Tag Archives: David Hallett

Sandvik receives record AutoMine order from Codelco’s El Teniente mine

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions says it has received a major order for the AutoMine® load and haul automation system valued at about SEK 250 million ($28 million) from Chile’s Codelco to be used in the El Teniente mine.

In addition, a connected load and haul equipment order, with an initial value of SEK 150 million, was received, bringing the total value of the orders to SEK 400 million, Sandvik said.

The contract will run from 2022 through 2027 at the Andes Norte block cave.

Since the first AutoMine system was commissioned in El Teniente’s Pipa Norte mine in 2004, Sandvik has supplied several intelligent load and haul equipment fleets as well as AutoMine and OptiMine solutions to Codelco mines.

The new order will be supplied in two phases. During 2022 and 2023, Codelco will receive two Toro™ TH663i trucks and two Sandvik LH514 loaders, as well as an AutoMine Fleet system capable of being scaled to support up to 16 machines and AutoMine production area hardware for future expansions over several years.

The first phase of the order, which also includes support contracts for the equipment and AutoMine system, will initially be used by Codelco Andes Norte in a new block caving area in El Teniente that is expected to commence production between mid-2022 and early 2023.

From 2023 through 2027, Sandvik will deliver six more Toro TH663i trucks, six Sandvik LH514 loaders and an additional AutoMine Fleet system.

Emilio Vega, Business Line Manager for Automation, Sales Area Andean & South Cone at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “Codelco selected Sandvik’s solutions based on our proven technology, capable of fulfilling requirements for safety, reliability and productivity. Furthermore, we have competent staff capable of serving and supporting the organisation’s existing systems. This provides value-added services that enable optimised productivity in order to meet the customer’s production performance.”

AutoMine underground for loading and hauling is an automation system for autonomous and tele-remote operation of a wide range of Sandvik loaders and trucks. The scalable solution can provide tele-remote to fully autonomous operation for a single machine or multiple machines, including full fleet automation with automatic mission and traffic control capability, according to Sandvik.

Patricio Apablaza, Vice President Sales South Cone & Andean at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, added: “Codelco’s objective is to continue implementing automation and digitalisation solutions in its mining operations. We have a great opportunity, as a key supplier, to be part of this change by supporting Codelco with high-end technology and providing key support to its operations to help our customer succeed in this journey.”

The AutoMine Fleet system is a highly advanced automation system for a fleet of Sandvik underground loaders and trucks sharing the same automated production area. It provides advanced traffic control capabilities, as well as a wide range of interfaces for infrastructure integration to allow for complex automation applications in challenging environments.

Pablo Gandara, Project Portfolio Manager, El Teniente Mine, explained: “For Codelco and, in particular, for El Teniente mine, it is a goal to continue being the largest underground mine in the world. This purpose also needs to be accompanied by other attributes that are key today to continue being leaders in the mining business, such as safety, environmental sustainability, and productivity.

“Considering all these elements, we have come to the conclusion that to operate our mines we require companies that have the same values, and that is how we came to define that the Sandvik AutoMine product satisfies all our needs. In addition to show best practice of a real partnership is the cooperation that began many years ago between Codelco and Sandvik in the first automated project for El Teniente, which was the Pipa Norte sector in 2004. From there we have built a relationship between two companies, we understand each other very well, and we trust in the joint capacities that we have developed.”

David Hallett, Vice President, Automation at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “We are excited to continue our journey in automation and digitalisation at Codelco’s El Teniente mine to help increase safety and productivity for their operations. This order will be delivered as a turnkey solution composed of all elements of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ offering for equipment, digital technologies and aftermarket. Sandvik strives to be the number one productivity partner for our customers and this order and delivery will embody all elements of this.”

Back in February 2021, Sandvik said it would deliver its AutoMine Fleet system to automate a new fleet of Sandvik LHDs running at Codelco’s Pacifico Superior and Pilar Norte GTI operations, part of the El Teniente underground mine.

Sandvik enables fully autonomous drill fleet operation with AutoMine AutoCycle

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions says it is enabling fully autonomous fleet operation of multiple Leopard™ DI650i drill rigs from a remote control room with the launch of AutoMine® Surface Drilling AutoCycle.

The AutoCycle capabilities expand the iDrill automated drilling cycle with autonomous hole-to-hole tramming, path planning, obstacle detection and geofencing.

“With the growing demand for surface drilling automation, we have developed together with key customers our new AutoCycle capabilities to enable fully autonomous fleet operation through the drilling cycle,” David Hallett, Vice President of Automation at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said. “These capabilities include hole-to-hole tramming without operator involvement for continuous autonomous drilling through the entire pattern. From a control room, an operator can oversee the autonomous operation of multiple surface drill rigs remotely, improving operational safety and increasing productivity and fleet utilisation.”

The Leopard DI650i iDrill automated drilling cycle covers all steps from boom positioning, drilling and pipe handling to finishing the hole, and ensures consistent high-quality drilled holes, according to Sandvik.

AutoMine Surface Drilling with geofencing functionality sets the drilling area where remote operation is allowed. The system prevents movement of the rig outside of the defined area. Autonomous hole-to-hole tramming enables automatic drill rig relocation according to the drill plan, with an operator assigning the hole sequence using a touchscreen interface.

The AutoMine obstacle detection system can automatically stop the rig and interlock tramming in case of detected obstacles in the stop-zone to avoid collision.

“The AutoMine Surface Drilling safety system is made according to international safety standards, providing functionality to operate the autonomous drilling system with peace of mind,” Sandvik said.

AutoMine Surface Drilling AutoCycle, together with iDrill intelligent sequences, increase efficiency and productivity through consistent and accurate performance as well as the operator’s safety and comfort.

AutoMine Surface Drilling offers scalable automation with three remote operation packages:

  • ‘Line-of-Sight’ package is optimised for quick setup when an operator remains close to the drilling area;
  • ‘Control Room’ package includes enhanced features for locating an operator away from the drilling area into a control room; and
  • ‘Autonomous’ package includes all capabilities to enable AutoCycle with a fully autonomous operation for a fleet of Leopard DI650i drill rigs.

Exyn and Sandvik OptiMine auto drone integration tested at Rupert Resources project

Exyn Technologies has announced the expansion of its strategic partnership with Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions to integrate its data into Sandvik’s analytics and process optimisation suite, OptiMine®.

By synthesising critical data and capabilities, Exyn and Sandvik are helping mining customers transform their underground operations to be safer, more productive and more efficient, the companies say.

Back in July, the two companies signed an agreement to work together “to provide efficient solutions for mapping and visioning underground mines, which will make a substantial difference when it comes to mine locations that are hazardous, hard to reach or conventionally time-consuming to survey and inspect”.

In the latest release, the two said: “Using Exyn’s industrial-grade autonomous drone, ExynAero, mining companies can harness completely pilotless flight to access impossible-to-reach data with maximum safety. The data collected is processed using Exyn’s on-board 3D mapping technology – powered by ExynAI – which is then integrated with Sandvik’s OptiMine Mine Visualizer solution for analysis and optimisation of underground mining production and process.”

The partnership allows mining customers to benefit from comprehensive underground aerial 3D mapping with progressive visualisation that increases overall transparency of mining operations – including for GPS-denied, hard-to-reach, or hazardous areas, or locations that would be time-consuming to survey and inspect using conventional methods, according to the companies.

Exyn and Sandvik deployed this integrated solution at gold exploration and development company Rupert Resources’ Pahtavaara project in Finland, using the ExynAero drone to autonomously create a 3D point cloud of an underground stope. This 3D data was then uploaded to Sandvik’s OptiMine Mine Visualizer and georeferenced to the CAD mine model for further analysis and visualisation.

David Hallett, Vice President, Business Unit Automation, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “This step in our partnership with Exyn is critical. Our teams have been working closely together to ensure the connection between Exyn and Sandvik’s systems would be seamless and easy for operators to use. When this feature gets rolled out to the market as part of OptiMine, it will allow our customers to analyse Exyn’s high-resolution, aerial maps in OptiMine.

“After this demonstration, we look forward to further developing our partnership and integrating our hardware and software systems in the coming months.”

Nader Elm, CEO and Co-Founder of Exyn Technologies, added: “We’re very proud to expand our partnership with Sandvik and to deliver the key benefits of safety and operational efficiency to all the humans involved in the mining industry.

“By offering world-class software and technology, we have given customers the ability to map areas underground they could never before reach. Our end goal is to be an integral part of fully autonomous mining operations and I’m confident that through our partnership with Sandvik, we’re one step closer.”

Exyn and Sandvik have more product integrations in the plans, they said.

Sandvik debuts fully autonomous, battery-electric, cabin-less AutoMine Concept vehicle

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has unveiled the direction it thinks the underground mining industry is heading: fully-electric, autonomous and cabin-less.

During its virtual Innovation in Mining event on September 29, David Hallett, Global Product Line Manager, Automation, and Jussi Puura, Research and Technology Development, Digitalization Lead, unveiled its next-generation AutoMine® Concept vehicle to back up this view.

Based on the latest technologies and equipped with completely new sensing capabilities and artificial intelligence to enhance mining operations, the AutoMine Concept vehicle perceives its surroundings and environment in 3D and reacts to it in real-time, Sandvik says.

These technologies provide clear customer advantages by allowing vehicles to adapt and plan their own routes, and to find the most suitable paths even in continuously changing environments, according to the company. The obstacle detection, collision avoidance and 3D online mapping capabilities, meanwhile, improve adaptability and increase flexibility.

During a demonstration of the machine tramming, loading and dumping material at the Sandvik Test Mine in Tampere, Finland, Hallett and Puura explained how this cabin-less, fully-electric machine worked.

“With this concept vehicle, we have the ability to not only showcase our future technologies, but build the platform and foundation for our next-generation automation products,” Hallett said.

“Subsequently, we will start to gradually deploy these technologies to our existing AutoMine products providing opportunities for our current customer base to realise value with the products they have today, and make them readily available for future customers, as well.”

Sandvik says the vehicle represents a foundation for using the AutoMine technology in various equipment types and can be applied to any vehicle.

Hallett added: “The AutoMine concept is not a manual machine we have adapted for automation, but rather the opposite in which the machine has been designed for automation in mining.”

Puura stated a key differentiator of this concept vehicle compared with the company’s existing AutoMine range.

“Our target is to make these autonomous machines work safely with people and manual machines in the same area without the need for area isolation or safety gates.”

Riku Pulli, Vice President, Automation at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said the AutoMine Concept is the world’s first fully autonomous underground mining machine built specifically for automation.

“This technology raises ease-of-use, effectiveness of asset utilisation and adaptability to a new level, resulting in higher productivity,” he said. “These technologies will truly change the face and pace of autonomous mining.”