Top of the crop: August’s best new mining innovations

Sprint Robotics Roadshow in Perth, Western Australia. Image: Chaos Theory for Nexxis

A look at the most exciting new mining innovations from August, featuring the likes of BluVein, Nexxis, Sepura and Laser Technologies.

BluVein’s ‘next-generation’ trolley-charging technology took another step towards development in August with seven major mining companies financially backing the project.

Newcrest, Vale, Glencore, Northern Star, Agnico Eagle, AngloGold Ashanti and OZ Minerals have signed funding agreements with BluVein, enabling the final system development and construction of a technology demonstration pilot site in Brisbane, Australia.

A partnership between industry innovators Olitek and Evias, BluVein’s technology allows grid power to be supplied directly to a vehicle’s traction drive motors while simultaneously charging the onboard batteries.

It removes the need for battery swapping or stationary vehicle charging, enables the use of smaller and lower-cost batteries, while also increasing haulage speeds.

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Nexxis’ launched its Magneto-EX robot in August.

The new cutting-edge device is designed for hazardous area inspections, optimising data capture capabilities and safety on mine sites.

Nexxis’ new innovation is unique not only because of its EX rating but also due to its dexterity – its spider-like frame and magnetic feet enable it to traverse tighter spaces and explore more territory.

The Magneto-EX has been designed to go wherever a human shouldn’t while mimicking a human’s movement at the same time.

When examining mining assets for maintenance, the Magneto-EX has the versatility and fundamental mobility enabling it to acquire more extensive and accurate data.

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Sepura announced the launch of its new AutoMate application, set to improve both operational performance and staff safety at mining sites.

By enabling TETRA radio automation through geofencing and situational triggers, AutoMate is functional, fast and efficient, optimising communication and data sharing between control-room staff and those in the field.

With a flexible set up, AutoMate can be tailored to fit users’ operational workflows. The automations are versatile and can be curated according to logic or priority, while instant amendments can be made if circumstances require.

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BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) announced it will trial a fibre laser cleaner designed by Laser Technologies to remove surface corrosion at its Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay in Queensland.

Perth-based joint venture Laser Technologies was selected following a competitive proposal and evaluation process to trial a hand-held one-kilowatt fibre laser.

The end result was capable of removing old paint and surface corrosion from metal surfaces to a depth of 6mm and burning the waste product into harmless vapour.

Laser Technologies was chosen through BHP’s Supplier Innovation Program, when a challenge was launched with businesses in the Australian Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector.

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