Tag Archives: Normet


Centamin to boost Sukari underground fleet with Cat, Sandvik, Normet and Volvo units

The transformation of Centamin’s Sukari underground mining operations looks set to continue, with the company having committed some $16 million of capital towards an underground fleet expansion in 2024 and 2025 as part of a push towards increasing mining rates.

Centamin issued a new life of mine plan for the asset in Egypt earlier this month, saying the plan would deliver long-term increased gold production, lower operational costs, reduced operational risk and significantly reduced carbon emissions, according to owner Centamin.

The underground operation, which the company transitioned to owner-operator status last year, is set to become a bigger contributor to the overall operation in future years. This will see underground output rise from 800,000 t/y in its 2022 financial year to 1.4 Mt/y.

This is a shade under the optimal mining rate of 1.5 Mt/y that came out of an underground expansion study completed in the December quarter of 2022, but Centamin said full engineering of this plan had provided opportunities to simplify the mine plan by removing the requirement to expand production by developing underground portals in the open pit, and therefore further reducing the delivery risk. Not only did this reduce the complexity of a potential expansion, it also brought the capital cost down to $16 million, from the $25-35 million previously mooted.

This capital will be deployed on a new equipment fleet for the operation, which includes three 63-t payload Caterpillar AD63 trucks, three 18.5-t payload Caterpillar R2900 XE diesel-electric loaders, one Sandvik DD421 face drill, two Sandvik DL421 longhole drills, one Normet Charmec emulsion charger, a Normet Spraymec concrete sprayer, two Normet Utimec material transporters and a Volvo L120F integrated tool carrier.

Earlier this year, a spokesperson for Centamin told IM that the company was assessing a staged approach from conventional diesel units to hybrid diesel-electric units in the interim at Sukari, with plans to move to full battery-operated loading and haulage units over the longer term.

The Caterpillar 2900 XE offers such an interim step, being a loader that features both a diesel engine and a switch reluctance electric drive system.

Normet presents Xrock range for rock breaking

Normet says it is entering into a new market by launching Normet Xrock®, a line of hydraulic breakers, pedestal breaker booms and boom automation system.

The launch follows the acquisition of Rambooms, a manufacturer and supplier of rock breaker boom systems, and Marakon Oy, a supplier of hydraulic hammers and excavator attachments for the construction and mining industries at the beginning of 2023. These transactions have reinforced Normet’s long-standing technology experience and customer support network with world-leading products and solutions for rock breaking, it says.

This comprehensive, high quality product lineup, called Normet Xrock is designed to meet the demands of a variety of applications in underground and surface mining and in the construction business. Additionally, the intelligence of Xrock® Automation technology optimises operating processes in a responsible way, boosting productivity and improving safety and sustainability, it says.

“The comprehensive range of products blends advanced technology with sector-specific expertise and delivers exceptional value to a diverse clientele,” Normet added.

Normet’s Xrock hydraulic breakers are designed for tough jobs. A full lineup of breakers, from 335 kg to 7,250 kg, include the right breaker for every task, Normet says. These breakers can be used for different construction, tunnelling and infrastructure works, as well as to break rock and frost.

Normet’s Xrock breaker booms are used for gyratory crushers, mobile crushers, jaw crushers and grizzlies. Having a dedicated crusher boom reduces the total cost of ownership of the crushing process, and it is safe and efficient method to remove oversize boulders and blockages and increase process quality as non-planned stops are reduced, the company added.

Xrock Automation, meanwhile, is an advanced tele-remote and automation system for breaker booms, which combines hardware and software to provide excellent performance now and in the future. Xrock Automation includes an operator station and boom system, which support multi-operation and are fully scalable to the mine’s needs.

Normet Utimec XL 1100 Agitator ED set for debut at Olympic Dam mine

Normet says its first Utimec XL 1100 Agitator ED has arrived in Australia, with final field tests currently being conducted ahead of deployment at BHP’s Olympic Dam mine.

The Utimec XL 1100 Agitator ED, part of Normet’s recently announced ElectroDynamic® electric driveline platform, has a concrete transportation capacity of 10.5 cu.m. It is designed for concrete transportation in underground mines and tunnels with a minimum tramming height of 3.3 m.

Tailor-made for harsh underground conditions, the vehicle is equipped with a voluminous, wear-resistant and remote-controllable concrete drum and a hydraulically-operated discharging chute, allowing for more versatile vehicle positioning, Normet says. Both mixing and unloading are controlled electrically and can be operated with zero local emissions by plugging the machine into the mine’s power grid. This increases operator comfort by significantly reducing heat output and noise and by eliminating underground emissions, according to the company. The XL 1100 Agitator ED comes with a spectrum of features such as both front and rear support legs to ensure maximum operating stability, a form oil system to prevent concrete from adhering to the vehicle’s surfaces and a high-pressure washer with a 500-litre on-board water tank.

The arrival of the first unit in Australia follows one-year-long extensive tests in Finland, Normet says. It is set to be operated at Olympic Dam by Redpath, which ordered several XL 1100 Agitator EDs for its operations after visiting Normet’s factory in Iisalmi, Finland, last year.

Normet launches new ElectroDynamic platform for higher payloads and compact dimensions

Normet has expanded its product offering, introducing both the XL platform and its latest technology innovation, the Normet ElectroDynamic® powertrain architecture, at the AusIMM Underground Operators Conference 2023 (UGOPS), in Brisbane, Australia, complementing its new high-capacity platform and paving the way to what it says is the future of more sustainable underground operations.

By combining the best features of its battery-electric Normet SmartDrive® platform and state-of-the-art low-emission engine technology, the Normet ElectroDynamic architecture allows for increased payload capacity with compact outer dimensions, while also ensuring superior driving dynamics, high performance, superb fuel efficiency and less need for maintenance, the company said.

A key element of the ElectroDynamic technology is the removal of the drive shaft and gearbox through driving the externally-cooled mining axles with permanent magnet motors in a highly efficient direct-drive configuration. This not only renders a low and compact load end design, instant torque and economical electric retardation possible, but also significantly increases component lifetime, according to Normet.

Samu Kukkonen, Technology Director at Normet, said: “As we were developing our battery-electric SmartDrive equipment, we quickly realised that we can actually remove the drive shaft and gearbox from engine-powered equipment as well. This is monumental, because now we can utilise the space where the drive shaft used to be for increased payload capacity. This was achieved by utilising electric motors at the axles, powered by a low emission engine-generator set.

“What is more, we have years of experience with all the components used in the architecture not only from our SmartDrive equipment, but also from our engine powered equipment.”

The Normet ElectroDynamic architecture also enables one-pedal driving, where the vehicle automatically controls both acceleration and deceleration with the operator’s accelerator pedal input. Additionally, its advanced front axle suspension system and the new Normet 180° cabin with improved ergonomics and visibility, Normet says, set new industry standards for operator safety and comfort.

The completely new Utimec XL ED carrier, designed for heavy-duty underground transportation applications with its payload capacity of 24 t, is included in this new XL ED offering.

Built with some of the highest-quality powertrain components and robust frame structures, all XL ED units are powered with direct-drive electric motors, Volvo Penta Stage V engines, enabling clean and efficient operation, the company says.

The first applications of the technology are the Utimec XL 1100 Agitator ED, with a practical concrete transportation capacity of 10.5 cu.m, designed for concrete transportation in underground mines and tunnels with a minimum tramming height of 3.3 m.

Tailor-made for harsh underground conditions, the vehicle is equipped with a voluminous, wear-resistant and remote-controllable concrete drum and a hydraulically-operated discharging chute, allowing for more versatile vehicle positioning. Both mixing and unloading are controlled electrically and can be operated with zero local emissions by plugging the machine into the mine’s power grid. This increases operator comfort by significantly reducing heat output and noise and by eliminating underground emissions.

The XL 1100 Agitator ED comes with a spectrum of useful features such as both front and rear support legs to ensure maximum operating stability, a form oil system to prevent concrete from adhering to the vehicle’s surfaces and a high-pressure washer with a 500-litre on-board water tank.

By eliminating the need for a drive shaft, Normet ElectroDynamic architecture allows for a high carrying capacity with compact outer dimensions, the company says

Concrete agitators are especially popular in Australia, where customers are constantly looking for innovative solutions and technologies to improve their productivity, according to Normet. However, the combination of long driving distances and high demands for vehicles’ carrying capacities has until now, posed a problem. Larger machines reduce underground traffic and make daily operation more efficient, but the size and tramming height of tunnels naturally set maximum limits for those of underground equipment, too.

Allowing for both high-capacity transportation applications and compact outer dimensions, the new XL ED offering is the ideal, purpose-built solution to this dilemma, according to Normet.

Last year, Redpath Australia representatives visited Normet’s factory in Iisalmi, Finland, to see and feel the XL ED prototype. As one of the world leaders in safety and innovations in mining practices, the company was impressed by the value the XL 1100 could provide, and Redpath has now ordered several XL 1100 Agitator EDs for its operations, set to be delivered this year.

Normet said: “We are immensely proud of the new Normet ElectroDynamic technology and the XL offering, both reflecting our passion for continuously developing innovative solutions and technologies to meet and exceed customer and industry expectations for safety, productivity and sustainability. Designed and built to minimise its environmental impact as a key driver, Normet’s broad equipment offering pioneers the transformation into greener underground operations.”

Normet on developing the underground mine of the future

A small town in central Finland with less than 5,000 inhabitants seems an unlikely place for a world-class underground research facility and advanced business ecosystem, but the Callio FutureMINE project is nonetheless at the cutting edge of mining and tunnelling R&D, according to one of the companies involved in the project.

The Callio FutureMINE project is intentioned to develop the Pyhäsalmi mine’s infrastructure into a digital test mine of the future, which can influence the electrification and digitalisation of the entire mining industry in Finland and internationally.

Pyhäsalmi itself is Europe’s deepest base metal mine, going down more than 1,400 m below surface.

Even before mining operations ended in August 2022, the location was developed as a research hub and multidisciplinary operating environment called Callio. For Normet, the opportunity to be involved in such a unique and important resource was a no-brainer.

“We have been using the mine for our personnel development and equipment testing for a long time,” Mark Ryan, Vice President Equipment Offering and New Technology at Normet, said. “Callio provides a safe environment for us to test new products in exact atmospheric conditions, and also for our customers to see our technology in action for themselves. The fact it also contains the world’s deepest sauna is a bonus.”

Normet is joined by Pyhäsalmi Mine Oy, Edzcom Oy, Sandvik Oy, M-Solutions Oy, Pyhäsalmen Kvanttikiinteistöt Oy, Kempower Oy, Oy Forcit Ab, Delta Cygni Labs Oy, Byrnecut Ltd and OZ Minerals Ltd on this project.

The conditions in the mine are useful because they exactly mimic the operating environments of Normet’s machinery around the world, while also being free from constraints such as stringent operational safety considerations related to normal mine production, Normet explained. The unique conditions present in the mine provide opportunities for research and development that are unparalleled, it claims.

“We have dedicated areas of the mine that we use to simulate the areas that our customers experience in their operations,” Ryan continued. “We can demonstrate and test applications in all parts of the mining process that Normet is involved in, from concrete spraying to explosives charging. There’s no better place to showcase and develop new mining technologies than in an actual mine.”

The forward-looking approach of Callio is indeed reflected in Normet’s proprietary solutions such as the Normet SmartDrive® electric vehicles. Being fully battery operated, the vehicles produce no local emissions and provide significant cost and energy savings.

Ryan explained: “Battery-operated vehicles are an evolution in mining. One of our visions is to use Pyhäjärvi (rebranded from the Pyhäsalmi mine) to showcase this with a visitors’ centre where customers can experience the product in action in a realistic environment for themselves. In the case of the SmartDrive, we can demonstrate how the charging stations work, the process and logistics, and how data collection can benefit the operator.”

This data collection is another big step towards improving mining efficiency. At Callio, visitors can see in the demonstration control room how Normet equipment captures operational data in real time and transmits it for analysis. The information from this process can be used to improve efficiency, reduce downtime and ensure a safe and productive work environment.

Other projects in Callio involve energy storage, underground rescue, and even edible insects, among others. In general, this environment creates many opportunities for cooperation and knowledge exchange, according to Normet.

“We can see real opportunities for mutual benefit in regard to development,” Ryan explained. “We are very open to additional partnerships and shared initiatives.”

And this unique project is in part a result of its location, Normet says.

Ryan concluded: “I think there is a real kind of innovative, entrepreneur type of thinking in Finland that gives us a competitive edge and enables Normet to offer our customers the best possible technologies and keeps us relevant. We see ourselves as process experts. The machines we sell are products that enable that expertise. Callio provides an incredible opportunity for us to demonstrate our unique abilities.”

Normet makes investment in electric hammer tech start-up Lekatech

Normet has continued its investments in electrification technology with an agreement to become a minority shareholder of Finland-based startup Lekatech.

Since 2018, Normet has collaborated with Lekatech, a company that believes that direct electric drive is the future in hammering. Given the successful collaboration in electric hammer field tests between the companies, Normet has become a minority shareholder in the company.

The investment supports continued growth of Lekatech and commercialisation of its groundbreaking fully-electric hammers, Normet said.

Lekatech CEO, Antti Anttila, said: “Our goal is to zero out the CO2 emissions of impact hammers used in mining and construction industry.”

Lekatech’s ambition supports Normet’s continued progress in mining electrification. The fully-electric hammer, combined with Normet SmartDrive® battery-electric architecture, will shape the future of underground scaling and breaking, the company says.

Samu Kukkonen, Technology Director at Normet, said: “Lekatech’s technology enables a quantum leap in hammering energy efficiency and impact performance. The hammer being a digital platform enables intelligent control features that just were not possible before.”

Lekatech’s fully-electric hammer is up to 60% more efficient than a conventional hydraulic hammer providing significant energy savings while doubling impact force, the company claims. Fully-electric hammer technology also enables continuous digital development.

Tuomo Peltola, Founder of Lekatech, added: “Cooperation with Normet has been natural from the beginning. Normet really understands how to introduce high technologies to global market. I appreciate Normet’s practical and entrepreneurial culture and solid technical know-how. Normet is committed to being a technology leader in its own area of expertise.”

Normet strengthens scaling and breaking market position with Rambooms, Marakon buys

Normet says it has agreed to acquire Rambooms Oy, a manufacturer and supplier of rock breaker boom systems, and Marakon Oy, a supplier of hydraulic hammers and excavator attachments for the construction and mining industries.

The Rambooms and Marakon businesses, with a manufacturing facility in Lahti, Finland, form the Marakon Group. The group has a wide customer base, and its products are found in most mining and construction markets, according to Normet. Marakon Group had 35 employees and net sales of €26 million ($27.8 million) in 2022.

Ed Santamaria, President and CEO at Normet, said: “Rambooms and Marakon are known for their high performing quality products. With the acquisition Normet strengthens its position in scaling and breaking as well as supports advancing towards higher levels of automation and electrification for the mining and construction industries. We look forward to welcoming the Marakon Group employees to Normet and supporting them in their future growth and development.”

Tomi Veijalainen, President of MRB-Holding Oy, added: “Throughout the past 40 years Marakon and Rambooms have grown together with both our business partners and employees. We feel trustful in the fact that this acquisition will allow for these shared success stories to continue. As this milestone marks a step towards new opportunities to advance and succeed, we are excited to follow the future accomplishments of both companies.”

The acquisition is expected to be closed this quarter, subject to the fulfilment of customary closing conditions.

Normet brings BEV SmartDrive tech to lifting, installation and material transport applications

Normet has expanded its SmartDrive® battery-electric vehicle (BEV) offering with the addition of new machines for lifting, installations and material transportation.

The company launched its SmartDrive BEV offering with zero local emissions during the Bauma 2019 exhibition in Munich in 2019. Since then, it has gradually expanded its offering and gained even more experience in the field.

Normet SmartDrive is a modular BEV architecture designed to optimise energy consumption and performance in underground mining and tunnelling applications. It allows for higher productivity, lower operating costs and zero local emissions, according to the company.

With many units now deployed across the mining and tunnelling spaces – including the Utimec MF 500 Transmixer SD concrete transmixer and the Spraymec 8100 SD concrete sprayer – the company has further expanded its SmartDrive offering to cover even more applications.

The newest additions to the SmartDrive offering are two applications for lifting and installations, Utilift MF 330 SD and Utilift MF 540 SD, and Utimec MF 100 Material SD for material transportation.

Normet SmartDrive architecture combined with Normet’s proven personnel lifting system enables safe lifting works with zero local emissions, improving the working comfort significantly, the company claims. The Utilift MF 330 SD (pictured) with a lifting capacity of up to 3 t and a maximum platform height of 3.5 m is designed to provide a safe working platform for all kinds of installation works in tunnels up to 5.5 m high.

The Utilift MF 540 SD is a scissor lifter offering reliable performance for all lifting and installation needs in underground mines up to 6.5 m high, Normet says. A 4.5-t maximum lifting capacity and 4.5 m maximum lifting height makes the installation of even the heaviest mine ventilation fans possible.

Both lifters can be equipped with line-of-sight remote driving system to further increase the safety and productivity by allowing the operator to relocate the machine easily with wireless remote control from the ground or from the platform.

The Utimec MF 100 Material SD, meanwhile, is designed for efficient bulk material transportation in underground mines and tunnels. It has a payload capacity of 10 t and comes in two different platform versions with either low- or high-platform edges. The vehicle can be equipped with an optional crane with up to 2 t lifting capacity for effortless loading and unloading of heavy objects, the company claims.

Normet to supply battery-electric utility vehicle fleet to BHPs Jansen mine

Normet Canada says it has been awarded a contract from BHP to deliver a large fleet of multi-use battery-electric vehicles (BEV) to the Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The delivery period of the fleet is expected to commence in the March quarter 2023 and extends to 2024.

The Normet fleet order follows on from Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions being awarded a contract by BHP to deliver 10 underground battery-electric loaders along with 1 electric tethered loader for use at Jansen.

BHP aims to develop the underground mining equipment and automation solutions with a focus on sustainability, with emissions reduction, improved productivity and advanced health and welfare of employees being key inputs to the mining company’s decision to adopt BEV technology.

With the mine’s pursuit of electrification of mobile equipment and technology that mitigates natural gas emission, Jansen is expected to emit about half the average CO2 per tonne of product compared with the average Saskatchewan potash mine, according to BHP.

The Jansen project has the potential to be the largest potash-producing mine in the world and is expected to operate for up to 100 years, providing a rich source of potassium for soil fertilisation purposes and hence supporting food production, BHP says. Start of the production is targeted for 2026.

Xerotech to test underground mine electrification limits as part of SUBSPACE ENERGY HUB

Xerotech, a leader of battery technology for heavy-duty non-road mobile machinery (NRMM), has announced a partnership with Switzerland-based VSH (VersuchsStollen Hagerbach – Hagerbach Test Gallery) and other founding members, Amberg Group, Normet, Motics, Alumina and Fortescue Future Industries in the creation of a Sub Space Energy Hub.

This development allows Xerotech to partner with VSH’s leadership in underground mining to fast-track the potential of underground mining electrification and work with other companies and thought leaders in this space, it says.

The new SUBSPACE ENERGY HUB at VSH in Switzerland offers the ideal platform for the harmonised development, prototyping and installation of new technologies that promote best practice in sustainable energy use and storage, combining both above and underground facilities, according to the partners.

Dr Barry Flannery, CEO of Xerotech, said: “This facility provides a platform to continue pushing the boundaries of our next-generation battery technology as we continue to break the limitations of what is possible in terms of NRMM electrification. This will rapidly benefit our customers who are under increasing pressure to find viable ways to electrify vehicles that at one point were thought to be too big or difficult to convert to electric.”

Michael Kompatscher, General Manager at Hagerbach Test Gallery Ltd, said: “Together with the partners like Xerotech, VSH will be transformed into a visionary sustainable and CO2 neutral underground infrastructure where construction and operation of underground space usage will be developed, prototyped and launched. This will be a model ecosystem of sustainable energy storage and delivery, above and below ground, and how it supports green energy use in future cities.”