MAJOR diversified US contracting and mining group Kiewit has reported glowingly on the benefits of advanced fleet management and training technology in use at the Buckskin coal mine in the Southern Powder River Basin.
AUTOMATED mine fleet management and reporting introduced by Gold Fields at the Damang gold mine in Ghana is expected to help boost production and reduce costs at the large openpit operation. A senior Gold Fields manager says more African miners are being convinced of the benefits of “automation solutions” such as the one introduced at Damang.
TWO MINES, same fleet management system, vastly different results: that’s a scenario Mining Plus senior mining consultant Steve Tang sees playing out a lot in the industry. The reasons range from poor initial deployment, to operator resistance and limited management buy-in.
MINING companies are spending more on, and seeing greater potential for profit in, fleet management technologies, according to a senior manager with one of the firms who should know.
A COMBINATION of ABB’s widely used 800xA automated process control system and Atlas Copco underground machinery smarts has opened the door to creation of a “world first” integrated operations management tool, according to the two companies.
LEICA Geosystems and Locata Corporation say a “huge body of work” in the mining fleet management market has underpinned their joint decision to extend a technology partnership to mid-2014.
AUSTRALIAN mining technology and consulting firm MICROMINE has landed its first Pitram mine control system contract in Spain, with installation due to start later this month.
A SENIOR mining consultant with a leading firm who questions the effectiveness of much of the industry’s mine fleet management system implementation and use, sees a combination of human and organisational obstacles that need to be overcome before the technology reaches its potential.
NEW mines and new business remain the key focus for warring mine fleet management system vendors Modular Mining Systems and Leica Geosystems, but turfing each other out of a site is surely just as satisfying. Certainly Modular thinks so.
TECHNOLOGY is playing an increasingly large role in the operations of our mines. There is a temptation to regard the implementation of technological systems as the objective itself when, in reality, systems are used to support a business process. Only when the process succeeds will the systems be seen to succeed. Mine control is such a process.
AN UPBEAT reading of the outlook for the mine fleet management business has its sales levels exploding after a protracted initiation, with rich lodes of data arriving by the truck load at increasingly sophisticated processing centres. The pragmatist’s view has more miners willing to put real-time production management at the heart of project development strategies, with current effective exploitation of technology lagging well behind industry rhetoric.
UNDERGROUND coal and hard-rock mines are the new growth frontier for fleet management system suppliers, thanks to ‘commoditisation’ of enabling technologies and the continuing multi-jurisdictional crackdown on mine safety.
RIO TINTO’S big scoreboard at the northern end of its new operations centre at Perth airport is a potential game-changer for its multi-billion-dollar export iron ore business.
ACCURATE tracking of the number of fleet management systems sold each year around the world is not easy since most of the key players are privately owned or part of major machine supply companies. The leaders canvassed by HighGrade suggest the number of automated system deployments could soon reach 80-100 a year.
CATERPILLAR, the world’s major construction and mining equipment maker, has reportedly spent billions of dollars on research and development so that its products meet US Tier 4 emissions standards and recently announced a $US700 million investment in new mining hydraulic shovels and its electric-drive truck roll-out through to 2014. Less well known is a massive investment in mining technology R&D.
JUNE 28: HAS the ‘smart mining’ era dawned? Investors reading about the official opening of Rio Tinto’s new remote operations centre might not have a clue, but many technologists who’ve worked in and around the industry for years are convinced that it has. To them, Rio Tinto has opened a real treasure trove.
JUNE 28: IT WAS a mine visit like no other.
SANDVIK Mining and Construction, one of the world’s major suppliers of underground mining equipment, has confirmed entry into an alliance with mining software leader Gemcom to develop a robust reporting interface for underground mine fleet management.
HAYDN Roberts was five years out of the mine fleet management and truck dispatch technology arena and he believes the business – the market, the technology and the supply landscape – changed a lot in that time. For him, naturally enough, there was a need for a serious, independent player in the market and he believes Hexagon AB was that missing piece.