RCT says it has partnered with Northern Star Mining Services (NSMS) to implement a digital autonomous mining fleet at the Ramone gold mine in Western Australia.
The Ramone mine, near Wiluna, is owned by Northern Star Resources, the parent company of NSMS. It is 35 km southeast of the Jundee Gold Mine, which Northern Star also owns.
The technology has significantly advanced autonomous fleet production activities and sets the underground operation on a pathway to full mine digitisation, according to RCT, which is now owned by Epiroc.
The rollout represents the latest in a long line of successful projects that has seen RCT automate NSMS’s underground mining fleets across the Kalgoorlie and Yandal regions.
At Ramone, machine operators will use RCT’s ControlMaster® Automation Centre and supervise two Sandvik LH517i underground loaders commissioned with the latest ControlMaster digital solution.
The technology significantly enhances production by enabling faster autonomous loader cycles and greatly reduces maintenance downtime associated with machine damage, RCT said.
Once RCT’s ControlMaster Automation Centre is relocated from underground to the surface on site, it will allow for fast “hot seating” and enable site managers to capture the time previously lost over the shift changes and continue production cycles during firing activities, it added.
The NSMS team at Ramone is benefitting from the rollout of RCT Connect, the only mine site communications network designed to accommodate autonomous mobile machine fleets, according to RCT.
RCT Account Manager, Scott Phillips, said: “Our digital automation technology will provide the Ramone operation with every advantage to mine safely, efficiently and continue to make solid advancements for years to come. Northern Star Mining Services’ investment in our specialised communications technology provides a strong foundation from which to grow autonomous operations as the mine evolves and site needs change.
“Our experienced Goldfields team has worked very closely with the Ramone site team to ensure this initial rollout goes smoothly and we are very pleased with the successful outcome.
“This is just the first chapter in what we hope will be a long and very productive working relationship between RCT and the Northern Star Mining Services crew at Ramone.”