Perenti Global’s Barminco has partnered with Sandvik subsidiary Newtrax to improve the safety of pedestrians working near heavy vehicles (HVs) underground.
Newtrax has developed a collision avoidance system that links “intelligent” cap lamps to the warning system inside the cab of an underground HV.
The system provides the vehicle operator with virtual visibility of any pedestrians in the immediate area of their vehicle, along with an escalated warning system to both the pedestrian and operator as the distance between them reduces.
This escalation transitions from warning to vehicle intervention, where the HV automatically reduces speed and comes to a controlled stop, when the system senses any pedestrian wearing an intelligent cap lamp in the high-risk zone.
Under the partnership, Newtrax will deploy its next-generation Level 9 Collision Avoidance System across Barminco’s Sandvik fleet, including the supply of intelligent cap lamps with advanced electronic safety features to Barminco’s underground mines.
The technology is due to undergo initial testing at one of Barminco’s underground sites in January 2022.
Perenti Mining chief executive officer Paul Muller said there were two major focusses for the partnership – the safety of its people and the sustainable adoption of the technology industry-wide.
“The exposure of pedestrians to heavy vehicles underground is a significant risk not just for us, but for everyone involved in the underground mining industry,” Muller said.
“The combination of Newtrax’s technology, our underground operating experience and Sandvik’s role in supplying heavy mining vehicles can put us in a position to offer the entire industry a smart solution to a complex problem.”
Newtrax regional vice president Simon Waghorn said the collaboration with Barminco would provide the partners with real-world experience that would help optimise the system as it develops.
“Although the Newtrax Collision Avoidance System is the best available system on the market, many more enhancements are required to accelerate adoption,” Waghorn said.
“This partnership with Barminco, a world-class underground hard rock mining contractor, will enable collaborative product development which will result in an even better product for the industry.”
Barminco is a subsidiary of Perenti for hard-rock underground mining.
Sandvik acquired Newtrax in April, 2019, to combine with Sandvik’s OptiMine technology.