RCT's Automation technology is providing innovative automation solutions at Independence Group's (IGO) Jaguar Operation, located 60 kilometres 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 CAT 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 per cent 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.