Tag Archives: Loading

MACA wins 12-month extension at Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora lithium project

MACA Ltd has announced the extension of its mining services contract with Pilbara Minerals for a further 12 months at the Pilgangoora lithium project, in Western Australia, following Pilbara Minerals exercise of its 12-month option.

The Pilgangoora project consists of open-pit mining services including drilling and blasting and loading and hauling, and the extension is expected to generate approximately A$70 million ($51 million) in revenue for MACA over the 12-month term through to November 2022. MACA’s work in hand position as of September 21 is A$3.1 billion, it says.

MACA CEO, Mike Sutton, said “MACA is very pleased to be able to continue working with Pilbara Minerals at the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project, having commenced operations on site in 2017. We strongly value the collaborative working relationship established with the Pilbara Minerals team over the previous four years and are proud to be an ongoing part of this project.

“For MACA, this extension secures our strong position in the Pilbara region and also provides continued involvement in the lithium industry.”

Epiroc to supply drill rigs, bolters, loaders and trucks to Mexico’s CoMinVi

Epiroc says it has won a large order for underground mining equipment from Mexican contractor CoMinVi for use at several mines throughout the country.

CoMinVi SA de CV, headquartered in Guanajuato, Mexico, has ordered a variety of Epiroc machines, including face drilling rigs, production drilling rigs, rock reinforcement rigs, loaders and mine trucks. The equipment will ensure the mines are operated with strengthened productivity, safety and cost efficiency, the OEM said.

The machines will be used at several mines in Mexico where CoMinVi serves as mining contractor. Aftermarket services such as on-site maintenance supervisor and spare parts consignment will be provided by Epiroc.

The total order value of the equipment exceeds $45 million, of which the majority was booked in the June quarter of 2021. The remaining part is expected to be booked in the second half of 2021.

“We are proud to partner with CoMinVi to enhance safety, productivity and sustainability in their operations,” Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, said. “The equipment and services will support CoMinVi to successfully execute on their mining projects.”

Rafael Villagómez Contreras, CoMinVi’s CEO, said: “The acquisition of this new equipment is a historical part of CoMinVi’s growth in recent years and represents a competitive advantage for us. It will ensure our ability to respond immediately to our potential customers by having the necessary resources that allow us to be one step ahead of our competition. We are very satisfied with the commercial partnership with Epiroc as this is a long-term relationship that will be supported with a high-level technical backup and a reliable supply.”

The equipment includes Boomer face drilling rigs, Simba production drilling rigs, Boltec rock reinforcement rigs, Scooptram loaders and Minetruck haulers. The machines will be equipped with Epiroc’s Certiq system, which allows for intelligent monitoring of machine performance and productivity in real time, and some of the units will have Epiroc’s Rig Control System, RCS, installed. This system makes them ready for automation and remote control.

The equipment is to be delivered in 2021 and 2022.

Cat boosts productivity and efficiency with new 992 Wheel Loader

Building on a more than half-century legacy that includes the best-selling large mining loader model of all time, the new Cat® 992 Wheel Loader sets a new standard by offering up to 32% greater productivity, Caterpillar says.

This new large mining loader reduces maintenance costs by as much as 10% and offers up to 48% greater payload-per-fuel efficiency than the earlier model 992K, the company claims.

Powered by the new Cat C32B engine with US EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage V and Tier 2 equivalent emission engine options, the new 992 meets the global industry’s demand for high-production equipment with greater payloads, Cat says. Powertrain design enhancements to the transmission, axles and final drive, along with the new engine, deliver a 20% longer interval for planned component replacement.

Offering both standard- and high-lift configurations, the 992 delivers the lowest cost-per-tonne when paired with fleets of Cat 775, 777 and 785 trucks, according to the company. Standard-lift payload capacities reach 23.1 t for quarry face applications and 27.2 t for loose material handling, while high-lift capacities reach 20.4 t and 24.5 t in respective applications.

Productive and efficient

A new Z-bar linkage optimised for performance, and improvements to rimpull and breakout force, deliver greater machine capacity and efficiency. The new 992 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. The powerful and efficient 992 provides up to 9.5% more rimpull during digging and up to 20% more breakout force, increasing productivity, the company claims.

The new Cat 992 wheel loader features an on-demand throttle mode to optimise payload-per-fuel efficiency without slowing production. New standard automatic retarding controls disable the impeller clutch, enable the lockup clutch, and use the implement and fan pumps retarding to slow the machine on grade. The available advanced automatic retarding controls with engine brake feature offers full control of the loader’s speed on grade to maintain a desired hold speed, according to Cat.

Automating critical digging cycle elements, optional new Autodig components further improve productivity and efficiency while reducing tyre wear. To stop slippage before it happens, a tyre slip prevention feature reduces rimpull before the tyres are set and increases rimpull when downward force is applied to the tyre. The tyre set function detects pile contact and automatically lifts against the pile to set the tyres and increase available traction. The lift stall prevention feature automatically manages rimpull in-dig to prevent hydraulic stall while lifting through the face, so the 992 spends less time in the pile.

An optional new Payload Overload Prevention tool allows for productivity and efficiency improvements by providing a large enough bucket to be used to achieve target pass match across a range of material densities without the risk of overload. With the overload value fully adjustable based on the target payload, this feature can be configured to automatically stop or slow the lift function when the overload value is exceeded, Cat says.

Improvements to the setback and strike plane angles, a longer bucket floor and a stronger and larger bottom section increase the bucket fill factor by 10%. The taller side plate with level top surface helps to improve visibility beyond the bucket edge to the material pile.

Available Operator Coaching empowers operators to exceed productivity targets by measuring and providing feedback to teach optimal operating techniques. Among other operating techniques, this feature shows how to properly shorten travel, avoid unracking in-dig, enter the pile with a level bucket, reduce the dump height and use the kickout.

Comfort and safety

The newly redesigned Cat 992 wheel loader cab increases visibility, offers intuitive control and incorporates next-generation technology to boost efficiency by providing easily accessible information. Its taller windshield increases the glass surface area by 25%, resulting in 10% greater visibility. Cat says operators will appreciate the cab’s 50% increase in legroom and more width by the knees.

Providing shift-long operating comfort, the new 992 controls feature electrohydraulic speed-sensing steering with force feedback. Two 254-mm colour LED monitors display machine control and operating functions. A separate 203-mm screen provides a dedicated viewing feed of the standard rear-view camera, upgradable with an optional 270° vision and object detection.

Total cost of ownership

Extended major component life on the new 992 and improved service access deliver up to 10% lower maintenance costs. Automatic lubrication to Z-bar linkage pins with robust guarding, meanwhile, helps to deliver more reliable operation. A front walkaround platform simplifies cleaning of cab windows. Two large openings per machine side offer quick and convenient access to the improved cooling package, reducing cleaning time, Cat says.

Improved hydraulic systems filtration and pump prognostics for the implement pump reduce machine downtime. The new loader displays the remaining useful life for the engine air filter, allowing technicians to plan for machine servicing.

Offering convenient and improved access to maintenance items, the service centre has been relocated to the left-hand side of the machine, along with the fuel tanks. S∙O∙SSM fluid sampling ports are safely accessed from ground level and filters are organised by type and change interval to increase maintenance efficiency.

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.

Codelco El Teniente on its way to fully-automated mining solution, Sandvik says

Sandvik says it will deliver AutoMine® fleet solutions for underground trucks to Codelco’s El Teniente mine in Chile, continuing the copper miner’s “vision of creating the most advanced underground mines in the world”.

This AutoMine Fleet system is the first step in implementing a fully-automated mining solution using Sandvik trucks at El Teniente, the biggest underground copper mine in the world, Sandvik said.

“Codelco’s goal is to dramatically increase the productivity, safety and efficiency of its operations with AutoMine. Together with the existing OptiMine® system, the mine will become a world-class benchmark,” the mining equipment maker said.

This agreement follows the April announcement that Sandvik will deliver its AutoMine and OptiMine solutions to Codelco’s Chuquicamata mine as it converts the site from open pit to an underground mine. This development is part of Codelco’s 10-year strategic project to extend the life of its existing mines.

Rafael Guzman, Chief Engineer for Automation and Technology at El Teniente, said: “As a state-owned mining company, it is our responsibility to implement technology and solutions that ensure the safety of our people and the sustainability of our mines. Being a good corporate citizen is not negotiable. It is critical to our success.”

Sandvik and Codelco started their automation journeys together at El Teniente with the first-ever AutoMine Loading system installation, in 2004.

Patricio Apablaza, Vice President for Andean and South Cone, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “We are proud that Codelco continues to choose Sandvik as a strategic partner for its most innovative projects. Our technology will drive even safer, smarter and more productive mining for Codelco.”

The AutoMine product family allows customers to scale up automation at their own pace, according to Sandvik. The solution covers all aspects of automation, from remote and autonomous operation of a single piece of equipment to multi-machine control and full-fleet automation using automatic mission and traffic control capabilities. AutoMine installations have logged more than 2.5 million hours with zero lost time injuries.

OptiMine, meanwhile, is a suite of digital tools for analysing and optimising mining production and processes. It integrates all relevant data into one source, delivering both real-time and predictive insights to improve operations. “OptiMine is open and scalable, giving customers the flexibility to build at their own speed and incorporate other equipment, systems and networks,” Sandvik said.