Tag Archives: Denise Johnson

Cat to use NMG’s Matawinie graphite mine as ‘zero-emission machine’ testbed

Nouveau Monde Graphite and Caterpillar have signed an agreement pursuant to which Caterpillar will develop, test and produce Cat® “zero-emission machines” for the Matawinie graphite mine, in Quebec, Canada, with a view to becoming the exclusive supplier of an all-electric mining fleet for deployment at the mine by 2028.

Looking to accelerate and tailor the equipment development, Caterpillar will engage with Nouveau Monde’s team to incorporate “voice of customer” throughout the development, and for testing of the zero-emission fleet and infrastructure prior to commercial production, the companies said.

To this point, Caterpillar has only disclosed the development of a battery-electric 15 t LHD, the R1700 XE, however it came to light just over a year ago that the OEM was working on a separate project called ‘Project Verde’.

Brian Weller, Chief Engineer, Surface Mining & Technology, Caterpillar Inc, previously stated on Project Verde: “Caterpillar has responded to customers by launching a project that is focused on energy and emissions reduction, and helping customers decrease their carbon footprints through machinery and power solutions that contribute to lower greenhouse gas.”

Speaking about the latest agreement between NMG and Cat, Arne H Frandsen, Chairman of Nouveau Monde, commented: “I recall our first meeting with Caterpillar some two years ago, outlining our vision of a zero-emission mine in Québec. Our commitment to this vision has taken us to this very important moment, not only for Nouveau Monde, but for the global mining industry as a whole. Today, alongside Caterpillar, which in my opinion is the most trusted and reputable supplier of heavy-mining equipment worldwide, we can bring the zero-emission machines vision into reality.

“I think it is remarkable that Nouveau Monde, as a representative for the new style green resources industry, is part of spearheading the electrification of the industry, by collaborating with Caterpillar.”

Eric Desaulniers, Founder, President and CEO of Nouveau Monde, added: “We are proud to be a driving force for our peers as we strive to electrify our operations to meet our carbon neutrality commitments while maintaining the productivity and efficiency standards of our mining operations. Even more gratifying and important to our corporate mission is that our project can serve as a springboard for the future of the mining industry by collaborating with Caterpillar on these cutting-edge technologies.”

Denise Johnson, Caterpillar Group President, said: “The collaboration between Caterpillar and Nouveau Monde marks an important milestone in the mining industry. Through integrated technology, machines and services, the entire Caterpillar team is proud to support Nouveau Monde as they work towards constructing and establishing their first zero-emission mine.”

In November last year, NMG issued an “international call for pre-qualification” related to the fleet and charging infrastructure at Matawinie following work by the company’s International Task Force Committee. This work had allowed Nouveau Monde to explore “technologies, best practices and operational parameters to bring its vision to life in a cost-effective and technologically advanced way”.

As part of this pre-qualification program, companies were able to submit detailed proposals and performance specifications from their production equipment solutions between November 30 and January 30, 2021.

In the 2018 definitive feasibility study on Matawinie, Medatech Engineering Services Ltd and ABB Inc – both companies in Nouveau Monde’s taskforce committee – came up with the fleet outline at Matawinie.

“The mine will be using an all-electric, zero-emission mine fleet, consisting of electric battery-driven 36.3-t mining trucks, battery-driven front-end loaders, cable reel excavators and bulldozers, and battery-driven service vehicles,” the report read.

The mine, scheduled to produce 100,000 t/y of graphite concentrate, was also expected to use an electric in-pit mobile crusher and overland conveyor system to feed crushed material to the plant.

Cat to bring new D11 XE dozer, R1700 XE battery-electric LHD to MINExpo

Caterpillar is set to unveil the world’s largest, most powerful and efficient electric drive dozer with high drive at the upcoming MINExpo 2021 event in Las Vegas, USA, in September, in an exhibit themed around the concept, “together, we’re mining better”.

Caterpillar’s MINExpo 2021 experience, the company says, celebrates its partnership with mines and the ways it assists customers to mine more efficiently, effectively, safely and sustainably. The 5,124 sq.m exhibit will feature a broad range of product displays, new equipment introductions, previews of what the future holds and remote operating stations.

The exhibit will be grouped under three specific core areas: environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and sustainability; technology and automation; and equipment lifecycle management solutions.

The headline exhibits come September 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center will, no doubt, be the brand new Cat D11 XE dozer, the new Cat® R1700 XE battery-electric LHD (pictured, top), and new R2900 XE LHD diesel-electric drivetrain. The company also intends to display the recently released Cat 992K wheel loader, new Cat 777G water truck, Cat 794 AC electric drive truck and Cat MD6310 rotary blasthole drill.

“After waiting an extra year, the mining industry is ready to reconnect at MINExpo,” Caterpillar Resource Industries Group President, Denise Johnson, said. “We are excited to show our customers and the industry the advancements Caterpillar has made not only in equipment, technology and services but also in how we are helping customers mine more sustainably.

“While we are eager to exhibit in Las Vegas, we recognise that many of our dealers and customers will not be able to travel to the show. Therefore, we are also creating a digital Caterpillar experience at cat.com/mining, where we will place MINExpo specific content.”

Mining sustainably

Central to Caterpillar’s commitment to mining better together is helping customers meet their ESG goals and build sustainable mine sites of the future. Recognising one size does not fit all, Caterpillar has followed a strategic approach with a long-term vision of discovering, developing and delivering a broad portfolio of products, technologies, services and solutions, it said.

“This portfolio allows Caterpillar to provide a full site approach, which combines offerings with integration expertise to identify and provide the best possible solution for each specific mine,” Cat explained.

Vital to the vision of the all-electric underground mine of the future, the new Cat R1700 XE LHD will feature 100% battery-electric propulsion that generates significantly less heat and noise. It offers a 15t payload, 24,190 kg lift and tilt breakout force, and 18 km/h top speed. To optimise runtime and improve safety, batteries stay on the machine for charging, with the new portable Cat MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger able to charge the unit in as little as 20 minutes.

The new R2900 XE LHD diesel-electric drivetrain to be displayed features a significant reduction in maintenance and repair costs, while minimising emissions. Its redesigned lift arm and components delivers up to a 39% improved lift breakout force over the R2900G, making this model up to 31 tonnes per litre more fuel efficient, Cat claims.

Cat is set to unveil what it says is the world’s largest, most powerful and efficient electric drive dozer with high drive. The new Cat D11 XE dozer will be the most advanced, lowest emission-per-tonne dozer in the industry, built to deliver the lowest cost of bank cubic meters ever.

Exhibited alongside the D11 XE, the new Cat D10 dozer (below) offers up to 4% less fuel consumption than the previous model, up to 3% more productivity with high-horsepower reverse and up to 6% more efficiency with combined load-sensing hydraulics and stator clutch torque divider, according to Cat.

The recently introduced Cat 992 wheel loader to go on show delivers up to a 32% increase in productivity. It reduces maintenance costs by up to 10% and has demonstrated in field testing up to 48% greater payload-per-fuel efficiency in applications where a four-pass match to 90.7 t trucks was achieved versus five passes with the 992K.

Caterpillar says it is committed to helping customers with their energy transitions, and the MINExpo exhibit will include a range of renewable and storable power displays, including the Cat Microgrid system. The Cat 3516 engine, meanwhile, will feature dynamic gas blending (DGB), which allows mines to save fuel and reduce emissions without sacrificing diesel performance.

Driving technology and automation

“Technology and automation are critical components for substantially improving machine uptime availability and productivity,” Marc Cameron, Vice President, Caterpillar Resource Industries, said. “Through Cat MineStar™ Solutions, Caterpillar offers customers scalable technologies to fit the mine’s specific needs. The exhibit’s technology and automation stage will focus on the real value that Caterpillar technology options provide customers.”

MINExpo will be the first opportunity for many attendees to learn more about the recently introduced Cat MineStar Edge. This solution brings visibility to the entire mining operation to show how activities early in the process impact those further down the value chain, according to the company. MineStar Edge makes it possible to measure, manage, analyse and improve the entire mining operation.

Equipped with MineStar Command for hauling, the new Cat 777G water truck provides a glimpse into the future for autonomously lowering dust levels at the mine site while maintaining haul road safety. Featuring the market’s first autonomous water delivery system, the machine integrates truck, tank and sprayer, and knows where and when to water haul roads.

Representing the Caterpillar fleet of autonomous trucks, the displayed Cat 794 AC electric drive (pictured below) will be factory-installed with Cat MineStar Command for hauling. Recently, autonomous trucks using Command for hauling surpassed 3 billion tonnes of material hauled, safely traveling more than 110 million km.

Accurate to the centimetre, the exhibited Cat MD6310 rotary blasthole drill offers technology, efficiency, safety and productivity improvements. Fully integrating Caterpillar’s components and systems, including technology and automation, the drill is capable of up to 42,149 kg of bit load and targets 203-to-311-mm hole diameters.

Exhibiting how technology can improve safety at the mine site, the Cat MineStar Detect Driver Safety System (DSS) display details how the system monitors eye closure and head pose to alert the driver via seat vibration and/or audio alarm the moment fatigue or distraction is identified. DSS has been shown to reduce 97% of the most significant fatigue events, 80% of average fatigue events and 91% of distraction events, Cat says.

Several Cat Command stations and trailers will be on display for attendees to experience effective remote control and semi-autonomous drilling, dozing and underground operations from many kilometres away.

Lifecycle solutions

Highlighting Caterpillar’s rebuild services capability, the rebuilt Cat C175-16 engine, which produces up to 2,550 kW, on display reduces overall owning and operating costs.

Team members will also be available to explain to attendees how MineStar Health maximises equipment availability and reliability by connecting the machine to the office. The service assists with proactive maintenance services and predictive equipment analysis by collecting equipment data, monitoring critical machine parameters, obtaining real-time alerts, analysing operational trends and patterns, predicting failures and receiving repair recommendations, Cat says.

Partnership and expertise

In addition to teams of workers with machine and technology expertise, representatives of Cat Financial and Cat Solutions will be on hand to share information on safety, fleet management and productivity offerings that can be combined into full site solutions.

A ThoroughTec® Simulation training will provide an opportunity to experience the 7495 electric rope shovel. In addition, attendees will be able to experience two next generation machine cabs – one for mining trucks and another for the 6060 hydraulic mining shovel – via actual cabs on display.

More OEMs join the ICMM’s Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles initiative

The Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles (ICSV) initiative – a supply chain collaboration between the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) – has made significant progress towards understanding what is needed to transform today’s fleet of mining vehicles into tomorrow’s new generation of cleaner, safer vehicles, members of its CEO Advisory Group announced today at IMARC Online.

The ambitions of the ICSV initiative are to introduce greenhouse gas emission-free surface mining vehicles by 2040, minimise the operational impact of diesel exhaust by 2025 and make vehicle collision avoidance technology available to mining companies by 2025.

Two years on from announcing these ambitions, eight new OEMs have joined the initiative, taking the number of participating OEMs to 19, the ICMM said. This includes 3MTech, Behault, Future Digital communications, MTU, Miller Technologies, Miller Technologies, Nerospec, Newtrax and Torsa, the ICMM confirmed to IM.

ICMM members, representing around 30% of the global metals market with over 650 assets, have undertaken assessments to establish a clearer view of the progress made at site level towards each ICSV ambition. These assessments indicate ICMM members are generally at early stages of maturity in the journey, and show what progress will look like for each ambition, the ICMM said.

“This significant representation of industry can speak with an aligned voice, on aligned objectives with OEMs and third-party technology providers,” it added. “In its first two years, the ICSV initiative has achieved the critical step of sending strong signals to OEMs and third-party technology providers on their requirements, and on what is needed to accelerate development and adoption of technology across the industry.”

The initiative is led by a CEO Advisory Group comprising each leader of BHP, Anglo American, Gold Fields, Caterpillar, Komatsu and Sandvik, several members of which spoke today at IMARC Online about the collaborative model.

Nick Holland, Chief Executive, Gold Fields (and Chair of the CEO Advisory Group), said there was a critical need to advance work on cleaner, safer vehicles in mining, which will have important health and safety benefits and contribute towards the pressing need of decarbonising the mining industry.

“It is recognised that there are measures we can implement now, but other, more impactful, interventions are reliant on technology pathways that are still evolving,” he said. “This will undoubtedly take time, but the industry’s collaboration with OEMs, through the ICMM, is critical as we look for these long-term, sustainable and integrated solutions.”

Mike Henry, Chief Executive, BHP, added: “Safer, cleaner mining equipment is important for our people and the world. No one party can tackle this on their own though. The ICSV initiative brings together equipment manufacturers and ICMM members to accelerate the innovations required to improve equipment safety and reduce emissions. This is a great example of the collaborative industry-level effort that can help bring about the scale and pace of change that is needed.”

Denise Johnson, Group President, Caterpillar, said the OEM was committed to helping customers operate safely and sustainably, with the ICSV initiative helping it collaborate even more closely with the mining industry in these important areas.

“Its progress to date has helped to form a shared understanding of where the industry is on its journey and demonstrates that by working together we can more quickly accelerate the pace of change,” she said of the initiative.

Tom Butler, CEO, ICMM, added: “Partnership and collaboration fuels long-term sustainable development, and is crucial to addressing some of the mining industry’s biggest sustainability challenges. Progress made on the ICSV initiative has been building the widespread confidence needed to accelerate the level of innovation investment required to scale up commercial solutions. The initiative will benefit the entire industry and is open to all OEMs who would like to join.”

ICMM has developed tools to support the industry, OEMs and third-party technology providers to meet the initiative’s ambitions, it said. These tools include an ICSV Knowledge Hub that, the ICMM says, facilitates knowledge sharing of industry innovations, provides technical and practical resources including case studies, standards, regulations and a technology and solutions database.

Additionally, a set of “maturity frameworks” that help to “map, motivate and measure” progress against the ambitions have been published, with the intention to stimulate conversations within companies that drive thinking, decision making and action, it added.

In 2021, ICMM’s company members will focus on integrating the initiative’s goals into their corporate planning processes, allocating internal resources and effectively leveraging external resources such as synergies with other industry initiatives and collaboration between member companies, the ICMM said.

Fortescue completes autonomous haul truck fleet conversion in Western Australia

Fortescue Metals Group says it has completed its Chichester Hub autonomous haulage project, with 183 trucks now operating in AHS mode across its Solomon and Chichester Hubs, in Western Australia.

The project represents one of the largest fleet conversions to autonomous haulage systems (AHS) in the industry. It was aided by the involvement of Thiess.

The multi-class fleet includes Cat 793F, 789D and Komatsu 930E haul trucks and has safely travelled more than 52 million km and moved 1,500 Mt of material since 2013, according to FMG. An additional 900 assets, such as excavators, wheel loaders and light vehicles, are integrated with the autonomous fleet using Cat MineStar Command for hauling technology, which is operated from the Fortescue Hive, the company’s integrated operations centre in Perth, Western Australia.

Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines said, “Mining is one of the most innovative industries in the world, and Fortescue continues to build on our leading autonomy capability to deliver productivity and efficiency benefits.

“Most importantly, the introduction of AHS technology has improved safety outcomes across our operations and we’re very pleased that the team achieved this important milestone in the truck conversion program to the highest safety standards.

“Our approach to autonomy has been to be open and transparent with our plans and to work closely with our team members to offer opportunities for re-training and re-deployment. Around 3,000 Fortescue team members have been trained to work with autonomous haulage, including over 200 people trained as Mine Controllers and AHS system professionals.”

Group President, Resource Industries, Caterpillar Inc, Denise Johnson, said: “Fortescue is a leader in the implementation of autonomous solutions. This important milestone further reinforces the transformation Fortescue has made with autonomy to improve safety, site productivity and machine utilisation. We congratulate Fortescue on this significant achievement.”

Fortescue Chief Operating Officer, Greg Lilleyman, said: “Fortescue’s autonomous haulage fleet has delivered a 30% increase in productivity. Looking ahead, the flexibility of our efficient, multi-class autonomous fleet offers considerable potential for further productivity and efficiency gains.

“Our operations are more connected than ever before and, by using data from our autonomous haulage fleet, we can paint an accurate picture of our operations and focus on the optimal opportunities for improvement, such as haul road design and maintenance scheduling.

“Our autonomous haulage system is a foundational tool which allows us to streamline processes and improve outcomes, ultimately delivering increased value for our shareholders.”

Cat brings in ex-Rio employee as new mining-focused VP

Caterpillar’s Board of Directors has appointed Marc Cameron as a company Vice president, responsible for its Resource Industries Sales, Services and Technology division.

Cameron has 20 years of deep expertise in surface and underground mining, most recently with Rio Tinto. He has led complex global teams and has extensive knowledge of mining operations, having served in various roles as a leader on the Rio team, one of Caterpillar’s largest mining customers, Cat said.

He will begin his duties with Caterpillar on November 2, 2020, and will be based in Tucson, Arizona.

Denise Johnson, Caterpillar Group President of Resource Industries, said: “Marc’s deep mining experience will further enhance our customer focus and accelerate the growth of Caterpillar services, including technology solutions.”

Cameron joined Rio in 2003 and led the full value stream of some of the company’s copper and diamond mines, including the Rio Tinto Kennecott mine outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. Most recently, he led the development and execution of the end-of-life strategy for Rio’s North America legacy assets.

Prior to joining Rio, Cameron was a Civil Engineer for Peter Kiewit and Sons, a large construction and engineering organisation.

Fortescue autonomy firsts continue with start-up of AHS-equipped Cat 789Ds

Fortescue Metals Group has completed another significant step to becoming the first iron ore operation in the world to have a fully autonomous haulage fleet with the first Cat 789D model trucks fitted with Autonomous Haulage Technology (AHS) now in operation at its Cloudbreak operation in Western Australia.

Building on Fortescue’s autonomy capability, which began in 2012 when the company was the first in the world to deploy Cat autonomous haulage on a commercial scale, the planned roll out of 38 autonomous trucks at Cloudbreak has commenced. The conversion of Fortescue’s fleet to autonomy across all its mine sites in the Pilbara will see 175 trucks fitted with AHS by mid-2020.

Fortescue’s fleet of autonomous trucks has safely travelled over 28 million kilometres and has moved over 860 Mt of material, delivering a 30% improvement in productivity, according to the company.

In a global first, Fortescue retrofitted Cat Command for Hauling, part of Caterpillar’s MineStar technology, on Komatsu 930E haul trucks at Christmas Creek. The 930Es have been operating alongside the Cat 789Ds since November, “demonstrating the company’s capability to manage and operate the first multi-class truck size autonomous haulage site in the industry”, the company said.

Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Currently, Fortescue’s pioneering AHS deployment is the largest mining technology program in the industry.

“Our approach to autonomy is to be open and transparent with our plans and to work closely with our team members to offer opportunities for re-training and re-deployment. Around 3,000 Fortescue team members have been trained to work with autonomous haulage, including over 200 people trained as Mine Controllers and AHS system professionals. This ensures Fortescue remains transformational and leads to higher skilled workers and jobs.”

The rollout of AHS at Cloudbreak also required the transfer of 160 pieces of machinery to the Cat MineStar Command remote operations server. Cloudbreak is now the first remote mining operation in the world to use the Cat MineStar Command system in production mode, FMG said.

“Our remote operations centre located in Perth is a critical part of our integrated supply chain and key to increasing productivity and efficiency across our operations,” Gaines said.

Denise Johnson, Group President for Caterpillar’s Resource Industries, said: “Caterpillar and Fortescue have a history of industry-leading collaboration in the area of autonomy and automation. Cloudbreak takes this relationship to the next level and demonstrates another great example of Fortescue’s commitment to safety, site productivity and sustainable mining.”

Fortescue’s Cloudbreak mine site is also home to the 5-km relocatable conveyor, previously supplied by RCR Tomlinson, which includes two semi-mobile primary crushing stations and feeds directly into the Cloudbreak ore processing facility (OPF). “Another example of Fortescue’s innovative operations, the infrastructure can be positioned approximate to pits and relocated, extended or shortened once an area is mined,” the company said.

Within two weeks of operation, the conveyor was at full capacity, carrying 5,000 t/h of ore at approximately 25 km/h. The conveyor has replaced the equivalent of 12 manned trucks, FMG said.

“Together with the 11 autonomous drills currently operating across sites and the relocatable conveyor at Cloudbreak, our autonomous operations continue to deliver significant benefits to the business,” Gaines said.

Caterpillar, WesTrac to help automate Rio Tinto’s Koodaideri iron ore mine

Rio Tinto and Caterpillar have agreed to work together to create an automated mine operation at the Koodaideri iron ore project, in Western Australia, that makes best use of data analytics and integration to enhance safety, optimise production, boost mining machine use and lower costs.

The recently signed agreement will see Cat® and dealer WesTrac supply and support mining machines, automation and enterprise technology systems for the new mine. Rio, in a separate release, said this would see the supply of a fleet of 20 autonomous 793F trucks (pictured) as well as four autonomous blast drills.

Beyond the autonomous fleet, Caterpillar will also provide loaders, dozers, graders, water carts and diggers for the operation, which will be Rio Tinto’s first Pilbara mine to be primarily operated using Caterpillar machinery, Rio said. “The two companies have also agreed to study the potential for increased levels of automation of heavy mining equipment at the mine in the future.”

The partnership with Caterpillar at Koodaideri will enhance Rio Tinto’s industry-leading Mine of the Future™ programme, which connects all components of the mining value chain for the first time, as well as making increased use of automation and digitisation, according to Rio. Caterpillar’s machinery will be integrated with Rio Tinto’s Mine Automation System (MAS), which collects and enhances data created by the company’s mining operations, to improve productivity across Rio Tinto’s entire iron ore network.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Chris Salisbury, said: “We’re pleased to be partnering with Caterpillar and WesTrac, the regional Cat dealer, to help make Koodaideri the most technology-enabled and innovative mine in our Pilbara iron ore network.

“Technology is rapidly changing our mining operations as we harness innovation to make our operations safer, smarter and more productive. This extension of our partnership with Caterpillar and WesTrac represents an exciting step for our business.”

Denise Johnson, Group President Resource Industries, Caterpillar Inc, said: “The Caterpillar team is looking forward to working with Rio Tinto to apply our proven mining equipment and technology and to implement additional MineStar™ autonomy solutions at Koodaideri—a new mine designed to capitalise on leading-edge technology.

“We are excited to work together to advance Rio Tinto’s mine automation and digitalisation program.”

Koodaideri will deliver a new production hub for Rio Tinto’s iron ore business in the Pilbara. Construction work has commenced, and first production is expected in late 2021. Once complete, the mine will have an annual capacity of 43 Mt, underpinning production of the Pilbara Blend, Rio’s flagship iron ore product.

As mine construction advances, WesTrac will manage logistics of mining machine delivery and commissioning and play a key role in implementing technology solutions.

Jarvas Croome, WesTrac CEO, said: “WesTrac is excited to be part of the Koodaideri project and to work with Caterpillar to deliver ground-breaking equipment solutions to support Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future vision.”

Last week, FLSmidth announced it would bring the latest smart 3D design to Koodaideri after announcing a contract win.