Fortalecer la cultura de la seguridad mejorando la productividad de la mina en China

Case Study

Generalidades

En 2014, la minera canadiense Eldorado Gold decidió que su mina de oro subterránea White Mountain en el Noreste de China basaría sus operaciones en el control a distancia del caserón de extracción del mineral.

"This decision was based on improving both safety and productivity by using well-known technology not yet established in China”

  • Gerente General de White Mountains, Warren Uyen

White Mountain emplea el método longhole open stoping a través de caserones principales (fortalecidos con relleno de cemento hidráulico) y caserones secundarios (con relleno predominante de roca), alcanzando entre 800K y 950K toneladas por año.

Prior to implementing RCT’s Smart Technology, the site used handheld Line-Of-Sight (LOS) equipment. Due to regulatory requirements in China, this process required two workers – one remoting and one to manually operate the bucket.

"White Mountain struggled to maintain optimum productivity due to the continual changing between manual and (LOS) remoting,” Mr Uyen said.

Así como la productividad se veía afectada, también había consideraciones de seguridad.

"LOS always had the potential for one operator to enter the remoting area if procedures weren’t strictly followed,” he said.

Debido a la ubicación remota de la mina, la gerencia de White Mountain también deseaba ser completamente autosufi ciente en términos de realizar las tareas de servicio y mantenimiento del sistema RCT.

Solución

To help improve productivity and safety, RCT’s ControlMaster® Teleremote system was selected. It was fitted to White Mountain’s R1700 loader by an RCT technician and RCT software was tailored and converted to Chinese text for the Teletransmitter.

RCT trabajó con el equipo de White Mountain para crear en conjunto el diseño de un marco personalizado de fl ota de camiones para alojar la estación de control remoto, la silla integrada de la estación RCT, los monitores duales y el sistema de protección de la barrera láser.

Operators now conduct all Teleremoting from a converted delivery truck. The bright blue vehicle is fitted with climate control, high-tech video equipment and is lit with red light to protect operators’ eyes. The portable vehicle now travels to all stoping areas underground, but allows operators to control the loader from a safe area, within the security of the laser barrier system. This ensures no other personnel can enter the remoting area which further increases workers’ safety.

The loader is designed as a "plug and play” system, meaning it arrives on location, ready to set up in advance. It then utilises a battery power pack installed on the back of the truck, which gives it up to five days of continuous power. In the event of the batteries becoming low, the operator is alerted and simply disconnects before driving to the workshop where another spare power pack is ready to go and can be replaced in under 30 minutes.

Además, el cargador también cuenta con semi-automatización, de manera que cuando se traslada a un área remota, puede conducir con orientación láser a una velocidad hasta 10km por hora.

RCT también ofrece un paquete integral de capacitación de dos semanas que asegura que los operadores y los técnicos de la mina puedan mantener los sistemas por sí mismos. La capacitación incluye escenarios de diagnóstico y es integral, para ayudar al equipo de White Mountains a alcanzar su meta de mantener y efectuar las tareas de servicio del sistema en forma autosufi ciente. Aún así, RCT continúa suministrando soporte y consejos relativos a la identifi cación y solución de problemas cuando se le solicita.

Resultado

El sistema Teleremote de ControlMaster® no solo fue el primer sistema de su tipo que se usó en China, si no que además, fue un gran éxito, mejorando la productividad y la seguridad en White Mountain.

"White Mountain was the first Chinese mine to embrace the available hardware and technology and integrate it into the primary ore extraction tool,” Mr Uyen said.

By utilising RCT’s ControlMaster® Teleremote system at the site, productivity increased substantially; achieving a record of nearly 6,300 buckets in one month, which is equivalent to more than 60,000 tonnes of ore.

"The perceived benefits in productivity were estimated between 25-30 percent, meaning the system would pay for itself in less than six months, however, actual data shows productivity gains of more than 35 percent.”

  • Gerente General de White Mountains, Warren Uyen

Loader operator safety also increased significantly as miners now conduct bogging operations from within a custom-built cabin located about 500 metres from the potentially hazardous stope area.

"The added and most important benefit was the removal and control of personnel from the work area,” Mr Uyen said.

Fitting the loader with semi-automation, further improved the operators’ working environment.

"[It] reduces operator fatigue and virtually eliminates impact damage to the machine hitting the walls,” Mr Uyen said.

"Meanwhile machine data is transmitted back to the remote control station, so if any critical faults are detected, an alarm sounds and a message appears on the operator’s screen – just as if they were in the cabin.”

Mr Uyen said the Teleremote system continues to improve as operator and maintenance skills improve.

"This successful model can be transferred to any site,” he said.

"The operators do not want to go back to the old system.”

"As global leaders in machine control and automation, RCT was delighted with the opportunity to provide Eldorado Gold with China’s first Teleremote system at White Mountain,” said RCT Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Brett White.

"We look forward to continuing to empower their operators and improve safety and bottom line performance,” he said.

This project was completed using RCT’s standard "off the shelf” offer, which was customised to suit particular circumstances, procedures and site operations. All RCT products can be adapted to be fit for purpose in mining environments globally.

Sobre

Eldorado Gold is a leading gold producer with mining, development and exploration operations in Turkey, China, Greece, Romania and Brazil. The company currently operates three gold mines in China: Jinfeng, Tanjianshan and White Mountain. Eldorado’s success to date is based on a low cost strategy, a highly skilled and dedicated workforce, safe and responsible operations, and long-term partnerships with the communities where it operates.

The remote control station was housed in a converted delivery truck on site. Image: Eldorado Gold.

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