Brazilian mining heavyweight Vale has underlined its commitment to recruiting and training local people at its Moatize coal project in Mozambique, with a significant investment in equipment simulator technology.
Immersive Technologies is supplying Vale with three Advanced Equipment (AE) Simulators, which are expected to be commissioned on site at the end of May 2009.
The training simulators will support the Caterpillar 793D haul truck, Caterpillar 992G wheel loader, and Hitachi EX5500 shovel/excavator.
Immersive Technologies is also supplying a Custom Mine Site, which accurately replicates the Moatize mine to enhance the realism and value of the training.
The sale of advanced training simulators to Vale is part of a larger ‘turn-key’ training solution provided by the company.
Vale operator trainers will also undertake simulator training.
A global certification program delivered by Immersive Technologies provides comprehensive training on the use and application of equipment simulators.
The Rio de Janeiro-based company has operated in Mozambique since November 2004, when it received the green light to explore and develop one of the world’s major untapped coking and thermal coal deposits at Moatize, in Tete province, 1700 km north of Maputo.
The Moatize project, forecast to produce up to 11 Mtpa of coal from 2010, will generate about 900 direct mine jobs and some 3000 construction related jobs.
With the aim of breaking first ground early next year, Vale intends to identify, screen and train a world class operator workforce before its mining fleet arrives on site.
The process will see the company screen about 1000 local people over the coming months with a view to training 125 vehicle drivers for next year’s operational start-up.
A Vale spokesperson said simulator training would play a vital role in the company’s haul truck, excavator/shovel, dozer, loader and dragline operator training at Moatize, both before and during the operational phase.
“Health, safety and respect for life are part of Vale’s core values,” she said.
“With this [simulator] technology, the company can refresh the skills and aptitude of operators in order to improve their performance in the operation.
“The primary rationale for investing in simulator training at Moatize is the efficiency and efficacy of the process and methodology of teaching through simulators.”