May 17, 2020

[SLIDESHOW] Driverless Trucks in Action

Autonomous haulage system
Driverless trucks
BHP Billiton
BHP Billiton
2 min
Rio Tinto's Autonomous Haulage System trucks at the West Angelas mine, Western Australia.
Autonomous haulage is one of the most exciting new trends to hit the mining industry. The utilization of driverless trucks provides companies such as Ri...

Autonomous haulage is one of the most exciting new trends to hit the mining industry. The utilization of driverless trucks provides companies such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton with predictable operations. This translates to enhanced safety with fewer collisions and the ability to eliminate risk of human error and fatigue.

"By eliminating those mundane, often dangerous jobs, you create safer and more sophisticated jobs," says Director of Iron Ore Research Pty Ltd. Philip Kirchlechner

In addition, autonomous vehicles have an immense amount of efficiency benefits. The trucks can operate around the clock with more consistent cycle times at lower costs per ton.

“It should introduce a lot more hours onto the machines, so you can actually use the machinery much more because you don’t need lunch breaks, you don’t need crib times or shift changes,” said Tim Day, automation manager at BHP Billiton’s new Jimblebar mine in Australia.

Employees who would have been sent off to the remote mining site locations can now operate close to home. The automated machines can be controlled from a safe distance.

"We have to do things smarter, we have to use technology to raise productivity, and that's going to touch on a whole spectrum of mining," Kirchlechner said.

Along with lower costs, safer initiatives and production increases, autonomy can provide mining companies with lower margin mines that, in the long run, will increase the economically viable mineral resources and reserves globally.

Share article

Jul 17, 2021

Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal

2 min
Coal India Limited has secured a new deal with Accenture Solutions to consult on enhancing mining performance and production through a digital endeavour

Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.

The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity. 

The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation. 

An Exciting Venture For Global Mining

CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost. 

“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said. 

A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance

Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.  

“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining. 

It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.

Share article