Tag Archives: MD6310

Rio Tinto details technology leaps at Gudai-Darri upon official opening

A week after delivering first ore, Rio Tinto’s Gudai-Darri mine, in Western Australia, has officially been opened, marking a major milestone for the company’s most technologically advanced mine.

Pilbara Traditional Owners, the Banjima People, and Western Australia’s Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy, Bill Johnston MLA, today joined Rio Tinto employees as well as valued partners and suppliers to celebrate the official opening.

Since development commenced in April 2019, more than 14 million workhours have culminated in the delivery of Rio Tinto’s 17th and most technologically advanced iron ore mine in the Pilbara. Development of the mine supported more than 3,000 jobs during the construction and design phase with the operation requiring around 600 permanent roles.

With an expected life of more than 40 years and an annual capacity of 43 Mt, Gudai-Darri will underpin future production of Rio Tinto’s Pilbara Blend™ product. It’s expected to increase iron ore production volumes and improve product mix from the Pilbara from the second half of this year, the company says. The mine is expected to reach capacity in 2023.

To optimise mine safety and drive productivity, Gudai-Darri features an unprecedented deployment of technology, much of it industry-leading. This includes the use of robotics for the ore sampling laboratory as well as for distribution of parts in the new workshop.

This goes from autonomous trucks, trains and drills, standard across many Rio Tinto mines in the Pilbara, to a full digital replica of the processing plant which allows teams to monitor and respond to data collected from the plant. The same digital asset data is used to provide a feature rich, interactive 3D environment for virtual reality training. These autonomous assets are monitored remotely from Rio Tinto’s Operations Centre 1,500 km away in Perth.

The technology spread includes 23 Caterpillar 793F autonomous haul trucks and three Caterpillar MD6310 autonomous drills. The trucks, in this case, implement real-time ore tracking using sensors to provide live dig face progression, while data-informed modelling from the drills helps to build more accurate assessments of existing ground conditions and improve safety. In collaboration with Caterpillar, Rio Tinto is advancing the development of zero-emissions autonomous haul trucks. Once development is complete, it is anticipated the world’s first operational deployment of Caterpillar 793 zero-emissions autonomous haul trucks will be at Gudai-Darri.

Gudai-Darri also hosts the world’s first autonomous water carts.

The new vehicles, developed in partnership with Caterpillar, are primarily used for dust suppression on site, enhancing productivity by enabling mine operations to digitally track water consumption and reduce waste. The vehicle’s intelligent on-board system detects dry and dusty conditions on site, triggering the application of water to roads to keep them in good condition.

And, of course, it has autonomous trains under its AutoHaul™ system, which has been fully operational since June 2019.

The company has also invested in what it says is its first “rotable bucketwheel reclaimer”.

It explained: “Traditionally reclaimer maintenance requires a prolonged shutdown while several components are removed. This patented world first will enable the entire bucket wheel module to be changed out for maintenance, improving safety and efficiency.”

With the help of Scott Automation, the company has also introduced a robotic ore sampling lab on site, while its heavy mobile equipment warehouse is the home to four automatic guided vehicles.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, said: “We’ve worked closely with both the Banjima and Yindjibarndi People through the planning and development stages of Gudai-Darri and we look forward to partnering with them into the future to ensure the project achieves significant social and economic benefits.

“Gudai-Darri represents a step-change in the deployment of automation and technology within our iron ore business and a fantastic demonstration of the talent, ingenuity and capability that exists in Western Australia, a region which is now known globally for its technical excellence and innovation. Gudai-Darri’s combination of data and analytics, machine learning and automation, will make this mine safer and more productive.

“Gudai-Darri is our first greenfield mine in the Pilbara in more than a decade and a multi-billion-dollar investment in the State of Western Australia that will operate for decades to come.”

Western Australia’s Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy, Bill Johnston MLA, said: “I’m impressed by Rio Tinto’s innovation and sustainability; this is a prototype of the mine of the future. Once the new solar farm (a 34 MW farm consisting of about 83,000 panels) is complete it will be able to power one-third of Gudai-Darri’s operational needs with renewable energy.”

A total of A$3.2 billion ($2.2 billion) in goods and services were sourced within Western Australia during the construction phase of the Gudai-Darri Project with contracts valued at A$1.5 billion awarded directly to Western Australia-registered businesses such as NRW, Primero, DTMT Construction Company, Southern Cross Electrical Engineering and Monadelphous Engineering Associates.

This includes over A$100 million awarded directly to local Aboriginal businesses including White Springs, Lorrex Contracting, Hicks Civil & Mining, Brida, Karijini Development, Yurala Contracting Services, and Karlka FenceWright WA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mining sustainably

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Driving technology and automation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lifecycle solutions

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

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

Partnership and expertise

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

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