The first FLANDERS autonomous drills are now up and running at Anglo American Platinum’s Mogalakwena platinum group metals operation in South Africa, with a third set to start up later this year.
FLANDERS CEO, John Oliver, and VP of International Operations, Willie Van Ryneveld, recently visited the mine in Limpopo, South Africa, where the first ARDVARC autonomous drills are now in operation in fully-autonomous mode.
The first two ARDVARC Autonomous drills were delivered on time and within budget to Mogalakwena, and the third Epiroc Pit Viper 271 XC drill is due to arrive at the FLANDERS South Africa workshop for conversion in May, the company said. The company said the first PV 271 XC drill recently drilled its first hole in fully-autonomous mode.
FLANDERS’ flagship ARDVARC automated drill control systems has been used around the world for more than 15 years, with more than 30 mine site deployments in this time.
The product suite is designed to facilitate customers to scale up automation at their own pace and covers all aspects of drill automation, from semi- autonomous to tele-remote and autonomous operation of a single piece of equipment to multi-machine control and full-fleet automation using Command Centre control capabilities. ARDVARC Autonomous comprises a suite of tools for automating, analysing and optimising drilling production and processes, interconnecting with fleet management systems and other data acquisition technologies.
The company claims operations can achieve productivity gains of up to 30% when employing ARDVARC autonomous solutions by reducing downtime due to human factors such as shift changes and pauses of drilling during blasting operations.