A control room setup with Epiroc’s Scoop Tram Automation Multi-machine solution. (Image: Epiroc)

Epiroc reported that the Mining Innovation and Automation Team (MIAT) at Newcrest Cadia Valley Operations launched semiautonomous integrated production at Panel Cave 1. The development marks the completion of a critical phase in the Scooptram ST18 Automated Loader project.

Epiroc said the system is now capable of continuous operation across seven drives of a whole panel cave. “This now meets a key objective of Cadia’s by reducing major hazard, exposure rates of manual operators on the production level,” said Rohan Anderson, manager, regional application center, Epiroc. It also meets “an objective of Epiroc’s of having a fully developed autonomous system.”

The MIAT developed industry-leading technology that integrates automation into all third-party mobile equipment, Epiroc reported. For example, for this project, automation capability was built into support equipment as well as the loaders.

Cadia said the MIAT is changing the way the mine operates.

“Innovation and technology is the way of the future and the mining industry is no exception,” said Aaron Brannigan, general manager. “We see automation as the future of our Cadia East Underground Mine,” he said. “Through our industry partnership with Epiroc, we are already achieving milestones that will support this aspiration.”

The project completed a series of stages before full operation launched. The MIAT is now planning further development of the system.