Tag Archives: haulage

Fe Ltd locks in Campbell Transport for JWD iron ore haulage

Fe Limited says it has executed a haulage contract with David Campbell Transport Pty Ltd under which the company will act as lead haulage contractor for the JWD iron ore project in Western Australia.

Under the contract, Campbell Transport will provide haulage of a minimum of 1,200 t/d, which comprises circa-60% of the intended initial JWD volumes, and will also provide road train loading services to the other haulage contractors performing the remainder of the haulage.

Campbell Transport is an experienced haulage contractor that has been established for more than 20 years with a long history of bulk commodity haulage with a focus on iron ore, Fe Ltd said.

Under the terms of the contract, the haulage rate is fixed for the first six months and then reverts to a floating rate (above a floor rate) that is based on FEL’s realised iron ore price. “This provides upside to the contractor in times of elevated pricing such as presently exists and also provides protection for FEL by reducing haulage costs if iron ore prices decline in the future,” the company said.

At the same time as the contract announcement, Fe Ltd reported that the crush and screen plant has mobilised to site, with assembly complete. Commissioning is underway, with first production of saleable product expected to be on the product pad over the course of this week.

Mining operations at JWD are now fully established with the load and haul of ore and waste progressing in accordance with the mine plan, the company reported. Run of mine ore stocks are available for commissioning and first production from the crush and screen plant.

FEL Executive Chairman, Tony Sage, said: “We are pleased to have secured the services of Campbell Transport as our lead haulage partner for JWD. It has been well documented that road trains are in short supply at present so to secure the services of an experienced contractor in this market speaks volumes for the Fe Ltd team and the potential of the JWD project.”

He added: “Port and offtake remain the key items for us to complete. These are well advanced, and we expect to update shareholders shortly.”

FEL classes the project as a low capex, direct shipping ore development, which will produce a high-grade (resource average circa-63.7% Fe), low impurity iron ore. A January 2021 presentation claimed the mining and transport of the first 300,000 t of iron ore is required by September under the iron rights agreement.

Trolley assist to take off, ABB’s Hammarström says

Thanks to Boliden’s recent trial at its Aitik open-pit mine, in Sweden, the subject of trolley assist is back on the mining industry’s agenda.

Offering environmental and productivity benefits, trolley assist technologies have been spoken of for decades. In the height of the oil crisis of the 1970s, numerous studies examining applications were completed and miners made preparations to reduce their reliance on diesel.

Despite this, widespread industry adoption has not occurred. There have been some installations in Africa, in addition to one in Turkey (Kisladag), but the technology has not caught on to the extent many thought would happen.

ABB, which supplies not only batteries, drives and motors for battery-electric equipment, but can also provide the infrastructure required for trolley assist projects, believes the market is about to turn once again. Gunnar Hammarström, Global Product Manager Trolley Electrification Systems for ABB, thinks there are three main reasons why it is about to take off.

“One is the legislation and environmental part of the business case,” he told IM.

Boliden, which has moved from the 700 m trolley line trial at Aitik to confirming it will install an additional 3 km of trolley line at the mine, plus 1.7 km at Kevitsa (in addition to the accompanying conversion of diesel-electric haul trucks), says it will reduce its diesel consumption by 5,500 cu.m/y when its investment is complete. That is a big number.

“Another completely different reason for why demand has been picking up, especially for larger trucks, is there are a lot of diesel-electric trucks coming into mines,” he said. These trucks already have an electrical system on board to tap into, which makes it easy to put them on a trolley line.

Lastly, fuel prices are increasing all the time, Hammarström said. This is leading miners to diversify their energy mix to help reduce input costs.

When added to the productivity gains that can be achieved with trolley assisted haul trucks and the reduction in noise when trucks run on this line, it is hardly surprising Boliden is not the only one charging into trolley assist.

In the last year alone, First Quantum Minerals has said it will equip its Cobre Panama copper-gold mine, in Panama, with trolley assist, while Austria iron ore miner, VA Erzberg, has announced it intends to electrify the main haul road of its Erzberg mine site and operate a fleet of T 236 trucks from 2021 under trolley assist.

On top of this, RNC Minerals has said it is studying the use of trolley assist at its Dumont nickel-cobalt project in Quebec, Canada.

While trolley assist has been used long before the mine electrification phenomenon we know today gained traction, Hammarström sees trolley assist helping facilitate this market move.

“Generally speaking, I think for most of the vehicles you have in a mine, you can go on battery, but it is very far into the future where you have major uphill transportation of all your production in the mine through batteries,” he said.

The technology involved with stationary charging and the ability to re-charge the battery when going downhill would need to improve on the biggest haul trucks to make it a viable proposition, he explained.

“Yet, if you look into the future – and not that far – a diesel electric trolley might be an intermediate phase,” he said. “If you have invested in trolley now, you can certainly use it when you have batteries (driving the trucks).”

This could see battery-powered haul trucks carry out tasks ‘off-line’ when going downhill or on a flat before they ‘attach’ back onto the line for uphill transportation of material when the battery is recharged.

“I think after diesel-electric powered haul trucks, it will be a really good chance for on-board charging,” he said of the trolley infrastructure.

Scania pictures the future of mine site haulage with AXL

In September, Scania joined Komatsu in announcing it had come up with a cabless automated haulage concept for mines and construction sites that, it said, was a significant step towards smart transport systems of the future.

Having the Scania modular system at the heart of the design, the first live demo of Scania AXL took place at TRATON GROUP’s Innovation Day on October 2, at Scania’s demo centre in Södertälje, Sweden.

Following this, IM spoke with Karin Hallstan, Head of Corporate Communications and PR at Scania, to find out a little more about the concept machine.

IM: Why have you decided to launch the AXL now? Why do you think the mining and construction markets are ready for such an innovation?

KH: Autonomous transport solutions, in different levels of technological sophistication, are already well established within the mining industry. Scania already has autonomous trucks in a customer operation (Rio Tinto at the Dampier salt operation in Western Australia).

Also, mines are like closed industrial areas and have trained professionals in command of operations meaning they are well suited for automation. Autonomous vehicles can also make mining operations safer for people employed within the sector.

The reveal of Scania AXL as a concept had to do with Scania having a good opportunity to showcase this in relation to other news we also have planned.

IM: The success of autonomous equipment on mine sites – in terms of boosting productivity, lowering costs, increasing utilisation, etc – has often been predicated on having robust network communications to relay information from the equipment. How will Scania ensure all its customers leverage the technology to its fullest without insisting on 4G/5G/LTE, etc networks.

KH: A certain communications infrastructure will need to be in place to ensure the onboard communications equipment work. Which type and with which capacity may vary.

IM: What payload is the initial concept vehicle? What range of payloads do you expect to cater for in the mining/construction sector?

KH: Scania AXL is based on a 8×4 donor vehicle with a 410 hp diesel engine (G410B8x4NA) running on biofuel HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil). However, since it is based on Scania’s modular approach, it can be equipped with any engine and wheel configuration available in the Scania modular system. The Scania AXL can load up to 40 tons using existing heavy-duty components.

IM: Based on this, what type of mining operations are you aiming to sell into (coal, iron ore, copper, etc)?

KH: It is important to note that this is a concept which we are building and piloting to primarily learn from in terms of the autonomous capabilities and removing the cab from a truck, rather than something with a set plan to commercialise. We believe that we will start in open-pit mines in this learning process. That said, Scania AXL is specifically constructed with a low tipper truck body that is suitable for underground tunnels with as little as 2.8 m headroom. Above ground, the truck body could be bigger.

IM: You mentioned that this is the first time the company has built a truck that has many new components and technologies – can you expand on what these are and what results you expect to achieve by incorporating them in the AXL design?

KH: The fact that there is no safety driver as backup has led to several innovations with regards to system integration and safety related processes and technical solutions. For example, the original electronic braking system has a ‘safe mode’ that hands control back to the (manual) driver which, in this case, doesn’t exist. Situations like these must be handled with redundancy.

IM: How does the automation system you have developed for the AXL differ to other solutions on the market? 

KH: We will comment on our own solutions, not necessarily on others’. What we can say about the automation system for Scania AXL is that the vehicle creates its own picture of its environment and performs its task based on its own view of whether the path/road is drivable and what the assignment is. It is not a solution for automated guidance by GPS-signals or where vehicles follow a loop in the ground.

IM: LiDAR appears to be a big part of the company’s design for the AXL. Has this LiDAR technology been transferred from another vehicle in the Scania range? Or, is it from another sector?

KH: Most of the sensors (radar, LiDAR, antennas and cameras) are, in essence, early prototypes at this stage and are not available in the existing Scania range.

IM: Where and when do you expect to trial the AXL first? What do you anticipate this trial involving (testing out the full capabilities, trialing the self-driving, loading the machine, etc)?

KH: We have trialled it in our own test facilities. If, and when, we work with a customer in a location outside our test environment, we will disclose this broadly publicly.

IM: When could the AXL be available commercially and, going back to a previous question, what payload class is this likely to be in?

KH: This is a concept and a pilot, so we are not commenting on commercial availability.

Anglo American goes for truck overhaul ahead of automation at Dawson coal mine

Anglo American has taken the decision to overhaul the existing truck fleet at its Dawson open-pit coal mine in Queensland, Australia, following the completion of a study weighing the introduction of autonomous haulage systems (AHS) for a portion of the fleet.

The AHS study was timed to align with a key decision on whether to undertake major overhauls on the Cat 797 fleet (23 trucks), or replace them, a spokesperson for Anglo American said. The company announced the study back in June.

The spokesperson added: “Following the completion of the study, the decision has been taken to overhaul the existing fleet, rather than purchase new trucks and implement AHS at Dawson mine at this time.

“In the future, this decision will be revisited as we look to replace the fleet in a few years.”

While the study found that AHS do present opportunities to improve truck fleet performance, Anglo will be prioritising other measures to achieve safer and more productive operations at Dawson, in line with its productivity program and FutureSmart Mining™ approach, which applies innovative thinking and technological advances to address mining’s major challenges, the spokesperson explained.

“The accelerating pace of technological innovation, particularly in the areas of digitalisation, automation and artificial intelligence, is opening up opportunities for the mining sector to be safer, more productive and sustainable,” the person said.

“In addition to our open-cut technology program, our scale as the largest underground coal miner in Australia provides us with the opportunity to leverage the development of technology in our operations, through initiatives including remote longwall operation from mine surface, and the development of our Australian-first electronic tablet device certified for use in underground coal mines, which was launched at our Moranbah North mine earlier this year.”

While Anglo has decided not to proceed with AHS at Dawson, Whitehaven Coal is currently in the process of trialling AHS with partner Hitachi at its Maules Creek operation in northwest New South Wales, Australia.

 

Scania goes cabless and autonomous with AXL haul truck

Scania has joined Komatsu in coming up with a cabless automated haulage concept for mines and construction sites.

The fully autonomous concept truck, the Scania AXL, is the result of a group of Scania experts in different fields teaming up and developing a concept truck, which, even without a cab, has the company’s modular system at the heart of the design, Scania says.

“As different industries look to streamline transport assignments and make them more sustainable, self-driving vehicles are increasingly being considered,” Scania said. “Mines and large closed construction sites are examples of environments that are favourable for self-driving pilots since they are well-controlled locations.”

At MINExpo 2016, Komatsu unveiled its own “Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle” featuring a cabless structure. It then showcased this vehicle at an event at its Arizona Proving Grounds near Tucson, last year.

Scania’s President and CEO, Henrik Henriksson, said: “With the Scania AXL concept truck, we are taking a significant step towards the smart transport systems of the future, where self-driving vehicles will play a natural part.

“We continue to build and pilot concepts to demonstrate what we can do with the technology that is available today.”

The Scania AXL is steered and monitored by an intelligent control environment where, in mines, the autonomous operations are facilitated by a logistics system that tells the vehicle how it should perform. The front module of the machine is equipped with cameras, radar, LiDAR and GPS receivers to generate a common view of the vehicle’s immediate surroundings. In addition, the combustion engine that powers the concept vehicle is powered by renewable biofuel.

Claes Erixon, Head of Research and Development at Scania, said the company already has self-driving trucks in customer operations.

“However, so far, they have been with room for a safety driver who can intervene if necessary,” he said. “Scania AXL does not have a cab and that changes the game significantly. The development in self-driving vehicles has made great strides in the past years. We still don’t have all the answers, but through concept vehicles like Scania AXL we break new ground and continue to learn at great speed.”

The first live demo of Scania AXL will take place at TRATON GROUP’s Innovation Day on October 2, at Scania’s demo centre in Södertälje, Sweden.

Innovations in mine site haulage on show at Truck & Shovel

Bis has been causing a storm in the open-pit haulage sector with its innovative Rexx truck. Fitted with 20 wheels, the machine combines the distance capacity of a traditional off-road haulage solution with the ability to go out of pit.

Virginie Hannah, Group Manager Innovation and Product Delivery, Bis Industries, will be talking all about this innovation at the Truck & Shovel Conference, in Singapore, September 19-20, during her presentation, ‘Innovations in mine site haulage‘. Attendees will be looking forward to hearing all about the mine site trial success stories the company has had with Rexx at Gold Fields’ Granny Smith mine in Australia and Glencore’s Murrin Murrin operation, also in Australia.

Bis has a culture of customer-driven innovation, with a strong focus on innovation in mine site haulage for reduced costs, improved productivity and better community and safety outcomes. Its game-changing truck, Rexx, was introduced to the market late last year.

The company explained: “The idea for Rexx came about when Bis leaders recognised a problem in double handling product when it was being moved from pit to processing. The solution was a 20-wheeled, long range, out-of-pit hauler that would combine the distance capacity of a traditional off road haulage solution with the ability to go out of pit.”

Bis says Rexx offers a range of competitive advantages, moving resources more efficiently and delivering greater profitability for customers.

The company’s culture of curiosity and innovation has driven the business from its early days, and has recently seen it listed as one of Australia’s most innovative companies by The Australian Financial Review.

To hear Hannah speak at this International Mining Events conference – along with 17 other speakers – click here to register.

Truck & Shovel conference gains Singapore Mining Club support

The inaugural Truck & Shovel conference is now just over seven weeks away and the stage is set for an exciting event looking into the future of the global loading and haulage industry.

With topics such as automation, digitalisation, fleet management, and tyre and fuel optimisation on the agenda, there will be much to discuss at the 1.5-day event, taking place at the InterContinental Singapore, Middle Road, on September 19-20.

In addition to gaining the support of Komatsu Mining (Platinum Sponsor), Zyfra Mining (Gold Sponsor) and Mining Industry Professionals (Media Sponsor), IM Events is pleased to announce that the Singapore Mining Club has backed this global event.

Truck & Shovel 2019 will now be held in association with the Singapore Mining Club, an influential group that exists to promote development of Singapore as the pre-eminent regional hub for the management and financing of mining enterprises.

We chose Singapore for this global event for several reasons, including:

  • Many of the big mining companies have procurement and marketing hubs in this Asian metropolis;
  • It acts as a gateway through to key mining hubs such as Australia, India, China and Indonesia, and;
  • It has good transport links and an excellent reputation for event hospitality.

Taking place in Ballroom I and II of the InterContinental Singapore, this event has attracted a number of high-profile speakers that have masses of industry knowledge to share with delegates.

We plan to kick off the day with a keynote from Komatsu Mining’s Jason Knuth (Senior Manager – Data Solutions) and Simon Van Wegen (Product Manager – Data Solutions) on ‘Data-driven designs for dynamic mining environments’.

The duo, who have spoken at many high profile conferences around the world, are set to reveal how advanced mining original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are leveraging the plethora of data nodes on smart equipment to adapt equipment and design solutions for the modern mine environment.

Mikhail Makeev, Global Business Director, Zyfra Mining, is set to continue this digitalisation theme during his catchily-titled ‘How to make your mine “rock”’ presentation. The company has automation and fleet management expertise that it has applied across many mine sites, with Makeev keen to share details on these experiences.

Automation

For those focused on surface mining automation, Truck & Shovel tackles the concept from three different angles.

Drew Larsen, Director of Business Development, ASI Mining, will provide a business case for haulage automation with a presentation titled: ‘Autonomous Mining – more feasible than you might think’. The company, 34% owned by global mining OEM Epiroc, began work on a project with Barrick Gold to retrofit and automate a fleet of Komatsu 930-E Ultra Class haul trucks at the Arturo joint venture operation in Nevada, last year, and is expecting to issue news on projects with other miners in the near future.

Tony Cutler, Principal Consultant, OTR Global, will be tackling automation from a different stance in his ‘Factoring tyres into autonomous haulage’ presentation. Research from the leading mining OEMs offering autonomous haulage systems (AHS) indicates these systems have the potential to prolong tyre life, a claim Cutler will interrogate up on stage.

And Steve Russell, Director – Mining, Scott Technology Ltd, will be looking at autonomous refuelling in his talk. With a title of ‘Robofuel Robotic Refuelling – A safety and productivity initiative for the 21st Century Mine’, he will highlight case studies that showcase just how effective this process is in an open-pit mining context.

Equipment design and innovation

The look and feel of loading and haulage equipment hasn’t changed dramatically over the past few decades, but with mining companies and OEMs now receiving data in real time about how trucks and excavators are operating and interacting with each other, one would expect these design blueprints to, in the future, be altered in some way – for example Komatsu’s cabless haul truck concept.

Taking on this topic at the event will be Christopher B Althausen, Director of Sales & Marketing for Pioneer Solutions LLC, and Brad Rogers, CEO of Bis Industries.

Althausen’s presentation, ‘Mining truck design and development: challenges, hurdles and solutions’, looks at his and his company’s experiences approaching haul truck design over many decades. Rogers’ talk, meanwhile, focuses on ‘Innovation in minesite haulage’. With Bis Industries now having successful trials of its revolutionary Rexx haul truck in its back pocket, delegates will look forward to hearing all about the proven productivity benefits of using this 20-wheel machine.

Maximising payload

The first day of the event will finish with a packed session on truck bodies and excavator buckets where four speakers will highlight just how effective customised solutions can be in the open-pit mining environment.

Carl Samuelson, Global Business Support Manager, Metso Haul Truck Solutions, will talk about successes the mining OEM has had with its hybrid haul truck tray, the Metso Truck Body, while David Pichanick, Global Manager Market Development & Innovation, Austin Engineering, will reveal how thinking ‘outside the box’ and changing the way the company uses materials in dump bodies and buckets has had an impact on safety and productivity. Tom Smith, Engineering Manager at DT HiLoad, rounds out the truck body talk, presenting, ‘HERCULES: The Strongest Tray in Earth’.

Ian Cornfoot, Managing Director of G&G Mining, has the honour of closing day one with a presentation on the use of customised excavator buckets titled, ‘Moving Rocks Not Steel – “Productive innovations in earthmoving buckets”’.

Fuel efficiency and management

As has been well documented, fuel efficiency is key when it comes to open-pit mining, with optimised fuel selection and management often keeping the cost per tonne down.

This topic kicks off day two of the event, with Kevin Dagenais, CEO of Blutip Technologies, looking at the use of predictive modelling techniques to target mining inefficiencies in this space. Sean Birrell, Group Product Officer, FluidIntel, follows closely behind him on ‘Analytics opportunities in fuel and lubricant management – unseen risks & untapped value in your supply chain & operations’, with Joao Silveirinha, Chief Technology Officer of Banlaw, rounding out the fuel talk with a talk titled, ‘Digital Transformation and Automation as it relates to the management of Hydrocarbons in Mining’.

Safety and training

The last session of the conference is all on safety and training, with two speakers keen to talk up the benefits of these in open-pit mining where accidents can cost lives and machines.

Daniel Bongers, Chief Technology Officer of SmartCap Technologies, will present, ‘Zero fatigue incidents achieved – moving to alertness monitoring’ in his 30-minute slot, with Graham Upton, Director of Business Development at simulator specialist, Doron Precision Systems Inc, following him with ‘Shovel and Truck, side-by-side Coordinated Training’.

For details of how to register for this event, or access the full program, please visit the website: https://im-mining.com/truck-and-shovel/

Please note, all company delegations of two or more people are entitled to a discount. Get in touch with Editorial Director, Paul Moore ([email protected]), or Editor, Dan Gleeson ([email protected]), for more information.

Bis secures four-year contract extension at Glencore-owned Murrin Murrin mine

Bis says it has extended its haulage and site services contracts for Minara Resources at its Murrin Murrin nickel mine in Western Australia’s north-eastern Goldfields.

The multi-year extension will see Bis extend its longstanding partnership with Minara, wholly-owned by Glencore, where it has been delivering a range of services at Murrin Murrin since the operation began in 1998.

Bis’ services at Murrin Murrin include haulage and haul and road maintenance services, calcrete services, and bulk logistics services. The Murrin Murrin site also recently hosted Bis’ new innovative haul truck, Rexx, as part of its trials in working mines across Western Australia.

Bis Chief Operating Officer, Michael Porter, said: “We are proud to have been part of the Minara operations for over 20 years, working in collaboration with Minara to deliver safe and innovative solutions that add value to their operation. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with our colleagues at Murrin Murrin.”

TNG signs up Genesee & Wyoming Australia for Mount Peake freight job

TNG Ltd says it has entered into a binding heads of agreement (HoA) with Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA), the third-largest rail operator in Australia, for the provision of rail haulage services for its flagship, 100%-owned Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project, in the Northern Territory.

Genesee & Wyoming is a global railroad owner and operator with extensive experience in the transport of bulk commodities for the resources industry, and is the majority owner of the rail line to Darwin that runs approximately 1,100 km from the Mount Peake mine site, according to TNG.

Rail haulage will underpin the logistics chain transporting the magnetite concentrate to be produced by the proposed beneficiation plant at the Mount Peake mine site to the proposed TIVAN® processing facility in Darwin, where TNG intends to produce high-purity vanadium pentoxide, titanium pigment and iron ore fines.

The scope of services includes the loading of magnetite concentrate onto rail at the Adnera rail siding (proposed to be located 85 km from the mine site), rail haulage from Adnera to the TIVAN facility, in Darwin, on the Tarcoola-to-Darwin rail line, and the unloading of magnetite concentrate at the TIVAN facility.

GWA will also load and transport TNG’s final products from the TIVAN facility to the Darwin Port, providing all necessary rail transport plant and equipment, including locomotives, wagons, crew vans and fuelling equipment.

“Following execution of the HoA, TNG and GWA will work together on an exclusive basis, and commit the necessary resources, to develop an optimised rail haulage strategy for Mount Peake, and negotiate and finalise a rail haulage agreement,” TNG said.

TNG’s Managing Director and CEO, Paul Burton, said: “GWA’s presence and expertise in logistics and transportation further strengthens TNG’s global network of high-quality partners assigned for the development and operation of Mount Peake.” This includes the likes of McMahon Services and SMS Group.

An updated definitive feasibility study on Mount Peake from 2017 envisaged pre-production capex of A$853 million ($617 million) for a 3 Mt/y project ramping up to 6 Mt/y in year five. This would see 24.3 Mt of magnetic concentrate turned into 10.6 Mt iron oxide and 243,000 t of vanadium oxide.