Atlas Copco has developed an automated mining machine which automates the task of cable bolting to prevent rockfalls.
The machine, currently being implemented at the OZ Minerals nickel mine near Zeehan, won the Tasmanian Minerals Council 2008 innovation in safety award.
The machine was built by Atlas Copco in Sweden at the suggestion of a Tasmanian mine to eliminate much of the manual work involved with cable-bolting.
The Avebury mine was concerned about the potential for injury using existing techniques and went on the machine development path in conjunction with the mining contractor Barminco and Atlas Copco.
The Innovation in Safety awards were judged by Rob Rawson, Director Safety and Health, Minerals Council of Australia and Grant Cook, Director Safety and Health, Queensland Resources Council.
There were two highly commended awards — Nyrstar in Hobart and Rio Tinto Alcan at Bell Bay.
Rio Tinto installed a rotary flux injector to its potlines, eliminating a chlorine injection system. The company rated chlorine gas as a risk, and eliminated it.
Nyrstar in Hobart built an automatic dross-skimming system for moulded zinc, eliminating the need for the task to be done manually.