Tag Archives: LHD

K+S shifts digital analytics gears after trials provide InSiTE

A more than three-month trial of GHH’s inSiTE digital analytics solution on a 14-t-payload LF-14 LHD has convinced potash and salt miner, K+S, to complete a rollout of the platform across multiple mine sites.

GHH inSiTE, powered by talpasolutions, can distil complicated and seemingly random information into powerful tools for analysis, according to GHH, with the manufacturer promising the integration into daily operations leads to continuously improved productivity.

In one of the first applications of GHH inSiTE in an operation in the CIS region, the customer achieved decreased downtime, increased utilisation, a 7% reduction in fuel consumption, the identification of inefficiencies in cycle time, and a 12% boost in overall equipment efficiency, according to the company.

K+S was looking to put the promises of GHH to the test and initially agreed on a technical pilot.

This technical pilot and the promising opportunities regarding data analysis and visualisation must have been convincing because, in July, K+S signed up for a commercial deployment of GHH inSiTE. This will see GHH inSiTE used on 150 machines across its mine sites.

Andreas Walczyk, Program Manager, Digital Transformation, at K+S, told attendees of The 2nd International Conference on High-Performance Mining that the trial was a chance for the company to not only gather machine data, but also leverage it to make improvements to its maintenance, production and training processes.

“The main reason for this pilot was to figure out if we were on the right path regarding data logging, network, WLAN and more,” he said. “The answer is yes; the pilot was and is very successful because all of our expectations were met.”

The company came away with around 3,500 operating hours and 27 GB of data to play with and analyse.

It acquired this by connecting to the on-board CAN BUS and engine control systems on the LF-14, logging the machine data over that three-month period, creating a “data buffer” at each site, displaying said data on customisable dashboards, and connecting it all through a cloud-based WLAN system.

K+S has already started the rollout of GHH inSiTE across its operations, with Walczyk keen to see how the machine-to-machine connection can allow loaders to, for example, pick up data from scalers to further improve the operations’ data analytics.

Dr Jan Petzold, GHH Group CEO, says the GHH inSiTE system does not discriminate between mobile or fixed machinery, with operators and supervisors able to customise their dashboards to monitor the data and key performance indicators most important to them.

“Owning data is not good enough, you need to know what to do with the data,” he said. “There is now a tool available to help you improve your maintenance intervals, your mean times between failures, and you have the chance to store this data for review afterwards. We also enable our customers to integrate the data in existing workflows to take better actions based on actionable insights.”

Following the rollout of GHH inSiTE across the 150 machines at multiple operating sites, Walczyk says K+S will then look to integrate the solution into its SAP system.

Also included on the K+S roadmap is a plan to leverage GHH inSiTE for a move into the predictive maintenance arena at its sites, using the platform for spare parts and resource inventory management, performance benchmarking and innovations for targeted product development.

LKAB warms to Sandvik’s ‘renewed’ LH625iE as second electric LHD heads to Kiruna

Having been on a journey to electrify its operations with Sandvik since the mid-1980s, LKAB says the latest addition to its electric fleet, a Sandvik LH625iE, is performing well at its flagship Kiruna iron ore mine in northern Sweden.

The company took delivery of the “renewed” Sandvik LH625iE electric loader for field testing earlier this year and, according to Per Brännman, Section Manager for sublevel caving at LKAB in Kiruna, the machine’s performance has picked up recently after some adjustments, mainly to the cable reeling system.

“It has completed 350 hours without any error codes or stops, and loaded over 140,000 t of crude iron ore,” he said.

The machine in question is operating down on block 15, level 1022, at the iron ore mine, and the company is expecting to put another LH625iE into action on this level in early November.

“The future looks bright and carbon dioxide free,” Brännman said.

The underground loader, which features a 9.5 cu.m bucket and 25,000 kg payload capacity, is designed specifically to operate in the world’s largest underground iron ore mine. It comes with a total length of 14 m, bucket width of 4 m and cabin height of 3 m.

The basic LH625iE design is well-proven (and based on the LH625E), according to Sandvik, with the equipment manufacturer delivering electric loaders powered by a trailing cable for more than 35 years.

In addition to using the proven design and robust structures, Sandvik says its LH625iE belongs to its i-series, featuring advanced technology, the latest digital solutions and smart connectivity. This sees the new Sandvik LH625iE equipped with Sandvik Intelligent Control System and My Sandvik Digital Services Knowledge Box™ as standard. To use the payload capacity it offers, the loader can also be fitted with Sandvik’s Integrated Weighing System, as well as AutoMine® and OptiMine® solutions, Sandvik said.

Komatsu to reveal new driller, bolters, LHDs at livestream event

Komatsu is readying the unveiling of an all-new underground drilling and bolting product platform with a “bold, industry-disrupting design” that will debut at its first ever virtual livestream event.

On October 26, event attendees will be among the first to experience this new platform, designed after years of working in collaboration with customers to understand the challenges faced by mining operations, the company said.

The first four of 14 planned new drilling and bolting models using the platform will be featured during the event. Two LHDs, one brand new and one enhanced and improved over the current model, will also be unveiled.

In addition to showcasing the new machines, the “Explore beyond the surface: Innovations for hard rock mining” event will offer participants the chance to hear from and ask questions of product experts, Komatsu said. “We’ll share the design considerations that went into each of our new products and the benefits and opportunities that can be expected with their use,” the company added.

Josh Wagner, Vice President Hard Rock at Komatsu, said: “We’re thrilled to finally be able to reveal these new products, which were developed based on the insights we’ve gained by working side-by-side with our customers in the mining industry.

“Our new drilling and bolting platform and LHD machines are the latest examples of our commitment to delivering sustainable, innovative solutions that support our customers’ mining operations.”

MMG, Barminco trialling Sandvik autonomous LHD at Dugald River

MMG and Barminco are trialling an automated LHD at the Dugald River mine, in Queensland, Australia, as both miner and contractor look to further boost production at the zinc-lead operation.

While still early days, Barminco (part of the Perenti Group) has a fully autonomous Sandvik LH621i LHD running at the mine, having introduced the loader to increase output.

Sandvik says the AutoMine®-ready LH621i is an intelligent 21 t loader designed for rapid mine development and large scale underground mine production.

“With superior hydraulic power for fast bucket filling and drivetrain power for high ramp speed, the Sandvik LH621i is designed to quickly clear tunnel headings for rapid advance rates,” the OEM added.

MMG’s Dugald River produced 35,505 t of zinc concentrate and 4,277 t of lead concentrate during the March quarter of 2020. While both numbers were lower than the same period of 2019 and the December quarter that preceded it due to lower grades, mining and milling volumes of 462,570 t and 443,378 t, respectively, were both in line with plan.

In this same results release, MMG said of the Dugald River operations: “After an aggressive and successful ramp up during 2019, work in 2020 will continue to focus on opening up new operating areas, to ensure a steady feed of ore to the mill.

“The optimisation of recoveries will be a major area of focus in the processing plant. This work will be key in ensuring Dugald River remains on track to deliver annual mine capacity of 2 Mt and targeted zinc-equivalent production in excess of 200,000 t per annum, by 2022.”

The mine, which achieved commercial production in May 2018, is expected to produce 170,000-180,000 t/y of zinc concentrate in 2020.

ARMZ, Aramine partnership brings battery-powered narrow vein LHD to Russia

ARMZ Mining Machinery says it has become the first and only company in Russia and the CIS producing lithium-ion battery-powered mining equipment through a collaboration with Aramine.

The company, part of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co, has started producing the mining equipment in Krasnokamensk, in the Trans-Baikal Territory of Russia, at the site of Priargunsky Industrial Mining and Chemical Union (PIMCU, PJSC is a part of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co).

The project is being implemented under an industrial partnership agreement ARMZ Uranium Holding Co and France-based Aramine, signed in April 2019. As part of this pact, ARMZ Mining Machinery is the project operator.

ARMZ said the production from Krasnokamensk will cover the internal needs of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corp (of which ARMZ is a part of), and let the company enter foreign markets with competitive products.

The ARGO LHD 140B is designed specifically for underground work in narrow-vein deposits, according to ARMZ. Based off the design of the Aramine miniLoader L140B, it has a width of 1.1 m and a bucket carrying capacity of 1.3 t. A 50 kW engine and a lithium-ion battery pack provide high mobility and continuous operation for up to four hours; at the same time, offering low noise, minimal heat transfer and no gas contamination in the mine. The machine significantly outperforms the requirements of the Russian standards in industrial safety, according to ARMZ.

Ivan Kiselev, Director General of PIMCU, PJSC, said: “New LHD machines will let us efficiently and reliably carry out operations for the loading and transportation of ore inside the stopes. The transition to a new battery-powered narrow-vein equipment is an economically viable solution aimed at reducing operating costs and improving the quality of ore mining.”

Igor Semenov, Executive Director of ARMZ Mining Machinery, said the production of the ARGO LHD 140B means ARMZ Mining Machinery has become the first and only company in Russia and the CIS producing lithium-ion battery-powered mining equipment.

He explained: “We adapted the Aramine design and specifications to Russia standards, organised the technological process: in-house production of the structural frame, arms and dippers, assembly of body parts, installation of components, start-up and commissioning of machines. Our next step will be the localisation of the production of lithium-ion batteries and the expansion of the product line with other types of underground equipment.”

The first serial vehicles have already passed factory tests, according to ARMZ, and will be sent to the uranium mines of PIMCU, PJSC this month. In 2021, the ARGO LHD 140B will enter the Russia market and will then gradually become available in other countries within the customs union, it said.

Sandvik launches LS312 flameproof LHD in South Africa

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technologies’ new LS312 underground loader has found favour with South Africa coal miners, with orders already placed for the flameproof LHD.

The company announced it would be adding the LS312 to its line of coal load and haul vehicles back in November last year.

The first active units will start rolling off the local production line in the June quarter, according to Richard Hickson, Product Support Manager at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technologies.

“The LS312 loader is an enhanced 12 t high-capacity heavy-duty utility vehicle, building on the best features of our 10 t LS190 and 12 t LS190S models,” Hickson says. “This raises the bar once more in terms of better performance, reduced emissions and lower total cost of ownership.”

Powered by the C7.1 mechanical engine, the new generation LS312 complies with Tier II emission standards while ensuring quieter and more efficient operation, according to Sandvik.

“Customers’ productivity will benefit from increased engine performance, with 20% higher torque and 8% more power,” he says. “The lower rpm at which the machine can run also translates into less engine wear and lower emission levels.”

Hickson highlights that the new design continues to include a focus on reliability and maintenance. The drivetrain has been enhanced with a 12 t axle, while the structural integrity of the front frame has been strengthened. Maintenance crews will have easier access to hydraulic test points, which are now located in a panel on the side of the machine, making for safer working practices, Sandvik says. In addition, the improved cooling system will further reduce maintenance time.

The product also offers an optional electronic shutdown system, providing easier fault diagnosis and reducing the mean time to repair.

With the industry-driven need for the collection of machine and operational information, the Sandvik LS312 LHD offers an on-board data monitoring capability allowing for transfer of information via the mine’s Wi-Fi network and management through the My Sandvik Cloud platform.

“Safety is paramount in all our designs, and a proximity detection interface is now provided as standard,” Hickson says. “The lower frame design – facilitating improved visibility for the operator – has been retained in the LS312.”

The local manufacture of this new model brings several benefits to customers and the economy, Stephan Greisiger, Production Manager at Sandvik’s manufacturing facility in Jet Park, South Africa, says.

“Local production of the LS312 units will significantly reduce the lead time to our market,” he said. “This makes it easier for customers to plan capital equipment purchases.”

Kibali automation journey to be discussed at SME Conference

One of the most autonomous underground mines in the world, Barrick Gold’s Kibali operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recently hit another annual production record.

The mine soared past its 2019 production guidance of 750,000 oz of gold, with 814,027 oz being delivered. This topped the previous 2018 record of 807,251 oz.

At this year’s SME MineXchange Annual Conference & Expo, in Phoenix, Arizona, on February 26, Ismali Traore, Kibali Technical Services Manager, is to reveal more about how the operation has continued to surpass expectations and how safety has become front and centre at the mine, owned 45% by Barrick, 45% by AngloGold Ashanti and 10% by SOKIMO.

In his conference abstract, Traore said, in recent years, the mine has made significant progress by implementing a fully automated production level and material handling system (MHS) at the underground mine.

This sees up to three LHDs operated simultaneously from ore passes to the crusher and multiple LHDs from the stope to the finger raises. The entire automation system is remotely operated from a control room located on surface.

In a recent presentation, the Kibali partners said the system was designed to have autonomous Sandvik LH621 LHDs work in combination with a Sanvdik AutoMine loading system (ALS). The ALS Mission Control System is incorporated with features such as traffic management, auto-loading and tipping with real time tonne-kilometres/h, and a real-time bucket weighing system that is within 3% accuracy level for each bucket trammed to the coarse ore bins (COB) at the operation.

The MHS, meanwhile, uses data obtained from the ALS to interface with SCADA via an OPC interface, according to the partners. COB levels from the SCADA system are then interfaced with ALS to manage the loading of the bins.

All information is interfaced to achieve the nameplate capacity of the hoisting system – which WorleyParsons provided the operating philosophy for and Winder Controls (member of the SIEMAG TECBERG Group) provided the winder design for – while taking into consideration the availability of the ALS to equate the total MHS availability, they said.

In its objective of becoming one of the most efficient Tier One mines globally where safety is a focal point of the operation, a significant amount of time was spent on the traffic management and human interaction with the autonomous mining equipment, Traore said.

This is something Barrick President and Chief Executive, Mark Bristow, picked up on last month, saying the mine is continuing its technological advance with the introduction of truck and drill training simulators and the integration of systems for personnel safety tracking and ventilation demand control.

Traore is to expand on the important safety protocols implemented to mitigate the risk of collision between this equipment and humans within the automated system during his presentation.

Barminco turns Perth head office into remote operations centre

Leading underground mining services provider Barminco, a subsidiary of Perenti, says it has successfully piloted a new operations centre that allows it to remotely operate underground equipment on a client’s mine site anywhere around the world.

In what the company believes to be a world first, Barminco operated a machine, working underground, from its head office in Perth at a client mine site in the Goldfields of Western Australia.

“The innovation was made more impressive given the remote operation occurred via the internet, instead of through a fibre-optic cable, which is the method that mine owner-operators have historically used,” the company said.

Barminco Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, announced the achievement at the third annual Sandvik Digitalization in Mining Event, in Brisbane, Australia, this week.

Muller said: “Barminco has cemented its place as one of the world’s leading underground mining service providers through the use of technology and automation.

“A key strategic initiative under our parent company, Perenti’s, 2025 strategy is to deliver a ‘technology driven future’, and our ability to remotely operate underground machinery from our head office is a significant achievement in delivering on that strategy.”

The Barminco Remote Operating Centre, or BROC, was successfully trialled in collaboration with Sandvik and Independence Group (IGO) back in July. It was trialled in the early morning at Barminco’s Head Office in Hazlemere for a machine located at IGO’s Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine site, almost 1,000 km away.

Barminco General Manager Technology and Innovation, Darren Kwok, said the trial was a great success.

“Whilst many mine sites have operators remotely operating equipment from the mine’s surface, we are one of the first, if not the first service provider, to operate underground equipment on a client’s site from a much greater distance,” Kwok said.

“BROC enables us to connect multiple sites and operators at the same time, meaning if there is an issue at any point, we have contingencies in place.”

Barminco’s first trial involved the remote operation of a Sandvik LH517 LHD being operated in Perth by Barminco employee, Guy Gilbert, and Kwok said Barminco was now working with IGO to make BROC a permanent fixture at its Nova mine site.

“The advantages in improving the safety of our workplace and the efficiencies for our clients are enormous,” Kwok said.

Independence Group Chief Operating Officer, Matt Dusci, said the company was thrilled to be part of the successful trial, which is all part of the company’s ‘IGO – Smart Solutions’ initiatives.

“At IGO, we continually look for ways to improve how we do business and deliver operational excellence. By integrating innovative Smart Solutions at our operations, such as working with Barminco on BROC, we improve the safety and wellbeing of our people, realise step change opportunities, and optimise efficiencies and productivity,” Dusci said.

Kwok added: “Our future plan is to have a dedicated remote operating centre manned 24/7 where our team and our client’s people can work collaboratively side by side to deliver a world-class mine site.

“Clients who work with Barminco should expect more from our business along with the broader Perenti group of companies and BROC is one such example of how we are delivering on this promise.”

The Sandvik event concludes on December 4 and showcases best practice examples of industry leaders integrating digitalisation into their operations across the mining, construction and quarrying industries.

The announcement comes just over a week after Barminco was awarded Large Employer of the Year 2019 at the National Australian Training Awards in Brisbane.

Sandvik adds to underground coal loading and haulage line with LS312

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has launched the Sandvik LS312, a new 12-tonne capacity, heavy-duty flameproof underground LHD.

The LHD’s engine, a C7.1 mechanical engine with Tier II emission standard, has been developed into a new certified diesel engine system, which targets minimal emissions, maintenance and total cost of ownership, Sandvik says.

The LS312 is designed to meet the latest major international safety standards, including electronic diesel engine safety shutdown systems and roll-over and falling objects protection fitted as standard on all units. Significant improvements have also been made to operator cabin ergonomics and visibility to assist the safe and comfortable operation of the vehicles, the company said.

“This new LHD utility vehicle with Sandvik quick detachment system (QDS) provides a safe and efficient solution to meet the challenges of underground coal loading and hauling applications and reduces personnel exposure to harmful diesel emissions through use of Tier II engine and integrated exhaust aftertreatment systems,” Sandvik said. “Reduced consumables and up to 20% diesel fuel savings, as well as 15% reduction in service time due to improved maintainability, contribute to lower operating costs.”

Used in conjunction with Sandvik’s 57 t hydraulic assist roof support trailer, the LHD can help relocate larger longwall equipment, as well as a range of other QDS attachments, according to Sandvik.

Sandvik is also offering customers the possibility to upgrade and rebuild existing LS190 LHD fleets with the new C7.1 mechanical engine. Integration into other models, such as the LS170, is also planned in the near future, it said. This can be completed in conjunction with a rebuild or as a standalone upgrade package performed in one of its Sandvik OEM workshops.

Zane Swingler, Product Manager Flameproof Load and Haul, Mechanical Cutting Division, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “Our new Sandvik LS312 flameproof underground loader is full of new innovations designed to improve safety, minimise emissions, increase productivity and lower your operating costs. We have combined feedback from customers and service personnel with our long history in underground coal LHDs to continually improve the product.”

Newcrest, Epiroc and Volvo weigh up new underground mining system

Newcrest Mining, in collaboration with Epiroc and Volvo, is working on a potential new system of mining to improve the safety and efficiency of underground load and haul involving the use of a Häggloader, haul truck and LHD.

The proof of concept trial with Newcrest Mining has already seen testing in Sweden at the Epiroc Kvarntorp mine and at SweRock’s Atle quarry, which saw Newcrest, Epiroc and Volvo contributing equipment and personnel, Epiroc said. This saw an Epiroc Häggloader and Scooptram ST18 interact with a Volvo truck.

Tony Sprague, Group Manager Technology & Innovation, Newcrest Mining, Australia, said: “As mines are getting deeper, and with escalating energy and haulage costs, mining companies must be constantly on the lookout for better ways to work.

“The goal with this proof of concept trial was about setting a baseline on what can be achieved with Häggloader, Volvo trucks and Scooptram ST18.”

The team came together to observe the Häggloader, Volvo trucks and Scooptram ST18 in action both underground (Kvarntorp) and on surface (Atle). Data was collected and improvements were identified by the team, according to Epiroc.

Sprague continued: “We will now move onto the next phase which involves working with Epiroc and Volvo to progress the system to higher productivities and efficiencies.

“Newcrest is setting a rapid pace of technology and innovation change to improve our mining operations. Without the collaborative support from our selected partners, we will not move fast enough, or be as successful. And we select our partners based on their attitude and culture towards innovation. In Epiroc and Volvo, both two great Swedish success stories, we see like-minded companies willing to work together to achieve great outcomes for our people, companies and the environment.”

He concluded: “We are looking for win-win outcomes where all parties involved stand to gain – that’s the best way to drive effective collaborations. With the Häggloader, Epiroc has a unique system of loading that has not been widely utilised into the global mining industry, and Newcrest is keen to help change this.”