The Bingham Canyon copper mine in Utah, USA, has selected the Cat® MineStar™ Fleet management system as part of its plans to optimise open pit operations at the mine, owned by Rio Tinto, Caterpillar says.
Caterpillar Inc and Wheeler Machinery recently completed installation of a Cat MineStar Fleet management system at the mine, which, rather than upgrading the mine’s previous fleet management system, chose to deploy MineStar Fleet. This switch has, Caterpillar says, optimised the mine site’s equipment tracking, production recording, material management and truck assignment, and it has further expanded the technology relationship between Caterpillar and Rio Tinto.
Ryan Howell, Mining Technology Commercial Product Manager at Caterpillar, said: “For 15 years, Rio Tinto has used MineStar Terrain and has expanded its MineStar capabilities in recent years at locations like Gudai Darri and Marandoo, autonomous mine sites in Western Australia. Bingham Canyon Mine is the first MineStar Fleet site in Rio Tinto history, and this extends the company’s application of MineStar capabilities. Our team is proud of this MineStar Fleet system installation. We are honoured to be there to support the mine site’s fleet management needs.”
Joshua Wood, Principal Advisor, Surface Mining Centre of Excellence at Rio Tinto, added: “The close collaboration between the Rio Tinto Group team, Caterpillar, dealer and Kennecott ensured a successful deployment at Kennecott and their desire to be the flagship for future MineStar sites.”
Even though it wasn’t the easiest route for the mine, the cost-benefit analysis showed significant benefits long term using MineStar Fleet, including seamless integration with MineStar Terrain currently used by the mine, Caterpillar said.
Mike Gray, General Manager for Wheeler Machinery, said: “A true partnership with the supplier, dealer and customer allows for large-scale technology projects like this to be completed successfully with minimal impact to production.”
An incremental approach was devised to minimise the system installation loss-time impact on mining operations for bringing nearly 100 trucks, plus more than 40 supporting dozers, shovels and drills, online with MineStar Fleet. Caterpillar and Wheeler worked together to provide a quick turn-around time with best-in-class implementation, Caterpillar said.
Bryce Olson, Mine Monitoring and Control Superintendent at the Kennecott Bingham Canyon Mine, said: “We have been impressed with the partnership, and we share the same vision and have the correct team to get us there. We flipped the switch, and we haven’t gone backwards. We immediately started using MineStar Fleet’s open assignment, load-haul-dump and auto fuel advanced features.”
Cat MineStar Fleet automatically records and tracks data up and down a mine’s value chain, providing insights that help miners identify what is working and fix what is not to meet production targets, Caterpillar says. Fleet allows miners to view the entire operation at a glance on a computer and gain insights into key cost drivers – such as fuel, tyres, service parts and idle time – and improve haul fleet production and shovel utilisation.