Sandvik reaches automation milestone

Sandvik's 100th AutoMine loader. Image: Sandvik

Sandvik has delivered its 100th automated loader in the Asia Pacific region following the delivery of a Sandvik LH621i to Byrnecut in Australia during March.

The delivery marks the 100th Sandvik loader to be purchased with the AutoMine platform connected.

AutoMine is an automation system that provides autonomous and tele-remote operations for Sandvik and non-Sandvik underground and surface equipment.

Sandvik designed the system to increase mine productivity, profitability and safety of on-site personnel through the advanced control of a mine operation.

Sandvik has installed AutoMine systems in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

Its customers include Barminco, OceanaGold, Redpath and Byrnecut.

According to Sandvik, AutoMine can be configured to both single and multi-machine control, while also allowing for automatic mission and traffic control capability for full fleet automation.

All machines using AutoMine can be controlled and monitored safely from a control room, keeping workers out of the line of fire.

Sandvik technical support manager – mine automation Ty Osborne said Sandvik had adapted to the demands of the industry.

“The digitalisation field has developed significantly over the years and we have adapted to meet the industry needs along the way,” he said.

“We have seen our customers change their mindset from ‘this technology is nice but won’t work in our mine’, to, ‘what do have to do to make this work in our mine?’.

“Our customers are now seeing the value of including digitalisation in their mine planning and recognise the tangible benefits an automated fleet can bring to their operation.”

Sandvik trialled the remote operation of its LH621i loader at OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia.

The trial demonstrated that the LH621i could be operated from OZ Minerals’ remote operating centre in its Adelaide office, opening the door to the miner’s goal of remote operations from home.

The first AutoMine system was installed in 2008 at Mount Isa copper operations in Queensland, which is now owned by Glencore.

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