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					                                                                                                                           SURFACE MINING

    Pit progress

    While the trend is toward more underground mining in the future –
    many new machines and technologies are now available for surface
    mining, as John Chadwick reports

   n this issue’s MINExpo review and preview          around the mine perimeter forming a mine-                Sishen iron ore mine is probably the world's longest
   feature I note that the great rise in fuel costs   owned and controlled constellation. The                  continuous user of trolley assist. Surely with high oil
   will impact open-pit mining heavily, and is        Novariant solution provides mine operators in            prices the industry needs to take another good look
already doing so. There have to be better ways        the pit with the necessary GPS+XPS signals               at this technology
of moving ore and dirt than having some               enabling up to 100% availability of position
operators achieve just two truck round trips in a     data, virtually eliminating operational down time        Stage3™ diamond coring bit, which use
12-h shift, as is the case at some of the deeper      due to limited GPS signal availability. For deep pit     patented technologies, will also be featured at
mines. Conveyors, trolley assist, perhaps             operations the Novariant solution increases mine         the stand (see IM July issue).
Siemag’s truck elevator idea, are just some of the    productivity as much as 38%.                                There will also be a track-mounted KWL
technologies that should be revisited.                   Boart Longyear (BL) will unveil what is               1600H multipurpose exploration drill rig,
   IM has already reported in some detail on Rio      expected to be the next generation in surface            featuring high-performance reverse circulation
Tinto’s automation of open-pit iron ore mining in     coring rigs at this year’s MINExpo in Las Vegas,         (RC) technology. Beginning with the rigs offered
the Pilbara. Elsewhere in this issue we look at       Nevada. Show attendees will have the                     at MinExpo, all Boart Longyear RC drills will now
this in more detail, interviewing some of the key     opportunity to view a prototype of the new rig           be equipped with its new patented RC rod-
personnel. Any such automation relies heavily on      and several other industry-leading products and          handling system — which it says is “the most
GPS and for pit management; Novariant has             services on display at stand 6088. According to          flexible system on the market.”
launched the Terralite XPS Multi-Pit Solution. “As    Craig Mayman, Boart Longyear’s Global Product               Visitors may also see the newly released BL
more customers adopted our Terralite XPS              Manager for Capital Equipment, it “offers never-         Boxes rig support system. The system includes a
Single-Pit solution which provides GPS                before-seen technologies and is a testament to           wide range of pre-packaged spare kits for many
augmentation in simple bowl shaped deep pit-          the benefit of R&D input from engineers in both          Boart Longyear drill rigs — including the LY
mines two key requirements were identified.”          our Products and Services divisions.                     series. These innovative kits can dramatically
said Delcina Betts, Director of Marketing, for the       Among other things, the rig features dramatic         reduce drill downtime in the field.
Novariant Mining group. “First was the need to        improvements in safety and productivity, including          Atlas Copco’s popular, multipurpose ROC
support more complex pit configurations and           a fail-safe, fully automated rod-handling system         L8RC drill rig has been redesigned to increase its
second to support multiple pits within a 10-          — the first of its kind in the industry, BL claims. In   performance and versatility – with greater
15km range. The Terralite XPS Multi-Pit solution      addition to better rod management, the rig also          flexibility and an even higher capacity than
continues to offer the unique technology              features significant improvements in hoist               previous models. The rig is ideal for most
needed for GPS augmentation in basic Single-Pit       capacity, torque and rod-pulling speed.                  applications in surface mining, such as
operations and addresses the need to support             Field data from our Services division is being put    production blastholes, pre-split (which is
more complex mine operations strengthening            right on the drafting table, and we believe that the     becoming increasingly important for pit wall
our vision to provide GPS augmentation where          calibre of design improvements will set the pace         control) and buffer blastholes. Its flexibility also
our customers need it most, deep in the mine.         for the future of the industry,” said Mayman.            makes it well suited for drilling de-watering
   The Terralite XPS system is a set of transmit         The newly-released High Productivity Coring           holes for pit-wall depressurisation.
stations combined with a GPS+ XPS Reference           System, including the Quick Descent head                    The ROC L8 is now also available in reverse
Station/Integrity monitor which is installed          assembly, Variable Wall (V-Wall) coring rod and          circulation (RC), in the L825 RC and L830 RC

                                                                                                                         SEPTEMBER 2008 International Mining 00

models. These are used for efficient in-pit grade       new Sandvik training concept
control or shallow exploration holes using a            addresses challenges that have
reverse circulation (RC) system. Conversion to          long troubled the drilling sector,
conventional DTH drilling from RC drilling can be       including the lack of qualified
carried out quickly. The ROC L8 with the RC             professional trainers as well as
system is light, flexible and transportable, for        good training locations. It offers
quick and successful site-to-site operation.            a way of organising the training
   As a standard feature, the rig stores 36 m of        as well as the training itself.
RC drill pipe, including 30 m in its revolving             The new drilling simulator is a
magazine, which is usually enough for in-pit            very important factor in the
grade control through two or more benches.              concept, based on the DPi            Liebherr’s new 780-t R9800 is a very stable machine with an extremely robust
The feed capacity facilitates deeper RC drilling,       surface top hammer drills’           undercarriage. The undercarriage weighs 366 t, the superstructure weighs
up to 100m by the insertion of additional RC            operation. It allows drill training 234 t and the attachment 180 t. Clever design and positioning of elements,
pipes into the carousel while drilling.                 in an authentic environment.         like engines, on the superstructure means this machine only has to carry a
   Complementing this new rig, the new                  “The first experiences about the counterbalance (dead) weight of 40 t. The crawlers feature a dual-pin track
Secoroc RC 50 is a new 127 mm down-the-hole             simulator training give good         chain (previously these were single pin). The crawler length is 8,098 mm and
(DTH) hammer made specifically for RC. With             grounds to believe that we are       the track gauge 6,700 mm
the RC 50, drillers can expect 15% to 20%               on the right track. The North
higher penetration rates over similar size              Karelia Adult Education Centre in Finland has               coordinator at the centre, acknowledges the
hammers, Atlas Copco reports. It also notes “the        organised courses for the operators drilling at             benefits of simulator training. “The simulator
key criteria customers wanted from the new              Talvivaara mine and the results are promising,”             simplifies student performance assessment and
Secoroc RC 50 drill were simplicity, performance,       Mika Kotro said.                                            helps the trainer to give high quality feedback. I
and reliability. By incorporating the Quantum              Simulator training helps the students to learn           have noticed that in particular alignment, rod
Leap® air cycle into this RC hammer, we’ve              to understand their role in the whole excavation            handling and drilling itself are very effectively
created a high frequency reverse circulation            process as well as the key features of total                learned in the simulator. The students have
hammer for all rock formations.”                        productivity. They learn to manage even the                 found it much easier to make the transition from
   The centre recovery tube features an entirely        most difficult rock conditions and to keep the              the classroom to the real work site. They feel
new – patent-pending – design. There’s no need          machine in good condition and available. The                more confident with the rig but this is not the
to open the hammer, which means maintenance             new training method allows easy and risk-free               only benefit. They are also much better prepared
and field replacement are much easier.                  practice of any possible situation.                         to cope with the safety and physical conditions
Furthermore, generous piston bearing and                   Arto Suokas, Manager Mining at Talvivaara,               at site.
sealing areas minimise the kind of wear that is         believes that simulator-aided operator training                 “In the future, we will definitely use simulator-
so common in RC applications.                           produces more highly-skilled operators.                     aided method in the drill operator training. The
   Sandvik’s new DPi top hammer rigs at                 “Simulation is a forgiving training method. We              first courses have been tailor-made for Talvivaara
Talvivaara mine were considered in detail in IM         can repeat the exercises as many times as                   mine but we are preparing our own curriculum
last month. Another new Sandvik offering that           needed without any risks to the trainees or to              and validating to what extent we can utilise the
has been important at that mine is simulator-           the machine and the tools. Simulator-training               Sandvik concept,” says Mikkonen.
aided training for drill rig operators. This provides   also makes the students familiar with the
more productive operators and risk-free learning        possible situations on site so those will not come          Loading/dozing
and has been important at this new operation.           as a surprise once they start the real work,”               Liebherr has thrown down another challenge to
   Sandvik has developed a revolutionary training       Suokas said.                                                the rope shovel with its latest and largest
concept which combines comprehensive                       The North Karelia Adult Education Centre also            hydraulic excavator, the 780-t R9800. The
training, modern learning tools and professional        finds the simulator-aided training effective. It is         prototype machine, a 38 m3 backhoe was
trainers with a modular curriculum that can be          much easier to guide the student, and external              completed in February this year and has
tailored for various needs. The concept,                conditions do not play any role in the student’s            undergone extensive testing. This, one of the
developed in co-operation with education                performance. Harri Mikkonen, Trainer                        very biggest machines on the market, is a three-
professionals, should significantly                                                                                    pass loading tool for 240 t trucks, or five
improve training efficiency. By                                                                                          passes for Liebherr’s own 282B truck. The
taking the training, beginners can                                                                                        final bucket capacity is to be 38-42 m3 at
be productive from day one                                                                                                   1.8 t/m3.
and experienced                                                                                                                 The R9800 features high swing
professionals will learn to                                                                                                   torque, high oil flow and high engine
use machine features to
the full.
   “The in-depth training aims at                                                                                          The boom and feed system on the ROC L8
enabling the operators to understand                                                                                       makes it possible to raise the exploration holes
their role within the process. Hence, it                                                                                   up to 45° forward and 30° left and right
goes far beyond just the function and                                                                                      without moving the rig, to find the boundaries
operation of the rig,” explains Mika Kotro,                                                                                of the orebody in the minimum number of
Training Manager at Sandvik’s Surface Drills. The                                                                          holes

00 International Mining SEPTEMBER 2008

output (3,000 kW), from its twin Cummins               working exclusively with Immersive Technologies      erected the three BGM 495HD shovels to BGM’s
QSK60s (twin MTU 12V4000 engines will also             to develop training simulators for the Liebherr      satisfaction and schedule with their own
be available). One of the aims in its design has       range of backhoes and shovels.                       construction crew which at times numbered
been to achieve the same cycle time as Liebherr’s         The first Liebherr mining excavator               some 25 personnel. In excess of 45,000 man
very successful R996 excavator and a unique            represented in a simulator is Liebherr’s current     hours were worked by Bucyrus at the
feature is the engine power to operating weight        flag ship the R 996. “Liebherr can see the           Boddington site with no lost time injuries
ratio of 61 kW/t – outstanding in its class.           advantages of simulator based training for           incurred. Bucyrus worked closely with BGM to
    It will travel at up to 2.5 km/h and, completely   operators from both safety and machine               ensure a safe working environment and culture
new, has four swing gears. The swing speed is          availability perspectives. Liebherr exclusively      for the project. Bucyrus effectively employed
3.52 rpm. It features a swing torque of 2,900          recommends Immersive Technologies as the             safety management tools such as “SLAMs –
kNm, a digging force of 1,750 kN and 1,840 kN          supplier of simulation training products for their   Stop, Look, Assess and Manage” for all
of breakout force as a backhoe with a bucket           range of excavators and shovels”, said Burkhard      significant tasks and also employed “SAOs –
cutting width of 4.8 m. In shovel configuration,       Richthammer, Product and Marketing Manager           Safe Act Observations” in the daily management
the bucket cutting width is 5.6 m, the maximum         for hydraulic mining excavators at Liebherr’s        of safety and culture at the site.
crowd force at ground level is 2,980 kN and the        main mining excavator factory in Colmar, France.        Since the first BGM 495HD went to work
breakout force 2,350 kN. The arm crowd is 54.2            The third and final Bucyrus 495HD (Heavy          approximately six months ago and for a total
t/m and the shovel breakout 42.8 t/m.                  Duty) electric rope shovel was successfully          period of 5 years, Bucyrus will support the BGM
    There are two major fuel challenges to be          delivered, constructed, and commissioned at          equipment via a full Maintenance and Repair
considered carefully be open pit mines today –         Boddington gold mine (BGM) in Western                Contract (MARC). All shovel maintenance and
the price of fuel and keeping refuelling stops         Australia. The first and second 495HD shovels        planning is performed by Bucyrus: management;
(and the associated downtime) to a minimum.            have been working at BGM since November              warehousing; clerical; technical and skilled trades
Liebherr has addressed these concerns on the           2007 and January 2008 respectively. BGM,             people. The 24-hour-a-day seven-day-per-week
R9800 by improve the efficiency of the system to       situated some 130 km southeast of Perth was          support package uses the services of 22
cut fuel consumption. Furthermore, the large           convinced to purchase the three Bucyrus 495HD        permanently employed Bucyrus personnel.
fuel tank gives this machine a theoretical work        shovels as the primary loading tools for the site    Additionally, Bucyrus has made a significant
endurance time of 30 hours at 3,000 kW on a            by the availability of a cost effective power        investment in 495 parts inventory to support the
full tank.                                             source, some challenging digging conditions, a       Boddington fleet.
    Throughout the design a great deal of              comprehensive support package and the
attention has been paid to ensuring it is easy to      technical merits of the product. BGM has a fleet        The PowerDigger Excavator Guidance System
maintain, with good access to all key areas. All       of Caterpillar 793D rear dump trucks which are       is Leica Geosystems’ latest in a line of site proven
the hydraulic layouts have been simplified, for        an even three-pass loading match with the            guidance systems, offering increased operator
example. The R9800 uses an underslung arch of          495HD.                                               and machine productivity leading to reduced
hoses connecting from the pumps on the                    The 495HD loads a maximum payload of 80 t,        labour and material costs and the solving of
superstructure to the stick and attachment. It is      which places it in the mid-range of Bucyrus’         specific problems. PowerDigger provides
noticeable, sitting in the cab, how much better        shovel product offering. Its larger brother is the   excavator operators with real-time depth, slope
visibility there is out of the right hand window as    495HR shovel which has a maximum payload of          and reach information, in relation to any
a result of the underslinging of those hoses.          109 t. Both models share similar mechanical          reference, on an easy-to-read graphical control
    Liebherr has chosen to expand its exclusive        components and identical state-of-the-art AC         panel mounted in the cab. A highly visible LED
licensing and technical information alliance with      drive technology. The BGM shovels run off a          light-bar gives the operator a quick reference to
Immersive Technologies to include the company’s        6,600 V power source and the hourly operating        the desired level. An audible tone also gives an
range of hydraulic mining excavators and               costs compares very favourably with similar size     ‘on-grade’ or ‘near-grade’ indication. All of the
shovels. This follows the                              diesel hydraulic loading units, Bucyrus reports.     information necessary for an operator to do their
alliance signed in 2005 for                            Commencing in August 2007 and                        job faster and more accurately is available in the
the Immersive T 282 B                                    finishing in April 2008, Bucyrus                   cabin. With this real-time information, the
simulator representing one                                                                                  productivity of the machine is increased by up to
of the world’s largest haul
trucks. Liebherr is now                                                                                     The 495 electric rope shovel is a mature product for
                                                                                                            Bucyrus with enviable reliability and productivity levels.
                                                                                                            This coupled with thorough project planning, an
                                                                                                            effective MARC structure, adequate inventory support
                                                                                                            and a quality build process, has resulted in an
                                                                                                            outstanding start-up for the shovels at Boddington. At
                                                                                                            a total of 10 months total shovel operating time, the
                                                                                                            Bucyrus fleet at Boddington had achieved average
                                                                                                            availability levels in excess of 95% and Mean Time
                                                                                                            Between Failures (MTBF) of more than 40 hours.
                                                                                                            Comments made during a recent Bucyrus/BGM
                                                                                                            quarterly MARC meeting by experienced site Mine
                                                                                                            Manager Geoff Fenton included: “This is the best start-
                                                                                                            up of loading equipment I have ever witnessed”

                                                                                                                      SEPTEMBER 2008 International Mining 00

                                                                                                                 Volvo’s new excavators feature a more rugged
                                                                                                                 undercarriage and superstructure. Strengthened high
                                                                                                                 tensile steel undercarriage frames absorb stress with
                                                                                                                 rigid strength, while reliable, reinforced, doubled
                                                                                                                 welded booms and arms offer capacity, reach and
                                                                                                                 force. Sealed-for-life, greased track link prevents leaks,
                                                                                                                 reduces noise and ensures longevity. Protected hydraulic
                                                                                                                 lines and bolt shields prevent collision damage

                                                                                                                 undercarriage option it moves up into a higher
                                                                                                                 class. At a maximum 51 t in this configuration it
                                                                                                                 will hold its own against larger competitive
                                                                                                                 machines. This principle is also true of the
                                                                                                                 EC700CL, with operating performances more
                                                                                                                 commonly found on 80t class machines. Suited
                                                                                                                 for rock face stripping or mine loading, the
                                                                                                                 EC700CL is capable of a powerful combination
                                                                                                                 of high productivity and fuel efficiently.
                                                                                                                    Developing 235 kW for the EC460CL and 316
                                                                                                                 kW for the EC700CL, both machines feature
50%. It’s a reliable and flexible guidance solution         the prior year period, due to the growing            Volvo’s advanced, Volvo V-ACT (Volvo Advanced
that also meets future needs.                               installed base of hydraulic mining excavators that   Combustion) engines that offer high torque at
   A PowerDigger guidance system can be fitted              have strong utilisation rates at mine sites.         low revs and deliver class leading fuel efficiency.
on any machine ranging from 1 to 600 t +, dual              Additionally, extensive flooding in parts of         The power plant is coupled with intelligent
booms or long reach machines with a reach of                Australia during the first quarter of 2008 pushed    hydraulics that provide boom, arm and swing
more than 25m – the standard system will fit                some mining business sales into the second           priority. In-cab, operator selectable hydraulic flow
them all. And the installation is easy.                     quarter of 2008, which together with equipment       and pressure increases performance, especially
   Adding on the MRS300 Sensor upgrades the                 repairs from the flooding, favourably impacted       when regularly changing attachments.
system to dual grade. It gives the freedom of               parts sales,” Terex reported.                           Caterpillar has introduced the D11T track-type
movement in any direction on a sloping surface,                “Capacity continues to be a limiting factor to    tractor (dozer) with new safety enhancements,
as the system will compensate for machine,                  meeting Mining product demand, particularly for      low-emissions engine and a cab that the
pitch, roll and rotation. Mounting a tilt bucket            hydraulic mining excavators, along with some         company describes as "productivity-boosting."
sensor adds a further dimension. PowerDigger                supplier constraints for hydraulics and gear         The new machine also is offered in an optional
can also be upgraded easily to a 3D capable                 boxes. The company is continuing to adjust its       CarryDozer configuration (D11T CD) to
system by adding the PowerDigger 3D computer                global manufacturing footprint to better meet        maximize productivity when moving large loads
as the control panel for RTK GNSS receiver.                 demand.”                                             over long distances or up steep slopes. Both the
   Typical of manufacturers’ financial results,                Volvo Construction Equipment’s new                D11T and D11T CD offer enhancements for the
Terex reported that its Mining business had a               EC460CL and EC700CL tracked excavators offer         operator-such as a hydraulically actuated access
very strong second quarter, as net sales growth             superior fuel efficiency and reliability, the        ladder and a two-camera Work Area Vision
continued to be driven by commodity demand,                 company reports. Weighing between 45.6 and           System (WAVS). A Cat C32 engine provides
including the surface mining of iron ore and                48.3 t, the EC460CL strengths lie in general         clean, fuel-efficient power; the new cab
coal. This includes the sale of the second of two           small open pits and large scale bulk                 improves comfort and productivity; and
RH400 hydraulic excavators, the world’s largest             earthmoving. When fitted with the variable           advanced electronics make the D11T easier to
mobile hydraulic excavator, during the second
quarter of 2008 to a customer operating in the
Canadian oil sands. Similarly Caterpillar second-
quarter profit jumped 34% as stronger sales in
                                                                 CAT D11TC
developing countries outpaced slowing growth
in North America and higher raw material and
                                                                 picture corruopted please resend
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   “Higher operating margin replacement part
sales have increased substantially compared to

Several features that were attachments on the D11R
are standard on the T-Series model. A quick oil-change
system for engine and drive train oil cuts maintenance
time. Ripper hydraulics, a 120-V engine block heater
and an extra 15-A electrical converter also are standard.
The D11T offers a blade capacity of 27.2-34.4 m3,
while that of the D11TCD is 43.6 m3

00 International Mining SEPTEMBER 2008

operate and service.                                    maintenance costs for lubricating oil for these       designed truck bodies to exactly suit their
   The 634-kW C32 is a large-displacement engine        devices are reduced. Hitachi’s brushless AC travel    particular operations. Key points central to the
with 21% torque rise for responsive power               motors along with the latest Hitachi IGBT             new VR truck body include: an overall design
needed when dozing tough materials. The engine          inverters reduce repair costs and deliver stronger,   that enables quicker and more reliable
features ACERT Technology, a Cat emissions-             more controllable electric braking power              maintenance and repairs; a VR Load Body/Bowl
reduction solution that optimises performance, life     (retarding) compared to the EH3500AC II’s DC-         that increases truck payload without sacrificing
and fuel economy, while meeting USEPA Tier 2            powered predecessor.                                  the overall life of the bowl; a VR bowl which is
and EU Stage II emissions regulations. System-             The EH3500AC II is powered by a Cummins            more durable, lighter, and empties faster with
matched to a high-efficiency torque converter and       QSK 50 engine that is known for extended              the lowest possible operating cost; and a
electronically controlled transmission, this reliable   service life and fuel efficiency. This engine has     rounded VR design that decreases carry-back
engine should provide years of dependable service       been certified to the Tier 2 (U.S.) EPA Emission      with sticky materials.
in demanding conditions.                                regulation.”                                             Rockmate Technical Services, new shovel
   Caterpillar says it is "field-proven on the D8T,        A large colour LCD display, similar to that        mounted truck load counting system,
D9T and D10T [that] operators work                      used on the Dash-6 Hitachi excavators, indicates      LoadLogger, has been working in Scotland on
productively in the T-Series cab. The work              travel speed, engine RPM, payload and fault           ATH's coal open pits for well over a year.
environment is spacious, well-ventilated and            information for improved operability. The             Rockmate says LoadLogger is an inexpensive way
designed to minimise noise and vibration. It            powerful electric drive system reduces operator       of counting the number of trucks a shovel has
offers a clear, panoramic view to the job site          fatigue as the system is easily controlled using a    loaded in real time. The shovel driver does not
with 30% more glass area. A standard Cat                three-position shift lever that provides forward,     have to press any extra buttons, but every truck
Comfort Seat and adjustable armrests and                neutral and reverse, along with single accelerator    that is loaded is counted and shown on a
controls reduce fatigue. An easy-to-read                and retarder pedals that are used to control          computer screen in the office. The manager can
instrument panel keeps the operator informed,           hauler speed.                                         see if a shovel is having difficult digging and
and the Advisor Monitoring System delivers                 South Africa’s VR Steel designs, manufactures,     alert supervisors to remedy the situation as it
other critical information to operators and             and maintains dragline buckets, large backhoe         happens and not wait until the measure is
technicians.”                                           buckets, hydraulic shovel, and rope shovel            completed to identify a problem.
   Electro-hydraulic controls make the D11T and         buckets. Recently it launched an innovative VR           The hardware is mounted on the excavators
D11T CD easy to operate productively over long          truck body design, which features unique design       and has been shown to be up to the vibrations
periods. The dozer control can be programmed            features and significantly reduces operating          generated by the shovel. They were mounted
using the Advisor panel to preset blade                 costs. The first two truck bodies are currently in
response, blade float, blade pitch and spread           operation at Sishen iron ore mine in South            Unique features of the VR Steel truck body design
rate. The ripper control is also programmable           Africa.                                               include a Ridge Back floor which provides improved
with features such as Auto Lift, Shank Out and             John van Reenen, Managing Director says,           load distribution on the chassis. This ridge continues
Auto Stow. To boost productivity in high-               “This is a revolutionary design, superior to          into an ultra strong canopy which better
production jobs with carry distances that exceed        competitor products on the market. VR Steel           accommodates poorly distributed loads. The load body
30.5 m, the machine can be ordered with                 spends approximately R10 million/y on research        shell features an integral wear package design, the I-
AutoCarry. This option provides automatic blade         and development as we aim to engineer cutting-        beam skeletal design improves overall durability, and
control (raise and lower only) during the carry         edge technology that can increase productivity        the ultra-strong top rail is designed to withstand heavy
segment of the dozing cycle. The Computer               and alleviate operational costs.”                     impact from factors such as rock falls during loading.
Aided Earthmoving System (CAES) also is                    VR Steel matches the loading tool with the         The VR body can be adapted to any make or model of
available as an option to increase productivity by      truck body. Customers can now order custom-           truck.
guiding the operator in placing material in the
right place the first time. Both the D11T and
D11T CD can be ordered in a CAES-ready

Space trucking
Hitachi began sales from September 1, of the
EH3500AC II rigid dump truck (gross machine
weight 325 t, 185-t payload class). This employs
AC drive technology from Hitachi, using its most
recent Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT),
and based on the inverter technology used in
high-speed railway trains.
   Power transfer to the road is more efficient
using the AC drive system. “By eliminating heavy
rotating components such as the transmission
and differential components found in
mechanically driven trucks,” the company notes,
“more of the power supplied by the diesel
engine is transferred to the haul-road, and the

00 International Mining SEPTEMBER 2008
retrospectively to the ATH machines. Using a          fitted, removed and repaired. Tyre pressures will        is potential for the project to be extended to the
wireless link has the advantage of transferring       be checked and maintained at the right levels,           mining company’s five other coal mines in
data to the office without any engineers having       and other operations will be carried out to              Indonesia and India.
to climb onto the shovel to download data,            ensure that tyres are used in the best possible             FuelTrack monitors and analyses the fuel use of
eliminating the risk of falling off the shovel. The   conditions.                                              every vehicle at each mine site. It assists with fuel
software generates reports which can be used in           New into large tyres, Titan Tire shipped its first   security, environmental compliance, stock
producing weekly reports.                             giant 63-in tyre and wheel assemblies on July            reconciliation, maintenance scheduling, calculating
                                                      29. These tires, each measuring nearly 4.3 m tall        burn rates and streamlining fuel ordering.
Tyres perform                                         and weighing approximately 5,670 kg, were                   Banlaw managing director Bill Clifton says
In May 2007, 40.00-57 Duratread 68 Ply E4 tyres       shipped to Canada’s oil sands. “A lot of people          FuelTrack was chosen by KPC after five years of
were put on test on the rear axles (four per truck)   in the industry doubted that Titan could build           investigation. He says soaring global fuel prices is
of Komatsu 730E haul trucks at Xstrata Copper’s       these giant tyres in less than a year,” said Titan       making controlling and reducing fuel costs an
Lomas Bayas mine in Chile. This is a 300 m deep       Chairman and CEO Maurice M. Taylor Jr. “I am             imperative for many mines and other businesses.
pit at 1,500 m above sea level, 120 km east of        happy to prove to them that we are committed             “Mining companies like KPC need a fuel
Antofagasta. The terrain is described as “highly      to achieving the company’s goals.”                       management system that is secure and ensures
abrasive,” the average daily temperatures are a           In October 2007, IM reported on OTR’s Rio            accurate as well as timely data capture and
high of 20°C and a low of 14°C and the yearly         Tinto manufacturing plant in Perth, Western              reporting. FuelTrack allows managers to be in
average rainfall is just 14 mm.                       Australia that builds retread tyres. Today, tyre         control of fuel costs by accurately measuring
    Carefully monitored by Duratread mining tyre      development is at the forefront of additional            them.”
technicians in co-operation with Xstrata Copper       activity at the facility. With early tyres now              FuelTrack was developed by Banlaw after
personel, the Manager of Administration and           running at more than 4,500 hours and                     extensive research and development. It is now in
Services, Francisco Rojas stated last November:       production matching performance, OTR has                 use in USA, Indonesia, Taiwan and Australia. In
"Duratread tyres were selected after determining      been looking at ways of improving the tyre life.         the past 12 months sales have doubled and
that with a combination of tyre quality and the       Production Manager, Greg Shaw, said: “Tyre               Banlaw has grown from 38 to 50 employees.
fact that Duratread could provide on-site             performance in the ultra large tyre range puts a         Clifton expects rising fuel prices will further
technical support, we could permit Duratread          huge demand on the rubber compounds                      increase orders for FuelTrack and Banlaw’s other
tyres to be tested. We can confirm that               required for these applications, so we are               hydrocarbon management products and
Duratread have delivered on output efficiency,        developing a new range of compounds to                   services.
service and technical support on the tyres that       deliver better performance. Tread depth and
were installed. All tyres have been performing        pattern are areas where improvements are                 Deep pit dewatering
well, thanks to the joint work and co-operation       possible, but only if the compounds are correct”.        For deep pits, the Pioneer Pump Prime PP86C21-
of the Duratread technicians and the staff of             In addition, OTR is looking at ways to improve       C18ACERT vacuum assisted self priming pump
Xstrata Copper, Lomas Bayas".                         the efficiency of the cure, with insulation and air      has been developed to provide a high-efficiency
    As a result of the test performance of these      circulation changes in the autoclaves. “As               solution for high pressure dewatering
40.00-57 tyres, Lomas Bayas has also put              always, the changes, modifications and                   applications in open pits. Delivering up to 22 bar,
Duratread 45/65-45 L5 tyres into test on              improvements we make will close the gap on               the first in a new series of high pressure pumps
Komatsu WD 900 wheel dozers. In addition,             new tyre performance and show again the value            will have maximum flow of in excess of 680
other Xstrata mines in Latin America are also         of the retread process,” he stated.                      m³/h and is driven by the latest Tier III emission
putting Duratread 40.00-57 tyres to the test.             Mike Batka, OTR Group Operations Director,           compliant, CAT C18ACERT common rail
    Another tyre producer, Michelin, recently         concluded: “We are very pleased with the way             electronic managed engine, which has already
signed a three-year renewable contract for the        our retread manufacturing facility is developing         been proven in demanding mining and mineral
provision of a new kind of service to China Coal      in Perth - the results are testament in                  processing applications. Providing as much as
Pingshuo, China's largest surface coal mine. It       themselves.”                                             30% more uplift over similarly sized competitive
has contracted Michelin to provide and maintain                                                                pumps, it provides high productivity, more
53/80R63 tyres for the Komatsu 930E trucks in         Cutting fuel costs                                       efficient use of engine power for lower fuel
the mine. The leader in the Chinese market for        Australian refuelling specialist, Banlaw, has            consumption.
giant 63-in tyres, Michelin had previously signed     signed an A$2.7m contract with Kaltim Prima                 Even with a larger 533 mm impellor, the new
a tyre supply contract with Pingshuo in May           Coal (KPC) – one of the world’s largest open pits        pumps will retain the standard features already
2007.                                                 – to install its unique fuel management system           seen on the proven C17 high pressure pump
    China Coal Pingshuo is the leading surface        at Indonesia’s largest mine. The FuelTrack system        range (170 m) such as guaranteed run-dry
coal mine producer in the country (73 Mt in           will be installed at Sangatta coal mine in East          capability and excellent NPSHr characteristics.
2007). The services should help to extend tyre        Kalimantan to help track and cut the mine’s fuel         This allows Pioneer pumps to maintain excellent
life. This in turn will help to reduce operating      usage. More than 2,000 units of heavy                    suction lift capabilities, thereby reducing number
costs and increase productivity, while                equipment work on the site with annual fuel              of times the pumps need to be relocated in a
maintaining the highest safety standards. The         usage currently at 425 million litres. The number        major dewatering application.
goal of the service contract is to optimise           of heavy equipment units is expected to grow by          Mine design
conditions of use for the 63-in tyres. To achieve     500 in the next three years, with an annual              Finally, it is always important to ensure the mine
this goal, specialist Michelin technicians, in co-    corresponding fuel usage of 750 million litres.          is correctly designed from the start. URS mine
operation with teams from China Coal Pingshuo,           Work is expected to start in October and it           planning experts describe the importance of
manage the service shop, where tyres will be          will take four months to install the system. There       proper mine design and highlight:

■ Sufficient geologic information?                                                                                The 203 x 152 mm pump unveiled at MINExpo is the
■ Sound geotechnical and hydrologic                                                                               first of a generation of 20 bar pressure pumps. Other
information?                                                                                                      models currently under development will provide 152 x
■ Is pit development sequential and efficient?                                                                    102 mm, 254 x 203 mm and, in the future, a 305 x
■ Is pit designed to fit the largest equipment to                                                                 305 mm capable of more than 2,000 m³/h. As with all
be used?                                                                                                          Pioneer Prime pumps, the PP86C21 comes with SAE 1
■ Are haul roads and ramps optimised for                                                                          housing allowing for direct drive from the engine,
location, proper width, access, and grades?                                                                       thereby eliminating the need for gearboxes or
   These are only a handful of the many                                                                           intermediate shafts. This allows the pumps to be driven
questions that mine owners should be asking                                                                       at direct speeds, which, in most cases, maximise
themselves, according to Dan Stevermer, Senior                                                                    performance for low running costs - particularly
Mine Engineer at Washington Division of URS                                                                       important with rising fuel prices
Corp. An expert in mine development and
planning, Stevermer says that knowledgeable
mine planning is absolutely critical to a
successful operation.
   Mine Engineering and Operations Support
Manager Bryan Evans says mine planning
mistakes can result in very severe consequences        constantly re-adjusting our assumptions based
that affect both safety and production. The two        on observations and feedback from the
main pitfalls he has seen clients fall into are:       production personnel as the mine pit is
1) insufficient knowledge/improper use of              excavated.”
geological information; and, 2) poorly designed           “Mine owners should make sure that their
mine cuts (pushbacks).                                 mine planners fully understand the long-term
   Evans says knowledge of the deposit to be           project objectives. They should be able to
mined is a critical factor that can be overlooked      recognise issues in advance and know how to
when starting up a new project. Geological             keep the mine operation going as efficiently and
information needs to be carefully reviewed to          safety as possible.” IM
build an accurate resource model for use in the
mine design process. An inaccurate model can
result in inaccessible ore or the unnecessary          Moxy Engineering has made significant upgrades to
mining of waste, he added.                             two of its five-model articulated dump truck (ADT)
   The collection and utilisation of accurate          models - the MT26 and MT31. Designated Series lll, the
geotechnical data is critical in selecting the right   upgraded features include new weight-saving skip and
pit slope angles. “You want sufficient data to         bogie designs, increased payloads together with oil
perform the required rock mechanics evaluation         immersed front and rear disc brakes. And, because of
to design pit walls that remain safe and stable        the design of the scow end of the skip, tailgates are no
during operations,” says Evans. “Pit failures can      longer necessary. These upgrades have resulted in
result in buried equipment, injured employees,         improved power to weight ratios of 5.03kW/t and
and lost production. If the walls are designed at      4.95kW/t, respectively, and increased performances.
too flat an angle, extra mining costs will be          The MT26-lll now has a heaped capacity of 15m3 and a
incurred with no benefit.”                             payload factor of 24.1 t, some 600 kg more than its
   Continuing, Evans notes the goal of designing       predecessor. Similarly, the MT31-lll has gained 500 kg
mine plans that will maximise the output of the        of payload to 28.5 t
equipment being used. “Poorly designed mine            whilst offering a
cuts can greatly impact the loading and hauling        heaped capacity of
operation by increasing loading and hauling            18m3
cycle times. You’ll experience reduced
productivity and increased costs. In a worse case
scenario, you might have a truck loading behind
a shovel. Cuts should be designed so they can
be sequenced properly to make sure new ore is
exposed before the exposed ore is mined out.”
   Stevermer points out that mine planning is
not an exact science. Often adjustments must be
made to compensate for changing conditions.
“Mine planning is very different from other types
of construction. When you design a dam, you
know what it’s going to look like at the end of
the day. This is not the case in mining, as we are

00 International Mining SEPTEMBER 2008

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