Engineering & Mining Journal

OCT 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 35 of 91

NORDIC TECHNOLOGY 2018 34 E&MJ • OCTOBER 2018 Scandinavians see things differently. For example, the discussion in Sweden is not about if the mining business will move away from the use of fossil fuels, but when it will happen. It will likely happen soon. Battery propulsion will replace die- sel-powered equipment underground and the electricity used to recharge those bat- teries will come from renewable sources. Having a grid powered mostly by hydro- electricity is a huge advantage of course. Likewise, some of the leaders in this region are already envisioning the next steps that will build on autonomous min- ing. Advanced drones developed for un- derground mining can give the system eyes and ears, mapping the headings with great detail, exploring stopes or ore pass- es and investigating the face before the smoke clears. That seems logical until one realizes these units do not have access to GPS or light for line-of-sight control. Boliden's Kankberg gold mine is the first mine to have 5G cellular service at the face. Why? One, because they can. They are laying the future proof groud- work for advanced technology. As min- ing systems become more advanced, the amount of data generated will be incredible. Wi-Fi systems work well, but they have their limitations. Many mining companies are considering private mobile networks, which have better coverage and faster roaming between access points. When it seems the expectations that have been placed on machinery have reached their limits, engineers are finding new solutions that will not only allow the mine to continue to pursue ore at depth, but lighten the load on the supporting network. "These are very interesting times," said Tor Einar Norbakk, Sandvik's man- aging director and territory manager for Sweden, told E&MJ while on location at Euro Mine Expo during mid-June. "There has been a paradigm shift as to how we can use the technology and it has matured and we have absorbed the technology into the market as well. These digital solutions will drive the optimization for the mines. We are using the technology for the pro- pulsion of new mobile units. Fully auton- omous use of these machine will all con- tribute immensely to productivity and also the possibility to pursue ore that was once thought impossible to extract." Describing the areas where they are working now, beyond the traditional de- velopment of equipment and services, Andreas Simoncic, Sandvik's automated business line manager for northern Eu- rope, discussed the trends they are seeing in the Nordic countries. "The mines are getting deeper and larger and with that comes a lot of challenges from both safety and production perspectives," Simoncic said. "Rock stress and temperatures in- crease. There are places where mines want to minimize exposure and to do that they need to use some level of automation." Sandvik was the first to automate truck haulage underground and the company has had autonomous underground mining for more than a decade now. "The tech- nology is now well proven and it's totally accepted," Norbakk said. "We have mines that have increased productivity tenfold as a percent because of it. Operators monitor activities from the surface, which improves availability. Delays related to shift change and blasting are minimized." Canada's first carbon-free mine, the Borden mine, selected Sandvik for its equipment. "From the mine's perspective with this new technology, their overall in- vestment to go deeper is less," Norbakk said. "We can drive efficiency using au- A Different Perspective Adds to Sustainable Goals Euro Mine Expo conference showcases some of the latest technologies being used in Scandinavia By Steve Fiscor, Editor Sandvik Opens Battery-electric Research Center Sandvik officially opened its Battery Electrification Innovation and Development Center for loaders and trucks in Turku, Finland in June. "Innovation and development start here," said Mats Eriksson, president, Product Area Load & Haul. "Our new in- novative battery electric vehicle development center will bring leading talents together from around the world to help develop the electrification and e-Drive technologies of tomorrow." With its close proximity to Sandvik's major mining product areas in Finland, the center gives the company's developers the opportunity to collaborate on projects. "Sandvik has a long his- tory of pursuing innovation and we are excited to be bringing that same passion and technology leadership to battery technol- ogy and electrification initiatives," Eriksson said. He believes this strong technology ecosystem coupled with a network of globally recognized technology partners will provide a pipeline for innovation and development. Mats Eriksson, president, Product Area Load & Haul for Sandvik.

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