Mine Site Technologies (MST) states that “while providing location details for all your people and equipment in real-time is useful, the opportunity to further process this data to achieve specific outcomes offers more tangible cost benefits.” As an example of this, one area where MST has worked with mine operators to expand the use of location data is in production monitoring. In its simplest form this is counting trip or cycle times by utilising the location data of the machines.For example, in underground coal mines these trip reports can be monitoring in real-time shuttle car cycles for each shuttle car in a section. In hard rock and metalliferous underground mines it could include reporting trip times and cycles for trucks or loaders, such as between various loading points and ore passes. The information in the report can be further enhanced through the use of a Vehicle Intelligence Platform (VIP) data logger, on say a truck, that also logs the payload being carried in each cycle.Further analysis of this data and reporting is used to create “Exception Reports” against pre-set parameters or thresholds, and an alert raised if there is an exception. For example if a cycle time is much longer than the threshold time range an alert can be raised within the MineDash software, which can trigger further customised alerts to emails and other messaging systems.In operations where more analysis is required the data can be loaded into a number of third party Fleet Management Systems (FMS) or dispatch systems. In many cases this automates what is currently a manual operation in these FMS applications, thus making them more reliable and less dependent on human operator input.
The first autonomous Epiroc Pit Viper 271 drill rig has broken ground at BHP’s South Flank iron ore project in Western Australia, the mining major confirmed.This is the first of five autonomous drill rigs to operate at the mine, all of which will be controlled remotely from the BHP Integrated Remote Operations Centre in Perth.BHP, which officially broke ground on the $3.6 billion project in July, is targeting first ore extraction in 2021 and expects to ramp up to 80 Mt/y of output. South Flank will replace production from the existing Yandi mine, which is reaching the end of its economic life. The company carried out the first blast at the project in September.Epiroc says the Pit Viper 271 is the most productive drill available for rotary tricone and downhole drilling of 171 mm to 270 mm holes with up to 18 m cleanhole single pass capability.It features a patented cable feed system with automatic tensioning for improved component life and low total cost of operation, with the standard Rig Control System (RCS) providing on board automation capability as part of the standard drill package to help deliver safety and productivity.“With RCS you can run automation with an operator on board with options like auto drill and auto level, or you can run with the operator off the drill with the optional BenchREMOTE package, allowing one operator to run one or multiple units,” the company says.“With the RCS system on Pit Vipers you can even achieve your ambition of fully-autonomous drilling with almost no human interaction with the drill.”