RCT’s Automation technology is providing innovative automation solutions at Independence Group (IGO)’s Jaguar operation, located 60 km north of Leonora in Western Australia. Jaguar, a high-grade zinc-copper-silver mine that IGO has managed since 2011, is no stranger to RCT’s Smart Technology, with the ControlMaster® Teleremote deployed on their Caterpillar 1700G loaders for the past few years.In November 2017, IGO upgraded to RCT’s state-of-the-art Guidance Automation Solution in order to speed up bogging cycle times, increase production, and minimise risk of damage to the loaders. According to Grant Hancock, Alternate Underground Manager at IGO’s Jaguar Operation, the upgrade has already delivered immediate and substantial benefits. “Since introducing the Guidance technology, we have experienced a significant reduction in cycle times for the bogger, with a 32% improvement in cycle times when bogging on long tram routes,” explained Hancock.“We realised that the greater the tram length, the greater the improvement. Recently in long winding drive, our operators tell us that the difference between Guidance and normal Teleremote is approximately 3:1 buckets.” The Guidance Automation solution controls the machine’s steering, braking and speed. The speed is determined by the minimum width of the drive and the look-ahead distance of the on-board laser units as well as the object detection feature to further assist in tight areas.In addition to the improvement in tramming times, there has also been a reduction in damage done to the machines, which is another added advantage to introducing automated technology. “There has been little to no damage on the bogger that is on Guidance compared to the other bogger that is not,” said Hancock. “This is positive on our bottom line because it means the bogger is spending less time in the maintenance shop and more time underground moving ore,” he said. Overall feedback from those working at the Jaguar operation has been very positive, with both the bogger operators enjoying the opportunity to be introduced to innovative new mining technologies, and management seeing tangible improvements in the production cycles adding significant value to the IGO business.
Among a number of resource-sector contract wins, Swift Networks Group has expanded its previous agreement with nickel miner Western Areas at its Forrestania operation in Western Australia.The existing contract, originally signed in 2014, was to provide in-room digital services to the 465-bed accommodation village at Forrestania. The new pact expands Swift’s contract by 68 rooms to 533 rooms and includes an on-site phone network upgrade in addition to Swift’s entertainment and communication services.Swift, which calls itself a diversified telecommunications, content and advertising solutions provider, says it delivered consistent growth in the resources market over 2018, both through direct contract wins and new clients secured by the company’s network of reseller partners.“The company continues to view Resources as an attractive growth opportunity in light of the significant pipeline of new mining exploration, construction and development projects currently underway throughout Australia,” Swift says.Forrestania is Western Areas’ flagship asset and consists of the Flying Fox and Spotted Quoll mines, the Cosmic Boy concentrator, a regional tenement package considered highly prospective for further nickel discoveries, and significant site infrastructure; including the accommodation village, grid-connected power, water management network, airstrip and nickel concentrate export facilities.Based on 10-year production targets, Forrestania is expected to produce an average of 25,000 t/y of nickel concentrate.