Tag Archives: Renstrom

Epiroc to supply Boliden’s Kristineberg and Renström mines with battery-electric, autonomous solutions

Epiroc says it has won a large order from Boliden for mining equipment, including battery-electric and automation solutions, for use at some of the company’s underground mines in Sweden.

Boliden, one of Europe’s largest mining companies, has ordered battery-electric versions of the Boomer face drilling rig, Boltec rock bolting rig and Epiroc’s largest automated Scooptram loader, the ST18, with Batteries as a Service. The ordered equipment also includes, among other machines, the Easer raiseboring rig and Epiroc’s newest production and face drilling rigs, Simba and Boomer, in the E-series.

The machines will be used at the Rävliden Kristineberg and Renström mine sites in northern Sweden. Boliden is mining zinc, copper, lead, gold, silver and tellurium at the mines.

On the Scooptram ST18 Battery, specifically, Mattias Pettersson, Global Portfolio Manager Underground Loaders, confirmed that the battery-electric machine heading to Boliden’s operations would be upgraded to Scooptram Automation. This will coincide with several other BEV customers receiving automation upgrades around the same timeframe, according to Pettersson, adding that the battery charging process will not be automated in this instance.

At Rävliden Kristineberg, Boliden and Epiroc are also involved in a project to develop and demonstrate an electric trolley truck system on a test track, with ABB being the third project partner.

The order is valued at more than SEK100 million ($9.8 million) and was booked in the June quarter of 2022.

“Boliden is focused on making its operations as safe, sustainable, and productive as possible and to produce metals with a low carbon footprint, and we are proud to support them on this journey,” Epiroc’s President and CEO, Helena Hedblom, said.

The Simba production drilling rig and the battery-electric loader Scooptram ST18 will be equipped with the 6th Sense solutions Simba Automation and Scooptram Automation. This will enable operators to control the machines remotely from the comfort of a control room, according to Epiroc. All units will be equipped with Epiroc’s telematics system, which allows for intelligent monitoring of machine performance and productivity in real time.

ABB closes the short interval control and scheduling loop

ABB, in collaboration with Boliden AB and ArcelorMittal Mining Canada, has launched ABB Ability™ Operations Management System (OMS) for mining, a system that “connects and coordinates mine operators, workforce, equipment and all mining activities in real-time, from face preparation to crusher”.

OMS maximises coordination between weekly production plans and dynamic situations in the mine to improve efficiency, increase productivity and maximise profitability, according to the company.

The company explained: “Mine planners often have to build a short-term plan with limited visibility of ongoing activities in the mine. While mine operators constantly consider and evaluate a complex set of operational constraints, adjusting to ever-changing, day-to-day and hour-to-hour situations. This can impact operational efficiency and raise costs.”

ABB says the integration of short interval control and closed loop scheduling into a single digital platform, ABB’s OMS, will improve responsiveness to unplanned events and reduce production variability through all the mine stages.

The ABB Ability OMS can present ‘what-if’ scenarios in case of task failure or operational change, helping mine operators and planners make better decisions faster, ensuring ongoing operation of the mine and increased productivity, it said. Equipment availability is also improved by moving from a reactive to a predictive maintenance model, according to ABB. “Through all the stages of the production cycle, the production flow from the mine is maximised.”

Eduardo Lima, Product Manager for Integrated Mine Operations at ABB, said: “Although it may seem simple, the coordination between the tactical plan and the operational plan is one of the top challenges faced in modern mining. By offering advanced short-term planning and increased automation, ABB Ability Operations Management System enables the mine to act as an ore factory.”

He added: “Ore inventory can be tracked and controlled to allow maximum flow and optimal grade. By integrating operational technology and information technology, operational awareness is increased for all personnel.

“Staff see the same information at the same time and can jointly decide what actions to take in real time with no need to wait until the end of the shift.”

Short interval control application allows mine operators to monitor and review operational plans and performance based on targets, metrics and key performance indicators. Variances can be analysed and mitigated in real time during a shift for immediate corrective action.

The closed loop scheduling application, meanwhile, combines high-level planning with low-level control through a “heuristic auto-scheduling algorithm”. ABB said: “This allows mine planners to achieve new levels of production scheduling efficiency from bench preparation to crusher, optimising resource usage in real time and following the production plan more effectively.”

In developing ABB Ability OMS with ABB, project teams at both ArcelorMittal Mining Canada’s Integrated Remote Operations Center and the Boliden Mine Operation Center provided operation expertise, existing infrastructure and dedicated resources support, ABB says. The technology was piloted at Boliden’s Renstrom underground mine, in Sweden, and by ArcelorMittal at the Mont-Wright open-pit mine, in Canada.

The ABB Ability OMS is part of the ABB Ability MineOptimize portfolio of digitally connected products, services and solutions aimed at enabling modern mines to “maximise visibility, reliability, productivity and energy efficiency and optimise performance”.