Barminco says it will be able to remotely operate underground equipment on a client’s mine site anywhere in world with new operations centre technology.
In what the mining contractor believes is a world first, Barminco operated a Sandvik LH517 loader from its head office in Perth at an underground mine site almost 1000km away in the Western Australian goldfields.
The remote operation occurred via the internet, instead of through a fibre-optic cable, which is the method that mine owner-operators have previously used.
The Barminco Remote Operating Centre (BROC) was successfully trialled in collaboration with Sandvik and Independence Group (IGO) in July this year.
“Whilst many mine sites have operators remotely operating equipment from the mine’s surface, we are one of the first, if not the first service provider, to operate underground equipment on a client’s site from a much greater distance,” Barminco general manager technology and innovation Darren Kwok said.
“BROC enables us to connect multiple sites and operators at the same time, meaning if there is an issue at any point, we have contingencies in place.”
Barminco chief executive officer Paul Muller announced the achievement at the third annual Sandvik Digitalization in Mining Event in Brisbane today.
“Barminco has cemented its place as one of the world’s leading underground mining service providers through the use of technology and automation,” Mr Muller said.
“A key strategic initiative under our parent company, Perenti’s 2025 strategy, is to deliver a ‘technology driven future’, and our ability to remotely operate underground machinery from our head office is a significant achievement in delivering on that strategy.”