Tag Archives: Certiq

Ivanplats to trial Epiroc battery-electric drills and LHDs at Platreef mine

Epiroc says it has won a significant order for battery-electric mining equipment from Ivanplats that will be used to develop its greenfield Platreef mine in South Africa in the “most sustainable and productive manner possible”.

Ivanplats, a subsidiary of Canada-based Ivanhoe Mines, has ordered several Boomer M2 Battery face drill rigs and Scooptram ST14 Battery LHDs (pictured).

These machines will be trialled during the Platreef underground mine’s initial development phase, Epiroc said, adding that Ivanplats has the ambition to use all battery-electric vehicles in its mining fleet at Platreef.

The order exceeds ZAR150 million ($10.2 million) in value and was booked in the June quarter of 2021.

Ivanhoe indirectly owns 64% of the Platreef project through its subsidiary, Ivanplats. The South Africa beneficiaries of the approved broad-based, black economic empowerment structure have a 26% stake in the project, with the remaining 10% owned by a Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corporation, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, and Japan Gas Corporation.

The Platreef 2020 feasibility study builds on the results of the 2017 feasibility study and is based on an unchanged mineral reserve of 125 Mt at 4.4 g/t 3PGE+Au, project designs for mining, and plant and infrastructure as in the 2017 study; except with an increased production rate from 4 Mt/y to 4.4 Mt/y, in two modules of 2.2 Mt/y, for annual production of more than 500,000 oz of palladium, platinum, rhodium and gold; plus more than 35 MIb of nickel and copper.

The initial plan is to start at a mining rate of 700,000 t/y before scaling up. An updated feasibility study on the plan is expected to be published before the end of the year.

Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, said it was “encouraging” that Ivanplats is considering going all battery-electric at Platreef.

“Battery-electric equipment is increasingly embraced by mining companies as it provides a healthier work environment, lower total operating costs and higher productivity,” she said. “The technology is now well established, and Epiroc is driving this change toward emissions-free mining.”

Marna Cloete, Ivanhoe Mines’ President and CFO, said: “We want to be at the forefront of utilising battery electric, zero-emission equipment at all of our mining operations. This partnership with Epiroc for emissions-free mining equipment at the Platreef Mine is an important first step towards achieving our net-zero carbon emissions goals while mining metals required for a cleaner environment.”

Boomer M2 Battery face drill rigs and Scooptram ST14 Battery loaders are built in Sweden, and are automation-ready and equipped with Epiroc’s telematics solution Certiq.

The equipment will be delivered early to Platreef in 2022. Epiroc will also provide on-site operator and maintenance training to Ivanplats, it said.

Epiroc intends to offer its complete fleet of underground mining equipment as battery-electric versions by 2025, and its full fleet for surface operations as battery-powered versions by 2030.

Epiroc to supply drill rigs, bolters, loaders and trucks to Mexico’s CoMinVi

Epiroc says it has won a large order for underground mining equipment from Mexican contractor CoMinVi for use at several mines throughout the country.

CoMinVi SA de CV, headquartered in Guanajuato, Mexico, has ordered a variety of Epiroc machines, including face drilling rigs, production drilling rigs, rock reinforcement rigs, loaders and mine trucks. The equipment will ensure the mines are operated with strengthened productivity, safety and cost efficiency, the OEM said.

The machines will be used at several mines in Mexico where CoMinVi serves as mining contractor. Aftermarket services such as on-site maintenance supervisor and spare parts consignment will be provided by Epiroc.

The total order value of the equipment exceeds $45 million, of which the majority was booked in the June quarter of 2021. The remaining part is expected to be booked in the second half of 2021.

“We are proud to partner with CoMinVi to enhance safety, productivity and sustainability in their operations,” Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, said. “The equipment and services will support CoMinVi to successfully execute on their mining projects.”

Rafael Villagómez Contreras, CoMinVi’s CEO, said: “The acquisition of this new equipment is a historical part of CoMinVi’s growth in recent years and represents a competitive advantage for us. It will ensure our ability to respond immediately to our potential customers by having the necessary resources that allow us to be one step ahead of our competition. We are very satisfied with the commercial partnership with Epiroc as this is a long-term relationship that will be supported with a high-level technical backup and a reliable supply.”

The equipment includes Boomer face drilling rigs, Simba production drilling rigs, Boltec rock reinforcement rigs, Scooptram loaders and Minetruck haulers. The machines will be equipped with Epiroc’s Certiq system, which allows for intelligent monitoring of machine performance and productivity in real time, and some of the units will have Epiroc’s Rig Control System, RCS, installed. This system makes them ready for automation and remote control.

The equipment is to be delivered in 2021 and 2022.

Epiroc ‘new generation’ Boomer drill rig to launch in 2021

Epiroc is planning a “new generation” Boomer face drilling launch in 2021 as it looks to capture more market share in the underground mining contractor market.

Speaking at Epiroc’s Capital Markets Day Fika 2020 event on Monday, Sami Niiranen, President of Epiroc’s Underground division, said the new rigs would be designed for increasing both production and safety.

The company referred to the machine in presentation slides as a “true development rig, fully equipped for multi-task operation and automation”, with Niiranen adding that the Boomer will come with a battery-electric driveline option.

During his presentation, Niiranen also provided investors and interested parties with the latest numbers on Epiroc’s digitalisation and automation solutions.

He confirmed that more than 1,000 machines were now connected to the company’s Certiq telematics system, while there were circa-90 production Simba production drills operating autonomously. This came alongside around 50 automated underground LHDs and some 670 drills with full automation capability.

Epiroc to supply equipment, services for Codelco’s Chuquicamata underground mine

Epiroc is to deliver underground loaders, face drill rigs, rock bolting rigs and mine trucks to the Chuquicamata underground mine in northern Chile following an order from Codelco.

The large equipment order, which comes on top of the signing of a large contract for services at Codelco’s Andina mine and a large order for equipment used at its El Teniente mine, also includes several years of technical support and training. The order is valued at more than $20 million and was booked in April 2020.

Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, opened the Chuquicamata underground mine in 2019 as it looked to transition the world’s largest open-pit mine into a technologically advanced underground operation. The transformation will extend the mine life by 40 years, according to Codelco.

Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, said the company was proud to be a key partner of Codelco “as it significantly extends the life of the Chuquicamata mine in the most productive, efficient and safe manner possible”.

Juan Mariscal, Sourcing Category Manager at Codelco, says: “Epiroc was chosen because it complied with all the technical, safety and performance requirements that Codelco demanded for the Chuquicamata Underground Mine project, while being the supplier that provided the best economic proposal for all its equipment as a whole.”

The order includes multiple units of the Scooptram ST1030 and ST18 loader, the Boomer S2 face drilling rig, the Boltec M bolting machine, and the Minetruck MT65 (pictured), the highest payload capacity underground truck in the world.

The machines will be equipped with 6th Sense solutions for automation, connectivity and information management, Epiroc says. The solutions include Epiroc’s Rig Control System, RCS, which makes the equipment ready for automation and remote control, and Epiroc’s Certiq system, which allows for intelligent monitoring of machine performance and productivity in real-time.

Delivery of the equipment will take place later this year.

Epiroc loaders and drills set for Codelco El Teniente underground copper mine

Epiroc says it has won a “large order” from construction company Züblin International GmbH Chile Spa for equipment to be used for the expansion project at Codelco’s El Teniente copper mine in Chile.

Züblin International GmbH Chile, owned by STRABAG Group and the contractor for Codelco, has ordered multiple drill rigs and loaders for use in the El Teniente underground copper mine, with Epiroc’s state-of-the-art equipment ensuring “high productivity and safe operation as the mine will be deepened, extending its lifespan by an estimated 50 years”, Epiroc said.

The order totals around SEK135 million ($14.03 million) and was placed in the June quarter. It includes different models of the Boomer face drilling rig (including the Boomer E2), Simba production drilling rig and Scooptram loader, as well as on-site technical support.

The machines will be equipped with the Epiroc telematics system Certiq, allowing automated and intelligent monitoring of productivity and machine performance. Epiroc said delivery has started and will take place through early 2020.

Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s Senior Executive Vice President Mining and Infrastructure, said: “We are proud to play a vital role as the El Teniente mine is expanded and gets to thrive for many more years in a productive and safe manner.”

Dirk Pförtner, Commercial Managing Director at STRABAG Spa Chile, said Epiroc had been able to put together a comprehensive offer that included not just equipment but also service support and in-depth training.

Epiroc helps Barrick Gold’s Hemlo mine go deeper with automation and teleremote control

An autonomous and teleremote solution from Epiroc has allowed Barrick Gold’s team at Hemlo in Ontario, Canada, to enhance safety, and reduce ventilation and climate control requirements, even as the underground mine goes deeper.

These innovations are the most recent addition to an automation programme at Barrick’s Hemlo open stope mine. The programme began with an autonomous truck circuit in 2007 and is now accelerating with a five-year plan following a year-long search for a solution offering the lowest cost, quickest implementation and solid product support, according to Epiroc.

Hemlo has produced more than 21 Moz of gold, and has been operating continuously for more than 30 years. It produced 196,000 oz last year and is expected to produce 200,000-220,000 oz this year.

The complex is made up of an open pit and underground mine, with the latter expected to operate until 2021 at an average production rate of approximately 3,600 t/d, according to the latest mine technical report.

Patrick Marshall, Manager Automation Projects for Barrick, said the company studied all available technology before settling on Epiroc’s solution.

“We had conferences with manufacturers and visited their facilities. We toured operations where their equipment was at work,” he said.

“We believe the Epiroc package featured the product support we wanted, had the best integration capability for our multivendor operation, had the right pricing model and, in general, was the best fit for our needs.”

Barrick preferred to use Cisco for wireless infrastructure, with Marshall explaining the Epiroc system was “easily adaptable for use with third-party wireless systems”.

For Hemlo, which is now being mined from around 1.4 km below surface, safety is the greatest benefit of the automation-ready Epiroc Scooptram ST14. Combining autonomous tramming with teleremote operation also increases productivity, according to Epiroc.

Hemlo Mine Superintendent Jon Laird said: “Automation and teleremote control get workers away from the operating environment to an office on the surface ‒ the ultimate in safe operation. And, since it continuously mucks from stopes at a steady rate even through shift changes, it eliminates having to move operators to it every shift.”

Laird said the 14 t-capacity Epiroc Scooptram is “so efficient it threatens to outpace crushing operations at the ore pass”.

One solution to this ‘overproduction’ being discussed is creating additional ore passes to give one crushing operation time to clear ore between dumps. The Scooptram loader can easily learn multiple routes and alternate between them.

“Other systems Hemlo looked at took up to a full shift for the route-learning process,” Epiroc said.

The automation zone is marked with a laseractuated barrier at Hemlo. Crossing this light curtain will trip a shutdown of the level and alarm those on surface. An electronic ‘key’ from a safety box near the light curtain is required before a unit can enter the zone.

Operator Wayne Locht said: “It (the key) connects the rig to the automation area so that the safety system knows that the rig is in the area.”

Equipment at Hemlo is tagged to display its location in the mine with Mobilaris real-time tracking software. The same Mobilaris technology is planned for miners’ hard hats by the end of 2018.

Once in the zone, Locht radios the operator waiting at the control room operator station on the surface, 1.4 km above the mine. The rig can now be operated from this vantage point.

Certiq, the telematics system installed on the Scooptram, will be important for tracking, documenting and analysing operational data to learn how much Barrick gains from its investment in automation, according to Epiroc.

Mucking is not yet an automated feature, so this task is carried out by Locht remotely once back on surface.

“Until the rig is refueled, after approximately 16 hours, no human being will visit the rig or enter the automation zone. Teleremote operators will monitor its routine, taking control only during loading and dumping operations,” Epiroc said.

Barrick’s next step is finishing the wireless infrastructure throughout the Hemlo mine, expanding the automation zones, and getting more loaders. A single operator will run more than one machine from a control station, and the mine will have more than one station. Operators at any station will be able to control any of the automated Scooptram loaders, anywhere in the mine.

Marshall said: “Today, we’re connected. Tomorrow we’ll have optimised fleet management. In the near future, we’ll achieve our ultimate goal – fully autonomous mining underground executed by our operators from the surface.”

Epiroc names five keys to success of this operation:

  • “Mobilaris real-time location tracking: Mine-wide use of Mobilaris Mining Intelligence not only gives Hemlo real-time equipment tracking, but the precise location of each person underground – a vital advantage in case of an emergency;
  • “Designed with operators in mind: Operators report high satisfaction with the ergonomics, power, comfort and features of the Scooptram ST14 loader. Transitioning to teleremote and autonomous operation is quick and easy to learn;
  • “Capacity and speed boost productivity: The Scooptram ST14 loader with 14 t bucket capacity gives fast, fully loaded tramming speeds rated up to 29.5 km/h on level ground and up to 4.8 km/h up a 25% grade;
  • “Safer, more comfortable environment: Automated LHD operation reduces ventilation and climate control requirements for deep mining operations and moves operators to a safer, more comfortable environment than is possible with line-of-sight radio remote control;
  • “Multi-use Wi-Fi: Wireless infrastructure for autonomous operation also enables live access to performance data and provides minewide network access for location tracking and communication capabilities like mid-interval reporting.”