Tag Archives: RCT

Evolution enlists RCT and its Guidance Automation tech to transform Red Lake gold mine

Evolution Mining has selected RCT and its ControlMaster® Guidance Automation technology to help “transform” its new Red Lake mine in Ontario, Canada.

Evolution has embarked on a three-year investment strategy to restore the newly acquired Red Lake mine to a safe, highly efficient, long life and low-cost operation providing strong value for shareholders. This followed its acquisition of the operation from Newmont in November 2019 in a deal that could eventually rise to $475 million.

RCT has previously worked with Evolution Mining on transitioning its Mungari operations in Western Australia’s Goldfields region to its fully-autonomous technology solution.

To assist in the Red Lake turnaround strategy, RCT will commission its interoperable and scalable ControlMaster Guidance Automation technology to the underground loader fleet.

RCT says it is working closely with Red Lake’s leadership team to seamlessly integrate the new technology to enable greater productivity efficiencies to support Evolution Mining’s transformation strategy.

“The technology will unlock significant value for Evolution Mining by ensuring optimal machine performance, higher speed autonomous tramming, and reduced machine damage,” RCT said. “The technology will deliver faster production cycle times and reduced unplanned downtime across the loader fleet.”

The loaders will be controlled from either the surface-based ControlMaster Automation Centre or the customised underground Automation Centres designed specifically for easier transfer via the mine shaft hoist system.

This solution safeguards machine operators by relocating them away from hazards commonly found at the mine face and significantly reduces shift handover times, lowering overhead costs and resulting in greater site efficiencies, RCT said.

Kirsty Liddicoat, Red Lake General Manager, said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with RCT to introduce modern technologies to Red Lake as part of our transformation process. RCT equipment will enable higher productivity and efficiencies from our underground scoop fleet, while improving safety for our people.”

RCT’s Mining Business Development Manager, Ryan Noden, said ControlMaster is an ideal solution to help deliver the operational transformation that is aligned to Evolution Mining’s Red Lake strategy.

“The advanced features of the ControlMaster Automation technology means Red Lake will be able to quickly achieve improved production efficiencies from its loader fleet, with a greater level of safety for its operators,” he said. “Red Lake will also benefit from selecting a truly interoperable technology provider that can collaborate closely with them to realise further mobile equipment automation opportunities as further optimisation of the asset is achieved.”

Noden added: “RCT has a proud history of delivering value to the Canadian mining sector and we look forward to continually delivering to them with our cutting-edge technology backed by our dedicated in-country support team based at the company’s facility in Sudbury, Ontario.”

Evolution’s vision is to restore Red Lake to be one of Canada’s premier gold mines sustainably producing 300,000-500,000 oz/y of low-cost gold, Jake Klein, Evolution’s Executive Chairman, has said.

Booyco expects further global proximity detection tech growth

Proximity Detection System (PDS) specialist, Booyco Electronics, says it is continuing to grow its global footprint, securing key relationships with miners and service providers outside of its native South Africa in the last half decade.

Having recently made export development a strategic imperative, the company is seeing enthusiastic uptake of its technologies, according to Booyco Electronics CEO, Anton Lourens.

“These are exciting times, where we are already doing business in Southern Africa, West Africa, South America and Australia, while seeing considerable interest from countries in Europe and North America,” Lourens says. “Expanding our footprint has been made possible by building strong relationships with experienced channel partners who serve and know these mining regions.”

Booyco Electronics’ journey into international markets began many years ago through its involvement with the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT), Lourens noted. This global initiative of major mining companies guides best practice in minimising vehicle interactions and collisions.

With South Africa leading the world in regulating this space, Booyco Electronics was, and still is, able to contribute valuable insights to this global forum, it says.

“When we began designing our latest Booyco CXS generation of collision avoidance technology, we developed a solution that would lend itself to application in international markets,” Lourens says. “We then identified and engaged reputable partners who understand their customer base and are technically capable of supporting our innovative product line.”

The latest generation CXS system is a comprehensive and integrated proximity detection solution, taking a step beyond being just a warning system to become a “true collision avoidance system”, he says.

The first Booyco PDS system exported from the South Africa facility was installed in Madagascar about five years ago. This has been followed by further international installations in Ghana, Namibia (at B2Gold’s Otjikoto gold mine) and Chile.

“With our focus on developing safety equipment that ensures every employee returns home safely every day, we collaborate with responsible, diligent partners who apply their technical resources to realising that vision on individual mine sites,” Lourens says.

Key relationships have been established with Australia-based RCT, Ramjack Technology Solutions and Insucam. RCT has operations in 70 countries, Ramjack Technology Solutions provides system integration services globally and Insucam has a strong South American footprint, Booyco says.

“While our channel partners support the technology and the end customer, there is also significant value-add in our collaboration as our partners are already experts in automation, remote control and interfacing,” Lourens says. “Their experience in on-mine implementation opens doors to integrating our various technologies to the customers’ benefit. We can even incorporate their technologies into our solutions.”

Positioning Booyco Electronics well for its global growth is its familiarity with most mining environments, and its ability to address the various scenarios specified by EMERST in its protocols and guidelines.

“We have now been able to enhance this offering by adapting our machine displays and text to different languages to suit new markets, including our manuals and training materials for technicians,” Lourens says. “We also provide training – online as well as in person, where possible – to our channel partners. To do this, we leverage the power of video while also experimenting with innovations like body cameras for the more technical aspects of learning and on-site fault finding.”

Mining professionals in many countries are still relatively new to PDS, as regulations have not required the implementation of this technology previously, according to Lourens. This has led to Booyco Electronics focusing extensively on information and training tools that familiarise the international mining sector with the value of this technology.

It is clear, Lourens says, that PDS technology has much to offer mines globally, especially as mining operations seek digital integration that will continuously improve safety and productivity.

RCT introduces new ‘smart’ solution for fleet service monitoring

RCT has brought a new product to its Muirhead® range of protection solutions designed to protect both machines and operators in mining.

Easily installed, the Smart Service Monitor takes the traditionally basic device, which previously only gave an estimate on when a machine requires a service, and delivers an all-round information system for up to eight inputs, RCT says.

RCT’s Mining and Resources Product Manager, Mick Tanner, said: “This allows the monitoring of up to eight measurable components. Having the information allows for companies to schedule servicing of different components of a machine when it’s due.”

He added: “Information is power and having accurate information, delivered in an easy and concise manner allows management to ensure machines and their individual components are serviced correctly, therefore significantly increasing machine availability and extending the lifespan of equipment.”

The Smart Service Monitor was developed by RCT in response to industry demand, according to Tanner.

“Clients wanted more specific information about their machines and components in order to streamline efficiencies,” he said. “Having all the machines operating at optimal performance ensures this is achieved.

“This solution is all about minimising the costs associated with machine running costs and maximising the utilisation of machines.”

For example, it is possible for the monitor to intelligently log engine run hours; by monitoring the RPM, the device can monitor the time in idle and the time in a work state off the same input. The counter has been designed to count, up or down, depending on what is required.

By logging such an integral piece of information, it is possible to ensure machine servicing is carried out regularly when required to ensure optimal performance, according to RCT. This is not only a legal obligation to reduce any risks because of unexpected failures, but it also prevents machines running at a lower efficiency.

The Smart Service Monitor is designed to monitor the work hours of equipment to alert the user if the equipment requires or is overdue for a service. In addition, it is also capable of sending out both visual and audio alarms to alert the operators.

“The most impressive aspect is that the system can monitor up to 10 different things at once, which allows the end user to have a great overall picture of a machine’s health and be assured operations are running optimally,” Tanner said.

All that is required to monitor a machine component via the Smart Service Monitor is either a frequency input, PWM input or just a straight digital or analogue voltage.

In addition, the Smart Service Monitor is complementary to RCT’s automation solutions. The Smart Service Monitor can record the operating hours of these solutions to ensure servicing can be carried out at appropriate times to maintain optimal efficiency.

RCT’s Smart Service Monitor can be positioned on any machine, with the device configured through an in-built programming tool. All that is needed is a smart device, PC, laptop or phone connected to Wi-Fi. For security reasons, connection is password-protected to prevent people from making changes that the supervisor might not want including re-setting counters.

RCT’s EarthTrack tool to improve efficiency, productivity at Silver Lake’s Mount Monger

Silver Lake Resources has upped the efficiency of its earthmoving fleet at Mount Monger in Western Australia following the implementation of RCT’s EarthTrack® information monitoring tool.

RCT recently commissioned the EarthTrack Payload Management System on Silver Lake Resource’s mixed fleet consisting of five Cat 777F dump trucks, one Hitachi 1200-6 excavator and one Hitachi 1900-6 excavator.

The solution provides Silver Lake’s machine operators with real-time information about payload distribution and optimal load weights at the Mount Monger gold operation in Western Australia’s Goldfields region, RCT says.

Site managers can now closely monitor machine and operator productivity, prevent truck strut damage from over loading, reduce tyre wear and achieve better fuel consumption to significantly reduce overall running costs, according to the company.

The system transmits payload data from the truck being loaded to the loading tool – in this case the excavator – which enables the loader operator to fill the truck trays to the optimal weight.

One of the EarthTrack system’s key features is that it monitors payload distribution in real time and alerts the operator of an uneven distribution, allowing them to take action to avoid strut damage. At the same time, the system’s external LED Payload Display relays the load weight to any personnel in visual range of the display.

RCT Account Manager, Scott Phillips, said the system will maximise efficiency and productivity of Silver Lake’s mining fleet.

“This solution enhances the excavator operator’s ability to load dirt in an effective manner that ensures optimal loading conditions with every bucket,” he said. “Ineffective loading can lead to strut damage and wear and tear to machines which results in costly maintenance downtime to the mining fleet.

“This tool will enable site personnel to make better decisions to ensure smooth and consistent operations while allowing site management to monitor the operation closely.”

RCT’s remote water refilling systems cut operator downtime at mine sites

RCT says major mining companies have strongly endorsed the implementation of its remote water refilling systems across all types of water carts and standpipes operating on global mine sites.

The package forms part of RCT’s ControlMaster® Automation & Control technology offer and has been used for many years in water carts in mines while also crossing over to industrial applications.

The ControlMaster Remote Water Refill solution allows cart operators to park at a refilling station and activate the standpipe’s water pump without leaving the machine’s cab. This eliminates the operator’s exposure to the mine’s environment and hazards associated with egress from heavy mining equipment.

Once the water cart reaches 95% capacity, the system’s in-built sensor will turn off the standpipe’s water pump and the machine operator can drive away.

Mining companies have reported the solution is saving significant cycle times at the refilling standpipe and reduces excess water waste associated with errors in manually operating the water pump.

“RCT’s clients believe the system enables the carts to redeploy much faster compared to if the operators were manually activating the pump,” the company says.

The system can be controlled from a cab-mounted interface or via a handheld transmitter depending on the mine site’s preferences.

RCT Account Manager, Phill Dean, said the cost-effective device provides important productivity returns.

“This solution saves a significant amount of operator downtime across the entire water cart fleet and enables more dust suppression activities,” he said. “The technology is easy to install and requires no specialised skills to operate it and contributes to more consistent site operations.”

Dean added: “As with all of RCT’s products, the Remote Water Cart Refill System is technologically-agnostic and has a proven history of being implemented in all water carts and a broad range of standpipes regardless of manufacturer.”

RCT teleremote tech to improve dozer operator safety at PNG gold mine

RCT says it has completed a project to commission its ControlMaster® technology on dozers at a major gold mining operation in Papua New Guinea.

The Australia-based automation specialist has installed and commissioned its ControlMaster Line-of-Sight solution on two Komatsu D275 dozers at the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine.

The technology packages will enable the mine operator to clear landslip in the mine’s central pit, RCT said.

Going forward, the site’s machine operators can stand at a safe distance and direct the dozers to operate beneath the pit’s highwall.

RCT Account Manager, Wayne Carrington, said the solution is an integral part of safe mine operations.

“Mine management are pleased that they can undertake necessary activities within the central pit while ensuring dozer operators are safe,” he said.

RCT says it will provide training to machine operators and ongoing after sales support as required.

RCT helps Evolution Mining transition to fully-autonomous operations at Mungari

RCT says it has successfully commissioned Evolution Mining’s underground LHD fleet at the Mungari gold mine with RCT’s proprietary ControlMaster® automation technology.

The project has transformed Evolution Mining’s underground loader fleet away from its previous teleremote provider in favour of RCT’s fully-autonomous technology solution, RCT says.

RCT installed and commissioned its ControlMaster Guidance Automation solution onto one CAT R2900 underground loader and one CAT R1700 underground loader at the Mungari operation in Western Australia’s Goldfields.

RCT supplied two Automation Centres located at designated work zones within the mine fitted with G-Dash and provides the operators with real-time, graphical machine data.

The project also involved installing a communications network, critical spares parts and a specialised RCT parts cabinet, according to the company.

Ryan Noden, RCT Business Development Manager Mining, said he was pleased RCT had continued to build on its existing relationship with Evolution Mining.

“RCT’s automation solution was previously established at one of Evolution Mining’s other projects and is now helping the Mungari operation further optimise production capabilities,” Noden said.

“We have been working with Evolution Mining for the past few months planning the transition to RCT’s automation solution that will deliver strong productivity gains.

“Our ControlMaster Guidance Automation technology sets Evolution Mining onto a pathway to full mine digitisation with the ability to scale our technology as the mine develops and introduce the latest technology upgrades when required.

“Mungari will receive on-ground technical support through our branch in Kalgoorlie backed by a team of highly experienced automation specialists.”

A spokesperson for Evolution Mining said: “Evolution Mining has seen a dramatic reduction in remote-related machine damage and a huge improvement in operator comfort and workplace enjoyment. It’s wonderful to see Evolution Mining providing state-of-the-art facilities for its employees.”

RCT will also empower site personnel with comprehensive on-site training packages for machine operators and maintenance personnel, it said.

RCT pushes dozer operators in a new direction at Pilbara iron ore mine site

RCT says it has completed its latest automation and control project for a major mining company at one of its iron ore operations in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The autonomous solutions specialist supplied and commissioned its ControlMaster® Line of Sight solution on one Caterpillar D10T2 dozer and one Cat D11T dozer and the associated remote control devices for operators.

Site operators can now stand at a safe location overlooking the production area and direct the dozers to push the site’s coarse ore stockpiles and other required activities, RCT said.

RCT Account Manager, Phill Dean, said the technology will protect site personnel while ensuring effective production.

“This project is part of a long-standing relationship delivering leading-edge technology to the major iron ore producer to ensure smooth day-to-day and ad-hoc business activities,” he said.

“The ControlMaster technology integrated seamlessly into both dozer’s operating systems enabling the operators to access the machine’s full range of functionality available by the OEM.”

RCT will provide ongoing after sales support, scheduled servicing and onsite technical assistance as required, it said.

RCT to provide online training for ControlMaster, SmarTrack solutions

RCT, like many other METS companies seeking to connect with miners despite COVID-19 travel restrictions, is bringing its training online.

Its Product Skills training can now be delivered anywhere, anytime thanks to the launch of its online training this week, RCT said.

RCT decided to make the numerous courses available online to upskill workers based in remote mine sites around the world, it said.

“This was deemed even more important due to the current global situation with the COVID-19 pandemic,” RCT’s Product Training Co-ordinator, Sunil Kumar, said.

“We live in a world where everyone wants easy, quick and convenient access to services and the technology is so readily accessible via hand held devices and laptops,” he said.

RCT’s training has expanded to encompass webinar and online training, in addition to the face-to-face training the company has always delivered at various RCT branches around the world or on site.

Participants can now choose to partake in webinar training, where they access the training via their computer and complete it in a virtual classroom. This option allows people to communicate directly with the trainer, ask questions, and interact where needed for the duration of the course.

In addition to webinar-based training, RCT also offers a self-learning option, which offers flexible learning. The courses can be completed anytime, anywhere, as it is all fully online via RCT’s online training portal.

There are numerous courses available ranging from operator and maintenance training for those using RCT’s ControlMaster® automation solutions and industrial Fleet Management solution, SmarTrack® Global.

RCT collaborates with Russian Cat dealer on rockbreaker project

RCT says it has completed a tele-remote project for Russian Caterpillar dealer Vostochnaya Technica (VT) on a fixed position rockbreaker in Siberia.

The pilot project involved commissioning ControlMaster® Teleremote on a fixed position BTI rockbreaker for a large Russia-based mining company at one of its operations in Siberia.

RCT also provided a Digital Vision Kit consisting of two fixed cameras and audio capability and a Fibre Optic Control Station (FOCS) located in site offices on the mine’s surface, it said.

RCT’s Moscow-based CIS Business Development Manager, Stephen Macarow, said the tele-remote rockbreaker was the latest RCT project to be completed at mines in the region.

“RCT was selected to carry out this project due to its experience in integrating automation technology in mining equipment of all makes and models,” he said.

“Operating the rockbreaker from the mine’s surface will safeguard machine operators while also giving them the chance to better utilise the machine’s capabilities.”

As well as installing its Teleremote technology on the rockbreaker, RCT’s bespoke solutions division custom tailored the tele-remote package to the mining company’s specific requirement, RCT said.

“RCT developed a unique auto-stow function at the request of VT and the mining company,” Macarow explained. This function means operators can push a button and retract the rockbreaker arm from the grizzly or steel grate over the ore pass and bring the machine to a parked position.

VT Technology Enabled Solutions Manager, Alexander Voroshilov, said the rockbreaker project was of significant benefit to the customer.

“In order to complete this turnkey project, the VT Technology team has done a big amount of work from equipment delivery from Australia to the mine site, customs clearance, manuals translation and certification, to on-site installation and commissioning under supervision of an RCT engineer,” he said.

“The key factor of the project success is the customer support and good collaboration with a partner, so we really appreciate our partnership with RCT and the customer assistance.”

RCT says it is continuing to provide ongoing technical and after-sales support to the mine site