Leading global mining company PT Freeport Indonesia has completed a major technological advancement at its West Papuan underground mine by successfully automating 24 underground mine chutes.
The project sets a new standard in underground mine safety by relocating operators away from the throat of the chute to a secure Remote Operations Room (ROR) on the mine’s surface.
Freeport engaged smart technology specialist RCT to implement its ControlMaster® Teleremote technology onto the 24 chutes which can be managed by operators via seven ControlMaster® Automation Centres located in the ROR.
All seven Automation Centres are equipped with Multiple Machine Selection (MMS) capabilities enabling an operator to control any single chute system from their respective station.
Freeport operators will now be able to observe chute operations through strategically placed cameras and remotely open and close the throat of each chute to pass ore and other material between different production levels for trucking to the surface.
The individual camera feeds can be manipulated and adjusted via intuitive mouse control options at each Automation Centre.
Previously operators were situated at the throat of each chute and manually operated each chute via their own line of sight.
RCT Account Manager Shane Smith said the chute control system will significantly improve safety onsite.
“Previously chute operators contended with heat, dust, exhaust fumes and potential wet muck situations which represent a substantial safety risk,” he said.
“Now they can more effectively manage the chutes from the safety and comfort of the Remote Operations Room which is far more preferable for everyone involved.”
“The convenient location of the control room will also significantly reduce shift changeover time as personnel can easily access the central control room rather than travel to each individual chute chamber.”
RCT will provide onsite training for site operators while the locally based technicians will deliver ongoing technical servicing and support to the site.