonstrated its latest digital offering and participants could see the latest innovations throughout its product portfolio, including process optimisation with OptiMine®, information management through My Sandvik digital services and autonomous operation with AutoMine® – together with the latest equipment in underground and surface drilling, loading and hauling, crushing and screening and the rock tools management system.

Patrick Murphy, President, Rock Drills and Technologies, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “We often get asked for reference cases and data to illustrate the value and payback of digital solutions. Over the two days of the conference, our customers were able to share their own experiences and quantitatively demonstrate how our solutions have helped increase their productivity, reduce their production costs and increase their safety.”

Sandvik and Nokia team up to offer miners LTE and 5G networks

Sandvik has signed an agreement with Nokia to further develop solutions for private LTE (Long Term Evolution) and 5G technology, continuing its focus on IoT solutions for the mining industry.

The Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (NDAC) platform offers pervasive connectivity enabling advanced applications and will initially be implemented and tested in the Sandvik test mine in Tampere, Finland, Sandvik said.

“Sandvik’s decades-long work in automation has grown to include robust data analytics and process optimisation offerings, where connectivity and local computing power are crucial. Applications requiring high capacity and low latency are becoming increasingly important,” the company said.

“Private LTE networks bring reliable and secure high capacity, low latency and wide coverage mobile broadband to serve mission and business critical industrial connectivity needs and offer a variety of terminals, sensors and other devices,” Sandvik added.

The Nokia digital automation platform will operate both underground and in open-pit mines and offers a flexible connectivity platform for testing and developing Sandvik technology, according to Sandvik. “This network enables operation of autonomous vehicles, real-time monitoring of underground and outdoor premises to keep people and equipment safe, remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance, as well as asset management, control and authentication,” the company said.

Riku Pulli, Vice President, Automation, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “Our cooperation with Nokia is another important part of our strategy to develop open, interoperable solutions for future mining needs. Enhanced connectivity is critical for smarter and safer underground operations, and we’re proud to work with Nokia to develop these enhanced connectivity options for our test mine and mining industry going forward.”

Stephan Litjens, General Manager, Nokia Digital Automation, said: ”Pairing Sandvik solutions with 5G-ready NDAC architecture has proven to be an excellent match. We are truly motivated to continue collaborating to develop technology that meets the requirements of the often-harsh conditions they operate in – be it moist, hot, cold, and/or dusty.”

Sandvik’s Pulli concluded: “Sandvik is a leader in mine automation and digitalisation, and Nokia offers leading technology in wireless connectivity. Together, we create innovative solutions for mining customers.”

Recently Agnico Eagle Mines, which is pilot testing automated mining using the Sandvik AutoMine system at its La Ronde Zone 5 mine, confirmed it would install an LTE network at the operation in Quebec, Canada.