Sandvik has installed the latest cutting-edge automated loading system for Newmont Gold Ghana Limited. This is expected to make mining more convenient.
According to the global Mining & Rock Technology equipment manufacturer and supplier, the “AutoMine Lite is an automation system for loaders and a more advanced alternative to the AutoMine Tele-Remote”, the predecessor to the current system.
Sandvik in West Africa, has for decades partnered mining and construction companies in the sub-region to assist them to achieve high productivity and safety in their operations.
The Company says it has done this through the provision of equipment, tools, services and solutions that help the global mining and construction industry drill, load, transport and process ore and rock, safely and productively.
Sandvik offers a wide range of automation systems including AutoMine for trucks and loaders ranging from AutoMine Loading-Fleet, AutoMine Loading- Lite, AutoMine Hauling, AutoMine MPM and AutoMine Loading and Hauling. These are all fleet, for underground mining operations.
The latest innovation introduced into the West Africa market is the AutoMine Lite System which took-off with two (2) loaders, usually referred to as Load-Haul-Dumps (LHDs), purchased by African Underground Mining Services (AUMS) for the Newmont, Subika Underground Project, which is the first in the West Africa Sales Area of the Company.
Those in the mining industry are spectacularly excited with the successes of the system which achieved greater, faster, better results.
The solution provides a powerful way to increase the performance of the equipment through automation and offers substantial benefits of increased productivity, safety and cost efficiency.
The AutoMine Lite features the MineLAN Communication Network which serves as a communication link between Access Control System and the Semi-automated Loader.
The operation of this intelligent machine is done from a remote control station situated either on surface or other remotely located control room.
The intelligent LHDs with the AutoMine Lite System is intended to meet the many challenges and sophistication that banters with the underground mining industry.
Apart from increased productivity, they also provide answers to the issues of Environment, Health and Safety such as rock falls, exposure to high levels of dust, vibrations, toxic gases, and the numerous hazards associated with the interface between people and machinery.
The innovation and design of the intelligent LHDs promote operators’ comfort away from production areas, in the comfort and safety of a remote control room.
With the introduction of the AutoMine Lite, the loader is able to load, tram and dump the material autonomously.
This is not the case with the traditional remote loading technologies such as Line-of-Sight Radio Remote Control (RRC).
This system comes with accurate navigation, reduced damage, and increased availability, yielding higher production, and expanding the lifespan of the equipment.
Again, an operator is afforded a high-definition and encompassed visibility of the machine in operation, which helps to identify long load points and culminates into higher bucket fill factor.
According to Engineers of Sandvik, production losses arising from lost time due to shift changes, operator inefficiency as a result of fatigue, and sometimes difficulty in getting competent operators to remote underground mine sites are minimized with this system.
Sandvik believes the limited human involvement – which is mainly positioning the loader -in the control of the equipment, translates into less operating cost among other benefits.
The need to understand customers and align with their needs is embedded in one of our core values as an organization: “Customer Focus,” according to George Antwi, Business Line Manager, Underground Drills & Loaders for Sales Area West Africa.
He stressed Sandvik’s commitment to supporting its customers to remain productive and efficient in their operation by providing customers with the required support and to continually work to "Set the Industry Standard".