Gold Fields’ Granny Smith operators are now benefitting from the availability of RCT’s Remote Operations Centre (ROC) to manage some of its mobile equipment fleet from its Perth head office, some 740 km away from site.
This major advancement will revolutionise the way they do mining by allowing operators to control or supervise semi-autonomous fleet activities in real time from the comfort and convenience of a central office location, according to RCT.
The digital ROC’s deployment represents the next major development in Gold Field’s autonomous mining operations and enables personnel to work effectively from a major city, which makes the job more accessible to a wide range of workers and reduces the company’s carbon footprint.
The project is made possible by RCT’s ControlMaster® digital automation solution, which is already used by Gold Fields to manage its underground loader fleet from the mine’s surface.
However, the digital ROC technology means Gold Fields can offer significantly more flexible working arrangements and accommodate work/life balance requirements among their workforce.
Initial testing proved the ROC can instantaneously manage multiple underground loaders at one time operating in different locations within the underground mining complex, according to RCT.
The digital ROC technology means Gold Fields’ operators will be able to access ControlMaster’s latest features as they are released, helping enhance semi-autonomous fleet operations on-site.
RCT and Gold Fields’ engineers worked together to implement the ROC and link it with the mine site through Gold Fields’ secure, dedicated network.
Granny Smith’s Mine Manager, Michael Place, said: “The Perth ROC started as a proof-of-concept trial following the digital upgrades project in December 2021. The ROC was aimed at showcasing Gold Fields Australia’s network capability and RCT’s digital operating technology but has now opened the doors to exploring future avenues in how we work at our underground operations.”
RCT Account Manager, Scott Phillips, said the ControlMaster ROC incorporates RCT’s latest digital technology which will fully empower Gold Fields to fulfil its mining fleet needs going forward.
“We are pleased to help Gold Fields take this next major step in their autonomous mining journey and implement technology that brings about major operational efficiencies,” he said.
“This project is only the beginning, and we look forward to working closely with Gold Fields to advance their mining operations in the future.”