Automation and Innovation Profile: Sandvik Mining and Construction
Ahead of Austmine’s automation and innovation focused networking event on 30th July in Brisbane, where we will be joined by CMOC Northparkes, Sandvik and Rockwell Automation, we took some time out to look at some of Sandvik’s latest technological developments that continue to prove they’re a market leader in driving the mining industry forward.
Seabed Exploration – the Next Frontier in Mining
Nautilus Minerals is the first company in the world to be granted a lease for the seabed exploration and mining of polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits, in Papua New Guinea. With untapped mineral resources inevitably declining around the world, new reserves have to be found and many view seabed mining as one strong potential avenue.
To undertake seabed mining, new equipment and technology is of course required to that which already exists in the market place. Sandvik were on hand to help with the Bulk Cutter (BC), the first of these new equipment pieces to be completed, in April 2014. Sandvik utilised similar designs used on large continuous mining machines in underground mining and construction to help with the design and building of the BC cutting drum. They also consulted with Nautilus on the design of the track sets for all three of their Seafloor Production Tools.
Load Haul Drive (LHD) Automation – a World First Achieved by CMOC Northparkes
In 2014, CMOC Northparkes became the first mine in the world in October 2014 to have all of their production level accessible to their fleet of automated LHDs – a fleet that was supplied by Sandvik. The relationship between Sandvik and Northparkes actually began back in 1994, from the mine’s equipment commissioning, so 2014 was a 20 year anniversary for the partnership. Over the years, Northparkes has pioneered mining approaches (e.g. Australia’s first block cave) and technology adoption, much of which has been done in direct conjunction with Sandvik. Sandvik have provided: six Toro LH450E electric LHDs; two Tamrock secondary breaker drill rigs and now the fleet of seven Sandvik AutoMine-controlled LHDs.
Drilling Safety: Engaging Customer to Ensure Safety is Always a Priority
In November 2014, Sandvik and Barrick Gold collaborated to test out a new prototype of drill rig, the DR461i rotary drill rig. The test took place at Barrick Gold’s Cortez mine in Nevada and the purpose of the test was to get customer feedback and recommendations before the product launches on a global scale. This process is named by Sandvik as EMERST Design Evaluation for EME Procurement (EDEEP) and was carried out in this instance with a particular eye to safety:
“Safety is our top priority at Sandvik and we want to ensure all individuals who operate or maintain our equipment are safe at all times,” says Darlene Dutcher, product safety manager for surface drills, Sandvik Mining. “The EDEEP program is instrumental in allowing us to see through the eyes of our customers to identify potential risks that are either environmentally-based or related to personnel safety. It is a critical step in our product development and testing process and a practice we’ll continue to implement with our customers.”
At the Automation Focused Austmine networking event next week in Brisbane on 30th July, attendees will hear from Mark Ryan, Business Line Manager Automation Region APAC at Sandvik on:
Automation for Sub level Open Stoping Applications
- Sub Level Open Stoping mining application challenges / problems based on case study
- Automation opportunities in Sub Level Open Stoping highlighting pros & cons
- Case study results and lessons learned
Tickets for this event are already selling quickly, so register to secure yours online now!