Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has signed a strategic framework agreement with Resolute Mining Ltd. to fully automate the company’s large scale Syama gold mine in Mali, Africa. Under the agreement Sandvik will develop Resolute’s underground gold mining operation in Mali around a fully automated Sandvik production system. The Syama gold mine, commissioned by Resolute in 2009, is a robust, long-life asset and the move to underground mining has extended the mine life to beyond 2028.

Sandvik and Resolute have worked very closely in designing the underground mine. Not only have the partners collaborated about equipment selection, but also the actual design of the underground infrastructure and the ability to match that with Resolute’s ambitions to operate equipment that will increase profitability, reduce costs and improve safety.

Sandvik is linking its equipment and the software Resolute uses with their entire value chain and operations.

To fully automate the Syama mine, Sandvik is delivering the proven AutoMine and OptiMine systems for analysis, process optimization and automation, including a full fleet of Sandvik TH663 trucks and Sandvik LH514E electrical loaders. The system is scheduled for commissioning in late 2018.

“It is very exciting to work with a progressive mining company such as Resolute and collaborate in bringing full end-to-end automation and process optimization into an underground mine,” said Lars Engström, president, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. “I believe that the Syama project gives us both a unique opportunity to bring together cutting-edge technologies into a large-scale project and create the mine of the future in Africa.”

“Sandvik is one of the world’s mining industry leaders and innovators and the only equipment provider than can offer the full suite of proven autonomous equipment and digital solutions that we require,” said John Welborn, managing director and CEO of Resolute Mining. “Together we have forged a partnership that will help us achieve our ambitions for Syama.”