The “Barbarian” Gets a Cat Certified Rebuild

The Caterpillar 994D wheel loader known as “Le Barbare” (The Barbarian) has performed well at the Belgian limestone quarry Carrieres d’Antoing, where it has been operating since late 1993. However, the wheel loader needed a new lease of life, so local Caterpillar dealer Bergerat Monnoyeur took it to pieces, re-worked those pieces, replaced some parts and then reassembled the machine.

Back in 1993, Le Barbare got its name when a visiting engineer at the limestone operation, on learning that the team from Caterpillar Overseas S.A. (COSA) had assembled the big wheel loader on site, exclaimed “Barbarians”! The team was so amused that Europe’s first Cat 994 was promptly christened “Le Barbare”.

Oliver Bertrand, a director of Carrieres d’Antoing, explained the 1993 decision to be the first European purchaser of Cat’s largest wheel loader was taken because the machine was the most productive available and offered the lowest operating cost of any wheel loader, so it would minimize the cost of loading and transport to the primary crusher. With the big Cat, two-loader operation has not been necessary and this is why Carrieres d’Antoing wants to continue using the 994D. The rebuild cost is lower than buying a new loader—the price varies from 55% to 75% of the cost of buying brand new, according to Cat.

Le Barbare was first refurbished after 24,000 hours of work, and then, last December, at 48,000 hours. At the Bergerat Monnoyeur workshop in Overijse the rebuild involved eight technicians and included everything from changing-out small parts to replacing the engine. The work took three months to finish. The Cat Certified Rebuild program also included replacing the 994D steering wheel with a joystick.. The wheel loader will now last for another 15,000 operating hours or more.

New Chutes For Desert Diamonds

Seven years ago, South Africa-based Weba Chute Systems designed and installed a scrubber chute at Debswana’s then-new fourth diamond mine at Damtshaa in Botswana. This unit has now been replaced with a new Weba scrubber chute redesigned to use the latest technologies and flow characteristics and to help Damtshaa attain a throughput of 600 mt/h rather than the 250- to 300-mt/h provided by the previous system.

The application, with the scrubbing process replicated within the chute is very unusual, said Weba. The chute design induces directional changes which create turbulence within the material being transferred. To further facilitate this replication of the scrubbing process, water is introduced at strategic points inside the chute. The increased capacity of the new chute is necessary to optimize the scrubbing process within the chute.

The new scrubber chute is bifurcated and allows 100/100 operation with a maximum lump size of 150 mm, as opposed to a standard operation with 50/50 split. The chute feeds product directly onto the primary screen. Specially designed flood boxes allow for absorption of 1080 l3/h.

A new head pulley installation was repositioned to allow the incorporation of the return fines into the chute in order to eliminate any fines build up in the dribble chute that could result in blockage and excessive maintenance. The support structure and platforms were built accordingly.

Damtshaa has a projected life of 31 years, during which time the mine is expected to mine 39 million mt of ore, yielding 5 million carats. Some 228,000 carats were recovered in 2006.

A Weba chute system has also been engineered and manufactured for retrofitting at Debswana’s Letlhakane operation, the second mine developed by the company, which opened in 1975. This bifurcating chute feeds onto two screens and is designed for maximum lump size of minus 100 to plus 25 mm at a feed rate of 560 mt/h with a peak of 700 mt/h. The incoming belt is 1050 mm wide, running at a speed of 1.63 m/sec. The primary objective of the redesign and replacement exercise was to guarantee a 50/50 feed split of 350 mt per leg at all times, onto screen. A shut-off arrangement was included to close off one leg when necessary. The chute is also capable of a 100/100 feed at a maximum feed rate of 700 mt/h.

An improvement on the previous water spray system was incorporated in the design to facilitate an effect similar to that being achieved with the Damtshaa chute; and an overbelt magnetic has been fitted to assist in the removal of any tramp steel within the ore being discharged into the chute and onto the screens. Letlhakane recovered 1,089 million carats in 2006.

Weba says that both these chute installations have advantages including minimum maintenance, a reduction in dust and noise pollution, reduced wear, easy access for checking, optimum material flow, a decrease in material degradation, and elimination of uneven belt loading. These help the mines achieve considerable savings in manpower and related costs.

CiDRA Sells Flow Monitor Systems to

Chilean Copper Operations

CiDRA Minerals Processing announced successful completion of a trial done in two mine sites in Chile operated by Codelco. The trial was conducted by Kairos Mining, a joint venture between Codelco and Honeywell, who chose CiDRA’s Sonartrac flow monitoring system for a challenging slurry flow application at Codelco’s Andina and Norte mines. The Kairos venture with Honeywell is aimed at helping Codelco improve plant process stability and business performance.

CiDRA said Sonartrac systems were chosen by Kairos Mining because of their non-invasive design, which provides high reliability, performance, and maintenance-free operation, thus lowering operating costs and total cost of ownership. TIAR Ltda., CiDRA’s representative in Chile, is providing in-country support in addition to support from CiDRA’s US-based headquarters.

CiDRA also recently reported that a large potash producer has selected Sonartrac flow monitoring systems as its preferred technology for use on the unidentified company’s slurry, flotation feed, brine recovery, thickener and tailings lines. CiDRA will instrument an additional 21 lines at one plant which will bring the total number of meters installed at that plant to 24. In addition, CiDRA will instrument eight lines at another plant and these meters combined with the nine meters already installed at the plant bring the total number of Sonartrac systems installed there to 17.

ABB Mill Drives for Terrane’ Mount Milligan

Switzerland-based power and automation technology group ABB reported that its minerals business unit has won a contract valued over $28 million from Terrane Metals Corp. for delivery of drive systems for the new Mount Milligan copper-gold mine in northwest Canada.

Located 155 km northwest of Prince George in central British Columbia, the anticipated annual yield from Mount Milligan’s copper-gold deposit is about 40,000 mt of copper and 217,000 oz of gold.

ABB’s scope of supply for this project includes a complete 22-megawatt (MW) gearless mill drive (GMD) system for a 40-ft SAG mill, consisting of motor, transformers, and e-house. ABB’s delivery also includes two units of dual pinion mill drive systems for 26-ft, 6.5-MW ball mills. The ACS6000 dual pinion mill drive systems include synchron machines, transformers and e-house. Both the SAG mill as well as the ball mills will be powered by variable speed mill drives.

Deliveries are scheduled to be concluded by the end of 2011; installation and start-up of the project are scheduled for 2012.

Vale Installs Underground Visualization System at Creighton Mine

The findings of a six-year research collaboration between Vale Inco and Mirarco are now being applied to operations at Vale Inco’s Creighton mine in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The Virtual Reality Laboratory (VRL) installed at the mine site will initially be used to understand seismicity underground but will also be used for mine planning, exploration and optimization purposes. The lab was officially inaugurated in a ceremony at the mine held March 12.

Mirarco (Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation), founded in 1998, is a not-for profit applied research and technical service company formed through collaboration between Laurentian University and private and public interests, located in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

Mirarco geological engineer Pavel Vasak, one of the presenters at the ceremony, explained how the VRL will allow for a better understanding of potential seismic activity and thus, safer mining practices. “What we see today are the results of years of research being applied to the daily operations at Creighton,” said Vasak. “We’ve produced a tool that assesses all available data and then integrates that information into a visual map detailing potential seismic hazards. Using this tool at the mine site is a pro-active step to ensure working conditions are safe underground.”

Vale Inco commissioned Mirarco to do research into the creation of seismic hazard maps that visually represent areas of seismic activity. As the Creighton mine goes deeper, the potential for seismic activity becomes greater. The hazard maps should help identify what steps can be taken to predict and deal with the associated risks.

”Creighton is Vale Inco’s oldest and deepest operating mine, having operated continuously for more than 100 years,” said Mine Superintendent Andre Lauzon. “The skill of our people, coupled with the advances in technology represented by the Virtual Reality Laboratory, will help us operate safely and successfully for decades to come.”

According to Mirarco, seismic hazard visualization is only one of the uses for the VRL at Creighton. Engineers and geologists will use Mirarco’s open source visualization software, ParaViewGeo, to display the mine and orebody; using that information, exploration and planning decisions can be made with more confidence and clarity.

“Here is a concrete example of research and development bringing value to the mining industry,” said Mirarco Vice President Andrew Dasys. “Vale’s commitment to applying research to their operations is now paying off. It’s also a demonstration of Sudbury’s ingenuity when it comes to improving the mining process in general, this tool can be applied to any deep mine looking to improve its hazard assessment process.”

Diamond Producer Alrosa Selects Wenco

Wenco International Mining Systems has won a contract to supply its Fleet Management System to Alrosa’s Nurba mine in Russia.

Alrosa is one of the world’s leading companies in diamond exploration, mining and sales of rough diamonds, and diamond manufacture. It accounts for 97% of Russia’s diamond production and 25% of global rough diamond production.

Wenco will install 34 units of onboard Axon computer hardware and software for the

entire load and haul fleets. The system designed for Nurba includes additional maintenance modules including Maintenance Monitor, Onboard Insight, and specific software modules for monitoring of speed control and fuel quantities.

Onboard Insight allows fleet supervisors to select a vehicle and interrogate engine parameters (oil level, oil pressure, coolant level, etc) and retrieve details in real time. Maintenance Monitor manages mine equipment in a down status, tracking time and labor spent for each maintenance activity working to reduce costs.

Additional software modules for recording fuel consumption and monitoring speed will also be installed.

OTR to Provide Tire Service for Norwegian

Iron Ore Mine

OTR Tires Ltd., an earthmover tire specialist, has secured a long-term contract with Sydvaranger Gruve AS to supply its OTR TotalTireLogic earthmover tire service to the Sydvaranger mine in Norway. The five year contract calls for OTR to supply the mine with tires for all the operating vehicles on-site.

“We will be based in Bjørnevatn, 8 kilometers from Kirkenes in the far north of Norway, where the winter temperatures can fall to -30°C and below, so this project is quite a challenge, but one that is well within our portfolio,” commented OTR Managing Director Chris Skelton.

A full tire management system will be in operation including tire supply, on-site service and maintenance for all vehicles—earthmovers, trucks and light commercial/4WDs. In addition to tires, all related accessories—rims, valves, etc.—will be OTR’s responsibility. The on-site service also includes tire monitoring and data collection to ensure the most cost effective use of tyre resources.

Repairs will also be carried out by OTR tire service engineers on-site and service will be handled by a 36T Iveco Trakker 8 x 4 truck, complete with HMF 422OK2 truck loader to handle the largest tires.

OTR said it is working with Michelin and Bridgestone to ensure the best products are available for use at the site, where haul roads and distances will require tires to be monitored closely.

“The full TotalTireLogic service will be implemented, recording and monitoring data and then working with mine management to ensure the most cost effective use of tires is employed,” continued Chris Skelton.

The recently reopened iron ore mine will be providing resources for European steel companies, with estimated deposits expected to last for 20-25 years.

OTR offers its TotalTireLogic earthmover tire management service globally, with operations currently in Australia, Africa, Scandinavia and the UK.

Partnership to Focus on Integrated Asset

Tracking Technology

Numerex Corp. and Savi, a Lockheed Martin company, recently announced a technology partnership to co-develop what would be the first asset and shipment monitoring device that combines Global Satellite Positioning, active Radio Frequency Identification and satellite communications.  The hybrid ST-694 GlobalTag is being developed to provide continuous monitoring and precise location information of assets most anywhere and anytime for defense, public sector and commercial customers.

According to the companies, the ST-694 will provide a cost-effective solution to a growing market demanding new capabilities for both spot-level and ongoing in-transit visibility of their shipments and mobile supply chain assets, such as transport vehicles, container shipments or large and valuable equipment.  The solution will apply Numerex’s expertise as a leading provider of full-service, highly secure M2M (Machine-to-Machine) network services and solutions and Savi’s capabilities in providing a full range of integrated Automatic Identification Technology (AIT) product solutions for supply chain visibility, management and security.

“Savi provides a leading-edge technology behind the world’s largest RFID network in place today,” said Mike Marett, chief operating officer, Numerex Corp. “We believe that this powerful combination of expertise and automated technologies will advance supply chain monitoring and management capabilities from origin to final destination, resulting in higher levels of value for our customers.”

The satellite-based global RFID device will be designed to provide tracking information in the harshest environmental conditions, be scalable, flexible, and deliver real-time visibility to those who need it, on a near global basis.  The partners intend to ensure that the ST-694 GlobalTag becomes HERO (Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance) certified, and based on the ISO 18000-7 standard for active RFID, which will help promote interoperability with compatible networks and devices.

Savi has provided the active RFID products for the U.S. DoD’s In-Transit Visibility network, which is the world’s largest RFID network that tracks about 35,000 conveyances daily across more than 4,000 locations and 40 countries.

Cavotec MSL Lands Mooring Deal With Port Headland Iron Ore Facility

Maritime systems innovator, Cavotec MSL has received its largest order to date for the vacuum-based automated mooring solution, MoorMaster, from the Port Headland Port Authority (PHPA) in Western Australia.

“We have developed this entirely unique solution to meet the PHPA’s specific requirements. This project represents a bold product design evolution based on 10 years of research and development, and demonstrates how adaptable this technology is,” said Cavotec MSL CEO, Ottonel Popesco.

MoorMaster is a vacuum-based automated mooring technology that moors vessels in seconds, eliminating the need for conventional mooring lines. The system counteracts vessel surge in port caused by changes in wave dynamics.

Cavotec will supply 14 MoorMaster 200B units for PHPA’s iron ore facility. The systems will service vessels at the port’s Utah Point berth. Cavotec will also provide commissioning and on-site training support. If the initial 14 units prove successful, additional MoorMaster systems could be installed in PHPA’s No. 1 berth.

“We face particularly exacting requirements at Port Headland as operating conditions are especially severe. We believe this version of MoorMaster will be able to handle these challenges while providing significant time savings and increased safety for personnel compared to traditional mooring techniques,” said PHPA CEO, Andre Bush.

Featuring enhanced sealing properties; the 200B’s vacuum pads are designed to cope with the especially abrasive and viscous nature of iron ore dust. The units are engineered to withstand heavy impact from ore shiploaders, and will also be embedded into the quayside rather than positioned on the dock in contrast to most other existing MoorMaster installations. Similar to current units in the MoorMaster range, the PHPA’s version will be able to secure a vessel in under 20 seconds, and release in less than seven seconds.

The 200B units are designed to handle any tidal level at the port, and moor vessels of up to 120,000d wt at 14 m draft (295 m LOA and 41 m beam).

OPS, Polaris Labs Form Fluid Analysis Partnership

Oil Purification Systems (OPS), developer and manufacturer of the OPS-1 onboard fluid cleaning system, announced a partnership with Polaris Laboratories to perform oil testing and analysis as part of the OPS Tru-Test fluid analysis program. Fluid analysis provides a snapshot of what is happening inside equipment installed with an OPS system, and allows companies to safely extend oil drain intervals, extend equipment life and minimize downtime by identifying minor problems before they become major failures.

“Polaris Laboratories is pleased to now include Oil Purification Systems in our broad family of customers whose operational objectives focus on the maintenance and repair of heavy-duty equipment,” said Brett Minges, vice president of sales for Polaris. “OPS provides us with the opportunity to access the class 8 truck and heavy-duty equipment segments of the transportation and construction industries, while POLARIS brings to OPS a unique blend of technician strength and market presence for OPS customers interested in maximizing existing oil drain levels.”

The OPS Tru-Test program uses fluid analysis to identify dirt, wear particles and other contaminants that can cause failure or prematurely shorten equipment life. Fluid analysis with Polaris provides a solutions-based approach to maintenance backed by ISO 17025 A2LA accreditation, the highest level of quality attainable by a testing laboratory. This ensures that fluid analysis results are accurate, repeatable and traceable to a standard, and that all maintenance recommendations are useful and actionable. The Tru-Test program also allows OPS customers to access testing analysis and results quickly using Polaris’ HORIZON software. This online reporting site provides customers with data analysis reports almost immediately after the lab processes a sample and interprets the results.