Tag Archives: Sandvik

Alkane boosts Tomingley UG mining fleet with Sandvik, Epiroc, Cat and Volvo equipment

Alkane Resources is rolling out a A$16 million ($11.8 million) upgrade of its underground mining equipment fleet to support the development of the Tomingley Gold Extension project in New South Wales, Australia.

Alkane’s Tomingley Gold Operations (TGO) recently received a new Sandvik DL432i production drill, a fully-mechanised, highly versatile and compact electro-hydraulic top hammer longhole drill, to replace an older model drill, it said.

TGO, which recently replaced three of its Cat 2900 loaders, will also soon be receiving four new Epiroc MT65 trucks (65 t payload), four Volvo integrated tool carriers, as well as a Cat 140M grader and a new development jumbo drill.

TGO General Manager, Jason Hughes, said: “Our original underground second hand fleet has done a great job getting the project started with a very low capital outlay for what was a planned three-year mine life. Now, with an extended underground mine life out until at least 2026, it’s time to replace it with a new modern fleet.

“By committing A$16 million to a new fleet, we will be ensuring TGO will be an efficient and productive mining operation well into the future.”

The mine produced 56,958 oz of gold in the 12 months to June 30, 2021, with plans for it to produce 55,000-60,000 oz in the 12 months to June 30, 2022.

Sandvik consolidates ownership in three Rocbolt Technologies JVs

Sandvik, following the acquisition of ground support and reinforcement specialist, DSI Underground, has taken the opportunity to acquire the joint venture partners’ share of the Rocbolt Technologies JVs DSI was previously engaged in within China, South Africa and Mongolia.

While the company now holds 100% of Rocbolt Technologies in these regions following the transactions with previous 50% owner, Jennmar, it will continue to be a JV partner with Jennmar in Australia under Rocbolt Technologies Australia. Jennmar and DSI established these joint ventures back in 2016.

Rocbolt Technologies will be reported in the Ground Support Division of business area Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, Sandvik said.

Sandvik completed the acquisition of DSI recently after announcing the planned purchase late last year.

In 2020, DSI Underground had revenues of about €516 million ($612 million), excluding the four joint ventures. The three JVs that will now be fully consolidated had revenues of around €80 million in that same year.

OZ Minerals, Titeline investigate hydrogen-powered surface diamond drilling opportunities

OZ Minerals, in partnership with Titeline Drilling, has commenced a trial to test a hydrogen direct injection system to improve engine combustion efficiency for surface diamond drill rigs.

The system has the potential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and particulates, as well as improve fuel consumption, according to the company.

The news came out with the release of the company’s June quarter results, which saw a 22% quarter-on-quarter uplift in copper production following a strong performance from the company’s South Australian operations (Prominent Hill and Carrapateena).

In addition to the trial of hydrogen-powered surface drill rigs, OZ Minerals said the mining tri-alliance it has in place with Byrnecut and Sandvik – designed to identify and introduce smart and innovative ideas – had progressed during the quarter, with in-roads made on several associated projects.

Significant work was undertaken towards trialling the use of tele-remote loading of trucks, which has now been implemented in a key stope in July, it said.

OZ Minerals previously said it was working with Byrnecut and Sandvik to roll out Sandvik’s AutoMine® platform at its Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia. This followed a project between the two to implement an automation upgrade for a Sandvik DD422i development drill at the operation.

New Gold to collaborate with MineSense in underground ore sorting move

MineSense is gearing up for a move underground with the help of New Gold and its New Afton gold-copper mine in British Columbia, Canada.

The Vancouver-based technology company has already established and proven its ShovelSense technology for the open-pit mining sector, with its X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) sensor-based system now operating on shovels, wheel loaders and excavators on a commercial basis across six operating mines. This includes large installations at Teck’s Highland Valley and Copper Mountain’s copper operations in BC, as well as one ShovelSense unit at the Antamina copper operation in Peru.

Designed for operation in extreme environments and retrofits on any existing mobile equipment, ShovelSense units come equipped with a human machine interface and proprietary algorithms that measure and report ore grade/characteristics. They can also connect directly to fleet management or other existing control software systems, enabling mine operators to reconcile geological block models with actual ore grade data.

Having finetuned the system for above-ground operations, the company is now embarking on its underground move, according to MineSense President and CEO, Jeff More.

A trial of the underground ShovelSense system at New Gold’s New Afton mine is first up to complete product development. The company will be installing a unit on a Cat R1600G LHD for this step. This will be followed closely by installation at a “large entity” in Chile – with More anticipating start up in the September or December quarter.

The development agreement with New Gold at the BC-based mine is looking to trial and finetune the system for underground operations, with More confident the ShovelSense system will stand up to the test.

“The core technology – all of the algorithms, software, hardware – is the same as ShovelSense for open-pit mining,” More said. “It is the ‘application package’ – looking at how we can attach the unit to the machine and protect it in an underground environment – that is what we have to test out. The design for this is already complete; it’s just a matter of trialling it.”

New Afton represents a good test for the system.

New Afton is Canada’s only operating block cave mine, with the New Afton deposit part of a larger copper-gold porphyry district in the region. The operation regularly mines 15,000-16,000 t/d of ore and waste, with the majority of this currently going to the mill.

The company has already pursued “ore segregation” projects to boost the grade of material being fed through to the processing side, but the move into the higher-grade C-Zone in 2023-2029 will place an even greater emphasis on ore/waste boundaries and milled tonnes at the operation.

At the same time, the ShovelSense deployment at New Afton will represent the first time MineSense has sent a unit into a mine that has so much payable gold, with most operations the company has worked on being primarily base metal-oriented.

In 2020, New Afton produced 64,000 oz of the yellow metal, along with 32,659 t of the red metal.

“This will be the first time we’re touching gold at this level; we have other mines that have payable gold but not at that level,” More explained.

In New Afton’s case, sampling and historical data has proven that the orebody’s copper and gold ratios tend to be consistent and unchanging over the long term. With this knowledge, New Afton has used technology in the past to determine the copper value and make ore/waste production decisions. ShovelSense allows New Afton to move the ore/waste production decision to the drawpoint, according to MineSense. This reduces mixing and blending during the crushing and conveying circuit which can homogenise the material to the point where it is not worth segregating.

Trialling new technology such as this is nothing new for New Afton.

The operation already uses automated loading through Sandvik’s AutoMine solution, is employing electrification with the use of Sandvik and MacLean Engineering battery-powered mobile equipment, and, in the process plant, has Gekko Systems’ highest volume InLine Pressure Jig IPJ3500 to improve gravity concentration.

More says the ShovelSense unit could be in the Cat LHD bucket at New Afton in August, with the machine then going through an above-ground trial ahead of the underground transition at the end of September.

“By early Q4, we should have completed the pilot,” he said.

Sandvik’s i-series truck set to start work at OZ Minerals’ Pedra Branca

Sandvik has recently delivered its first i-series truck to Brazil, with the 45-t payload TH545i heading to OZ Minerals Brazil’s Pedra Branca copper mine in Pará in the northern part of the country.

The model has automation features that bring more productivity and safety to the operation, according to Sandvik. Compared to its predecessor, the Sandvik TH540, the truck offers a significant capacity increase by carrying 5 t more. The truck’s standard engine power, meanwhile, increased to 450 kW, from 405 kW, to maintain the same speed with the increased payload.

Other equipment will be delivered to the Pedra Branca mine over the next few months, with, in all, five different models of drilling, loading and transport equipment making up the “modern and complete fleet”, Sandvik said.

The new fleet additions are all part of OZ Minerals’ ramp-up efforts at the underground mine, which is targeting increased mining from ore stopes from the June quarter onwards.

RUC Cementation bolsters Edna May fleet with Sandvik Toro LHD

RUC Cementation Mining Contractors has acquired a new Sandvik Toro™ LH517i loader for its underground mining operations, looking to deploy it at Ramelius Resources’ Edna May gold operation in Western Australia.

The Toro LH517i loader represents the latest in LHD technology to improve performance and reliability as well as enhanced machine data and performance analytics, RUC Cementation said.

Barry Upton, RUC Cementation Managing Director, said the company was pleased to take delivery of the new machine, which is planned to significantly enhance LHD performance across the fleet at Edna May, and it was looking forward to tapping into the benefits the intelligent series of loaders was able to offer.

The Toro LH517i loader is a matching pair with the Sandvik TH551i truck, considering the designed payload capacities.

It features the latest Sandvik Intelligent Control System and My Sandvik Digital Services Knowledge Box™ on-board hardware as standard. The unit is also fully ready for automation, requiring just a few days for AutoMine® retrofit implementation, according to Sandvik.

The Edna May operation produced 26,632 oz of gold in the June quarter.

Sandvik reinforces rock tools offering with Tricon Drilling Solutions acquisition

Sandvik has signed an agreement to acquire Tricon Drilling Solutions Pty Ltd, a privately-owned supplier of rock tools for the mining industry, based in Perth, Australia.

Tricon will operate as an independent, standalone business unit within the Rock Tools division of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions.

Tricon’s product offering includes rotary bits, DTH (Down-The-Hole) hammers and bits, as well as full rotary and DTH drill strings. The company has 24 employees.

“I am pleased that we continue to deliver on our active acquisition agenda, and I look forward to welcoming Tricon to Sandvik,” Henrik Ager, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said.

Tricon has design capabilities for rotary bits in-house but outsources manufacturing, with Sandvik being one of its rotary bit suppliers. Drill string products are produced in Tricon’s own facility.

The acquisition is expected to close in the September quarter of 2021, subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

OZ Minerals, Byrnecut, Sandvik working on remote LHD operation at Prominent Hill

OZ Minerals says it is working with Byrnecut and Sandvik to roll out Sandvik’s AutoMine® platform at its Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia.

As part of these efforts, a new system has been installed in the company’s Adelaide office that allows an operator to remotely to control a Sandvik LHD underground at Prominent Hill – over 600 km away – as if they were directly onsite.

Back in April when announcing the delivery of its 100th loader connected to AutoMine in the Asia Pacific region, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions said it had recently demonstrated the capability to simultaneously control or monitor multiple machines from the comfort and safety of a remote control room in a successful trial of a LH621i LHD at Prominent Hill.

“The LH621i was successfully operated from the Remote Operating Centre in OZ Mineral’s Adelaide office, taking OZ Minerals a step closer to realising its goal of remote operations from home,” it said.

The three companies, in 2020, successfully navigated COVID-19 challenges to implement an automation upgrade for a Sandvik DD422i development drill  at Prominent Hill. This saw Byrnecut Australia become the first underground operator in the world to successfully use a new automation and tele-remote package for Sandvik development drills.

Pit N Portal equips refurbed Sandvik UG rig with Minnovare Production Optimiser

Emeco-owned Pit N Portal says it has recently rolled out a freshly rebuilt Sandvik DL421 underground drill rig equipped with Minnovare’s Production Optimiser™ technology for use at the Marvel Loch gold operations in Western Australia.

The 10-week build at Pit N Portal’s purpose-built complex in Perth, Western Australia harnessed the collective skills of our specialist tradespeople, headed up by Phil Lipscomb, Workshop Manager.

In addition to the complete overhaul, the unit was fitted with Production Optimiser, which improves drilling accuracy, speed and QA/QC – resulting in optimal drilling patterns and improved stope performance, Pit N Portal said. “The flow-on benefits to the mine include reduced average dilution, increased recovery (reduced bridging) and a faster stope cycle time.”

The Sandvik DL421 is an electro-hydraulic, longhole drill rig engineered for large-scale production drilling in underground mines. It is designed for vertical and inclined plane rings and fans, as well as parallel long production holes and long single holes with a diameter of 64-115 mm, and a depth of up to 54 m, Sandvik says.

Evolution Mining studying open-pit, underground expansion options at Cowal

Evolution Mining says it is embarking on a prefeasibility study to further expand its Cowal open-pit mine as part of a plan to build towards 350,000 oz/y of sustainable, reliable, low-cost gold production from the New South Wales operation.

Currently on the E42 stage H cutback, Evolution said during a recent site visit that there is potential to further the life of the open pit by accessing feed from the E41 and E46 satellite pits. The study looking into a possible expansion is due later this year, with the company saying it could provide long-term base load ore feed for the operation.

The mine produced 262,000 ounces in Evolution’s 2020 financial year.

The Stage H cutback the company is currently pursuing is expected to see increased ore volumes and grade mined in the first six months of this year, with the strip ratio to fall below 1:1 in its 2023 financial year, Evolution said. It also says an equipment strategy review is underway, with opportunities to “rationalise fleet” with reduced re-handling.

The haulage and loading fleet at Cowal currently consists of 20 Cat 789C dump trucks, three Cat 785C trucks, four excavators (one Liebherr 9400, one Liebherr 994B, one Liebherr 9200 and one Hitachi EX1200), plus three Cat 992G wheel loaders. It also has six hired Epiroc SmartROC surface drills at the operation, one Drill Rigs Australia GC600 drill rig, five Cat D10T tracked dozers and one Cat 834H wheel dozer.

The open-pit expansion is only part of the expansion story at Cowal, with a feasibility study underway on an underground operation. This is factoring in 3 Moz of resources and 1 Moz of reserves, with high-grade orebodies open at depth, the company says.

A second decline (Galway) is due to be developed at Cowal this year, with diamond drilling set to commence next month. The 14,300 m of planned drilling will, the company says, help confirm optimal grade control parameters and convert resources to reserves.

Evolution Mining also has a permit to increase processing capacity at Cowal to 9.8 Mt/y, with near-term incremental improvements targeting a circa-9 Mt/y rate.

The process flowsheet at Cowal includes primary crushing with a Metso Outotec 54-75 Superior MK-II gyratory, grinding with an FLSmidth 36 ft (11 m) x 20.5 ft (6.2 m) SAG mill and FLSmidth 22 ft x 36.5 ft ball mill, and screening with Schenck and Delkor screens. Sandvik H6800 hydroconecone crushers, Metso Outotec flotation cells, a Metso Outotec Vertimill, and Metso Outotec stirred media detritors also feature.

Evolution also said it is testing technology that uses glycine and cyanide during the cyanidation process of gold ore at Cowal for potential significant cost savings and environmental benefits.

Lab trials with the GlyCat™ technology from Australia-based Mining and Process Solutions have been completed successfully, it said, with the next phase being pilot plant trials to assess variability tests and long-term environmental impacts.