Tag Archives: Remote Operations Centre

Deloitte builds out operational transformation services offering with Global IO

Deloitte has acquired Global IO, a leader in integrated operations (IO) in the energy and resources (E&R) and mining sectors, as the Fortune 500 company aims to offer clients a “complete delivery of operational transformation services”.

Founded in Perth, Australia, in 2014, Global IO operates globally and has offices in Montreal, Perth, and Santiago, Chile.

In mining, specifically, companies have looked to leverage integrated operations to improve productivity and lower their cost base. Majors like Rio Tinto (remote operations centre, pictured above), BHP and Vale have installed remote integrated operations centres to coordinate iron ore production hubs in Australia and Brazil, respectively.

Global IO is joining Deloitte’s Consulting practices in Canada, Chile and Australia, more specifically as part of the operations transformation offering.

Anthony Viel, CEO, Deloitte Canada, said: “This addition is a key differentiator for our firm, and a major win for our clients who will truly benefit from a one-stop shop approach. Global IO’s strong reputation, deep relationships within the E&R and mining sectors, and credibility will allow us both to expand our efforts and provide dependable services to our clients from start to finish in a more agile and deliberate way.”

By joining Deloitte, Global IO will significantly expand its services, including how it engages in change management, project management, analytics, and digital strategy opportunities, as well as a range of unique operational productivity improvement projects.

“The collaboration with Global IO, which in the past has successfully worked with Deloitte on several large engagements with key clients, will also further the firm’s qualifications and capabilities in delivering end-to-end integrated operations projects independently,” Deloitte said.

With a team of qualified professionals in design, implementation, operations management process, and integrated operations deployments in the E&R and mining sectors, 17 Global IO employees will be joining the firm across offices in Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary (Deloitte Canada), Santiago (Deloitte Chile), and Perth (Deloitte Australia). Global IO partners joining Deloitte include: Dominic Collins, Partner, Deloitte Chile; Pieter Lottering, Principal, Deloitte Australia; and Eamonn Treacy, Director, Deloitte Canada.

Collins said: “This is a great opportunity for us to not only better serve our clients under the banner of Deloitte, but to expand our services with new resources, to broaden our scale and scope. We’re now able to increase our efforts in areas like change management, digital strategy, and analytics, and deliver dependable services our customers, and Deloitte’s, have come to expect.”

Barminco turns Perth head office into remote operations centre

Leading underground mining services provider Barminco, a subsidiary of Perenti, says it has successfully piloted a new operations centre that allows it to remotely operate underground equipment on a client’s mine site anywhere around the world.

In what the company believes to be a world first, Barminco operated a machine, working underground, from its head office in Perth at a client mine site in the Goldfields of Western Australia.

“The innovation was made more impressive given the remote operation occurred via the internet, instead of through a fibre-optic cable, which is the method that mine owner-operators have historically used,” the company said.

Barminco Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, announced the achievement at the third annual Sandvik Digitalization in Mining Event, in Brisbane, Australia, this week.

Muller said: “Barminco has cemented its place as one of the world’s leading underground mining service providers through the use of technology and automation.

“A key strategic initiative under our parent company, Perenti’s, 2025 strategy is to deliver a ‘technology driven future’, and our ability to remotely operate underground machinery from our head office is a significant achievement in delivering on that strategy.”

The Barminco Remote Operating Centre, or BROC, was successfully trialled in collaboration with Sandvik and Independence Group (IGO) back in July. It was trialled in the early morning at Barminco’s Head Office in Hazlemere for a machine located at IGO’s Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine site, almost 1,000 km away.

Barminco General Manager Technology and Innovation, Darren Kwok, said the trial was a great success.

“Whilst many mine sites have operators remotely operating equipment from the mine’s surface, we are one of the first, if not the first service provider, to operate underground equipment on a client’s site from a much greater distance,” Kwok said.

“BROC enables us to connect multiple sites and operators at the same time, meaning if there is an issue at any point, we have contingencies in place.”

Barminco’s first trial involved the remote operation of a Sandvik LH517 LHD being operated in Perth by Barminco employee, Guy Gilbert, and Kwok said Barminco was now working with IGO to make BROC a permanent fixture at its Nova mine site.

“The advantages in improving the safety of our workplace and the efficiencies for our clients are enormous,” Kwok said.

Independence Group Chief Operating Officer, Matt Dusci, said the company was thrilled to be part of the successful trial, which is all part of the company’s ‘IGO – Smart Solutions’ initiatives.

“At IGO, we continually look for ways to improve how we do business and deliver operational excellence. By integrating innovative Smart Solutions at our operations, such as working with Barminco on BROC, we improve the safety and wellbeing of our people, realise step change opportunities, and optimise efficiencies and productivity,” Dusci said.

Kwok added: “Our future plan is to have a dedicated remote operating centre manned 24/7 where our team and our client’s people can work collaboratively side by side to deliver a world-class mine site.

“Clients who work with Barminco should expect more from our business along with the broader Perenti group of companies and BROC is one such example of how we are delivering on this promise.”

The Sandvik event concludes on December 4 and showcases best practice examples of industry leaders integrating digitalisation into their operations across the mining, construction and quarrying industries.

The announcement comes just over a week after Barminco was awarded Large Employer of the Year 2019 at the National Australian Training Awards in Brisbane.

Western Australia approves remote and autonomous operations training course

The first formal qualifications in remote and autonomous operations has been approved by regulators in Western Australia, Rio Tinto says.

This means current and future workers in the resources industry will be able to gain accreditation in remote operations for the first time. This follows a collaboration between Rio, the Western Australia Government and South Metropolitan TAFE.

A Certificate IV in Autonomous Control and Remote Operations has now been approved by the Training Accreditation Council, in Western Australia, providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to work at facilities such as Rio Tinto’s Remote Operations Centre in Perth (pictured), Rio said.

“The course is the highest-level accreditation approved to date in a partnership struck between Rio Tinto, the Western Australia Government and South Metropolitan TAFE in 2017,” the miner said. “It follows accreditation earlier this year of a Certificate II in Autonomous Workplace Operations and a micro-credential course for trade-qualified, apprentices and technicians.

About 30 Rio Tinto employees will take part in the initial pilot of the Certificate IV course, which will be delivered by South Metropolitan TAFE in 2020. The course work combines work integrated learning, giving participants the opportunity to apply the new learning and knowledge to work related scenarios in the Control Centre. Pending successful completion of the pilot, the first Certificate IV course may start in 2021.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Chris Salisbury, said: “The key to any technology is our people and that’s why training and development is so important. These qualifications will provide employees, both current and future, with the skills and training needed to thrive in our evolving industry.

“These courses give Western Australian workers the opportunity to gain modern, portable qualifications, with skills that can be used right across the resources industry.”

Rio Tinto has committed A$2 million ($1.37 million) to the development of these qualifications, according to Salisbury.

The formal qualifications “come at a critical time for the industry as we look to ensure vocational education and training programs keep pace with the rapid changes brought about by technology and innovation”, he added.

Chair of the WA Resource Industry Collaboration, Jim Walker, said: “Western Australia continues to lead the world in the development and deployment of autonomous technologies in our resources sector, with these developments creating the need for new skills and pathways from education to employment.

“The accreditation of Australia’s first nationally recognised courses in automation is significant in that it will help ensure local workers are equipped with the skills necessary for these jobs, now and into the future.”

The Resource Industry Collaboration was launched by Western Australia’s Education and Training Minister, Sue Ellery, in 2018 and includes Rio Tinto, South Metropolitan TAFE, BHP, Roy Hill, Fortescue Metals Group, Santos, Komatsu, South32, Yara, Department of Training and Workforce Development, Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science & Innovation, University of Western Australia, Scitech and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy.