Tag Archives: Joy

British Gypsum set to expand Komatsu Joy lithium-ion battery fleet at Barrow mine

British Gypsum’s Barrow-upon-Soar gypsum mine in the UK, part of Saint-Gobain, is looking to expand its use of Joy battery haulers following the initial deployment of two lithium-ion haulers from Komatsu, IM heard during a technical session at the SME MineXchange Conference and Expo, in Phoenix, Arizona, recently.

“The operation has been running two of these 18 short ton (16.4 t) payload battery haulers, BH18ACs, for just over nine months, with the units replacing 16 short ton diesel DBT ‘Ram Car’ vehicles,” Jerry Davis, Principal Engineer at Komatsu, said during his presentation ‘Case Study on the benefits of implementing the lithium-ion battery powered haulage in underground mining’.

“Komatsu has manufactured 820 battery haulers to date (the majority being with lead-acid batteries), with 15 of these lithium-ion battery versions,” Davis said. “This is set to expand to 29 lithium-ion battery units in the near term.”

Two of these lithium-ion haulers are now at the Barrow-upon-Soar mine. These are capable of mining seams of 1.45 m and represent some of the first lithium-ion battery models of their kind to have been delivered in the UK. British Gypsum said previously that it would replace a third diesel hauler with a battery-powered unit this year.

The BH18AC is the first lithium-ion battery hauler in soft-rock mining in Europe and, Komatsu Mining says, is designed to boost productivity with 75% faster charge time, and much lower maintenance versus traditional lead acid technology. “Brushless AC-traction motors drive each front wheel independently and are designed to deliver maximum torque,” the company says. “Your operators enjoy excellent steering, smooth operation and strong performance on steep inclines. Regenerative braking enhances control on descents. When conditions require extra traction, operators can hold down a button on the joystick to engage the trailer wheels for all-wheel-drive.”

The Joy lithium-ion battery charging option is capable of approximately two hours from discharged to full charge with no cool down period needed. At the Barrow-upon-Soar mine, it is currently using the haulers with a battery swapping mechanism.

At the Barrow-upon-Soar mine, British Gypsum is currently using the haulers with a battery swapping mechanism

The two new haulers have been tested on surface and underground in the room and pillar gypsum operation. They have been in commercial operation since mid-2023.

Davis said the operation was still awaiting feedback on operating cost and productivity comparisons, but the two vehicles had already achieved vehicle availability of approximately 100% (compared with the diesel-equivalent circa-70%). The Joy battery haulers had also averaged a 6-m advancement in 12 loads, compared with the diesel-equivalent’s 16 loads.

“In addition to the third unit, the mine operator is also considering replacing its existing cable-tethered loaders with battery haulers”, Davis added.

For Komatsu, meanwhile, the company is looking to continue product specific development within its Komatsu Mine Analysis Platform to aid asset management, productivity improvement solutions, operational support, application engineering, product development and warning systems.

Komatsu, Becker-Warkop team up for Warrior Met Coal longwall PRS solution

Komatsu says it has partnered with Poland-based Becker-Warkop Sp. z o.o. to produce a set of Joy custom-designed longwall powered roof supports (PRS), manufactured by Becker-Warkop, for Warrior Met Coal’s operations in the US.

These supports will also include Joy’s Faceboss RS20s roof support controls, which can help provide full face automation, Komatsu said.

Last year, Komatsu announced plans to provide Joy-engineered PRS solutions through partnerships with PRS manufacturers to, it said, best meet customer needs to reduce costs and maximise performance.

Warrior Met Coal, meanwhile, recently announced plans to relaunch the development of its Blue Creek reserves into a new, world-class longwall mine located in Alabama, USA, near its existing mines.

Mark Brocklehurst, Global Product Director – PRS Engineering at Komatsu, said he was delighted that Warrior Met Coal had selected Komatsu and Becker-Warkop for its next set of longwall PRS.

“Our Joy-engineered PRS solutions are designed to help our customers to mine efficiently and safely with the added flexibility of enabling access to lower cost manufacturing sources to reduce up-front investment, and we are pleased that we can offer a solution which meets their needs.”

Komatsu launches Joy MATS6 shearer for Chinese longwall mining market

To help Chinese longwall mines realise higher production and less downtime, Komatsu has introduced the Joy MATS6 shearer.

The Joy MATS6 Tier II comes with the reliability attributes of Joy machines, with all components manufactured under rigorous Joy quality processes. Because the machines are assembled in China with many Chinese-made components, a MATS6 shearer can be built and delivered relatively quickly, according to Komatsu.

Advanced control systems protect the machine from mechanical and thermal overload, while advanced diagnostics enable faster troubleshooting.

In addition, by incorporating the tie-rod chassis connection, the MATS6 can be assembled faster, both in the workshop and underground, and its modular design allows more material to pass under the machine body. Comprised of three high-tensile fabrications with a slim main section, the MATS6 has no under-frame. This design allows quicker adaptation to different mining scenarios, more efficient rebuilds and easier maintenance, Komatsu says.

Coming with longer lasting components, the MATS6 is able to mine larger panels reliably between rebuilds or even mining multiple panels without a rebuild. Additionally, the machine’s longer machine chassis life can provide a higher return on initial investment.

The machine weighs 115 t, has a cutting height of 2.5-6 m, a maximum total power of 2,495 kW, cutting power of 2 x 900 kW and 1,200 kN of haulage pull.

Any discussion of increasing longwall productivity and moving toward zero harm must include automation. Joy’s latest shearer pitch steering technology offers access to fully automated cutting sequences, including gate end turnarounds and optimal drum positioning for highly efficient cycle times and consistency. This is available as an option for the MATS6.

Advanced automation tools, including Radio Motion Monitoring, Landmark, and REST Api, meanwhile, enable remote operation to help keep workers out of harm’s way.

Komatsu boosts longwall performance with Joy Compak Next Gen hydraulic control system

Komatsu is looking to reinforce its longwall system powered roof supports (PRS) with the multifunctional Joy Compak Next Gen hydraulic control system, helping, it says, improve the performance of customers’ PRS and facilitate the shearer cutting rate with exceptional cycle time performance.

Engineered to be durable and reliable in rugged environments, the Joy Compak system features corrosion-resistant materials on valve block assemblies, components and the main body. With a reduced number of components to lessen wear and tear, the spool valve in the system is engineered to handle higher flow rates, to help reduce the risk of part failure and promote extended life, Komatsu said. Providing flexibility to suit the individual needs of your operation, the Joy Compak Next Gen hydraulic system can be conveniently upgraded or retrofit to any PRS system (regardless of manufacturer).

The high-performance valve technology of the Compak hydraulic control system helps improve cycle times by up to 12%, compared with the previous model. Designed with operators in mind, this hydraulic system’s overall size is reduced by up to 27% and weight by up to 30%, the company says, making it easier to position, while improving accessibility. Hosing position has also been conveniently located for better access, it added.

The reliable hydraulic valve system helps control modern automated longwall powered roof supports from the Faceboss electronic control system using solenoid control or through manual control with the solenoid push button override function. Ergonomically positioned for ease of access, operators can control the main override function easily and effectively through an integrated push button within the solenoid, Komatsu says.

Seals play a crucial role in the functionality of the hydraulic spools that operate roof support functions, and Komatsu’s seal technology helps prevent leakage in your hydraulic spools, it says. A simplified, standardised hydraulic circuit design helps provide a reduction in the number of spool valves without impacting performance of the Compak hydraulic system. This design minimises fitting and connecting hoses, to help reduce potential leak points.

Komatsu says the system can easily expand (over 16 functions) to increase functional requirements to suit the operation’s needs. For example, a standard 10-spool valve can be expanded through separate two- and four-spool expansion modules.

To help reduce lead times for replacement parts and streamline maintenance, the hydraulic control system features a modular design incorporating a series of standard components. Easy to change cartridge-style construction makes replacement straightforward and manageable, with manifolds, valve assemblies, cartridge valves and fittings all standard as part of the system’s modular design. The modular approach also makes upgrades easy, the company added.

Metarock Group transformation takes shape with new coal contracts

Australia-listed Metarock Group has banked two contract wins this week, one at the Cook Colliery in Queensland and one at the Maxwell underground coal project in New South Wales.

The former has seen its Mastermyne subsidiary become the contract operator at Cook for Constellation Mining, a subsidiary of QCoal Group. The contract term of four years comes with a further two-year option and the company will see work commence immediately under the Mining Services Agreement.

The Cook Colliery was purchased by QCoal in July 2020 and has been maintained under care and maintenance since the acquisition. In July 2021, Mastermyne was selected to carry out a package of work to prepare the mine to re-commence production. This work included recommissioning of existing underground infrastructure, overhauling of mining equipment, establishment of production panels and other associated administrative and procurement works. This first tranche of work has been completed and the mine is now ready to commence production.

Mobilisation underground is already well progressed with the first Joy (Komatsu) miner underground and cutting coal as it forms up the production panels that will see the next Joy machines start production mining using a low-risk place changing methodology, Metarock said.

The project will produce approximately 4 Mt of run of mine coal over four years across three production panels.

At Maxwell underground, Metarock’s PYBAR Mining Services has been named the preferred contractor for the Maxwell Underground Project Access Drifts as part of an executed letter of intent with Malabar Resources. The contract term of 12 months will commence later this year following the execution of a binding Alliance-style mining services pact.

The scope consists of twin parallel drifts around 1.3 km in length, which will provide access to the targeted coal seams. Excavation of the drifts will be carried out with metalliferous-style drill and blast equipment and methods, modified for operating within a coal mining lease.

Having only recently completed the acquisition of PYBAR and the renaming of Mastermyne to Metarock, MD Tony Caruso said: “Mastermyne’s transformation from an underground coal contractor to a diversified mining services provider is taking shape and the awarding of this project (Maxwell) is a major vote of confidence from customers in the new larger business.”

He added: “This project is quite unique in that it brings together the combination of the Mastermyne and PYBAR skill-sets, which is a real differentiator for the Metarock Group.”

Komatsu releases updated Joy 02ESV battery-power scoop for soft-rock mines

Komatsu has redesigned its Joy 02ESV soft-rock scoops with 240 V of battery power and OptiDrive technology to improve operator comfort and offer a longer operating time between charges.

Coming in three different models – 02ESV36, 02ESV56 and 02ESV60 – the scoops offer bucket capacities of 3-5 cu.m and maximum payloads of 18.2-28.7 t. The smallest scoop, the 02ESV36, is suited to seam heights of 91-160 cm, while the largest scoop, the 02ESV60, has a recommended seam height of 142-211 cm.

The OptiDrive technology can improve reliability, boost operator productivity, improve motor performance and help reduce maintenance costs, according to Komatsu. It is also easier to maintain and troubleshoot because it has fewer cable runs.

Designed to help minimise downtime, these scoops have new electronics that eliminate switches, and the colour display provides real-time operational and fault information to keep operators informed. Additional drive input modules allow the OptiDrive control system to interface with third-party proximity detection systems.

With less heat and noise compared with diesel power, the 240 V battery power contributes to improved working conditions. These Joy scoops also have improved motor efficiency for increased motor life and enhanced tramming, while improved ergonomics help keep operators more comfortable, Komatsu said.

To provide increased power and reduced downtime in the most demanding applications, the scoops are equipped with Dana drive axles configured specifically for the application. For durability and longevity, the centre section has been redesigned and includes heavy-duty pivot bearings and pins. The frame is rigorously engineered for reliability and transporting heavy payloads, according to the company.

Altaley Mining engages MGA Contratista Minera SA as Tahuehueto mine contractor

Altaley Mining Corp has engaged MGA Contratista Minera SA de CV as the underground mining contractor for the soon-to-be-operating Tahuehueto gold mine, in north-western Durango state, Mexico.

MGA is, Altaley says, a prominent mining contractor located in Durango city with over 20 years of underground mining  and civil engineering experience. Its clients have included Newmont (Goldcorp), Pan American Silver, Endeavour Silver, Grupo Mexico, Fresnillo, First Majestic Silver, Omega and others.

MGA is now mobilising its mining equipment (including a Caterpillar R1300G LHD and a Komatsu Joy DR-1SB hydrualic jumbo drill) to Tahuehueto to continue underground drift and stope development to advance the mine into production. Previous underground development during 2018 and 2019 completed between 70-80% of required development for the initial one to two years of mine production.

MGA will complete the development work required to initiate mine production and continue as the project’s primary underground mining contractor in the initial years of Tahuehueto’s production.

First production through the mill, which is at an advanced stage of construction, is anticipated near the end of 2021 when the first ball mill is to be commissioned. In the March quarter of 2022, the second ball mill will be installed and brought online to, thereafter, ramp up production to the mine’s anticipated 1,000 t/d capacity.

Altaley said construction at the Tahuehueto mine site is on time and budget, and management is not expecting any cost overruns at this point in time.

Ralph Shearing, CEO and President, stated: “MGA is a highly qualified professional underground mining contractor which ensures that mill feed tonnages will be available to sustain continuous milling operations on an ongoing basis. Altaley is pleased to have secured MGA as Tahuehueto’s underground mining contractor and is counting down the weeks remaining to reach production near the end of this year.”

Codelco puts its mine electrification efforts into first gear

Codelco says it will trial a Komatsu hybrid LHD at its El Teniente underground copper mine, in Chile, as the company looks to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas it emits from its operations.

The diesel-electric hybrid is likely to increase productivity by 10-20% and cut diesel consumption by at least 25%, Codelco said.

The LHD is just one of a number of pieces of new equipment the company is bringing into the El Teniente operation to reduce its carbon footprint. The others include an RDH-Scharf electric scissor lift (the Liftmaster 600 EB), which comes with operating costs 70% lower than the diesel equivalent; two 100%-electric buses to transport workers from Rancagua to the El Teniente operations (at 3,100 m high); and a 100%-electric bus link for urban use within Rancagua.

“Codelco’s electromobility strategy also contemplates the incorporation of an electric bus for the Chuquicamanta Division for the first half of this year,” Codelco said in a statement translated from Spanish to English. “In addition, El Teniente will add three additional electric buses during the year, a second LHD, this time 100% electric, and an electric mining truck for the interior of the mine.”

Octavio Araneda, a Vice President of Operations for Codelco, said (also in Spanish to English translation): “In the framework of our Sustainability Master Plan, in Codelco we execute a transition program to gradually decarbonise the energy matrix of our operations.

“An edge of this initiative is our strategy of electromobility that, after positively avoiding a pilot experience with light vehicles last year, today celebrates this new milestone with unprecedented production teams. ”

On the Komatsu hybrid LHD, Codelco said the electric drive machine has no gearbox or filters and uses diesel only for the generation of “motive power”.

“It will be used industrially for the first time in Codelco El Teniente to start marketing it to the rest of the industry internationally,” Codelco said.

Komatsu has, so far, released details on an 18 t hybrid LHD (the Joy 18HD) and a 22 t hybrid model (Joy 22HD). Last year, Byrnecut Australia said it was to trial a Joy 22HD at OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in Australia in the June quarter of 2018, as it looked to test production efficiencies, diesel savings and overall costs associated with this equipment.

Codelco is hoping use of this hybrid LHD will bring down operating costs by 30%, increase the reliability and availability of LHDs by 10-20% – due to less engine hours, longer life and easier replacement of components – and reduce emissions and heat released by over 25%.

The company is after an even bigger boost in scissor lift use, expecting reliability and availability of the new machine to go up 20-30%, while the energy expenditure of the electric scissor platform is expected to be just 75-149 kW. Noise reduction is estimated at 70% compared with the diesel version, while the heat released is expected to drop 80-90% when compared with the diesel version.

The XMQ6130 eTech electric buses transferring workers from Rancagua to El Teniente have been manufactured by King Long in China and can hold 44 passengers, while the urban electric buses, also built by King Long, are the model XMQ6127e for up to 87 passengers.

American Resources gears up for Carnegie 1 coal expansion with second continuous miner

American Resources Corp says it is set to pick up its second Joy (Komatsu) 14CM10AA continuous miner for use at its Carnegie 1 coking coal mine in Kentucky, US.

Once on site, the company will install proximity detection safety technology on the equipment – expected over the next two weeks. It hopes to commence production with the continuous miner in early April, it said.

The Carnegie 1 mine is the first in a series of underground metallurgical coal mines American Resources is bringing into production within a large contiguous boundary of High Vol A/B metallurgical coal in the Lower Alma coal seam.

As detailed in the company’s previously announced expansion plan at Carnegie 1, American Resources expects to restart production with two Joy 14CM10AA continuous miners.

Previously, American Resources operated one continuous miner at Carnegie 1, but due to high demand for the metallurgical coal produced by this mine, the company recently announced an expansion plan to increase the coal production at the mine. The acquisition of the second continuous miner is the last piece of equipment needed to achieve this expanded production, it said.

The two continuous miners will initially be operated as a ‘walking’ super section during two production shifts. The initial production range of this first phase of expanded production is expected to be 14,000-20,000 tons/mth (12,701-18,144 t/mth), an increase from less than 7,000 tons/mth historically from this mine using just one continuous miner during one production shift.

American Resources said: “The company expects to complete this first phase of development by the second week of April. Upon completion, American Resources has previously detailed plans to even further expand the coal production at Carnegie 1 to eventually bring total output to approximately 32,000-42,000 tons/mth.”

The coal produced from this mine is sold on current metallurgical contracts that range from $97-102/ton FOB railcar.

As in the past, all production at the Carnegie mine will be trucked to the company’s McCoy Elkhorn Coal facility (pictured) to be processed and loaded onto rail. Additionally, the enhanced production will give American Resources the ability to blend the coal from its Carnegie mine with other metallurgical production at McCoy Elkhorn to offer its customers a high-vol metallurgical coal product, the company said. As a result of the increased tonnage, the fixed operating costs at the McCoy process and load out complex will further be reduced on a per ton basis, providing further margin expansion, according to the company.