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DIGITAL MINING DRILL & BLAST VOLUME 113/09 | OCTOBER 2021

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DIGITAL MINING DRILL & BLAST VOLUME 113/09 | OCTOBER 2021

MINING EQUIPMENT

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COMMENT

A RENEWABLE ENERGY BLUEPRINT EMERGES AS RECENTLY AS FIVE YEARS AGO, USING RENEWABLE ENERGY TO POWER MINING ACTIVITIES WAS VIEWED AS A CONCEPT OF THE FUTURE. MUCH HAS CHANGED IN THIS REGARD.

BEN CREAGH

Ben.Creagh@primecreative.com.au

R

enewable energy may have been acknowledged as a source of power that mining companies would eventually need to invest in, but the blueprint for these projects was still far from set five years ago. Diesel was still widely expected to reign supreme as the fuel that would drive operations for the foreseeable future. The upfront costs and reliability of renewable sources remained key barriers stopping many operators from seriously considering investments in them. Despite these shortcomings, the benefits of renewable energy for a mining company’s social licence were becoming increasingly hard to resist. And it was around this time that mining companies and service providers started to make crucial inroads into how they could overcome these barriers. Today, renewable energy sources at mine sites are still considered a futuristic concept for many operators – only a few have effectively harnessed their power. But, compared with five years ago, the outlook for renewable energy is much clearer and its role in the energy mix is set to accelerate. Much of this acceleration is due to the relentless focus operators now have on ESG (environmental, social and governance) values due to increasing pressure on the industry from investors, activists and governments. As a result, a solid blueprint for renewables in mining has emerged (see pages 16-18). In Australia, we have seen a company like Gold Fields work with leading energy service

providers to transform their energy mix at remote brownfield operations. The pursuit of emission-free energy has also set the stage for the next wave of innovation in the mining industry. It’s incredible to see a company like Fortescue Metals Group increase its focus on innovation in this area, to the point it now commits 10 per cent of its profits to Fortescue Future Industries, an initiative that pursues global scale green energy opportunities. The company, formally known as just an iron ore major, has set an industry benchmark by targeting carbon neutrality within its operations by 2030. To achieve this, Fortescue plans to develop green energy opportunities with a portfolio of renewable, low-cost hydropower, geothermal, solar and wind power resources. In the process, Fortescue expects to become much more than an iron ore producer. It’s an encouraging new look for an industry traditionally thought of (and still in most cases) as one that doesn’t factor in the role it can play in sustaining the environment. Considering how far the industry has progressed in this direction over the past five years, it’s exciting to think what its operations might look like after the next five.

Ben Creagh Managing Editor

FRONT COVER

In this edition, we include a special focus on the bulk materials handling sector in mining, highlighting services and products that are transforming mine sites. This issue reviews several trends that are digitising the mining industry and how they will benefit operators. We look at the initiatives and organisations that are driving the electrification of the Australian mining industry. This edition also shines the spotlight on the South West region of Western Australia, an emerging area of the state’s resources sector. And as usual, we cover the latest mining equipment and technology in our products section.

Cover image: Martin Engineering.

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IN INTHIS THISISSUE ISSUE

44

20 16 ENVIRONMENT

54

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT

20

FUTURE OF MINING

56

MATERIALS HANDLING

23

DRILL & BLAST

66 MANUFACTURING

26

DIGITAL MINING

68 PRODUCTIVITY & EFFICIENCY BISALLOY Wear steel gathers strength Top notch steel grades ensure longevity at mine sites

The blueprint for renewable energy Renewable solutions a key part of sustainable ore recovery

Flicking the switch on electrification Tackling the challenges of mining’s electric transition An explosion of innovation Advanced blasting solutions enable efficient outcomes Tapping into high-tech mining Forward-thinking technology unlocks hidden potential 38 MINERALS PROCESSING Taking crushing to the next level New roll crusher offers suite of improvements

The mining region in WA’s quiet corner Battery minerals demand awakes state’s sleeping giant Keeping the belts moving Conveyor solutions ensure ore is up to standard The building blocks of smart factories Manufacturing facility adopts Industry 4.0 potential

70 INDUSTRY COMMENT

Australia ready to reconnect METS sector prepares to bounce back from COVID-19

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MINING EQUIPMENT

71 WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT

46

MINING SERVICES

72

Delivering the best value High-quality equipment enables productive operations Getting the most out of a mine Key services strengthen site efficiency and reliability

50 MAINTENANCE

Keeping the industry up and running Well-thought-out services prevent the risk of downtime

Resilience the key to leadership Safety and leadership capabilities fortify gold industry

58

HEALTH & SAFETY

Breathing easier with silica controls Avoiding the threat of silicosis with strong workplace controls

REGULARS

74

76 PRODUCT FOCUS

FUTURE OF MINING

Space: the final frontier of mining Future technologies pave the way for space mining

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8 NEWS 78 EVENTS


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NEWS

THE LATEST MINING AND SAFETY NEWS AUSTRALIAN MINING PRESENTS THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE BOARDROOM TO THE MINE AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN. VISIT WWW.AUSTRALIANMINING.COM.AU TO KEEP UP TO DATE WITH WHAT IS HAPPENING. AUSTRALIA SURPASSES CHINA IN GOLD PRODUCTION Australian gold production for the first half of 2021 was four tonnes more than China’s figures for the same period, according to Melbourne-based consulting group Surbiton Associates. From January to June, Australia produced 157 tonnes of gold, with 74 tonnes in the March quarter and 83 tonnes in the June quarter. China produced 153 tonnes of gold for the same period. Australia’s 12 per cent increase in gold production from the March to June quarter of 2021 can be put down to new and existing operations

increasing their output. Kirkland Lake’s Fosterville mine in Victoria boosted its production by 49,000 ounces in the June quarter, due to increased grades. “Fosterville has certainly had an excellent few years and is currently Australia’s third largest single operation, for both the full 2020-21 financial year and the latest June quarter,” Surbiton Associates director Sandra Close said. “However, it took many years and several owners before its true worth was revealed.” Newmont’s Boddington operation

in Western Australia increased by 36,000 ounces, while the output of Evolution Mining’s Mount Carlton mine in Queensland jumped by 11,700 ounces of gold. Capricorn Resources’ Karlawinda mine also entered the fray. “One of the new operations was Capricorn Resources’ Karlawinda project, in the Pilbara, south-east of Newman. Its first gold was poured in the June quarter and it is ramping up to annual production of around 100,000 ounces,” Close said. Newcrest Mining’s Cadia East operation was the largest gold

CADIA EAST, BODDINGTON AND FOSTERVILLE HAVE BEEN THE BIGGEST GOLD PRODUCERS.

AUSTRALIAN MINING GETS THE LATEST NEWS EVERY DAY, PROVIDING MINING PROFESSIONALS WITH UP-TOTHE-MINUTE INFORMATION ON SAFETY, NEWS AND TECHNOLOGY FOR THE AUSTRALIAN MINING AND RESOURCES INDUSTRY.

producer for the 2020-21 financial year, with 764,895 ounces. Boddington followed with 700,000 ounces while Fosterville was third producing 592,178 ounces. According to US Geological Survey data, China has been the world’s largest producer of gold since 2007 when it overtook South Africa. For over a decade, Australia has been the world’s second largest producer of gold. China’s drop in gold production can be put down to work accidents including deaths, Surbiton Associates reports, with shut downs occurring as investigations took place.

IGO PROGRESSES DEVELOPMENT OF KWINANA REFINERY JV IGO has helped to produce the first lithium hydroxide chemical product from the Kwinana Lithium Hydroxide Refinery in Western Australia, as part of its joint venture (JV) with Tianqi Lithium Corporation. Next steps at the refinery will be to improve the product quality to battery grade for offtake, as the first production was intentionally not yet up to standard. The product came as train one at Kwinana was commissioned over recent months, which IGO managing director and chief

executive officer Peter Bradford said was only step one. “First production of lithium hydroxide is the first step of a journey but nevertheless represents a key milestone for the Lithium JV,” Bradford said. “We are therefore delighted to have achieved this first important step in the commissioning of train one and to have done so ahead of the internal schedule developed earlier this year.” Lithium JV will now move train one from producing lithium hydroxide on

AUSTRALIANMINING

a batch basis to a continuous basis, as it improves the product. Saleable product is expected to be produced before the end of 2021 and accredited battery grade product will follow in the March quarter of 2022. The designed production rate at Kwinana of 24,000 tonnes per annum is expected to be reached by the end of 2022. Bradford said the project fell in line with growing demand for the product. “The strong demand being witnessed in the lithium market

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globally reinforces the strategic nature of Kwinana which, together with the Lithium JV’s interest in the Greenbushes mine, is rapidly evolving into a globally significant, integrated lithium operation catering to the specific needs of premium lithium-ion battery manufacturers,” Bradford said. IGO has a 49 per cent interest in Lithium JV. Through the JV, IGO also holds a 25 per cent indirect interest in the Greenbushes lithium mine in Western Australia – the largest of its kind.


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NEWS

INDUSTRY FEEDBACK HELPS SANDVIK IMPROVE LOADER Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions have released a new 15-tonne size class loader, the Toro LH515i. The next generation of Sandvik’s current 14-tonne LH514, the loader has a one-tonne greater capacity than its predecessor as it looks to evolve the strengths of the previous model. Remodelled from the ground up, with the proven ability of the 14-tonne LH514 in mind, Sandvik welcomed customer feedback to improve the design and intelligence of the trusted range.

The Toro LH515i features a new Sandvik intelligent control system with 12-inch touchscreen colour display, making loader health monitoring easy, providing quick access to data and enabling new solutions for efficient troubleshooting. Compatible with Sandvik’s AutoMine and OptiMine systems, the vehicle boasts a multitude of smart technologies, bringing digitalisation to the operator’s fingertips. With easy access to service

Volvo Penta – the 265 kW Stage V diesel engine and the 256 kW Tier III engine. Equipped with reliable selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust gas technology and a new diesel particulate filter (DPF), the Stage V configuration meets very stringent emission regulations. To further assist in lowering emissions, both engine versions are fully compatible with paraffinic diesel fuels meeting the EN 15940 European Standard.

points, roomy component layout to facilitate servicing and excellent access to systems, both in the cabin and on top of the equipment, the Toro LH515i has been built for ease of maintenance. The 15-tonne loader is also stable, agile and smooth to operate, while a new cabin includes increased leg space, a new seat and dashboard, and improved visibility over the flat rear frame of the loader. Toro LH515i is available with two different engine configurations from

THE TORO LH515I BRINGS DIGITALISATION TO THE OPERATOR’S FINGERTIPS.

ILUKA SETS UP WA FOR SELF-SUFFICIENT RARE EARTHS Iluka Resources has continued to develop its Western Australian mineral sands operations, after Eneabba began phase two construction and Capel rebounded from a suspension in the first half of 2021. After a shaky start to 2021, when the Capel rutile operations were suspended due to higher-thanexpected synthetic rutile stocks, Iluka has now returned the site’s kiln two (SR2) to full capacity. So too has the Narngulu mineral separation plant, 600 kilometres north of Capel, which contributed to the company’s ramp up in production.

“This production response has been matched by important progress across our major projects,” Iluka Resources managing director Tom O’Leary said. “From a mineral sands perspective, we have taken decisions to execute the restart of synthetic rutile kiln one at Capel, commence a definitive feasibility study for the Balranald development in New South Wales and move to larger-scale piloting in relation to the Wimmera development in Victoria.” At the Eneabba development, 275 kilometres north of Perth, AUSTRALIANMINING

construction has begun on the phase two development with completion due in the first half of 2022. Eneabba is already the world’s highest grade rare earths operation and Iluka will look to begin processing its own product once the phase three feasibility study has been completed. “Iluka’s feasibility study for phase three – a fully integrated rare earths refinery – is progressing in parallel, with most work scheduled for completion by the end of 2021, in advance of finalisation of the feasibility study in early 2022,” O’Leary said.

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The company received a letter of support from the Australian Government earlier in 2021, which outlined the risks and rewards of progressing Australia’s standing in rare earths mining and processing. “The government will continue to work with proponents of critical minerals and rare earths projects, including those that could supply concentrates to the Eneabba refinery, to consider options for support,” the letter from Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan, and the Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt stated.


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NEWS

KAL TIRE AND PITCREW AI DRIVE TYRE INSPECTION TECHNOLOGY Kal Tire has joined forces with tech specialists Pitcrew AI to create a new automated solution for the detection of hot tyres, tyre separations and other tyre and mechanical damage on mine sites. Any inspection anomalies are automatically transmitted into Kal Tire’s proprietary Tire Operations Management System (TOMS), enabling better decision making that will enhance fleet productivity and safety. Kal Tire’s mining tire group senior vice president Dan Allan believes the innovation will allow miners to work smarter. “Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) can give a strong picture of what’s happening inside the tyre, but so much that can indicate the potential for tyre failure happens outside the tyre,” Allan said. “We knew if we wanted to give customers the ability to make better operational decisions – and be a part of the future of autonomous mining – we’d need to add external telematics to the mix. “Pitcrew’s artificial intelligence (AI), and their vision for the technology, supports our goal of solving customer challenges in practical, impactful ways.” As automated inspection stations monitor front and rear tyres of mining trucks passing by, the AI software searches the thermal imaging video footage for anomalies such as hot spots, belt edge and tread separations, and other mechanical problems. The findings are then reported to TOMS before the system automates inspection work orders and schedules any necessary tyre change work based on the severity of the damage.

The system has been successfully tested in the hot weather regions of Western Australia, while Kal Tire has worked with Pitcrew to

develop a cold weather version of the device. With customers already showing interest in the new technology,

Kal Tire and Pitcrew expect automated inspection stations to be deployed on Kal Tire-serviced mine sites in 2022.

THE TECHNOLOGY PICKS UP INSPECTION ANOMALIES THROUGH THERMAL IMAGING VIDEO FOOTAGE.

NEWCREST TO UNLOCK CADIA EXPANSION IN 2021 Newcrest Mining is set to begin early works on the PC1-2 expansion at the Cadia gold mine in New South Wales after a pre-feasibility study outlined a 90 per cent boost in production. The $120 million early works are expected to begin in the December quarter of 2021, before main works occur in the second half of 2022. The expansion would add around 258 million tonnes of ore to the Cadia resource, containing around 3.5 million ounces of gold and

660,000 tonnes of copper. Newcrest managing director and chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas said the expansion could pave the way for continued growth. “The development of the PC1-2 cave is the next step in Cadia’s block caving journey,” Biswas said. “This project, together with the expansion project currently in progress, is expected to sustain Cadia’s position as one of the largest, lowest-cost and long-life gold mines in the world.”

AUSTRALIANMINING

The cave is expected to have a mine life of around 17 years averaging 15 million tonnes per annum, accounting for about 20 per cent of Cadia’s current ore reserves. The pre-feasibility study found the updated footprint configuration could de-bottleneck extraction drives, providing the 90 per cent production boost compared to earlier designs. It also front-ended gold and copper production by targeting higher grades – now set to average

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0.5 grams of gold per tonne. Biswas said his team was looking forward to extending the mine’s life and their tenure at the operation. “The team at Cadia is passionately committed to building on this world class asset, driving employment and other benefits for the local community and other stakeholders, and maintaining a focus on innovation, continuous improvement and sustainable development,” Biswas said.


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NEWS

BHP, CAT COMBINE FOR SUSTAINABLE MINING TRUCKS BHP and Caterpillar have partnered to develop zero-emission mining trucks following months of collaboration on how to sustainably tackle the miner’s energy demands. As the equipment becomes available, Caterpillar will give BHP first look at the technology while facilitating training and development for its workforce. BHP chief commercial officer Vandita Pant said the partnership was vital to both company’s goals. “We are pleased to announce

our partnership with Caterpillar to develop and deploy zero-emissions mining trucks at BHP,” Pant said. “Climate change is a critical global challenge and we know that partnering with others will help accelerate the transition to a low carbon future.” Pant said the collaboration would allow for more tailored solutions of the mining industry. “The opportunity for our teams to input into the design process also gives us confidence that the trucks

will be safer and easier to operate for a workforce that’s more diverse than ever,” she said. Caterpillar Group president Denise Johnson said collaborations of this nature were important for the future development of the industry and the environment. “Caterpillar is pleased to work with BHP on the next generation of large mining trucks and mine site technology,” Johnson said. “Deeply integrating our teams and timelines will allow for faster

deployment to deliver zeroemissions solutions.” The companies will also work together over the coming years to encourage workplace inclusivity to enable the machines to be accessible for a broader slice of the workforce. Frontline operators will be involved in the design, development and implementation of the machines to ensure they are best suited to those who will keep them running. BHP WILL GET FIRST LOOK AT CAT’S NEW ZERO-EMISSION MINING TRUCKS.

OZ MINERALS SET TO DIG DEEPER AT PROMINENT HILL OZ Minerals has received the goahead to construct a hoisting shaft at the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia, adding four years to its mine life. The $600 million Wira shaft will take the operation to 2036 at around six million tonnes of ore per annum. OZ Minerals chief executive officer Andrew Cole said the expansion could allow the company to access new prospects beneath the current resource.

“We are thrilled to see a long and productive future for Prominent Hill with the Wira shaft mine expansion enabling access to areas previously thought uneconomic and opening up potential new prospects,” Cole said. “Prominent Hill is a quality orebody and remains open at depth. The reliable performance of the operation and its consistent resource to reserve conversion rate were all influential in the decision.” The expansion will see around AUSTRALIANMINING

23 per cent more copper produced at a 20 per cent lower operating cost compared to the current trucking methods. While operating costs will decrease by $14 to $20 per tonne of ore, the expansion will also lower emissions by 27 per cent, in line with OZ’s goal to see continual improvement in the industry. “The shaft expansion creates an exciting new future for Prominent Hill with extended mine life and production rates enabling investment

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in lower emissions and other OZ Minerals environmental and workforce aspirations,” Cole said. “For the first time, we have used a carbon price in determining the project valuation, a practice we will adopt in other OZ Minerals projects going forward.” OZ will maintain a steady state workforce of around 1200 people, while the expansion will provide opportunities to source more businesses and staff from the region.


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ENVIRONMENT

AUSTRALIAN MINING’S BLUEPRINT FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY IMPLEMENTING LARGE-SCALE RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS IN THE MINING INDUSTRY TAKES VISION, UP-FRONT COSTS, AN ADAPTABLE POSITION ON RISK AND COMMITMENT. BUT THE EVENTUAL BENEFITS OF BITING THE BULLET TODAY WILL ENSURE ALL THAT ORE CAN BE SUSTAINABLY ACCESSED TOMORROW. HENRY BALLARD WRITES. mine, a joint venture with Gold Road Resources), Gold Fields has adopted a range of hybrid renewable energy solutions with help from energy companies EDL, Aggreko and APA Group, respectively. Gold Fields manager of energy James Koerting says while the immediate cost of renewable energy solutions can be confronting for some businesses, it only takes a simple change of mindset to realise the potential. “The way I look at it, it is just a change in the risk profile,” Koerting tells Australian Mining. “The traditional power solution was a lower up-front cost diesel power station, with a high operating cost to run with lots of diesel fuel. With renewables, it flips so that the cost is up-front and the operating cost is much lower.

“So, to change the risk profile you really need to be confident in the mine’s ore reserve and have a strong balance sheet to finance the larger investment up front. “If you’ve got those two boxes ticked, you’ll be able to benefit in the long term – for our Agnew mine it’s after 10 years – and you’ll benefit from the low operating costs going forward.” The electrification report also found that 83 per cent expect renewable energy technologies will significantly change mining operations over the next 15 years. But as Aggreko head of mining Rod Saffy says, it’s in the industry’s best interests to get moving on renewables now to allow time for their implementation. “The inclusion of renewable energy is going to be consistent and

growing over the next 10 years,” Saffy says. “But it’s important to consider the expectations around what people want versus the reality of putting it on the ground. Contracts take time and installation takes time. “If you decided today that you wanted a solar farm, as with any contract you’d need to run through a tender process and then eventually implement it.” The process to develop the microgrid at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine was indeed lengthy but equally worth it – becoming the first mine in Australia to incorporate wind energy at such a scale. Developed with Gold Fields by sustainable energy producer EDL, the Agnew renewable hybrid microgrid has a total capacity of 56 megawatts (MW) and produces 50 to

IMAGE CREDIT: EDL.

W

hether mining companies develop renewable solutions themselves or they call in expert suppliers for large-scale solutions, efforts are being made around Australia to decarbonise operations and supply chains. In an Electrification report by State of Play – the world’s largest mining research platform – a survey found 61 per cent of respondents saw renewable energy generation as the first step in the transition to allelectric mines. Luckily for those 61 per cent, companies like Gold Fields have made it clear how to get started. At the gold major’s Agnew and Granny Smith gold mines in Western Australia (plus the Gruyere gold

THE HYBRID RENEWABLE MICROGRID AT AGNEW GOLD MINE. AUSTRALIANMINING

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ENVIRONMENT

GOLD FIELDS MANAGER OF ENERGY JAMES KOERTING.

60 per cent of the mine’s power from renewable energy. EDL chief executive officer James Harman says his company took learnings from a pilot project at the Coober Pedy power station and applied them at Agnew. This 10-year-old diesel power station in Coober Pedy now runs on solar, wind, battery and diesel at more than 70 per cent renewable energy. The key, however, was the reliability factor, and providing confidence to Gold Fields and the mining industry that these hybrid solutions are more reliable than the incumbent solution. “We took confidence that we could make the integration of the tech work,” Harman says. “We proved to ourselves and to the industry you could turn off a lot of the diesel and actually be more reliable. After implementing renewables at Coober Pedy, the reliability there was outstanding at around 99.9 per cent. “Agnew was an even bigger call because Gold Fields was previously connected to another energy supplier and we had to show them we could be more reliable. “We’ve been incredibly reliable at Agnew and all credit to Gold Fields for having the vision and putting their trust in us.” The Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) initial support was key to putting this vision into practice, first at the Coober Pedy power station and then at Agnew. The Coober Pedy power station was roughly half funded by ARENA, while the $113 million microgrid at Agnew received $13.5 million from the agency. Harman says this was a perfect representation of how government and private companies should work together to develop new technologies. “It works best when there’s cooperation and collaboration, and

society,” Gaines says. “Collaboration by and between them is critical to solving a challenge of this scale. It is heartening to see many governments and businesses accelerating their emissions reduction targets as society and investors are demanding it.” This responsibility to investor sentiment is one felt around the industry, as calls for decarbonisation ring from many corners of the country. Aggreko was responsible for the construction of Gold Fields’ Granny Smith gold mine’s renewable microgrid – another of the world’s largest – including a 7.7MW solar farm. Saffy says renewable solutions – big and small – are part of every conversation he has. “Every tender we get nowadays, irrespective of the duration of the contract, there is a request for a portion of renewables,” Saffy says. “Government, institutions and investors may not tolerate companies which aren’t moving towards decarbonisation. Without considerations like renewables, miners will find it increasingly difficult to get investment as well as approval to operate. “Along with safety, this is becoming a must-have instead of a nice-to-have.” That is, a nice-to-have for the environment, as well as for the people

AGGREKO HEAD OF MINING ROD SAFFY.

we recognise the contribution that ARENA has made,” he says. “Now, we don’t need ARENA funding for the type of hybrid renewables that will benefit the mining industry. “This is a great example of government supporting pilots, proving up the technology and then stepping back to let private enterprise run with it once it’s commercialised.” Fortescue Metals Group chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines agrees that these issues aren’t for anyone to take a back seat on. Rather, collaboration is the key to success. “Avoiding the worst impacts of climate change is a challenge for all of government, private sector and civil

AGGREKO INSTALLED A SOLAR FARM AT GOLD FIELDS’ GRANNY SMITH GOLD MINE.

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working on site too. Harman says one of the most pleasing outcomes upon installing the microgrid at Agnew was the response from the workforce. “One of the big positives of the Agnew project was just how proud Gold Fields’ employees are that their energy is coming from renewable sources,” he says. “It’s provided a real boost to the mine and the mining operators to know they’re doing their bit on decarbonisation.” Moving forward, each of these leaders in energy innovation agrees that more work must be done to advance the technologies required to make use of all this renewable energy potential. Of course, it’s all well and good to source the renewable energy, but for now, mines run on machines and not megawatts. Saffy next ponders how the electrification of equipment across the industry will be managed. “The other issue to be tackled: how will the miner of the future use their power?” Saffy says. “With a strong move to switch mobile equipment from diesel powered to battery powered, miners will need to consider how they manage this fleet differently. “The average mid-sized mine has around 50 utility vehicles on site – so how does that look when they all need to be regularly charged?


ENVIRONMENT

Gaines says an electrified mining fleet is a top priority in tackling decarbonisation. “Decarbonising our mining fleet is one of the biggest challenges facing our industry,” Gaines says. “While electric light vehicles are readily available for the passenger and domestic market, there are currently no economic or technologically viable, large-scale vehicles available for the mining industry.” Across the industry, the issue is being tackled in several ways, some more immediately effective than others. One solution involves collaboration within the industry to develop decarbonisation strategies and technologies, which Gold Fields engages in through the Electric Mine Consortium and the Charge On Innovation Challenge. Both initiatives welcome industry input to several major mining companies, which can then take the learnings and accelerate the decarbonisation of mining. Koerting says it’s been good to use these initiatives to develop Gold

Fields’ relationship with some of its valued manufacturers further. “We’re working towards designs and developments for an all-electric mine thanks to some of the original equipment manufacturers involved, such as Sandvik and Epiroc,” he says. Another solution to technically decarbonise mining operations – although one step removed from the site itself – is carbon offsetting. This is the process of commissioning or investing in activities which remove carbon from the atmosphere and attributing that carbon saved to an emissionsintensive activity such as mining. Carbon offsets could be achieved through initiatives as simple as tree planting – though with Agnew’s microgrid avoiding around 46,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide or equivalents each year, the same feat would take around 140,000 to 232,000 trees over 15 years, according to some estimates. Other programs involve soil regeneration, and further renewable energy projects off site. Harman explains why carbon offsetting is an important part of

decarbonising the mining industry. “It’s not just about energy used at the mine, it’s also the wider businesses’ carbon footprint, including haul trucks, shipping and supply chain emissions,” Harman says. “Some of the harder to decarbonise processes need credible carbon credits to generate offsets. We’ve been involved in producing these for many years and in the last 12 months we’ve seen a massive uptick in interest from the industry.” And most positively, this green sentiment is one shared across the industry. With companies like Gold Fields and Fortescue leading the way, there are fewer excuses than ever for industry to skim the blueprint. “The sentiment is very positive. When Aggreko views investor presentations by mining companies, it’s almost always the first thing they speak about,” Saffy concludes. “They discuss what they’re doing about carbon emissions, what they’re doing about the communities they operate in, and what they’re doing about the responsible governance of their organisation.” AM

IMAGE CREDIT: EDL.

“On top of that, there’s hundreds of pieces of mobile equipment on site running on diesel that will inevitably switch to battery power – all of which will need distributed charging stations.” Koerting agrees that some of the efforts in renewable energy will be overshadowed unless the machinery and equipment follows suit. “The thing about battery-electric vehicles is they’re not emissions free unless you charge them with renewable energy,” he says. “If you’ve got a diesel power station on site and you charge the batteries with the diesel generators, then all you’re doing is moving the diesel to the surface. “This is still great from a health and safety perspective – you’re moving the particulates out of the mine – but the ultimate goal when talking about emissions reduction is to remove diesel altogether.” At Fortescue, the major iron ore miner is powering towards a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030, with efforts in hydrogen-powered rail freight, electric haul trucks and green iron ore all helping the cause.

THE HYBRID RENEWABLE MICROGRID AT THE AGNEW GOLD MINE.

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FUTURE OF MINING

IMAGE CREDIT: EPIROC.

THE MINES OF THE FUTURE WILL HAVE A LARGE PRESENCE OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND MACHINES.

FLICKING THE SWITCH ON ELECTRIC MINING ONE OF THE MAJOR HURDLES IN MINING’S ROAD TO DECARBONISATION WILL BE THE TRANSITION FROM DIESEL TO ELECTRIC OPERATIONS, BUT THE COMBINED EFFORTS OF THE INDUSTRY AND RESEARCH COMMUNITY ARE SET TO SHIFT THE JOURNEY INTO GEAR. NICKOLAS ZAKHARIA WRITES.

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he commitment to decarbonise mining operations has been forecast to come to fruition in less than 30 years. Many of the industry’s largest players are standing firm on their pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and a clear way forward is through electrification. By replacing diesel-powered mining vehicles with battery-electric options, their emissions will decrease in this part of operations, at least. But as many companies already know, there is much more to electrification than just cashing in on the latest zero-emission equipment. Electric mining equipment is developing at a rapid pace, yet many options are still in their early stages of development. The move to electric mining will require stringent planning to ensure operations are well-optimised to perform up to standard, while ensuring these significant investments pay off. To meet these requirements, industry initiatives are underpinning the adoption of electric mining equipment. In 2018, the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) was introduced to provide a path forward for Australia’s

battery supply through industryled research. The Federal Government-backed FBICRC is supported by a long list of participants, including the likes of BHP, IGO, Ardea Resources and the University of Adelaide. FBICRC research director Jacques Eksteen says Australia’s mining industry is taking an active role in adopting electric technologies “In general, the industry has been enthusiastic about the opportunity, but cautious,” Eksteen tells Australian Mining. “In order to achieve decarbonisation targets using ‘green’ mining sources, companies need access to energy sources with the lowest carbon footprint possible.” A University of Adelaide research project named: Assessment, design and operation of battery-supported electric mining vehicles and machinery, was funded by the FBICRC in August. The $2.76 million project aims to help develop a set of guidelines and decision-making tools to support the industry’s adoption of battery-supported vehicles and electric machines. Scheduled for completion within three-and-a-half years, the project plans to enable the resources sector to improve costs and energy reliability, AUSTRALIANMINING

occupational health and safety, and the carbon footprint of mine production. University of Adelaide school of electrical and electronic engineering lecturer Ali Pourmousavi will lead the study, as part of the university’s focus on electric vehicle, battery and microgrid research. Pourmousavi says an Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) report from 2017 found up to 41 per cent of total mine site energy usage is consumed by diesel-powered mining vehicles, causing a large amount of operational costs and emission issues for mining companies. The project will work with Australian mine sites to develop case studies and engage with more mine sites as the studies progress. “With the mine sites we are working with, we will develop a mine electrification roadmap and conduct comparative case studies,” Pourmousavi says. “The comparative case studies will see how much operational cost reduction and energy reliability we can expect from the new system.” The project’s case studies are focussing on underground surface mining operations, with potential for the learnings to be adopted by mine sites looking for similar roadmaps. Pourmousavi and his team will

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first identify the “low hanging fruit” involved in the switch to electric mining, and then work out the best way for mine sites to implement the technology. This includes the most costeffective way to implement batteryelectric vehicles; how to compare the performance, economics and environmental impact of batteryelectric vehicles; the interaction of different parts of the electric mine system; the design of the new system and the skills required from the mine’s workforce. Pourmousavi says the cost of electrification is rapidly dropping, opening the door for more mining companies to jump on board. “The technology is very quickly getting better and better; if not every day, at least every year,” Pourmousavi says. “The new lithium-ion batteries, for instance, are better in terms of energy and power density, capacity degradation and safety than their ancestors at a much lower cost. “We want to work closely with our partners to accurately estimate the cost of electrification, including capital expenditure and operating of electric haul truck energy infrastructure, and upskilling of the workforce. “We also want to see the benefit of lowering ventilation costs underground,


FUTURE OF MINING

less diesel fuels and maintenance of electric haul trucks.” With a cash and in-kind value of $120 million and 68 participants across 15 projects, the FBICRC is primed for industry collaboration. Eksteen acknowledges several risks that must first be addressed for electrification to become viable. “The successful adoption of electrification technologies by the mining industry is not the sole domain of larger scale companies,” Eksteen says. “Company culture, risk appetite, the lifecycle of the mine, level of existing investment in sunk assets and whether the business is a green or brownfield enterprise, all play a role in determining the viability of electrification for companies large and small.” With the industry’s major players setting the foundation for electrification, mid and junior mining companies are also preparing to transform their mine sites. Sixty-one per cent of mining industry executives surveyed in State of Play’s 2020 Electric Mine Consortium report – which is also backed by the FBICRC – expect the next generation of mines will be electric. Ardea Resources, a FBICRC participant with this belief, plans to help the electric movement charge forward at its operations. The company is developing the Kalgoorlie nickel-cobalt project in Western Australia, which is expected to supply the resources needed for lithium-ion batteries once in operation. Ardea managing director Andrew Penkethman says it’s important for explorers to commit to electrification at

ARDEA RESOURCES MANAGING DIRECTOR ANDREW PENKETHMAN.

their future mine sites. “It’s linked to consistency and commitment to our high environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, which include carbon emissions,” Penkethman tells Australian Mining. “We’re really impressed with the work that’s been undertaken by the FBICRC, who have been very proactive in leading that move to define a sustainable and ethical mineral supply here in Australia.” Penkethman says the FBICRC’s work on precursor production for

battery manufacturing in Australia is another step forward for the industry. Ardea is supplying drill core material from the Kalgoorlie project’s Goongarrie Hub in Western Australia to help the FBICRC pilot precursor cathode-active material (PCAM) flowsheets. The project could potentially become a supplier for PCAM production in the future. With the Western Australian Government on board for the delivery of FBICRC projects, Penkethman

ARDEA’S KALGOORLIE NICKEL PROJECT IS LOCATED NORTH OF KALGOORLIE.

AUSTRALIANMINING

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says more support across the country should be encouraged. “I think it’s terrific what the Western Australian state government is doing. I’d like to see more of it around Australia and the world, to put in place additional support and infrastructure to assist the rollout of electrification,” he says. Penkethman says Ardea is looking to become a sustainable supplier of battery minerals, as the supply chain continues to seek lower emission operations under stakeholder and ESG pressures. “(Electrification) will certainly be a key consideration,” he says. “My understanding is, while the technology for electrified mine fleets is still very much under evaluation and we’ve got some large resources companies in the world evaluating that, they have the balance sheet strength to help lead the way. “Provided that the technology has been sufficiently de-risked, it’s something that Ardea will look at very seriously.” As the steps towards electrification grow larger with each new initiative, the transition holds key benefits for a safer and more sustainable mining industry. Electrification will not take place overnight, but industry collaboration to develop a stronger understanding on the value and challenges of electrification are certainly welcome additions in the journey towards decarbonisation. AM


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DRILL & BLAST

AN EXPLOSION OF INNOVATION UNIQUE AND FORWARDTHINKING BLASTING SOLUTIONS ARE SHAPING A SAFER AND MORE TECHNOLOGICALLY ATTUNED MINING INDUSTRY.

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or any mining operation, a well-optimised blasting process is a key step in tapping into valuable ore reserves. Blasting requires careful and targeted detonation of explosive materials to separate hundreds of tonnes of rock. With the arrival of Industry 4.0 technologies, enabling automated and remote operations, the mine worker is increasingly being removed from the line of fire. Industry initiatives are also pushing the envelope for more accurate and efficient blasting techniques in tandem with remote operations. In June, the University of Queensland’s (UQ’s) blasting and fragmentation technology team commissioned an experimental blasting chamber with the aim of developing more environmentally friendly and safer mining techniques. It forms part of UQ’s centre for future autonomous systems and technologies at its school of mechanical and mining engineering. Led by UQ associate professor Italo Onederra and school of mechanical and mining engineering senior lecturer Christopher Leonardi, the research team is exploring the impact of fragment conditioning from blasting on downstream processes in a mine. Onederra says a chamber is being used to better understand confined blasting and/or preconditioning to develop new extraction techniques that will minimise environmental impacts. “Waste material will not be moved and large tailing facilities eliminated,” Onederra tells Australian Mining. “The knowledge generated can provide insight into the design changes required to maximise both fragmentation and conditioning.” Samples up to 700 millimetres in height and diameter can be tested in the chamber, which uses hydrostatic pressure to confine the sample before blasting to simulate underground conditions. A technique, called micro blasting by the research team, is also exploring

DYNO NOBEL’S CYBERDET TECHNOLOGY ENABLES WIRELESS BLASTING.

unconventional excavation methods. By using micro blasting, Onederra and his team will learn how rocks react under specific conditions when fragmented. Blasts are analysed with advanced digital imaging algorithms, as well as blasting and fluid flow modelling techniques to study more sustainable mining processes. “At the moment we are conducting controlled confined testing of synthetic rock samples using single and dual blasthole configurations,” Onederra says. “We apply a confining pressure to the sample before blasting and are able to quantify the extent of fracturing or damage. “We have been able to study the impact of both stress and gas loading on the extent of damage, as well as compare against unconfined conditions. These controlled experiments have allowed us to calibrate and validate our advanced 3D blasting models.” A smaller blasting chamber that accommodates samples of up to 300 millimetres in height and diameter is also being commissioned by the research team. Onederra says the smaller chamber will test small explosive chargers to generate microfractures into ore

AUSTRALIANMINING

samples without fragmenting them apart. The methodology used in the smaller chamber is linked to process optimisation strategies where fragment conditioning may be required, including dump or heap leaching. “This is allowing us to understand the susceptibility of different ore types to conditioning from blasting,” Onederra says. The project’s importance is elevated by increasing environmental, social and governance (ESG) demands on the industry, with energy efficient solutions paving a way forward for mining in a decarbonised future. To cover the complete gamut of blasting, the research team comprises experts in the disciplines of geology, hydrometallurgy, geotechnical engineering, detonation physics, blast engineering technology and advanced computational modelling. “Without fundamental knowledge of detonation physics, as well as the characteristic of the rock material/rock mass we are dealing with, it would be difficult to fracture or fragment to achieve specific requirements or objectives,” Onederra says. “We also think that our research is transferrable to what I refer to as unconventional comminution devices that could eliminate mechanical

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crushing systems underground. “The aim is to reduce energy consumption of the comminution and extraction processes.” UQ’s project potentially sets up the future of blasting activities in mining. The drill and blast sector has, however, been making significant progress establishing a safer mining industry, while maintaining productive processes. Mining explosives manufacturer Dyno Nobel, a subsidiary of Incitec Pivot Limited, completed its first wireless blast using 34 CyberDet I detonators at Westgold Resources’ Big Bell underground gold mine in Western Australia during June this year. CyberDet I is designed to move mine workers to safer environments during blast loading, while also delivering a shorter blast cycle to boost the amount of material mined. “We’ve done quite a lot of research in developing it (CyberDet),” Incitec Pivot chief technology officer Robert Rounsley says. “You can test it in all sorts of laboratories and non-production field test areas, but until you put it in the real world and test it, you’re not sure. “It’s obviously quite an important milestone to have a successful trial in real conditions.”


DRILL & BLAST

UQ IS EXPLORING THE IMPACT OF FRAGMENT CONDITIONING FROM BLASTING ON DOWNSTREAM PROCESSES IN A MINE.

The CyberDet I technology uses through-the-ground wireless technology and the design is well suited to underground mining methods. It can also be used in surface mining applications. In underground mines, CyberDet I enables blasts to occur in areas previously inaccessible. “It’s quite portable, so you can move the antennas around relatively quickly and that makes for much greater usability in an underground environment instead of having to put fixed infrastructure in place to run it,” Rounsley says. “It provides the ability to design blasts in ways you previously couldn’t and drives increased recovery of valuable materials in the mining process.” Dyno Nobel has also designed its electronic detonator hardware and control system so that the full initiation systems suite of products, such as CyberDet, Digishot Plus, EZShot, DriftShot and convention initiation systems like Nonel, can run off the same blast control infrastructure through its BlastWeb system. This provides customers with enhanced flexibility in blast design and product choice. Rounsley says the company is also working on CyberDet II, which has a greater focus on surface mining operations, and is wireless from the collar of the blasthole, requiring no

surface tie in. “We like to think about CyberDet I as being primarily focussed on underground applications where there’s very specific, niche applications where it solves problems,” he says. “Through-the-ground wireless has limitations that are not ideal for general surface blasting, which is why we’re developing the CyberDet II

technology – we see it making much more sense for the surface.” Dyno Nobel expects CyberDet I to officially enter the market following further blasting trials. Automated technology is also assisting other aspects of the blasting process, including blast hole tagging. AECI Mining Explosives’ differential global positioning system (DGPS) enables a greater sense

DYNO NOBEL HAS COMPLETED ITS FIRST WIRELESS BLAST AT THE BIG BELL MINE.

AUSTRALIANMINING

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of blast hole tagging accuracy and removes human error with the use of automation. The semi-autonomous system can identify blast holes at one metre below the surface, stopping incorrect blast hole identification. This prevents human error associated with blast hole coordinates, which can waste precious time on a mine site through simple and fast responses to blast hole location and fault finding. “Multiple uses of DGPS can be achieved on sites where survey suites are not readily available to track drilled holes,” AECI product manager Ashlin Pillay says. “Users can create an accurate blast plan by logging hole positions and uploading to ViewShot 3D for detonator delay design. “Another key value proposition of this system is data availability, allowing for reconciliation of planned versus actual blast holes, thus enabling continuous improvement on site.” AECI is also continuing to enhance its bulk emulsion explosives, with its Powergel X² range capable of being used in surface mining blasting. It is designed to be used in hot blast holes and reactive ground without sacrificing performance, preventing the risk and cost associated with reactive ground such as coal mining. The rapid advancement of technology in the mining sector is allowing operations to unlock a new wave of capabilities. And with new developments on the horizon for blasting, the mining industry is set to benefit from safer and more productive processes. AM


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DIGITAL MINING

VEGA CONTINUOUS CONDITION MONITORING LIGHTS UP THE PILBARA VEGA’S LATEST INNOVATION IN SENSOR TECHNOLOGY IS BEING ROLLED OUT AT A MAJOR IRON ORE MINE IN THE PILBARA REGION OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, WITH MORE DIAGNOSTICS AND A SIMPLE LED STATUS INDICATOR ALL INTEGRATED INTO THE VEGABAR 38. THE VEGABAR 38 USES AN LED STATUS INDICATOR TO ALERT OPERATORS.

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p in the Pilbara, where every second of uptime counts and predictive maintenance is king, Current Engineering Solutions chooses VEGA above all else for its equipment sensor needs. To begin realising the value of the VEGABAR 38, Current Engineering Solutions has implemented four units across several gearboxes at the mine – two for tank level measurement, and two for oil pressure and temperature. Current Engineering Solutions senior electrical engineer Paul Smith says one of the great benefits of the sensor is its simple design. “Where your standard instruments will need condition monitoring to take place every week or so, the VEGABARs have a light display to quickly tell you the equipment’s health,” Smith tells Australian Mining. “In this way, your asset’s actually telling you when it’s going to fail, as opposed to really having to look deeper into the diagnostics which takes time.”

The quick and easy nature of the sensor allows any operator to check for the green light – or any of the other 256 configurable colours – to ensure the equipment is running smoothly. This saves time and money on hiring an expert to travel to site at a moment’s notice when something unexpectedly goes wrong. The mine’s nearest city is Karratha, at least a two-hour drive away. In practice, that’s potentially two hours of lost production should something malfunction on equipment like the gearboxes, which Current Engineering Solutions is employed to maintain. Smith says the VEGABAR is complementary to an operation’s usual monitoring practices, but certainly reduces the risk of an emergency callout. “Condition monitoring will have a place, but the VEGABAR is the same as having continuous condition monitoring, just for the cost of a sensor,” he says. “I think it’s really something that will distinguish VEGA from the rest.” AUSTRALIANMINING

VEGA area manager for northwestern Australia, Andrew van de Sande, says the sensor’s LED light bar was the simple fix the industry didn’t realise it needed. “The status indicator is fantastic. It gives you an instant signal without having to check a gauge or hook into a system,” van de Sande says. “These operators don’t want to be looking at a gauge and trying to read something and writing it down. Operators can now walk in and see green, green, green, red.” But even more important, from VEGA’s point of view, is the ability to provide a range of information through one easy-to-install device. “What we were wanting to achieve was to ascertain pressure and temperature out of the same instrument. Negating the need for multiple pieces of equipment,” van de Sande says. This capability was achieved using a three-wire design, allowing more power to enable a wider range of transmissible data. For those looking for simpler diagnostics,

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however, the sensor also comes in a two-wire version. The VEGABAR is powered by an IO link master which allows for those multiple pieces of information to be transferred. Smith says the multiple functions of the sensor allow for not only the removal of additional units, but the removal of all the potentially expensive accessories that come with them. “With the IO link functionality, it’s not just saving on two devices for the pressure and temperature. You’re also saving on two runs of cable, two control points and all the programming configuration as well – you’re effectively getting two sensors for the price of one,” Smith says. Once installed, the VEGABAR continues to prove useful with its Bluetooth connectivity. VEGA’s condition monitoring app allows users to plug and play, and van de Sande says it’s been designed to make their lives as easy as possible.


DIGITAL MINING

“It’s as simple as opening an app, hooking up via Bluetooth and configuring the sensor to your heart’s content, and then walk away whistling,” he says. “We can set these up in a matter of minutes, whereas previously it would have taken operators much more tinkering to gauge their equipment’s status. “The app even has a demonstration mode so you can familiarise yourself with the instrument before you hook up to one live.” Of course, sensors like these aren’t only designed with time and money in mind. Safety is at the heart of VEGA’s business, which has been built upon a culture of family values. Rather than helping to learn where things have gone wrong on a mine site, van de Sande says the company is striving to build a reputation which reduces incidents in the first place. “It brings customers back into the realm of being a proactive maintenance department, rather than a reactive one,” he says. “The enemy of safety is an unplanned break in work, so once we start implementing proactive instrumentation to let us know when issues are about to occur, we start seeing our TRIFR (total recordable injury frequency rate) begin to drop.”

THE VEGABAR 38 IS A SIMPLE TOOL WITH SEVERAL BENEFITS.

YOU’RE EFFECTIVELY GETTING TWO SENSORS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE.”

An ex-tradesman with years’ experience on mine sites, van de Sande is thrilled with the progress VEGA has shown in its offering. “I’m proud to say a lot of VEGA’s products are now in that proactive range so that we can generate a work order before the equipment even nears failure,” he says. “We’re certainly kicking goals into the 21st century and bringing on that ethos of ‘smart mines’ which a lot

of the larger companies are driving these days.” For these reasons of safety and being proactive – if not for the simple ease with which operators can go about their jobs – Smith says the VEGABARs have already become a big hit at the mine. “The guys on site are very supportive and they see it as a game changer; likewise, as do I,” Smith says. AM

THE VEGABAR 38 MONITORS GEARBOXES AT A MAJOR IRON ORE MINE.

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DIGITAL MINING

DIGITAL MINING: SUSTAINABILITY, EFFICIENCY AND SO MUCH MORE DIGITAL MINING IS CHANGING THE WAY MINING OPERATIONS THINK AND STRATEGISE. IT’S THE WAY OF THE FUTURE AND IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE COMMONPLACE. TOM PARKER WRITES.

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s the world dashes towards greater digitalisation, the mining industry is setting itself up for increased automation in

its practices. With decarbonisation a key objective and the desire to reduce downtime, speed up productivity and improve safety on the minds of all mining companies, it’s only inevitable that processes will become more forwardthinking and technological. The likes of BHP, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group and others are more digitally inquisitive than ever before, so there will be opportunities for techs to impress and attract investments. Tech expert Rob Bryant believes the mining industry is well placed in its digital transition, largely because of the inherent intricacy of operational frameworks. “From a project controls point of view, the mining sector’s an interesting one. They’ve typically been ahead of other sectors when it

comes to processes and automation, and knowing where their projects are at. I think they’ve always had to for a number of reasons,” explains Bryant, InEight’s executive vice president for the Asia Pacific region. “The safety aspect in what is a very dangerous environment and the need for measured return – mining relies a lot on efficiencies and productivity. “For that reason, they are always ahead of a lot of other engineering sectors, if we class them in that way – oil and gas and mining are both fairly good at understanding their productivity baselines.” InEight is an innovator first and foremost, providing field-tested construction project management software for an evolving world. The company engages in industries such as civil construction, power and energy, general building, as well as mining and resources. Whether it’s in an office or deep underground, InEight’s software assists mining operations when workers require real-time access to important project documents such as start-up and AUSTRALIANMINING

safety manuals. Bryant explains that a digital mining transition isn’t as simple as examining assets, diagnosing the flaws and away you go. There needs to be a larger cultural understanding. “What we observe in our mining customers as much as any other is the need to take the entire business along on that journey of digital transformation,” he says. “One of the common pitfalls organisations fall into is falling in love with technology without understanding the impact of change or even the benefits or motivations in adopting that technology. That will ultimately result in a poor level of adoption and money wasted.” Mining companies don’t need to have digitalised their entire operation to have achieved digital mining. They might not have even deployed a single digital innovation and still be on their way. However, they need to have completed a holistic analysis of their business before taking the first steps. “They (a mining organisation) need

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SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC SEGMENT DIRECTOR OF THE PACIFIC REGION, MINING, JESS MADDREN

to be, like any other business, aware of having organisational readiness and knowing what it is that they expect digital technology to provide; what they are looking to address as a business need,” he continues. “If they do that well, there’s the motivation and the support from inside the organisation and from its shareholders to continue the necessary


IMAGE CREDIT: FORTESCUE METALS GROUP.

DIGITAL MINING

DIGITAL MINING IS PROVING ESSENTIAL FROM AN ASSET UTILISATION STANDPOINT.

FORTESCUE METALS GROUP IS EMBRACING THE TRANSITION TO DIGITAL MINING.

investment and recognise that it’s going to take some time before they start to realise that and where they can measure it.” The pursuit of decarbonisation provides a strong vantage point into a company’s digital embrace. Low-emission practices are intrinsically digital, with various innovations such as electrifying mine fleets, reducing water dependence and limiting waste production just a handful of ways mining organisations can reduce their carbon footprint. BHP is committed to a more sustainable future through digitalisation, something personified by its Charge On Innovation Challenge. Founded by BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale, and facilitated by Austmine, Charge On is a global initiative encouraging technology innovators to develop concepts for large-scale haul truck electrification systems. The end goal is to reduce the industry’s reliance on diesel – a toxic fossil fuel that contributes to global warming.

BHP Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) asset president Brandon Craig says the Charge On initiative is aimed at solving haulage efficiency concerns on mine sites. “Delivering large quantities of electricity to trucks in an efficient way remains a very big issue for large surface mining operations,” Craig, speaking at the 2021 Austmine Conference, explains. “So, we are asking technology innovators to develop concepts for large-scale haul truck electrification systems, to dramatically cut emissions from surface mine operations and unlock safety, productivity, and operational improvements.” Charge On’s submissions closed on July 31, with 21 mining companies joining as patrons and more than 350 companies expressing vendor interest. After successful pitches are honoured, the first Charge On concepts could be ready for site trials in the next few years. Schneider Electric is also getting involved, partnering with Rio Tinto to develop digital platforms, technologies AUSTRALIANMINING

and solutions across its metals and mining supply chain to drive further decarbonisation. With the goal to create profitable circular economies, the two will evaluate innovative, low carbon solutions such as microgrids, artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics as they strive to meet sustainability goals. Schneider Electric segment director of the Pacific region, mining, Jess Maddren suggests opportunities are there for the taking. “Companies have the potential to take and claim the ‘green’ position within the industry, not just enabling their social licence to operate and unlocking profitability, but also encouraging more mining companies to think differently,” Maddren says. “Sustainability today goes wellbeyond maintaining social licence to operate, it is now a key competitive differentiator and a source of profitability. “Green materials have a higher demand than current supply and demand is increasing, creating a market opportunity. Carbon impact is becoming one of the executive decision processes.” However, achieving a lowemissions future isn’t the only consideration when it comes to deploying digital mining practices. Aspen Technology has developed

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its own technologies to assist mining operations from a functional standpoint where the efficiency of decision making is important. The United States company’s innovations are based on improving operational anticipation on mine sites, such as its Aspen Mtell prescriptive maintenance solution. “The AspenTech product suite centres around the ability to increase asset utilisation – it’s about avoiding unplanned downtime, it’s about accurately predicting when equipment will fail,” AspenTech vice president and general manager, metals & mining Jeannette McGill says. “These opportunities that come at hand allow the mine sites to have a far better dashboarded approach, a far better nuanced appreciation for what could go wrong down the line in their mines, in the plants, thereby for this information to result in realtime decision making and real-time decision making actually underpins a far more sustainable operation.” Digital mining is a more multifaceted concept than it makes out to be, and often it’s hiding in plain sight as an operational offshoot of a larger objective or ambition. Nevertheless, technology offers a golden ticket for the endlessly diversifying and evolving mining industry that stands before us. AM


DIGITAL MINING

INDUSTRY 4.0 AND WIRELESS VIBRATION MONITORING FROM IFM AS A SPECIALIST IN INNOVATIVE SENSING TECHNOLOGY, IFM AUSTRALIA IS AHEAD OF THE FIELD IN DIGITALISATION AND INDUSTRY 4.0 WITH A FOCUS ON THE MINING INDUSTRY AND MINING SOLUTIONS.

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ome companies are viewing the industry’s transition into this new digital era with some form of trepidation, while many others are transitioning from traditional types of manufacturing and processing to a modern and fully connected factory or plant. To combat any fear of technology, terminologies, or scary cost blowouts, ifm is building an offering which seeks to ease the industry into the wireless world. National product and brand manager at ifm, Glenn Thornton, says the company takes a step-by-step approach to educating its customers on the tools they truly need. “First, ifm is here to guide you through the process of defining what you actually require,” Thornton says. “Second, start small and as we say, ‘grow as you know.’ Once you dip your toe in and gain some key insights, you will intuitively work through the

IFM’S VIBRATION AND TEMPERATURE SENSORS ARE BECOMING ESSENTIAL IN MODERN MINES.

next steps you require to give you a clear view into your plant processes, digitally.” Some estimates calculate that the rate of technological advancement is as much as doubling every two years, leaving a vast majority of the population in the dark on how to keep up to date.

IFM IS WELCOMING THE INDUSTRY INTO A WIRELESS WORLD OF CONDITION MONITORING.

AUSTRALIANMINING

Thornton says it is companies like ifm which take on the responsibility of reassuring those who need the best tools as soon as possible. “Currently, technology has advanced to a point where it can appear to be overwhelming, and you don’t know where or how to implement it,” he says. “The team at ifm help to keep things simple and easy with an out of the box approach. Our intuitive sensing technology makes it easy for anyone to start monitoring intelligently.” Operators can gather data from processes that they may not have previously known to help them make informed decisions. This can enable better control of machines to then improve production rates, reduce product waste, minimise downtime, and in turn, improve overall efficiencies and profits. The battery-operated VW vibration sensor, in combination with the ifm gateway and ifm moneo software, enables overall monitoring of the machine condition according to ISO 10816. Together with the integrated temperature monitoring, it is possible to detect imminent damage to machines and schedule demandoriented maintenance to prevent major damage and costly downtime. Thornton emphasises the importance of predictive maintenance. “With the completely wireless sensors and intuitive software for analysing and visualising the data,

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a comprehensive plant monitoring system is quickly set up without any extra work,” he says. “While ensuring the highest level of data security, the sensor data is transmitted from the measurement point to the gateway.” Effective value (v-RMS) of the vibration velocity enables an assessment of component fatigue, which is also complemented in the same housing by a temperature sensor. A temperature increase can be caused by excessive friction or other effects like electrical causes and is an indicator of existing or imminent defects. In addition to an Ethernet interface via cable, the gateway also offers intelligent connectivity via a variety of wireless connection options like NBIoT, LTE CAT 1, Wi-Fi and 2G GSM. Up to 28 sensors can be connected to the gateway and thus to the backend system indirectly or by using an intelligent mesh communication at the mere push of a button. The sensor data can be visualised and analysed via ifm moneo software or LR SmartObserver software. Moreover, alarms can be conveniently configured so that a quick set-up of the entire measuring chain is ensured. Appropriate ifm moneo licenses are mandatory for evaluating the sensor data. The built-in battery allows the sensor to operate without an external power supply for at least four years. As the electronics are completely potted, unwanted resonance vibrations are therefore excluded. Thornton says all this and more make the VW vibration sensor a serviceable touchpoint for those beginning their wireless maintenance journey. “Take charge of your operation with these easy solutions so you predict and protect,” Thornton says. “A great motto at ifm is ‘you don’t know what you don’t know.’ So, monitor what’s important to protect what’s important. “If you can monitor it, you can control it and be ahead of the issues whether it’s downtime, lost production, quality, maintenance problems or production deadlines.” AM


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DIGITAL MINING MONITORING UNDERGROUND MINE INFRASTRUCTURE IS CRUCIAL TO MINE SAFETY.

EFFECTIVE STRUCTURAL MONITORING ON MINE SITES BESTECH AUSTRALIA SPEAKS WITH AUSTRALIAN MINING TO SHARE EXPERTISE ON USING STRAIN GAUGES, INSTRUMENTATION AND DATA ACQUISITION FOR EFFECTIVE CONDITION MONITORING ON MINING ASSETS.

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very mine site is designed with a system in place to avoid catastrophic structural failures, from minor structural cracks to total roof collapse. For this purpose, implementing sensor technology for regular and continuous monitoring is imperative to ensure maintenance can be performed before the damage progresses into total structural failures. Bestech marketing engineer Wirhan Prationo emphasises the need for continuous monitoring of the health of mining infrastructure to allow sites to achieve maximum productivity with minimum downtime. With time, infrastructure at mine sites wears out and needs regular maintenance, but the costs of repairing it after collapse are far greater than if it had been maintained regularly. “Strain gauges are one of the most widely used sensors in preventive maintenance to allow the early detection of structural failure,” Prationo tells Australian Mining. Bestech Australia supplies a wide range of strain gauges, from general foil strain gauges to high temperature strain gauges to ensure reliable measurement under diverse and challenging conditions. These strain gauges are manufactured in a clean environment and are tested according to the NAS942 and ASTM E251-74 standard. They are low cost and are generally easy to be applied on the surface. These different strain gauge types include the foil strain gauge, waterproof strain gauge, weldable strain transducer,

mould strain gauge, magnetic strain gauge, bolt strain gauge and crack detection gauges. Depending on the type of applications, Bestech can advise on which strain gauges are the best fit for the measurement, taking various factors into consideration, such as temperature, nearby objects and humidity. Foil strain gauges can be used on different types of surfaces, thus allowing site engineers to monitor each piece of critical infrastructure. These surfaces can include metal, plastic, wood and composite materials, or they can be embedded into concrete or mortar. The gauge will measure strain on the object based on changes in electrical resistance across the Wheatstone bridge, which could occur because of movement, changes in temperature or pressure. “The gauges are generally installed at the most vulnerable location in the structure. Depending on the trend of the data, engineers can determine whether maintenance needs to be scheduled to preserve the life of the structures,” Prationo says. “For example, the gauges have been used to monitor the stress distribution of the rock bolts, which are commonly used to provide temporary roof support in underground mines and for tunnels. “Installing the strain gauges in four vertical grooves enables the measurement of axial and shear stresses. Any sudden increase in these values indicates the instability of the infrastructure. “The whole measurement system includes strain gauges coupled with AUSTRALIANMINING

a highly advanced data collecting system with a four-groove bolt. The strain measurements are based on the increase or decrease of resistance of the conductor due to compression or tension.” Other than strain gauges, Bestech also supplies a range of accelerometers and fibre optic FBG (fibre-bragg grating) sensors that can be applied for condition monitoring applications on the mine site. FBG sensors can measure strain, vibration, angle and displacement for monitoring the health of the infrastructure. FBG strain and temperature sensors, along with interrogators (which process the information), work as data collection units and help to acquire the complete information of the structure. “They monitor the effect of dynamic mining activity on structural stability by

comparing strain variations,” Prationo says. “The system allows sharing valuable information at remote places by assessing and analysing the collected data. This data can be recalled anytime, anywhere by authorised users. “Hence, the system aids in substituting the reactive approaches of mine structural monitoring to proactive failure detection and accident prevention strategies.” As FBG sensors are electromagnetically safe and can also be used in highly explosive atmospheres; they are also ideally used as monitoring tools for maintaining the structural integrity of underground mines, especially as blasting occurs. Additionally, mining-induced strain in road pavement is another crucial aspect that requires continuous monitoring. Subsidence of the ground surface is the common outcome of the underground coal extraction process. Thus, an array of FBG sensors is used for the uninterrupted measurement of subsidence-induced strain in the pavement. This measurement helps to ensure safety and on-time maintenance scheduling. By implementing these discrete monitoring solutions, mine conditions can quickly and easily be processed and transmitted for remote analysis – furthering safe mining practices. “The monitoring system equipped with optical strain gauges eliminates the exposure of mining professionals to the harsh environmental conditions of underground mines,” Prationo says. “They boost the efficiency of the mine sites and help to minimise the overall expenses for infrastructure monitoring. “In addition, by providing critical information in real time, the system helps to predict, plan and optimise maintenance activities across any mine site.” AM BESTECH’S STRAIN GAUGES KEEP UNDERGROUND WORKERS AND THEIR ASSETS SAFE.

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DIGITAL MINING

THE MISSING LINK IN SMART MINING VOCUS GROUP IS LINKING REMOTE AUSTRALIAN MINING REGIONS TO THE INTERNET OF THINGS REVOLUTION THROUGH FIBRE NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE THAT ENABLES ADVANCED CLOUDBASED TECHNOLOGIES.

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he mining industry is moving towards a new frontier of technology and digitisation. Robust and reliable telecommunications infrastructure is crucial to putting Australia’s mine sites on track to achieve this ambition. While Australia’s eastern states have enjoyed a strong level of internet and telecommunication upgrades, regional areas of Western Australia and the Northern Territory have struggled to keep up. Hyper-cloud computing is the next phase of data centre technology that will

VOCUS’ FIBRE INFRASTRUCTURE USES SUBMARINE CABLES.

develop traditional workloads via the internet. In mining, this includes real-time data and machine analytics, remote operations, automation and virtual reality. These remote and automated technologies open the door to safer and efficient mine sites and are increasingly in demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has barred international travel and clipped the wings of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforces. The next generation of mine sites – often referred to as smart mines – will require strong internet and

VOCUS PLANS TO CONNECT PARTS OF WA AND THE NT TO SINGAPORE.

AUSTRALIANMINING

telecommunications infrastructure due to the bandwidth and lowlatency requirements these real-time technologies bring to the table. Singapore, a major hub for the Internet of Things (IoT) data centres needed for hyper-cloud computing, offers a pathway to enable this ‘smart’ future. Vocus is working on major network projects that bridge northern Australia’s remote regions to Singapore to fast-track mine site adoption of IoT technologies. “You have to just look into the components that make up a smart mine,” Vocus national general manager government and special projects Michael Ackland tells Australian Mining. “IoT technology is controlled by software which has to be computed. If you haven’t got connectivity into the rest of the telecommunications networks and cloud services, you will need to do that locally, which is very expensive.” While mining companies have proven these technologies can now be commissioned, they are forced to build their own mini data centres on site. Building on its previous delivery of fibre infrastructure solutions, Vocus plans to connect areas of Western Australia and the Northern Territory to Singapore with fibre cable. The company is working on multiple projects to bring theses fast and reliable connection speeds to regional areas. “This connectivity helps with latency and bandwidth requirements,” Ackland says. Vocus’ Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable will be the first international

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cable connection into Darwin, enabling greater access to cloud services through enhanced latency and network speeds. It will give regions in northern Australia access to world-class fibre infrastructure that can enhance mining operations. Remote-operated mine sites require a low latency connection of under 100 milliseconds due to plant and equipment being controlled in real time from a facility off site. “The Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable brings most of northern Australia to 40-50 milliseconds connectivity to what is a global hub for hyper-cloud and other services that weren’t previously available,” Ackland continues. “The price of data centres and hyper-cloud in remote regions is far greater than metropolitan areas such as Sydney.” According to Ackland, only one telecommunications provider services the remote regions of northern Australia. New fibre infrastructure would, however, open the door to more competition in the mining telecommunications space. Vocus intends to commit to what it describes as a complementary investment for miners through more industrial-focussed telecommunications. The complementary investment of Vocus’ fibre infrastructure prevents the need for costly on-site data centre at mine sites. “The point here is Singapore is a hub for the smarts of mining


DIGITAL MINING

operations around the world and that’s going to be in very easy reach of northern Australia,” Ackland says. “Darwin is currently at a disadvantage to get cost-effective telecommunications connectivity into and out of the region. “The Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable brings new routes and price-based competition to the top end of Australia – particularly to the Northern Territory via Darwin.” Ackland says the reason northern Australia’s fibre infrastructure has fallen behind is due to its remoteness and smaller population. Yet, strong demand from the mining sector has encouraged Vocus to develop the fibre infrastructure project. “Telcos like ourselves are recognising the demand that’s coming from the mining sector and other sectors, as well all of it being driven by the digitisation of our economy,” Ackland says. “That is creating an investment case through our Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable.” To further enhance the connectivity of mining operations, Vocus is also deploying Project Horizon, which will deliver fibre infrastructure from Geraldton to Port Hedland, and then on to Singapore via the Darwin-JakartaSingapore Cable. Port Hedland is a major export location for iron ore mined in Western Australia’s Pilbara region by majors including Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group. “From a geographic perspective, the infrastructure is very relevant and has the ability to service the connectivity requirements of the mines in the Pilbara,” Ackland says. Vocus has received strong support for the fibre networks from mining companies operating in the Pilbara. By connecting Port Hedland to

Singapore, mining supply chains in the Pilbara that use autonomous haulage through rail systems and vehicles will be able to benefit off lower latency times and better connectivity. If a remote operation has a poor connection, the autonomous vehicle must stop, which can impact productivity and consistency. “It’s been very well received,” Ackland says. “There’s a lot of interest and certainly a lot of demand, which we were aware of before we announced this project.” For Vocus, the industry’s move towards automation means that its fibre infrastructure can expect wider use in the coming years. “The very intensive mining industry is moving towards highly automated and in some cases autonomous mining as the way of operating those mines,” Ackland says. “That requires connectivity into global networks for the compute powers for the maintenance and constant monitoring of mines.” Both projects will use submarine cables to connect the regions with the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable, which is scheduled for completion by mid-2023. AM

VOCUS IS IMPROVING CONNECTIVITY THROUGH FIBRE NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE.

THE FIBRE INFRASTRUCTURE WILL ENHANCE INTERNET ACCESS IN REMOTE AREAS.

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DIGITAL MINING

REMOTE CONDITION MONITORING REDUCES RISKS AND IMPROVES RELIABILITY AS THE SAYING GOES, EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING. AND WHILE THE COVID-19 CLOUD HAS BROUGHT MANY CHALLENGES TO THE MINING AND QUARRYING INDUSTRIES, IT HAS ALSO BEEN A CATALYST FOR SITES TO ADOPT OR UPDATE TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPLEMENT REMOTE WORKAROUNDS.

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his has been the case with the condition monitoring of machinery, where expert Anthony O’Keefe says customers are realising significant benefits from implementing remote, wireless solutions. “We’ve known the benefits of these systems for some time now, however, the progress we’ve seen with the technology has meant we’re able to offer our customers more affordable solutions,” explains O’Keefe, who is the national engineering manager for CBC Australia. “What the pandemic has done is brought two key advantages of a remote, wireless solution to the fore – firstly, it reduces risk, by decreasing the number of contractors coming out to site, and secondly, it improves the reliability of the machinery.” CBC provides many customers with an offline condition monitoring service. This involves technicians from CBC going out to site to collect data, then analysing the data and providing a report back to clients on the machinery health. “This has been a successful model for us and many of our customers for years,” O’Keefe says. “However, when the first COVID restrictions came into effect, mining companies

had to put up their own borders. Only the most essential workers to their operations would be allowed onto site.” Customers soon realised the urgent need for an alternative to the traditional condition monitoring workaround was required urgently. “Our customers still required a condition monitoring service because the risks of machinery breaking down were too high,” O’Keefe says. “At the same time, they’ve recognised that the number of people coming to their site poses a risk to the plant operations. And they don’t want to be in a situation where they have to shut down as a result of worker exposure to the virus.” Enter a remote condition monitoring method that uses wireless sensors. “Instead of any of our field engineers collecting data from site, the data is instead collected using wireless sensors that are mounted onto the equipment or machinery,” O’Keefe explains. “That data is then relayed to us via the cloud, and we analyse it and send a report back to the client that way.” This remote condition monitoring method isn’t new, but it’s become more advanced and simultaneously more affordable. O’Keefe uses the

REMOTE CONDITION MONITORING USING WIRELESS SENSORS HAS BEEN POPULAR DURING THE PANDEMIC.

AUSTRALIANMINING

INSTEAD OF ANY OF OUR FIELD ENGINEERS COLLECTING DATA FROM SITE, THE DATA IS INSTEAD COLLECTED USING WIRELESS SENSORS THAT ARE MOUNTED ONTO THE EQUIPMENT OR MACHINERY.”

analogy of a camera to elaborate. “As technology has improved, and as electronics have become digitalised, they’ve also become smaller, smarter, faster and cheaper,” O’Keefe says. “Think of digital cameras and how expensive and heavy they were, and now people have advanced cameras on their mobile phones that take high quality pictures. This technology is no different.” One of the key benefits is the quality of data and the amount of data that the sensors can send. “Before, if we were manually collecting data, a service technician would perhaps do this in intervals of one a month or so – but these sensors are collecting data live and sending it across in minutes,” O’Keefe elaborates. “This is a much more reliable method of identifying a fault.” O’Keefe partly attributes the higher data quality to improvements made with the battery life of the wireless sensors. “Battery life is significantly better than it was, which means the quality of data is superior; more accurate,” he says. “The stronger the battery, the more data that can be sent and at more frequent intervals.” O’Keefe’s primary advantage

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of a remote wireless condition monitoring solution is that it doesn’t use the local site computer network. Instead, it uses a 4G network through sim cards. “This is a huge benefit as it’s not relying on the customer’s LAN connections and won’t pose any security issues or risks,” O’Keefe says. “Cybersecurity is a major concern among our mining customers.” In terms of selecting and setting these systems up, O’Keefe says that’s where CBC – and owning company Motion Asia Pacific – offers customers real value. “There’s a lot of different models out in the market. We’re in a fortunate position in that we’ve been able to see how those different models work and have an understanding of what will suit our customers,” he explains. “We’ve aligned ourselves with specific trusted partners that offer products we know will meet the needs of our clients. Importantly, we identify the needs of the customer first, then match up the best solution to meet their requirements.” Selection of a remote condition monitoring solution will depend on the scope of work, budget and the in-house expertise of the customer. “We’re able to provide a simple and accurate pricing structure, and will tailor the system in accordance to the customer’s skillset,” O’Keefe says. “For example, they may only need a basic alarm system, or perhaps they need a system with more intrinsic abilities to do analysis.” While a remote condition monitoring system may seem complex, O’Keefe reiterates CBC’s capabilities. “The benefit of working with us is that we have a team of engineers around Australia who can assist in the selection, installation and commissioning of these wireless systems,” he concludes. AM



MINERALS PROCESSING

TAKING CRUSHING TO THE NEXT LEVEL AFTER DECADES OF EXPERIENCE DEVELOPING CRUSHING SOLUTIONS FOR THE MINING INDUSTRY, MCLANAHAN HAS ADDED A NEW PRODUCT TO ITS RANGE OF ROLL CRUSHERS – THE PRIMARY MINERAL SIZER.

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cLanahan has launched the Primary Mineral Sizer, a new minerals processing solution designed by the company’s technical services team. The product design, based on industry feedback, reflects McLanahan’s long history of developing and supplying crushing equipment to the minerals processing industry. McLanahan director of technical development Rod Wilson says the company’s close connection with the industry has provided a good perspective of what mine operators need to enhance operational and maintenance efficiency. “Our design is driven by a desire to solve some of the problems customers have in existing equipment in the market and improve on maintenance times for this equipment,” Wilson tells Australian Mining. “We have a design based on modular construction and on efficient equipment maintenance. We minimise the time needed to changeout major assemblies.” The Australian-designed product incorporates several key features, including modular roll assemblies, synchronised roll timing, flexible drive design, accessible breaker bar condition monitoring and IoT connectivity. Wilson says through discussions with users, the company is always researching and developing ways to enhance the design of its equipment.

“Design concepts that have been discussed with users are developed throughout the design process to ensure it fits with a customer’s real-world environments,” he says. “We are always looking to improve the design so that features that have been a challenge in the past with this equipment will be designed out with the new equipment. “This includes the ability to change complete roll assemblies rapidly so they can be treated as a rotable spare, where roll assemblies are refurbished off line and made available for a rapid changeout during a short shutdown window.” Wilson says another innovation McLanahan has included on the Primary Mineral Sizer is an improvement to how the breaker bar is maintained. To access the breaker bar in the past, maintenance staff would have to navigate under the machine or remove the roll shaft assemblies. However, Wilson and his team have developed a design where the breaker bar can be removed from the machine without having to remove the roll assemblies first. “If you need to do some maintenance on the machine you can work on both of those major wear components at the same time without work crews interacting,” he says.

THE PRIMARY MINERAL SIZER INCLUDES MODULAR ROLL ASSEMBLIES, SYNCHRONISED ROLL TIMING AND FLEXIBLE DRIVE DESIGN.

AUSTRALIANMINING

MCLANAHAN MINERAL SIZER BREAKER BAR.

MCLANAHAN HAS LAUNCHED ITS NEW PRODUCT, THE PRIMARY MINERAL SIZER.

The product also features gear couplings between the roll assemblies and drive assemblies which can be quickly disconnected, and hydraulic fasteners for connecting roll assemblies to the frame. According to Wilson, this provides a safer and more efficient process to remove the complete roll assemblies from the frame. He says the drive assemblies are completely modular drives using OEM motors and gearboxes, which are globally available rather than being in-house designs. “The really important thing about this is that it has a low cost of ownership, low wear rates and is very efficient to maintain. You can maintain the major wear components on it in a short amount of down time for your plant,” he says. In the past decade, Wilson says the company has watched the Internet of Things (IoT) evolve and the desire of equipment operators to have more

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real-time visibility of machine data. He believes operators increasingly want the ability to observe how their equipment is functioning and have remote access to this data in real time; these demands have only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wilson says McLanahan ensures its equipment has a full set of monitoring devices available on its machines, as well as the ability to link to the data via cloud connection services. “The feedback we get from the equipment by using IoT allows users to receive advanced warnings on rising issues. They can also plan for maintenance and avoid expensive, unplanned outages,” he says. McLanahan plans to establish the Primary Mineral Sizer as an essential tool used in the mining industry “I hope to see the product operating in many different mineral applications around the world. We’re aiming to have these machines recognised as one of the first tools you reach for in ROM handling in the mineral processing sector,” Wilson concludes. AM


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NATIONAL GROUP AT FOREFRONT OF EQUIPMENT SUPPLY IN QUEENSLAND COAL LEADING MINING-EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER DELIVERS THREE CAT 6040 HYDRAULIC MINING EXCAVATORS TO QUEENSLAND MINE.

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ational Group’s catchphrase of “unstoppable” is particularly apt in Queensland’s coal sector. As coal critics decry the industry’s future, National Group is expanding its sector presence and has a positive view on coal’s longterm prospects. “Australian coal is very strong, and the outlook is even better,” says National Group founder Mark Ackroyd. “The flow-on effect is significant because metallurgical coal is a major commodity for many of our Tier 1 customers.” National Group is well placed for growth in Australian coal. The privately owned company is one of Australia’s largest end-to-end equipment suppliers to the coal industry. “National Group’s foundations were built on metallurgical coal and iron ore,” Ackroyd says. “We have more than two decades of experience in coal.” Ackroyd says National Group typically services coal mines that operate in the first or second quartile of their production cost curve. “The mines’ lower cost structure enables them to use our equipment for longer and achieve higher utilisation rates,” he says. Ackroyd is buoyed by Australian Government estimates in June that metallurgical coal exports will increase to 189 million tonnes (Mt) by 2023,

NATIONAL GROUP’S CLIENT PRODUCES FOUR MILLION TONNES OF COAL AT THIS MINE ANNUALLY.

from 172Mt in 2020. “It reinforces National Group’s view on coal and its long-term investment in equipment for the sector,” he says. “We have the people and product to help expand Australian coal production.” Ackroyd expects stronger equipment demand in coal next year as lockdowns ease. “It’s important that coal companies plan their equipment needs well

THE CAT 6040 IS A HEAVY HITTING HYDRAULIC MINING SHOVEL.

AUSTRALIANMINING

in advance because rising demand could coincide with supply shortages due to less equipment manufactured during COVID,” he says. “National Group is helping clients plan for these conditions.”

CAT 6040s

National Group’s deployment of three CAT 6040s to a client in the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland adds to the company’s “unstoppable” philosophy. The CAT 6040 excavator, a fixture in global mining, has contributed to the success of the world-class Bowen Basin. The world’s oldest 6040 still runs in the coal-rich region, having accumulated more than 100,000 operating hours. The 407-tonne machine sits in the sweet spot of the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM’s) hydraulic mining shovel range, with a bucket payload of 40 tonnes and peak production rates of up to 4000 tonnes per hour. National Group worked with its

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client to select the 6040, which has a strong reputation in metallurgical coal mining. “The calibre of 6040s is essential to take advantage of Australian coal’s strength,” says Ackroyd.


MINING EQUIPMENT

Reliable and easy to maintain, the 6040 represents National Group and Caterpillar’s dedication to drive the growth of Australian coal and other commodity sectors.

Reliability

Ackroyd says National Group’s industry relationships are based on reliable equipment delivery. “Our clients have faith in us to deliver machines of the highest quality to complete the job as efficiently as possible,” he says. This was evident when National Group delivered the three 6040s. “Extra-large mining equipment consists of many moving parts to successfully supply a finished product to the customer,” Ackroyd says. “Using our distinct port-to-pit approach, incorporating our transport solution – National Heavy Haulage – we were able to hand over the three CAT 6040s safely with zero reported incidents.” The new home of these 6040s produces 4Mt of metallurgical coal each year, which demands the best of its equipment and workforce to maintain this rate. Ackroyd says the 6040 was the best option for this application. “The Caterpillar 6040 is a durable digger that powers through the toughest materials. It was a perfect match for the customer,” Ackroyd says. “CAT has built a reliable name within Australian mining of withstanding the harshest digging conditions. That’s vital for National Group to keep meeting our customers’ expectations of predictable, efficient and productive performance.”

CAT C32 engines

A choice of twin CAT C32 engines provides reliable power in the harshest conditions; 65 per cent of full

DRIVE IS FROM NORD! MY

production is still available with use of one engine. Alternatively, Caterpillar’s electric drive system can be used to replace the diesel-powered option, for those prioritising cost-per-tonne over mobility. Hastings Deering product manager for hydraulic mining shovels, Andrew Thorn, says the C32 engine is designed on pillars of value and profitability for its operators. “Offering low operating costs, parts commonality with the CAT D11 dozer and support around the clock from Hastings Deering, the CAT C32 ensures production and profitability targets are able to be met,” Thorn says. To take its productivity a step further, Caterpillar has matched this mining shovel to a range of its haul truck payloads, ensuring every pass is optimised. The OEM’s 785D haul truck, for example, accommodates exactly four buckets from the 6040, while the 227-tonne 793F haul truck will accommodate six buckets. The CAT MineStar system tells site managers how close they are to maximising capacities. A must-have in cost efficiency measures, the MineStar system offers a suite of technology solutions for workforce-wide monitoring. Every dig and dump can be monitored remotely and in-cabin to get the job done efficiently and safely. To make maintenance straightforward for National Group clients, the 6040 affords service crews with spacious and open access to key components. The entire hydraulic system allows for easy inspection and servicing. With maintenance duties easier to complete, operators can do what they do best in the 6040 – delivering production. AM

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NORD Drivesystems (AU) Pty Ltd Fon +61 3 9394 0500 I au-sales@nord.com I www.nord.com

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MINING EQUIPMENT

OPS PROVIDES MODULAR CRUSHING AND SCREENING FOR WHYALLA MINES BIS INDUSTRIES HAS DELIVERED MATERIAL HANDLING EXPERTISE FOR THE PAST 60 YEARS IN WHYALLA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. AND FOR MUCH OF THE PAST DECADE, ASTEC EQUIPMENT HAS HELPED BIS TO ACHIEVE THIS.

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stec supplies equipment that allows Bis to process up to 1.2 million tonnes of crushed iron ore per year for its customer, with a range of crushers, screens and stackers all part of the operations. But none of this would be possible without a reliable distributor in Mineral Processing Solutions (MPS), an OPS Group company, which has taken Astec equipment to every corner of Australia. OPS Group managing director Shane Czerkasow says it is the company’s holistic approach to problems that allows it to develop solutions with Astec. “At MPS, we prefer to integrate with our customers to ensure they’re supported from installation through to decommissioning,” Czerkasow tells Australian Mining. “In terms of installation and application, we’ll sit down with them and clearly define the scope – whether it’s the complete offering or if they don’t need the help, that’s okay. We’ll put a plan or quote in place to move forward with the project.” Equally important to MPS’s competitive advantage is its ability to rapidly deploy the agreed upon solutions. This is by design, as MPS takes a modular approach to its equipment which minimises costs and maximises convenience. “We had a lot of customers saying certain applications lend themselves to modular plant, or at least static plant, with no hydraulics and minimal maintenance costs,” Czerkasow says. “The reason being is that completely static plant was too capital intensive for their application, particularly in the civil construction costs of establishing the initial plant.” On top of this, the disruptions of COVID-19 have caused shipping and lead times to grind to a halt compared with the norm. Czerkasow says shipping and hauling in smaller pieces allows for quicker turnaround times for customers when they’re most in need. “To ship large, out of gauge components is not economical and quite often not practical – even

OPS’ MODULAR APPROACH COVERS OPERATIONS FROM FEED POINT TO FINAL DISCHARGE.

around the country on roads and rail networks,” he says. “Fundamentally, modular systems mean little to no concrete depending on the application. It also means modular structures where they come separately and are bolted together using flanged plates – kind of like a large Meccano set.” The ease of dealing with MPS is especially true for Bis, which needs a premium service to ensure the steelworks run smoothly. Bis general manager for South-East Australia Hadyn Shepherd commends Astec and MPS on their reliable services. “In the nearly 10 years Astec and MPS have been providing plant and equipment to Bis for the Whyalla mines, it has allowed us to adapt and respond to the customer’s requirements quickly and efficiently,” Shepherd says. MPS’s modular approach lends itself to customising the product for site specific needs, making clear communication between MPS and the customer even more important. Czerkasow says effectively customising and delivering all sorts of electrical and instrumental controls, chute configurations and equipment

AUSTRALIANMINING

OPS DISTRIBUTES ASTEC EQUIPMENT TO EVERY CORNER OF THE COUNTRY.

setups can make or break an operation. “From our experience, complexities and misalignments come from the interfacing of one company’s perspective with the next in the chain,” Czerkasow says. “We prefer to get a keen understanding of the application with the customer in the initial phase and clearly define what’s required and what’s not. “So, we take away any blaming of multiple companies by providing the entire plant from feed point to final discharge.” Once an understanding is reached, MPS can then have the equipment delivered anywhere around Australia in a surprisingly short time. “Depending on the module and how

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it all pieces together, theoretically, you could have a 1000-tonne-perhour screening module operating on site in a week if the customer is able to be prepared with pad preparation, transport and craneage,” Czerkasow says. In a decade for the Australian mining industry where commodities are racing off the shelves and therefore time is money, MPS will continue to enable companies like Bis to run as smoothly as possible at their operations. Czerkasow adds that MPS has also found itself quite busy in the iron ore and mineral sands sectors. He isn’t counting out any other slice of the industry, either, as MPS is always ready to accommodate fresh demand. AM


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MINING EQUIPMENT THE MODIFIED VOLVO ECR235E EXCAVATOR WITH SIMEX ROCK GRINDING WHEEL.

CJD EQUIPMENT GRINDS AWAY FOR CUSTOM EXCAVATION CREATION A GOLD MINE PORTAL EXPANSION IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA WAS PROVING DIFFICULT FOR OPERATORS, WITH SOME SOFT LIMESTONE RULING OUT DRILL AND BLAST PROCESSES. LUCKILY, CJD EQUIPMENT WAS ABLE TO DELIVER A BESPOKE SOLUTION, FULFILLING THE TASK AND THE PEOPLE WHO WORKED ON IT.

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t this world-class operation in the Pilbara region, a valued CJD client turned to the equipment distributor to go above and beyond

its usual duties. The issue was underground, on a slope, and of a nature few had known to be tackled in the industry before. At least, in the nature that CJD suggested. CJD key account manager James Daniels explains why a traditional method wasn’t going to cut it in this scenario. “They had a new development on site where they essentially needed a new way of expanding their portal,” Daniels tells Australian Mining. “They couldn’t blast the rock because it was limestone, which would fragment and become unstable. Rather than do that they decided to grind away at the face and see how far they could get before they hit harder rock.” The solution was a modified version of the Volvo ECR235E excavator. Chosen for its reduced swing radius which suited the tight, underground working conditions, the excavator is fitted with a dozer blade, a grinding

wheel attachment and a dust suppression system along the excavator arm. Daniels says CJD has come to enjoy the opportunity to deliver interesting and effective machines. “A large portion of our work is bespoke, and we’ve gotten it down to a fine art now, especially in underground mining. We’ve taken a strong hold of those responsibilities and do a lot of good, interesting work with those clients,” Daniels says. “Then, when they throw us a curly one like an excavator to be fitted out for underground – which not many

people have done before – it takes a bit of nous to find out how we go about it. Our Guildford workshop team were instrumental in getting it together for us.” Once the machine was chosen and basic design agreed upon, the client handed CJD a list of specifications to meet their needs for the mine. These included isolators, emergency stops and fire extinguishers. While a job of this calibre would usually take up to eight weeks, the workshop mechanics at CJD completed it in under five weeks. CJD regional sales manager Anthony

CJD EQUIPMENT’S GUILDFORD SERVICE TEAM.

AUSTRALIANMINING

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Brown says the team worked tirelessly on the build, such is the relationship with the mine operator. “They actually love the challenge. There are a few guys in particular who get a real buzz and are well known with customers for the quality work that they do,” Brown says. “This client gives us some good challenges from time to time, but the team seem to relish that challenge and often come up with something outside the box starting with a clean sheet of paper. “I’d love to say that James and I worked really hard to achieve it. But the


MINING EQUIPMENT

reality is there’s a lot of guys that put in late nights, weekends and early starts, which I take my hat off to. They all went above and beyond.” While the ECR235E is already well kitted from the factory, with the case drain and both X1 and X3 hydraulic pumps standard on this model, CJD committed significant time into nonstandard components. First and foremost, the Simex rock grinding wheel supplied by Total Rockbreaking Solutions was the most important piece of the puzzle, while posing some interesting issues for the project. One issue with fitting a grinding wheel to an excavator underground is adding dust suppression measures to a machine which typically wouldn’t come with this feature. “We had to run a hose from the back of the machine with a valve on it, pass it through the cab to allow the operator to turn it on and off, and then run it all the way down the boom to the front where the grinding wheel was working,” Daniels says. “It was just another curve ball that the workshop boys were able to solve for us.” Another issue posed by the grinding wheel was the hydraulic capacity to keep it functional, which was made easier by the power offered by the excavator’s two-pump system. All that was left to manage was the weight of the grinding wheel, as it presented overbalance problems and prompted extensive testing to ensure 360-degree stability. To counter this, a dozer blade is fitted to the back of the excavator, which is used to leverage the machine into a level position, no matter the incline of the job. Daniels says the testing was seamless and the client was impressed with the

THE DOZER BLADE LEVERAGES THE ECR235E TO THE DESIRED INCLINE.

final product. “We took it up to a site north of Perth where we were able to grind away at some rock and everybody was very impressed with it. The client had a number of people at the trial – their training and area managers and an operator,” he says. “We even left it there over the weekend for the client to have a play around with. Their operator said it was fantastic and did everything they envisioned it would do.” The operator has reported a quiet ride and ergonomic controls, both attributes Volvo prides itself on designing. Brown says the comfortable cabin is another aspect that has won over the operator.

AUSTRALIANMINING

IT WAS JUST ANOTHER CURVE BALL WHICH THE WORKSHOP BOYS WERE ABLE TO SOLVE FOR US.” “One big factor was we had the base machine available in Perth, so we could get moving on it as soon as possible,” Brown says. “And the low emissions, Stage IV compliant engine was another. It’s wellsuited to underground work where you don’t want dangerous particles flying about where people are working in confined areas.” As the excavator has allowed the CJD client to in turn satisfy its own client, there was no more fulfilling job than watching the modified ECR235E roll

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out of the workshop. “The initial task that was set by their client – dealing with some unknown conditions where traditional practices of drill and blast were not going to be effective – and without a roadmap as to how to overcome that, it was all quite rewarding to do so,” Brown says. “Then, to get that feedback from on site that it was going really well, and the operators love it. Now that the excavator is about the most important piece of equipment on site is even more rewarding for us.” AM


MINING SERVICES

A SMART SOLUTION FOR INDUSTRY FANS MINING OPERATIONS FACE SOME OF THE TOUGHEST AND MOST REMOTE WORKING CONDITIONS ON EARTH WITH HEAT, CONTAMINANTS, VIBRATION, HEAVY LOADS AND EXTREME PRODUCTION DEMANDS LEADING TO COSTLY MAINTENANCE.

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KF solutions are designed to withstand these conditions, helping customers extend service life, improve performance and reduce the total cost of ownership of machinery. SKF rotating equipment performance specialist – Australia, Vishesh Arora, says fans are crucial components in many industrial applications and often the workhorses in production plants. “If you look at a ventilation fan, which is commonly used in mine sites, imagine the whole mine being shut down because one fan stopped. A fan can be a simple application, but depending on where it is used, the impact to the business and people can be very significant,” he says. As productivity requirements grow, increasing demands are put

SKF’S SMART FAN PROGRAM IS BROKEN INTO THREE MAIN STEPS WHICH HELP CUSTOMERS IDENTIFY FAULTS AND REDUCE DOWNTIME.

on fan performance and reliability. The result? You’ll often sense hot running, excessive noise and vibration, or issues with the transmission system, often wondering if they will survive the production run. “What most companies do is regularly change main parts: bearings, housings, sometimes shaft, and make the fan operate again,” Arora says. “These would be termed as direct cost to an impact. But the consequential costs of the stoppage can be significantly higher.” However SKF suggests another way to address these issues with its smart fan program. “Just like a doctor would need blood test results for diagnosing, you first need to get reliability under control; minimising human interaction and most importantly, improving worker safety,” Arora says. AUSTRALIANMINING

The smart fan program is broken into three main steps – the positioning of the fan in terms of technicality; the current behaviours of monitoring fans; and finally, helping customers identify faults and reduce downtime. SKF business development manager Asia, Senthil Vel, says the first step is to install pre-configured wireless sensors to connect to the fan. The company can then detect any issues by interpreting the data using an automated machine monitoring system powered by cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and AI driven analytics. “Insights from the data are presented to clients in easy-tounderstand dashboards, informing and advising when a problem arises – what it is, what the underlying cause might be and how to resolve it,” Vel says. Traditionally, fans are inspected

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every three to six months. SKF has, however, identified a gap and found during these intervals there is a chance that failure could occur with a large cost associated with it. By applying sensors, technology and knowledge to identify what is happening with the fans, Vel says operators can see the data at every hour or even minute of the day, allowing them to proactively plan for changeouts and maintenance. “We bring in the technology, expertise and software to simplify the process for the customer so they can take action immediately,” Vel says. SKF’s smart fan program has several advantages, but Vel says there are two main benefits that it promotes. The first benefit of the program is the output. “If a mine is producing coal then that doesn’t stop, allowing the client to get its product out to their customers on time,” Vel says. The second benefit is the cost of maintenance. Vel says if a fan fails clients must replace the fan, fix it and bring in contractors, resulting in significant maintenance costs. “We feel by having the technology to understand what is going on, it will tell us what has to be done in terms of the diagnosis; how to avoid those failures and reduce the costs that would come along with that,” Vel says. SKF has optimised fan performance for the past 25 to 30 years, designing and updating its solutions for mining companies around the world. The company deployed a solution for a hot gas fan at a smelter facility in Western Australia which increased the mean time between failures (MTBF) from less than 12 months to four years. By its very nature, industrial process and hot gas fans operate with extremely high internal gas temperature (>300C). But internal temperature is just the beginning of heat-related problems. SKF application engineer, Uwe Guist, was called on site where a detailed assessment led to deployment of SKF technology. “From the condition data, we found clear evidence that the real roadblock was due to extreme heat which was causing thermal expansion of the shaft,” Guist says.


MINING SERVICES

THE COMPANY HAS OPTIMISED FAN PERFORMANCE FOR THE PAST 25 TO 30 YEARS.

SKF USES TECHNOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE TO IDENTIFY ISSUES WITH FANS AT MINE SITES.

“It’s virtually impossible to eliminate internal heat generated by the process.” As a result, appropriate bearing arrangements were upgraded to accommodate the operating conditions; along with a review and change in the lubrication system. The SKF service team in collaboration with its distribution partner, Applied Industrial Technologies, supervised the

project including the mounting of replacement bearings and associated components. “The client was pleased that as a one-stop shop we were able to diagnose the problem and improve their performance with SKF engineering and application knowledge,” Guist says. SKF mining segment manager, Rod Allen, says the company offers a unique combination of product

supply and services with its rotating equipment performance solutions. SKF is not just a manufacturer of bearings, but also seals, lubrication systems, housings, power transmission products and condition monitoring equipment. By leveraging its product and engineering expertise with deep understanding around rotating equipment, Allen believes SKF can provide a unique solution

to its customer to maximise machine availability and increase reliability. “With this solution, the customer needs to pay a monthly fee rather than the cost of the product and we get paid based on the performance we deliver. Essentially, we are moving from selling products to selling performance and uptime. We win when the customer wins,” Allen concludes. AM

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Web: www.lase.com.au 47

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MINING SERVICES

CULTURE TRANSFORMATION USHERS IN A NEW ERA FOR BONFIGLIOLI ANZ AN EXTENSIVE COMPANY HISTORY CAN BE AN ASSET FOR BRAND AWARENESS, COMPETITIVENESS AND REPUTATION. HOWEVER, THESE SAME MARKETPLACE ADVANTAGES CAN BECOME A CHALLENGE WHEN TRYING TO CHANGE OR CREATE A NEW COMPANY CULTURE.

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ince its founding in Italy 65 years ago, Bonfiglioli has built a reputation for delivering quality gear motors, drive systems and inverters for a variety of industry sectors. Bonfiglioli Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) managing director Martin Broglia has always been a firm believer in creating a cohesive company culture with the customer as its core focus. Broglia joined the company in 2019, after working in the power transmission industry for 21 years. This wealth of experience has made him acutely aware of the challenges Bonfiglioli ANZ was facing and the limitations of the company’s approach to customer service. He groups the challenges into three core areas: technical service (people) stock levels and customer support (culture). Culture at Bonfiglioli ANZ was inextricably linked to customer experience, and improving customer experience was a huge priority for the leadership team. Broglia says 74 per cent of respondents to the 2020 Salesforce State of Industrial Sales & Marketing survey identified improving the

customer experience as a key requirement to achieve sales success. He spent 12 months improving Bonfiglioli ANZ’s customer experience and stock levels as part of his mission to sort out internal issues which were holding the company back from being able to deliver to the standards which customers expect. “Customer quotes were turned around within 24 hours and our local stockholding was increased to ensure quick turnarounds on jobs. However, unlike stock levels, improvements to company culture are harder to quantify,” he says. While improvements had been made to many customers pain points, some customers were not receptive to business development approaches – particularly during lockdowns. At the same time the transition to a work-from-home model with no faceto-face meetings resulted in reduced confidence amongst the sales team to reach out and effectively engage with customers. These factors were contributing to reduced sales revenue.

Developing people leads to increased company success

Melbourne-based training company Innovate Learn was engaged to provide a training solution that would strengthen and develop the sales

Building trust through credibility, empathy and an enhanced customer experience

BONFIGLIOLI ANZ MANAGING DIRECTOR MARTIN BROGLIA.

force and address culture change. “Research shows that there is a strong connection between an organisation’s ability to grow sales revenue and the strength of its overall company culture. To reach its sales revenue targets Bonfiglioli needed to gain new business and increase the revenue from its existing top 20 customers,” says Hazel Stewart, managing director of Innovate learn. “To help them meet their growth targets we focussed on building new skills and behaviours to enhance existing capabilities. We created a consistent approach for all customerfacing roles.”

More than half of the sales team were recent hires, a factor that Broglia saw as a unique opportunity. “I wanted the new Bonfiglioli employees to fully understand and embrace the culture I was trying to create – a culture that was underpinned by credibility and empathy and a desire to provide value to the customer at every touch point,” he says. “Ultimately our aim was to enhance the customer experience and build solid, long-term relationships.” Innovate Learn developed solutions for the internal sales, engineers and external sales teams. Solutions varied in application depending on the three different roles but all included a problem-solving approach that built consultative, longterm relationships with customers. The new employees were untainted by previous negative customer experiences in their approach and because they were going in with “a clean slate” they found it easier to approach customers and prospects. In their case it was a matter of developing confidence and the sales language required to ensure the culture of the company was foremost in their mind.

BONFIGLIOLI ANZ IS COMMITTED TO IMPROVING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AND STOCK LEVELS.

AUSTRALIANMINING

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MINING SERVICES

A series of 90-minute training sessions were conducted over Zoom to accommodate Bonfiglioli’s remoteworking model. While the objective of this initiative was to provide personal and professional development, it had the added advantage of helping to maintain connections between team members who could no longer interact in an office environment.

BONFIGLIOLI WAS FOUNDED 65 YEARS AGO IN ITALY.

Solutions over price

The training helped create confidence and enhanced selfmanagement skills. The team developed skills to quickly build trust and credibility, which led to more open customer conversations. Consequently, this led to a better understanding of the problems the customer needed to solve and what was important to the customer. Rather than focussing on closing the sale, they learned how to work on solutions side-by-side with the customer and get their agreement at every step. “This means that there are no surprises that can result in dissatisfaction. If a customer knows that you will deliver on what you’ve promised, trust is built and the relationship is strengthened,” Broglia says. In the case of existing customers who had been unhappy with the previous level of customer service, the Bonfiglioli ANZ sales team gained the tools needed to initiate conversations about past dissatisfaction and explain the changes that have been implemented. “These conversations helped to rebuild trust and win these customers back,” Broglia says. The Bonfiglioli ANZ engineers were included in the training as they

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are often client facing. The response to the sessions from the engineers was perhaps the most interesting because they had never thought of themselves as salespeople, but everyone who is customer facing that is selling the company. Engineers uncovered additional sales opportunities when working with the customer on technical

issues. They learned how to gather additional information whilst working on a project that could be passed to the sales team and ultimately result in additional sales revenue. “The training gave our sales and engineers teams the tools to maximise every customer-facing opportunity. They are now more confident when engaging with

customers as they are living the true Bonfiglioli values,” Broglia says. “While the primary goal was overhauling our company culture to align to the core Bonfiglioli values, we have also observed more revenue and we are seeing an uptick in our day-to-day sales even in these difficult economic times,” he concludes. AM

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MAINTENANCE

CAT CERTIFIED REBUILD MAXIMISES RESULTS WITH MINIMAL DOWNTIME WHEN RIO TINTO NEEDED TO BRING ONE OF ITS MOST IMPORTANT ASSETS BACK TO AS-NEW CONDITION AT ITS GOVE BAUXITE OPERATION IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY, THE COMPANY TURNED TO HASTINGS DEERING FOR THE BEST POSSIBLE SOLUTION.

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t any mine site, the need to remove a key asset for nine weeks will have a significant impact on the delivery of production targets. When that asset is a powerhouse in mining applications, such as the Cat D11T Dozer, strategic forward planning is critically important. The Cat D11T Dozer is purpose built to move more material and ensure maximum availability through its planned lifecycle. For Rio Tinto, Dozer 79 had operated for more than 37,000 hours, ripping and pushing bauxite at the company’s Gove open cut mining operation in the Northern Territory. The major miner knew that it wanted to undergo a Cat Certified Rebuild for its dozer, but had to come up with an innovative way to complete this while minimising equipment downtime. Rio Tinto mining maintenance superintendent Brendan Coleing says the Gove operation focusses heavily on building safe and reliable machinery to meet the targeted life of its assets and maintenance schedules. “With a 24/7 operation, we need to plan and strategically think about our assets, their maintenance and lifecycle,” Coleing says.

“By planning large maintenance projects in advance at Rio Tinto, we’ve been able to compensate for machinery downtime and achieve some great energy efficiencies.” One of the key projects that allowed for the nine-week Cat Certified Rebuild was the D11R repower project. In early 2020, the Hastings Deering team worked with Rio Tinto on an innovative alternative solution for engine replacement for the miner’s D11R fleet that reduced costs, fuel use and emissions while extending lifespans. This saw them take the 3508 engines that the machines originally came with and replace them with the newer C32 engines. “Recent success with repowering our D11 fleet with C32 engines has helped our mining operations move more bauxite due to increased power in the machine,” Coleing says. “This in turn allowed us to remove Dozer 79 out of production, and into the workshop to complete a Cat Certified Rebuild.” Alongside the increase in machine availability, the project presented a budgeted fuel burn reduction of up to 25 per cent. “Our like-for-like material movements are now done with significantly less fuel, which is THE D11R REPOWER PROJECT WAS A KEY PROJECT THAT ALLOWED FOR THE NINE-WEEK CAT CERTIFIED REBUILD.

AUSTRALIANMINING

THE CAT CERTIFIED REBUILD TOOK CAREFUL PLANNING BETWEEN THE RIO TINTO AND HASTINGS DEERING TEAMS.

a great environmental outcome. They’re also quieter, making them a little more comfortable for the operator,” Coleing says. With Cat equipment built to perform over multiple lifetimes, the Cat Certified Rebuild was the most efficient way to help get the most economic value out of the original asset investment. A Cat Certified Rebuild is a full machine project that provides a like-new machine, inclusive of all Cat updates to help achieve a full machine life supported by the Caterpillar warranty. “Given Dozer 79’s upcoming power train, hydraulic and major component change outs, a Cat Certified Rebuild was a costeffective way for us to maintain the asset through to the end of its target life,” Coeling says. Hastings Deering service manager Brad Read says the Cat Certified Rebuild program is an efficient way for mining companies to improve the planned lifecycle of their machines. “Customers opt for a Cat Certified Rebuild as it provides the ability to rebuild their machine, including all technological advancements, over purchasing a new machine,” Read says. “This helps to reduce capital expenditure.”

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The Cat Certified Rebuild offered an extended scope of work over a standard rebuild and took careful planning between the Rio Tinto and Hastings Deering teams. “The Cat Certified Rebuild takes up to nine weeks to complete and covers an extended scope of work including power train replacement, hydraulics and electrical components, cab overhaul, work implement overhaul and ET testing and painting,” Read says. “Effective planning is critical to the success of a large-scale project like a rebuild. The team needs to ensure all stages of the rebuild have been planned, scheduled and on time, to guarantee machine delivery back to the customer. It is essential to support our customers in their operation.” By planning the Cat Certified Rebuild after the success of the C32 repower project, Rio Tinto and Hastings Deering improved the performance of the equipment and compensated for the removal of Dozer 79. “By undertaking work in this manner, we’ve removed a mass amount of forward log of work, that not only gave us immediate availability but provided us with an improved asset through to the end of the machine life,” Coleing concludes. AM


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MAINTENANCE

ACE GOES DEEPER INTO WEAR SOLUTIONS AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS ENGINEERING IS GROWING ITS OFFERING TO ACCOMMODATE THE FULL SPECTRUM OF WEAR LINERS NEEDED FROM PIT TO PORT. THIS INCLUDES A RANGE OF CERAMIC AND METALLIC LINERS PLUS ALL THE COMPOSITES IN BETWEEN.

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ometimes, the perception of wear resistance and product service life is ‘the harder the better’. The truth, however, is much deeper than this, as the range at Australian Ceramics Engineering (ACE) uncovers. ACE chief product officer John McCracken says his team of engineers can modify a range of materials to develop specific wear solutions for its industry partners. “That ‘hardness’ is governed by microstructure. So, applying the expertise of materials science in microstructure-property relationships is where the real work is done for us,” McCracken tells Australian Mining. “It’s difficult for engineers to find that silver bullet in a single abrasion resistant material, so composites enable us to use the discrete properties of two or three different materials to provide the ideal product properties.” An example of these composites could be the ACEarmour wear liners, which are made from a combination of ZTA (zirconia-toughened-alumina) and rubber. “They’re composites with a steel backing and this allows us to use a variety of attachment methods utilising modular designs,” McCracken says.

AN ORE DEFLECTOR WITH ACEARMOUR ZTA CERAMIC WEAR LINERS.

THE ACE TEAM AND FACILITY IN WANGARA, WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

“The modular design permits us to use multiple abrasion materials such as hardened steels, or one of our products from the Slik Alloy and ceramic product range, in the same wear application solution. “This means the customer only replaces the high-wearing parts rather than a whole asset.” Materials can be combined in this nature to offer increased impact resistance in applications like iron ore processing and hard rock mining. This, along with more than a dozen additional options for jobs across the mining chain, has been developed by ACE with years of experience and customer feedback in mind. McCracken says the company is continuously working on its product to satisfy each application it faces. “We have a product offering that we feel can cover most applications between those two extremes, from the large abrasives in the pit to the finer product at the port,” McCracken says. A common understanding is that the physical characteristics of the raw material being processed or mined is the main consideration when developing and implementing wear liners for the mining industry. In actual fact, this is one component of a complex system. AUSTRALIANMINING

THE ACESLIKALLOY SMOOTH SURFACE CHROMIUM CARBIDE OVERLAY WEAR PLATE.

McCracken explains that abrasive wear is a system with many factors and as such, velocity, angle of impact and material, for example, can affect the usefulness of ACE’s products. “So, what the materials and design engineering team has to take into account is what our customers are doing before trying to develop a product or design a solution to suit an application,” he says. “This means we need to collaborate and cooperate on the product with the customer. We need better information and data from them as much as they need specialist advice from us.” ACE works with its customers to properly understand what the problem is. Only then can ACE’s engineers take this information and turn it into a tailored solution. This process involves extensive experimental testing and modelling

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often using 3D printers and customer trials, through which ACE has found its wear products can increase asset life by anywhere from 40 to 500 per cent. As the company grows – having acquired Keech for its expertise in castings and steels in 2021 – McCracken says condition monitoring may become part of ACE’s offering. “We get excited when a customer presents a problem for which there is no obvious solution because we use the collected data to tailor an innovative solution,” he says. “Increased asset availability provides better productivity for the customer. Flow on benefits include improved safety and environmental impacts. “We’re currently looking at wear sensing and particularly live wear sensing so that rather than it being a reactive response, it’ll be a proactive response.” AM



REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT

THE MINING REGION IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S QUIET CORNER AS DEMAND FOR RAW MINERALS TO MANUFACTURE ELECTRIC BATTERIES INCREASES, THE SOUTH WEST REGION IS QUICKLY ESTABLISHING ITSELF AS A SLEEPING GIANT OF THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN RESOURCES SECTOR. MICHAEL PHILIPPS WRITES.

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hen people think of the South West region of Western Australia it brings up images of a popular tourism destination. Margaret River’s vineyards and

well-known surfing breaks, the Busselton Jetty and for those who live in Perth, heading ‘Down South’ presents an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Little do these holiday makers know that the South West is now making a name for itself as a heavyweight in the Western AUSTRALIANMINING

Australian mining and resources sector. Companies with operations in the South West include Iluka Resources, Talison Lithium, Alcoa, Tronox, Doral Mineral Sands, Griffin Coal, CalEnergy Resources, Newmont, Mineral Resources, Albermarle, Simcoa, Premier Coal, South32

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Worsley and Hexion. Additionally, Rio Tinto has operated an office in Busselton for the past eight years, reflecting the large number of the company’s workers who choose to base themselves in the South West. This month, WesTrac and Rio Tinto celebrated a successful first six


REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT

AN AUTONOMOUS TRUCK AT THE WESTRAC TECHNOLOGY TRAINING CENTRE IN COLLIE.

months of a partnership that has seen more than 100 Rio Tinto employees develop skills in cutting-edge Automated Haulage Systems (AHS) training at the WesTrac Technology Training Centre in Collie in the South West. The development program commenced in March and is designed specifically to prepare Rio Tinto employees for a variety of roles at the new Gudai-Darri mine in the Pilbara. The collaboration between WesTrac and Rio Tinto saw the creation of a tailored program to teach team members the safety fundamentals of operating within an autonomous mine

site at the Collie training centre. According to WesTrac’s Technology Training Centre operations manager Jeremy Manuel, the program creates significant opportunities for its team members to develop skills that will continue to increase in demand at mine sites across the world, including Western Australia and the South West. “We are pleased this collaboration will support the local economy in Collie, with our team members accessing local goods and services during the time spent in the town to undertake the program,” Manuel says. Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia (CMEWA) industry and competitiveness manager Adreienne La Bombard says the South West has healthy reserves of key resources that are vital to the state economy and used globally – including gold, alumina, lithium, mineral sands, titanium dioxide, silicon and coal. “The South West region is home to around 170,000 people, which means there is a ready workforce to fill positions at operational sites,” La Bombard says. “In turn, resources companies have many lifestyle benefits they can offer to employees, with the South West known for its beaches, wineries, shopping options, popular cafes and some of the best restaurants in the state. “Operators in the South West are also able to offer workers the opportunity to live close to where they work, which is something many welcome from a family perspective. “For mining and resources sector workers that commute to operations elsewhere around the state for their swings, the lifestyle on offer when they return home is also attractive.” According to CMEWA figures and factsheets, the South West region offers a healthy mix of long-standing commodities and operators that are still going strong, and also newer companies and minerals that reflect the mining ecosystem of the future, particularly with regards to battery materials. The diverse range of minerals and products coming out of the region includes synthetic rutile, titanium dioxide pigment, glues and binding agents, alumina, coal, gold, spodumene (lithium) and silicon. Iluka has been mining and processing mineral sands in the region for 50 years. Alcoa has been mining and processing alumina in the state for nearly 60 years. South32’s Worsley operations started in the early 1980s and production of alumina has increased four-fold since, including a $3 billion capacity expansion a decade ago. Simcoa has been producing silicon AUSTRALIANMINING

WE PRIDE OURSELVES ON A REHABILITATION PROGRAM ACKNOWLEDGED GLOBALLY AS LEADING PRACTICE AND ARE PROUD THAT SELFSUSTAINING JARRAH FOREST ECOSYSTEMS THRIVE WHERE WE ONCE MINED.”

for global markets in the South West since the late 1980s and is Australia’s only producer of a commodity that is absolutely vital for computing and solar energy production. La Bombard says in recent years it’s become apparent that battery minerals and materials will have a vital role to play in the South West’s future. “Talison Lithium and its predecessors have been mining lithium at Greenbushes since 1983 and the area is recognised as containing the world’s highest grade and largest hard rock deposit of lithium mineral spodumene,” she says. “Feedstock from Greenbushes will flow through to the new kid on the block, Albermarle Lithium, which is currently building a lithium hydroxide processing facility at Kemerton.” CME’s economic factsheet data underlines just how valuable an economic contributor the mining sector is to the South West. Analysis of 65 member companies from the 2019-20 financial year found that Western Australia’s mining, oil and gas, energy and contractor industries contributed $2.9 billion to the South West and Peel economy, directly providing 12,351 full-time jobs for residents of the region. These figures include wages paid to workers who live in the South West and Peel regions, but are employed at operations outside of the region, and payments for goods and services delivered by companies headquartered in the region but undertaking work elsewhere in Western Australia. CMEWA’s South West member companies have identified a range of key strategic priorities – including water security, energy security, transport corridors (road, rail and port), land access and approvals, waste re-use, access to skilled labour and promoting the benefits of the sector. “Member companies continually collaborate with government and other stakeholders in working to

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progress these priorities, while CME itself advocates to help achieve outcomes that allow these companies to operate safely, cost effectively and sustainably,” La Bombard says. “There is also strong recognition among CME and its member companies of the need to promote the good work mining is doing in the South West, with one benefit being that young people and job seekers in general will better understand the range of career opportunities that are available to them in the sector.” Alcoa Australia operations vice president Michael Gollschewski says the company is focussed on maintaining sustainable operations in the South West and Peel region where it operates. “We acknowledge and respect the privilege of operating in an area of Western Australia characterised by jarrah forest, native flora and fauna and waterways,” he says. “Over decades, we have acquired considerable expertise in operating sustainably and successfully in this unique ecosystem. “We have worked collaboratively on key research, with government to develop a comprehensive reserve system in the northern jarrah forest, and with other land users to ensure we can continue to sustainably and successfully coexist. “We pride ourselves on a rehabilitation program acknowledged globally as leading practice and are proud that self-sustaining jarrah forest ecosystems thrive where we once mined.” La Bombard says many of CMEWA’s member companies and their employees have been immersed in the South West region for years, and relationships with supporting industry are well established. “These range from rail operators to the port at Bunbury, commercial water providers, large earthmoving contractors, Aboriginal and environmental consultants, and all the way down to the coffee vans that are available on site at morning tea times,” La Bombard says. “As is the case for the whole of WA, there are very few parts of the South West economy and community that mining doesn’t touch. “Mining is entrenched as a vital contributor to the South West community and many businesses and community organisations would be unable to thrive – and in some cases survive – without it. “While some people may not automatically think of mining when they think of the South West, we believe recognition of the sector’s importance to the region is growing all the time.” AM


MATERIALS HANDLING

THE THOR TOWERSTACKER: A VERSATILE, AFFORDABLE CONVEYOR SOLUTION A PRODUCT OF A PROSPERING COLLABORATION BETWEEN LINCOM GROUP AND THOR GLOBAL, THE CONVEYOR IS TURNING HEADS ACROSS THE MINING INDUSTRY.

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cross more than two decades, Lincom Group has built a business model based on relationships and loyalty. Partnering with multinational companies to supply its equipment to Australian mining operations, Lincom has established a strong rapport with Canadian manufacturer, Thor Global. Australia’s exposure to the Thor Towerstacker Telescopic Cable Mast Conveyor is a product of that collaboration. With two Thor Towerstackers commissioned at a Central Queensland thermal coal open pit mine, leading to the conveyor carrying first material in September, Lincom’s work is being recognised industry wide. So, what sets the Thor Towerstacker apart from its competition? “Number one, it’s the price point,” Lincom chief executive officer Stephen Watterson tells Australian Mining. “The price point of that machine, bringing an off-the-shelf item in here, has been very competitive for us. It’s a price-competitive machine that’s doing 1800 tonnes an hour of coal – you’re talking big tonnages.” The Thor Towerstacker is also versatile and adaptable – a conveyor that mining companies can easily

A 3D MODEL OF THE TOWERSTACKER.

integrate into their operations. “It’s that ease of getting it built quickly, getting it erected quickly and getting mines up and running quickly. Time is of the essence, especially with this mine as well – timing was a big factor.” Mining operations already have plenty to consider and assess before they can even begin production. To be able to facilitate a conveyor that can make a seamless transition into varied environments works in Lincom’s favour. THE THOR TOWERSTACKER CAN DELIVER 1800 TONNES OF COAL AN HOUR.

AUSTRALIANMINING

The Thor Towerstacker is also certified. “We’ve done enough of these machines in the country now that we meet all the Australian Standards for electrical, for structures, and in particular in Queensland, we meet the Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) process,” Watterson says. “The RPEQ is a very stringent set of engineering checks from an independent party that has to do a sign-off on the design. It’s not about just giving them a brochure, they get full structural drawings and more. So, for these machines to pass that – it’s a huge feather in our cap.” The Thor Towerstacker complies with Australian Standards, AS1170 and AS4324.1, both of which endorse the safety of the machine – an important consideration for any mine site looking to reduce their lost-time injury. “The Australian Standards are one thing, the RPEQ is another, so you’re under very stringent controls there to meet – that’s from access to walkways, to any of the safety features that have to be factored into the hydraulics system, to the deflection of the actual conveyor itself, the structure.” “Any Joe Bloggs can make a stacker but having it going into a

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mine site, a significant mine site, and having it comply with all those Australian Standards and the RPEQ requirements, and the site-specific requirements as well.” Recognised as a finalist for the Australian Bulk Handling Awards 2021, the Thor Towerstacker has established itself on the Australian mining scene. But Lincom’s work is not done yet. The conveyor will continue to draw interest going forward, and as Lincom continues its collaborations with Thor, more opportunities will arise. “For the Thor Towerstacker itself, there will be three of these Towerstackers in Australia, and we would continue to promote them in these new mines and/or mine expansions,” Watterson continues. “Thor also has another range, which is its standard radial stockpilers which are on wheels.” Lincom supplies Thor’s Top Fold Portable Radial Conveyor, Telescopic Portable Radial Conveyor and Low Profile Telescopic Portable Radial Conveyor, each of which offer their own unique attributes for mining operations. Whether it be the Towerstacker or radial conveyors, Watterson believes there are both cost and safety benefits by going with Thor. “From a cost point of view, it’s a great addition to any setup, saving money by reducing expenses on maintaining a wheel loader and an operator,” Watterson says. “You plug the thing in, the stacker’s always going to be at work the next day, it’s reliable and will get the job done.” With an eminent international manufacturer by its side, a premium product at its disposal, and an authentic and trusted process to its name, Lincom has carved out its own niche in the supplying and manufacturing game. A team of family businesses, Thor and Lincom are neither intimidating nor underhanded – two important attributes when securing deals in the mining sector. AM


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MATERIALS HANDLING

MARTIN ENGINEERING UNVEILS CONVEYOR TRAINING CONTENT NEW ONLINE CONTENT HAS BEEN INTRODUCED BY THE EXPERIENCED CONVEYOR TRAINING PROVIDER, SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO INTEGRATE WITH LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS SO USERS CAN ASSIGN, MONITOR AND CERTIFY PROGRESS OF ALL PARTICIPANTS.

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artin Engineering’s new offering includes eight self-paced modules that address methods to identify, understand and correct common bulk conveying issues to improve safety on powerful and potentially dangerous systems, while complying with regulations, maximising production efficiency and achieving the lowest operating costs. “Online conveyor training is delivering critical knowledge to companies around the world, and that’s never been more important than in these pandemic-restricted times,” training manager Jerad Heitzler explains. “But even as the popularity of these programs continues to rise, larger firms face challenges integrating the content into their learning management systems (LMS) so they can ensure thorough and convenient training for all employees – at all levels – across multiple sites. “These modules create a verifiable record of employee training, so customers can track and confirm the participation of individuals companywide.” Organised into 90- to 120-minute segments, the virtual classes cover topics such as best practices for safety, fugitive material control and belt tracking.

THE MODULES DELIVER TOPICSPECIFIC CONTENT THAT CAN BE PUT TO IMMEDIATE USE.

THE MODULES CREATE A RECORD OF EMPLOYEE TRAINING THAT CUSTOMERS CAN TRACK.

With the training modules easily accessible and conveniently located in company-wide LMSs, the new Martin content gives customers complete control over scheduling and tracking. “This is the type of training that everyone should have, and companies no longer need to rely on an outside vendor to schedule individual or group sessions,” Heitzler continues. “It delivers an in-depth and consistent understanding of conveyors and their hazards, ensuring that personnel at all levels can work safely and efficiently around these powerful systems.” Martin Engineering has provided expert training for much of its 75-plusyear history, helping customers better control bulk material flows while reducing the risks to personnel. Designed to maximise employee engagement, the modules deliver topic-specific, non-commercial content that can be put to immediate use, and AUSTRALIANMINING

the new format allows even the most remote locations to take advantage. The eight modules cover essential subjects that include an introduction to the concept of total material control, with content on transfer points, belting and splices, as well as belt cleaning, alignment and dust management. “This system is created using a SCORM 1.2-compliant format, so it will integrate seamlessly with most existing LMSs,” Heitzler adds. SCORM is a widely used set of technical standards that provides the communication method and data models that allow eLearning content and LMSs to work together. All eight modules are currently available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and can be provided in a variety of formats to meet the requirements of specific customers and their LMSs. “Seven of the eight modules have a

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test at the end, requiring a minimum score of 70 per cent to move on to the next module,” Heitzler says. “SCORM allows the content to interact with the LMS and leverage any features that a customer’s system has, which could include tracking the progress of each learner, providing reports or issuing certificates of completion. “With this new effort in place, Martin has taken another step forward in global conveyor training. We’ve emerged as an LMS content provider to deliver greater flexibility and control over employee learning, helping customers attain the highest levels of efficiency and safety.” The training content is available in a variety of packages, with options to suit a wide range of industries and company sizes. Interested parties can obtain details by contacting their regional Martin Engineering locations. AM


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MATERIALS HANDLING

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX FLEXCO AUSTRALIA’S CUSTOM-ENGINEERED WASHBOX SOLUTION HAS BEEN THE GO-TO FOR A WESTERN AUSTRALIAN IRON ORE MINER LOOKING TO REDUCE SPILLAGE AND DOWNTIME.

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he Pilbara region of Western Australia is home to some of the world’s largest iron ore operations, with sites running around the clock to process millions of tonnes of material. Record high demand for Australia’s iron ore requires reliable and effective solutions that ensure mine sites can operate without any hiccups. To ensure commodity demand is met, the conveyor belt system is central to keeping mineral processing operations moving. However, issues including carryback and spillage can lead to faster belt wear and additional clean-up activities, with both translating to further downtime and a loss of production. A major iron ore mine in Western Australia was suffering carryback issues, where material was being caught on the underside of the belt. The mine site’s construction engineer reached out to Flexco to develop a custom solution for the conveyor-belt system. Flexco WA regional manager Jayden Baker says carryback build-up posed a

significant issue for the mine site. “Below the conveyor’s structure, a lot of material building up resulted in clean-up cost, and also resulted in wear on rollers and structure,” Baker tells Australian Mining. “This resulted in a lot of clean-up costs during their shutdown cycles and premature belt wear which can be costly on an overlander belt.” Baker says carryback is a common issue in the mining industry which is often caused by an insufficient cleaning system. Flexco’s in-house engineers developed a custom washbox solution to combat the carryback. Washboxes provide enhanced cleaning efficiencies that are a step above primary and secondary cleaners. It is mounted on the return side of the belt, and is fitted with pressure rollers, spray bars, two secondary cleaners and a recovery system. “We determined a washbox would be the right solution based on recent results we’ve had on other sites, and the cleaning and efficiency we get out of them,” Baker says. According to Baker, washboxes

FLEXCO’S WASHBOX IS MANUFACTURED LOCALLY IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

AUSTRALIANMINING

FLEXCO DEVELOPED A CUSTOM WASHBOX SOLUTION TO COMBAT THE CARRYBACK AT A MINE SITE.

can be effective solutions if they are custom designed for a specific conveyor belt. “If a washbox is designed incorrectly, they can block up and fail to move the water and product from the belt. “Our design team review data taken by our engineers from the site and they’ll see the design process through from start to finish, working with site engineers to make sure they design the optimum washbox for that application.” Flexco used belt data to ensure the correct washbox was used for the mine. The mine site has not needed to deal with clean-up around the beltline since the washbox installation. Flexco’s washbox has also added a further nine months of life out of the site’s overlander belts, which Baker says can cost up to $3 million to replace. This site usually replaces the belt every three years because of premature wear. With the additional months the washbox has added so far, this now provides $250,000 to $300,000 cost savings every four years. “If you can clean the belt as much as possible at the head end of the conveyor, that reduces the carryback that flows down the conveyor,” Baker says.

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“For example, if a belt is five kilometres long, build-up can work its way down and create piles of material below the structure which is not an easy place to get to. “You also run the risk of product building up on the structure - one lump of product built up in the structure could fall down which could be catastrophic.” The COVID-19 pandemic has limited international travel and continues to disrupt supply chains. Flexco’s washbox solution is manufactured locally in Western Australia, which has proven to be a key advantage for lead times both before and during the pandemic. “It’s made here, which means waiting four weeks instead of four months if you relied on an overseas manufacturer,” Baker says. The prospect of buying local also ensures Australia’s economic recovery continues by supporting companies such as Flexco. Flexco’s commitment to developing custom solutions for its customers has helped grow its exposure among mining companies. “By doing this sort of engineered solution for our customers coupled with the results we’ve received, we’ve now become a trusted advisor and partner with this iron ore mine,” Baker says. AM



MATERIALS HANDLING

PIONEERING PRODUCTS TO CREATE DURABLE ENVIRONMENTS A ONE-STOP ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS PROVIDER FOR MINING, MINERAL PROCESSING, CONVEYING AND CORROSION PROTECTION, THEJO IS COMMITTED TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE MATERIALS HANDLING SECTOR BY INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY AND PROFITABILITY OF OPERATIONS WHILE MAKING THE ENVIRONMENT CLEANER AND SAFER.

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n line with its vision as a worldclass supplier of bulk materials handling solutions, Thejo offers various services that complement its product line and improve return on investment. Thejo director of sales Rajesh John says the company has introduced new strategies to increase the business offering under the services vertical from existing clients, while retaining its core strength – the upkeep of belt conveyor systems. “Sustainable Synergetic Solutions (SSS) is a specialised, comprehensive offering, focusing on an engineered solution, taking overall responsibility for optimum performance of the equipment system by integrating product and service capabilities,” he says. “Our vast experience, technical expertise, standardised system, and procedures and integrated capabilities form the basis for offering total solutions with optimum resources.” Through the SSS offering for transfer points, Thejo ensures that transfer chutes function effectively, efficiently, and economically. When combined with other ancillary products like belt cleaners, impact beds, skirtings, belt trackers, dust suppression systems, wear and abrasion liners, SSS offers high return on investment (ROI) to clients through higher performance life, while reducing pollution and increasing the safety levels of operations. THE BAZOOKA AIR BLASTERS DISCHARGE A STRONG BLAST OF COMPRESSED AIR TO DISLODGE ANY MATERIAL BUILD-UP.

“With our wide network of service centres, we foresee a steady but significant growth of our service business,” John says. “The company focuses on innovation through research and development, developing diverse products to meet the needs of customers and society. We have successfully developed products meeting the stringent operational requirements across the mining, mineral processing, material handling and corrosion protection applications. “Ranked among the top 25 Innovative companies in India by Confederation of Indian Industries for the years 2019 and 2020, Thejo was also the winner of Top Innovative Company Award (Manufacturing - Medium Sector) for 2020.” Harikrishnan R, the product vertical head, highlights a few of the recent advancements in research and development activities done by Thejo, including: VULKAN GEN-4 Control Panel, HERCULES Dynamic Impact Beds, DYNATRACK Belt Aligners, TITAN R-TRACK Belt Cleaners, and BAZOOKA Air Blasters VULKAN GEN-4 automatically controls and monitors the three essential parameters (pressuretemperature-time) during the vulcanisation process while splicing a conveyor belt to minimise manual errors. The parameters can be remotely controlled and monitored by a process expert. This invention also enables real time data logging of the parameters and helps build a data base for future reference. It has a user-friendly touch screen interface for setting or editing the parameters, while a provision for live video streaming and recording the entire splicing operation for monitoring, as well as future reference is also present. The TITAN R-TRACK belt cleaner features a track mount blade holding arrangement where the specially designed blades can be slid in and out of cleaning position. The patented cleaning element consists of a TC tipped metallic blade mounted on a specially designed polyurethane support, which cushions the impact of splices and metal fasteners, AUSTRALIANMINING

THEJO HAS A REPUTATION FOR DEVELOPING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR THE MATERIALS HANDLING SECTOR.

while maintaining constant cleaning pressure. “We are trying to make cleaner blade replacement without stopping the conveyor. This means the technician can go there, remove the blade, and replace the blade without stopping the conveyor with minimum human interference.” Harikrishnan says. The Hercules Dynamic Impact Bed is a unique belt support system, which would retain the natural shape of the belt as well as absorb the impact of material on the belt. This patented design can naturally accommodate any troughing angle eliminating the need for customisation. The new product combines the advantages of Garland idlers and shock absorbers to provide a dynamically adjusting impact bed which automatically adjusts to the troughing of the conveyor belt. “The concept is currently being trialled and we hope to launch it into the market within in the next six months,” Harikrishnan says. The BAZOOKA Air Blasters / Air Cannons discharge a strong blast of compressed air into silos/bins/storage vessels to dislodge any material build-

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up and overcome flow problems even under the most adverse conditions. Bazooka features a patented Dual Piston valve assembly which helps to achieve at least 20 per cent more blast force than conventional air blasters. The filling time for successive blasts is reduced by at least 40 per cent compared to conventional blasters. BAZOOKA has been launched in the market and is receiving a good response from customers. Harikrishnan says the company is expecting good business from the cement, steel and iron ore mines for Bazooka. John says Thejo’s wide network of service activities and 24/7 contact with clients provides it a channel for constant feedback which quickens and optimises its product innovation cycle. “Digitalisation is another key pillar of our upcoming product improvement initiatives. Our endeavour is to make our products capable of collecting real time information to enhance the efficiency, safety and reliability of the system,” John says. “Thejo’s unique strength is our ability to combine products and services, and offer solutions where we take ownership of a client’s system and deliver on agreed outcomes.” AM


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MATERIALS HANDLING

ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE WITH QUALITY SUPPORT FROM ITS SERVICE TEAM, THYSSENKRUPP DELIVERS FULLY-AUTOMATED AND DIGITISED STOCKYARD AND PORT SOLUTIONS FOR SAFE AND EFFICIENT BULK HANDLING.

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ith a wide range of bulk materials handling equipment available under its Plant Technology division, thyssenkrupp offers the mining industry belt conveyors, bucket wheel excavators, crushing plants, screens and stockyard systems. Mining companies and port operators face the challenge of ensuring the health and safety of personnel, increasing productivity and reducing operational costs. thyssenkrupp addresses these challenges with smart stockyard and port solutions that are fully automated and digitised – and help customers remain competitive. In Perth, thyssenkrupp has designed the world’s largest stockyard machines, while its fleet of stackers, reclaimers and shiploaders have been an essential and reliable part of mining infrastructure for years. “Our balance machines with tonnages ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 tonnes per hour (tph) have been the most market-demanded machines,” thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions product line manager Luke Bennett says. “When our clients hit major milestones in tonnage delivery, it’s often reported with an image of one of our machines delivering those tonnes. thyssenkrupp sales and service director Uwe Zulehner says mine operators can choose to have a machine completely designed and specified, or they can supply the specification. “By doing this our clients receive delivery of a machine with the core strength in engineering design that thyssenkrupp offers, along with their specifications that offer them equipment standardisation and supplier continuity,” he says. Over the years, thyssenkrupp has invested in its aftersales service by developing service centres in Perth, Port Hedland and Brisbane, which offer servicing, manufacturing, spares and continual engineering excellence from cradle to grave. Zulehner says the company is in contact with mine operators at the

THYSSENKRUPP DEALS WITH BULK COMMODITIES SUCH AS BAUXITE, COAL AND IRON ORE.

very early stage of planning. “We conduct engineering studies and feasibility studies with the customer in the early stages of the project to ensure that the project is viable,” he says. “Then when the project is going into execution, we make sure that all the requirements from the customer are met in terms of productivity and quality, but also within the timeline. “Something that really sets us apart is that we have a strong technical team in Perth that is interacting with the customer personally, on a daily or weekly basis, that are starting those studies and very essential works early in the project.” Bennett says the company’s adaptability has enabled it to work with a variety of clients, especially in terms of its bulk handling capability. “We deal with bulk commodities such as bauxite, coal and obviously iron ore here in Western Australia,” Bennett says. “While the commodities haven’t changed, there have been changes in the way people operate, in terms of efficiencies and making sure that customers get the last dollar out of AUSTRALIANMINING

absolutely everything.” thyssenkrupp has expanded its bulk materials handling solutions by developing its Train Load Out Station to use artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques to improve loading accuracy. The system combines a volumetric and gravimetric type of operation and opens new options for fast and precise logistics. According to thyssenkrupp, it allows loading ore at an average rate of 16,000tph with great precision and manages to reduce the wagon loading time. The company has also developed its autonomous Bucket Wheel Stacker Reclaimer (BWSR), which optimises material handling with a productivity gain of around 20 per cent when compared with conventional operations. It can also add 25 per cent to equipment life due to the stability of the operation provided by advanced automation. “Our machines are designed with the highest standards for safety, both from within the thyssenkrupp standard, as well as our clients’ requirements,” Zulehner says. “But it

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isn’t just with our machine operations. When we execute a project, our key focus is on safety in every area and our recent projects have shown this.” Bennett says thyssenkrupp’s services include designing and building individual machines and complete installations, as well as modernising and upgrading existing systems. “The continuity that we have is not just understanding our equipment, but also understanding other infrastructure that can affect our machines,” he says. “That is based on the engineering know-how that we have in our office in Perth and the service team that we have had for a number of years. It is that combination that enables us to give our clients the answers that they are after. “We have delivered numerous machines ourselves into the marketplace to build our footprint so there are many machines that we look after under our own wing. “But by keeping things in-house and using the support of our service team, it enables us to apply that this expertise to any bulk handling machine solutions our customers are looking for.” AM


A SMALL STEP ON OUR PATH TO CHANGE

FROM 2021, ALL CASTROL PRODUCTS WE SELL IN AUSTRALIA WILL BE

COMMITTED TO CARBON NEUTRALITY IN ACCORDANCE WITH PAS 2060** A SMALL STEP TOWARDS A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

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in accordance with PAS 2060, see www.castrol.com/cneutral for more information. The C02e emissions are calculated in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Product Life Cycle Standard and includes life cycle emissions. The demonstration of carbon neutrality will be assured by an Independent Third-Party and certified to BSI’s PAS 2060 carbon neutral specification. See www.castrol.com/cneutral for more information.


MANUFACTURING

GATHERING THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF SMART FACTORIES WEIR DIRECTOR – MANUFACTURING BRIAN O’CONNELL (RIGHT).

WEIR MINERALS’ STATE-OF-THE-ART MANUFACTURING FACILITIES ARE EMBRACING INDUSTRY 4.0 TECHNOLOGIES TO ENSURE ROBUST MINING EQUIPMENT IS DELIVERED TO MINE SITES ACROSS THE GLOBE.

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s supply chain demand for highquality commodities grows, mine sites require equally high-quality plants and equipment to maximise the extraction of valuable minerals. It is crucial for minerals processing facilities to include trusted, best-in-class equipment to avoid unnecessary downtime which could hamper production and impact profits. Weir Minerals is at the forefront of providing engineered integrated solutions that mining companies have relied on for decades. The company offers an extensive range of products from material extraction to tailings and fluid management, for a complete end-toend solution. These products have gained a strong international presence including Enduron HPGR (high pressure grinding rolls), Cavex hydrocyclones and the industry-leading Warman centrifugal slurry pumps, which have being exported across the globe for more than 80 years.

All of Weir Minerals’ products are created using cutting-edge materials technology and proprietary alloys that ensure they remain robust for years to come. Operating and manufacturing in many countries across the globe, Weir Minerals has local manufacturing facilities in Australia to meet the lead times necessary for local customer needs. In Sydney, Weir Minerals operates a foundry, assembly line, machine shop and elastomer rubber shop as part of its service for the local mining industry and Australian manufacturing. As the industry streamlines its operation with Industry 4.0 technologies such as automation and remote monitoring, Weir Minerals is no exception, with the Sydney facility adopting a smart factory concept. Weir Minerals director of manufacturing Brian O’Connell says the company is integrating smart technology at its factories to enhance the production process of its operations. “It’s very much about creating

WEIR MINERALS HEAVY BAY FAST SHUTTLE ENHANCES THE COMPANY’S MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS MANAGEMENT USING AUTOMATION.

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a real-time connection between different processes,” O’Connell tells Australian Mining. “We’ve just commissioned an $8 million capital upgrade of the foundry to semi-automate our processes through the Heavy Bay Fast Shuttle.” Weir Minerals has transitioned to smart factories in an effort to benefit its safety, productivity throughput and efficiency, while also modernising its approach. The company’s Heavy Bay Fast Shuttle allows semi-autonomous manufacturing processes to be undertaken at the Sydney factory. By creating a semi-automated operation, the factory’s capacity and production is improved by allowing more space than traditional methods. The shuttle will be connected to the Weir Minerals smart factory network to deliver data on the manufacturing process in real time, leaning into the fundamental capabilities of Industry 4.0. Weir Minerals’ programmable logic controllers and control systems are modified to include process controls and high-speed digital cameras to monitor the manufacturing process. “By using quality control imaging and RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags to track our products and tooling through the process, we are creating a consistent product with the aid of technology,” O’Connell says. “In terms of cost and waste, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is a critical measure for how often and what rate our plant is running at. “For example, by using the RFID barcodes embedded into the castings, we can track where everything is in the processing plant

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and determine the exact time our products were made.” The basis of Industry 4.0 is to connect all facets of an operation, whether in a mine site or manufacturing facility, and to improve productivity and management of an operation. Weir Minerals’ Heavy Bay Fast Shuttle also enhances the company’s management of the materials and products it creates, while simultaneously predicting any errors to encourage preventative maintenance. “Our employees are excited about our move to smart technology because the efficiencies gained allow us to complete our jobs in a faster, safer and more sophisticated manner,” O’Connell says. Automated technology at the factory is also expected to result in shorter lead times for customers. At its core, the factory is aiming to gel its enterprise resources planning (ERP) with its human machine interfaces, which includes computers, smartphones and tablets. O’Connell says the company is on the journey of Industry 4.0 and will continue to embrace the future potential as its workforce gets up to speed. “The true Industry 4.0 to me, is where processes are being monitored to such an extent that variation and error proofing are foreseen before they occur,” O’Connell says. “Through the aid of technology, we can deliver a clear competitive advantage by providing the best quality products to our customers through a fast and efficient process.” Warman, Cavex and Enduron are all registered trademarks of Weir Minerals. AM


TOUGH EQUIPMENT FOR HARSH PLACES

As the original equipment manufacturer of Allight towers and Sykes pumps in Australia, and the Australian authorised distributor of Perkins engines and FG Wilson generators, AllightSykes works with our customers throughout the entire product life cycle from concept to aftersales care. We maintain a strong local Australian footprint with two well established manufacturing facilities and five service branches. Our Australian made products are distributed throughout the world, and because we design and manufacture our own products, genuine parts are always available. AUSTRALIA | NEW ZEALAND | NORTH AMERICA | SOUTH AMERICA | DUBAI | ASIA | AFRICA allightsykes.com


PRODUCTIVITY & EFFICIENCY

BISALLOY WEAR STEEL CATERS TO MINING FROM HAUL TRUCKS TO STORAGE BINS.

BISALLOY WEAR STEEL GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH WITH THE DEMANDS OF THE AUSTRALIAN MINING INDUSTRY EXPECTED TO GROW AS ACTIVITY INCREASES, BISALLOY WEAR STEEL CONTINUES TO PROVIDE A RELIABLE BASE ON WHICH TO RAMP UP PRODUCTION.

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s commodity prices remain high and new technologies are developed at a rapid pace, Bisalloy has felt an increase in demand for lighter, stronger steel for earthmoving and processing equipment. To accommodate, while maintaining a strong presence in the mining industry, the steel manufacturer has reimagined its processes and company culture. Bisalloy national sales and marketing manager Andrew Egan says BISALLOY Wear steel has been designed and tested to meet a range of strength requirements, while ticking boxes for longevity. “We understand the challenges our customers face; that’s why we make it our priority to produce the highest quality steel grades to meet their performance demands, no matter what the application,” Egan tells Australian Mining. “We leverage an in-house NATAaccredited testing facility to ensure properties such as ductility, weldability and toughness are maximised, alongside the hardness and strength requirements of each specific application.” These applications could include buckets, truck bodies, ground engaging and demolition tools, wear plates and

liners, trommels, screens and crushers. For any one of these, Bisalloy can supply its Wear steel to businesses around the world, which in turn can supply reliable equipment to mines, exploration, quarries and mineral processing operations. The benefits of reliable steel products can feel obvious on the face of it – no one wants their equipment to wear prematurely – but there’s more to it for mine operators. Reliable and long-lasting equipment means longer and more predictable maintenance cycles, leaving operators with more uptime and fewer costs spent on unscheduled maintenance and repairs. Lighter steels can also equate to greater load carrying capacities, reducing passes between machines and cutting operating costs. Egan emphasises the breadth of Wear steel offered by the company. “We’ve worked with large original equipment manufacturers and other attachment and processing manufacturers globally to produce a product that delivers size, weight and cost savings,” Egan says. “This has led to us to producing performance steel with different grades of hardness, ranging from 400 to 600, which helps our customers avoid costly downtime and unnecessary maintenance.” Each of the BISALLOY Wear steel AUSTRALIANMINING

products – the 400, 450, 500 and 600 – offers its own set of ideal applications For example, applications for the 400 could include dump truck wear liners and screw conveyors, while the 600 could be used for shredders or hammers. The range of applications afforded by BISALLOY Wear steel represents the company’s consideration of its customer base. As supply chain issues plague the mining industry due to COVID-19 restrictions, many industries have turned to Australian-made products for their availability and quality. To make this process easier to manage, Bisalloy spent the first half of 2021 ramping up a new customer initiative called Bisalloy Built. Egan explains that Bisalloy Built is the company’s stamp of approval for high-quality performance steel. “When you see the Bisalloy Built badge, you can be assured the equipment contains quality Bisalloy steel. This serves as a quality guarantee the steel is manufactured locally and meets strict Australian standards,” Egan says. “There is a sense of pride among our customers in that they understand what it takes to achieve this level of product quality.” With the Bisalloy Built badge also comes a team of specialists who can share advice and support to the

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company’s customers. The Bisalloy specialists are there to support mine engineers, for example, if they’re ever wondering how to get the best out of their Wear steel products or any other of the company’s steel product. Egan believes Bisalloy is the best in the business for the service it provides. “Our product is an unrivalled choice for customers considering their next quenched and tempered steel plate purchase,” he concludes. AM

BISALLOY WEAR STEEL COMES IN SEVERAL GRADES FOR SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS.


From humble beginnings to market leaders in the supply of wear protection systems, we have come a long way since commencing trade back in September 2011. One thing that has always remained consistent though is our passion and dedication to constant research and innovation to better service our clients needs. Whilst the business has seen immense growth over the past 10 years, we believe in offering the same personalised customer service that we have been known for. Our main priority is and always will be you! On that note, we wanted to take this opportunity to say a massive Thank You for your business over the years. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you, and for that we are forever grateful! Here’s to the next 10 years... we’ve got some big plans ahead so watch this space!


INDUSTRY COMMENT

AUSTRALIAN METS READY TO RECONNECT AUSTMINE HIGHLIGHTS HOW AUSTRALIAN METS COMPANIES PLAN TO BOUNCE BACK FROM THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BY REJOINING THE INTERNATIONAL MARKETPLACE.

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t is now approaching two years since the first case of COVID-19 was reported, which is an astonishing fact to reflect on. Since then, we have seen an essentially uniform imposition of travel bans and restrictions globally, creating an unprecedented decline in international travel and a breakdown of traditional international engagements. While businesses have adapted across this time and the pace of digital transformation has increased rapidly, the disruption to international business has brought with it significant challenges for the Australian METS (mining equipment, technology and services) sector, which is immersed in global trade and reliant upon accessing customers and supply chains overseas. According to Austmine’s 2020 National METS Survey, 65 per cent of Australian METS export products and services overseas and it is an $18 billion export industry for the nation. This figure has also grown steadily across the last few decades, with Australian METS capitalising on their competitive advantages of technological sophistication and mining expertise, along with the reduction of trade barriers, to access

new markets and grow their business. However, the survey also reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a more detrimental impact on Australian-owned businesses than their international competitors. Nineteen per cent (19 per cent) of Australian-owned companies reported a loss of export markets and 43 per cent a decrease in revenue, while there were just 10 per cent of foreign owned companies reporting a loss in export markets and 32 per cent a decrease in revenue during the pandemic period. While many businesses have innovated to service their global customers, these findings highlight the critical importance of reconnecting with international markets for Australian METS companies. Austmine has been in constant conversation with its members about export challenges and the impacts of COVID-19 on their business, reporting findings to government, partner associations and mining organisations. While businesses successfully pivoted at the start of the pandemic to set up remote working facilities and safety procedures, new challenges have arisen across the past 18 months, and continue to do so now. Speaking to Austmine, a leading

COVID-19 HAS HAMPERED THE AUSTRALIAN METS SECTOR’S GLOBAL TRADE NETWORK

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METS exporter of communications technology discussed the emerging issues brought about by the pandemic and related global disruptions, including issues with red tape and market access. “Our initial hurdle was understanding how to keep employees and customers safe,” the spokesperson says. “We had a lot of face-to-face time with customers, including domestic and international travel that was impacted. “We were able to reorganise to deal with that, but then realised that every country we operate in had slightly different restrictions requiring different measures. We also know that this will last for several years, and the hurdles will keep appearing, requiring a change in operating practice. “We will need to find more efficient ways of cutting through the red tape in setting up overseas entities or financial matters, which have become difficult with COVID-19 restrictions. “Logistics and supply are also becoming a big problem and it is impacting our export business.” The escalating difficulties with international freight and shipping have been felt by Austmine members across the board, and we recently held a roundtable discussion on these issues. During the discussion it was reported that there has been a 900 per cent increase in container costs, airfreight rates have more than quadrupled and there is a severe short of container availability due to lack of carriers now servicing Australia. This combined with quarantine and deep cleaning requirements for equipment, makes the job of importing and exporting substantially more difficult and seriously compromises the competitiveness of Australian industry. Many Australian METS have carved out successful exporting journeys through years of careful preparation, research and market development. International customers are also relying on our ingenuity and innovation to tackle pressing challenges such as digital transformation, decarbonisation and waste management. It is therefore critical that the industry is supported in reengaging with the international community.

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TWO THIRDS OF AUSTRALIAN METS EXPORT PRODUCTS AND SERVICES OVERSEAS.

Along with assistance in securing travel permissions to service customers and develop new business, METS leaders would like to see reduced red tape and help with navigating logistics challenges. “Government support and guidance when importing to new countries would be very beneficial, especially in understanding various import restrictions, red tape and requirements,” a spokesperson for a leading safety equipment provider says. “Legislation or support in mitigating the price increases of international shipping and freight would also help keep Australian companies competitive internationally.” Austmine took its first steps back into the international arena by representing members and hosting the Australian METS – Next Generation Mining Pavilion at MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas, USA. We have also been working through our Victoria and Western Australia Export Hubs to connect the METS sector with the right advice and networks to be successful when reentering the international arena. Recent export programs have discussed navigating procurement functions of mining companies and major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), understanding the competitive environment globally and limiting risks and challenges of exporting. AM Austmine would appreciate feedback on your experiences of exporting and conducting international business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact membership@austmine.com.au to share your stories.


WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT

RESILIENCE THE KEY TO LEADERS IN MINING THE GOLD INDUSTRY GROUP AND DELOITTE ANNUAL LEADERSHIP BREAKFAST AT THIS YEAR’S DIGGERS AND DEALERS MINING FORUM IN KALGOORLIE-BOULDER HAS HIGHLIGHTED HOW SAFETY AND LEADERSHIP ARE ACHIEVED TOGETHER.

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power hour of interactive discussion on the importance of strong leadership and ESG (environment, safety and governance) hit home to the more than 100 people that attended the event at the WA School of Mines Graduate Hall. A key group of panellists, hosted by Deloitte partner Nicki Ivory, highlighting how the gold industry can develop resilient leaders and cultures to prepare its workforce and organisations for future challenges. The panel consisted of Northern Star Resources, Perth Mint, Sandfire Resources and MMA Offshore nonexecutive director Sally Langer, Gold Industry Group director and AngloGold Ashanti Australia corporate affairs, community and human resources vice president Andrea Maxey, and Deloitte sustainability and climate change services partner Michael Wood. Langer cites three key traits of strong leaders: having a clear strategy, courage or the ability to have a tough conversation, and curiosity or being genuinely interested. She says these traits give leaders the skills to bring different views into a conversation and embrace diversity, including bringing people in from different industries, different cultures and with different abilities. ESG was a key focus of this year’s presentation, with Maxey emphasising

ENVIRONMENT, SAFETY AND GOVERNANCE WERE A KEY FOCUS OF THE EVENT.

it is front of mind for investors. “They want to know your approach, practical strategies, community engagement and environment operations,” she says. “From a company perspective I think you certainly need expertise on the board, and you need to bring expertise in to help make sure that you understand the perspectives of all of your stakeholders, not just investors but also your employees and the local communities.” Langer says culture surveys have proven ESG is important to the entire workforce and not just the board, management and investors. Wood and Langer agree on the complex challenges brought about by internal targets and metrics, and

PANELISTS MICHAEL WOOD (LEFT TO RIGHT), SALLY LANGER AND ANDREA MAXEY, WITH HOST NICKI IVORY.

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overall expectations in terms of ESG outcomes. “I think the challenge with any program is making targets that the external markets see are aggressive enough, and particularly around ESG that they are making them achievable for management team,” Langer says. “I think investors are going to want to see some pretty hard, pretty stretched targets for them in emissions, but it’s not straightforward.” Wood shares his take on the importance of ESG, particularly in climate action, highlighting data as a starting point, and looking at direct emissions within a facility, electricity from the grid and the entire value chain. “The next step is reducing emissions and how we deal with diesel – displace it, substitute it and then eliminate it completely,” Woods explains. “And lastly, the most important thing is a strong internal narrative to help you deploy your value proposition around the direction of your business and telling that story to your investors. “The pressure is only going to intensify as markets continue to ask more questions and customers want traceability. They will want to see the embodied emission and ESG factors being provided through the whole value chain.” Ivory asks about understanding data and a whole new host of skills that will be required to accommodate for the future of mining. Woods replies to the questioning, “A lot of these skills already do exist

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within organisations and that they just need to be reframed.” Continuing with the theme of keeping people safe, Maxey suggests some practical solutions that leaders in mining could implement, starting with a focus on creating an inclusive culture. “Mental health is a complex issue that needs to be addressed in multiple ways, but for starters it’s education, removing stigma, training and creating a social support system that people need in the community as well,” Maxey says. The event was also an opportunity to announce the Gold Industry Group and LIVIN’s plan to embark on their third national tour to empower students across Australia to speak up and provide much needed practical tools on mental health through more than 80 relatable workshops. The Gold Industry Group LIVINWell School Tour will visit schools in the regions its members operate in across Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. The Gold Industry Group also used the event to recognise the success of the group’s recent tour of the Goldfields with West Coast Fever. As the principal partner of Netball WA, West Coast Fever and Shooting Stars, the Gold Industry Group supported the stars’ return to the region after the success of their inaugural trip last year, in conjunction with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. AM


HEALTH & SAFETY

BREATHING EASIER WITH SILICA CONTROLS IN THE WORKPLACE SILICOSIS HAS BEEN FLAGGED AS A PROBLEM IN THE AUSTRALIAN MINING INDUSTRY SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY. YET THE DUST DISEASE IS STILL PREVALENT TODAY.

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ver 600,000 Australian workers are exposed to silica dust each year and an estimated 230 develop lung cancer as a result. “In mines and quarry sites, there are a number of operational processes that produce dust – silica is a commonly occurring mineral found in most rock, so any activity that involves the crushing of rock can result in exposure,” explains Michael Rowe, product manager for safety with CBC Australia. “While it’s not a new issue – in fact the government has highlighted silica exposure as a key industry issue since the 1920s – the fact is this disease kills, and as it’s still the cause of so many deaths, it remains a serious problem.” Which is why Rowe says workplace controls are critical. “Silicosis is preventable through controls that either stop or reduce the

amount of silica dust,” Rowe stresses. “As there is no cure for silicosis, prevention is the only option.” Mines and quarries are of course subject to work, health and safety (WHS) regulations that require them to evaluate risks and implement a hierarchy of controls. Nonetheless, Rowe points out that it is still up to individuals to follow the rules. This is particularly important when it comes to wearing respiratory protection equipment (RPE), which is often referred to as the ‘last line of defence’. “Workers in these industries should heed their site safety rules if they want to avoid having underlying problems in their future years,” he explains. “Masks are not always fun – as everyone nationally has now experienced – and when you’re onsite and working hard, wearing a mask can be particularly challenging. “This is why having the right

SILICOSIS IS PREVENTABLE THROUGH CONTROLS THAT EITHER STOP OR REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF SILICA DUST... AS THERE IS NO CURE FOR SILICOSIS, PREVENTION IS THE ONLY OPTION.” respirator and fitment to suit your working environment is vitally important. It’s so you get to go home healthy at the end of the day.” Furthermore, Rowe says it is fundamental employers “make sure the RPE is fit for purpose, not fit for price.” When it comes to advising customers about RPE, however, he defers to the knowledge and expertise of CBC Australia’s premium partner, 3M. “We facilitate consultations between the 3M team and our customers when it comes to specific respiratory enquiries, as they are the experts in this field,” Rowe expands. “Being able to leverage this kind of

technical expertise from our partners – along with the breadth and range of products we supply – is one of the key benefits we offer to customers.” Mark Reggers is one such expert that CBC Australia directs any enquiries that require specialist attention to. As both an occupational hygienist and application engineering specialist for 3M in the Personal Safety Division, Reggers provides technical and user support around the 3M respiratory protection range, including educational and training workshops on the prevention of silicosis. He draws on over 19 years’ experience in the safety and

LUNG HEALTH IS A MAJOR CONSIDERATION IN THE MINING INDUSTRY.

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HEALTH & SAFETY

THE CONTROLS ALL MINING OPERATORS SHOULD BE AWARE OF.

PPE industry. “Silicosis is an example of an occupational lung disease where the immediate effects of exposure are often not realised, but the cumulative exposure can be fatal,” he cautions. “Unfortunately, by the time those long-term effects are visible, it’s already too late.” Reggers attributes part of the recent media focus on silicosis to changes in the Workplace Exposure Standard (WES). “Safe Work Australia recently halved the exposure standard for Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) which is one of the reasons it’s been brought into focus,” Reggers explains. “But the WES alone doesn’t make the workplace safer. It’s the controls and practices in the workplace that make it safer.” Importantly, Reggers notes that if PPE – which is the last tier of control in the Hierarchy of Controls recommended by WHS – is required, then it is no less important than any other control. “In fact, it may be even more important because it is that last line of defence,” Reggers contends. “In specific mine and quarry applications, they’re still going to be relying on PPE to protect workers from deadly dust exposure.” The biggest challenge with PPE, and particularly RPE, is that it relies on worker behaviour in order to be effective 100 per cent of the time. “Which is why it is at the lowest level in the hierarchy. Other controls in place don’t require the worker to actively participate or behave in a certain way,” Reggers says. “Think about what the ‘P’ stands for in PPE. It’s personal. With respirators, in particular, it’s got to be

right for the individual person, it’s got to fit them correctly.” “Which is why when PPE is required, workplaces need to develop a Respiratory Protection Programme (RPP), as per the AS/NZS 1715 Standard.” However, Reggers notes that this in itself is another challenge, as “often workplaces aren’t aware of what a respiratory protection programme actually entails”. “It is not as simple as picking out a respirator from a catalogue, it requires a systematic approach to provide the level of confidence and likelihood that workers are going to be protected,” Reggers says. “There are three points that must be addressed with RPE. The first is the filter, the second is the adoption – as it needs to be worn 100 per cent of the time when protection is required – and the third is it has to fit the wearer to create an adequate seal.” Additionally, Reggers says there are a plethora of other factors that fall within those three main categories that need to be considered. “Employers need to ask, is the respirator adequate and is the respirator suitable? Because both need to be addressed,” Reggers says. “Selecting respiratory equipment goes well beyond the filter. Facial structure, facial hair, the length in which a task is performed, environmental conditions, physiological impacts and communication requirements should all factor into a selection process.” In regards to silica, Reggers says any rated particulate filter – P1, P2 or P3 – would be adequate, but the question to ask is will the respirator that the filter attaches to be suitable?

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Are there other coexposures that require a certain level of filtration, for example, diesel particulate matter (DPM) which requires a P2 as a minimum? The aforementioned factors come into play, as does cost. Significantly, products such as the 3M three-panel flat fold mask, which is a popular choice, need to be fit tested just like any tightfitting respirator. “The fit test is critically important with these respirators. Every person has a different facial shape,” Reggers reiterates. “They’re also not ‘set and forget’, which is where training and education around the fit testing is equally important.” Moreover, all tight-fitting respirators require a clean-shaven face. “Facial hair is a huge issue. All the standards for tight-fitting facepiece respirators require that individuals are clean shaven – because studies show that any level of facial hair will significantly reduce the expected level of protection,” Reggers explains. “This means there has to be workplace supervision as well to ensure employees are clean shaven. Facial hair is a moving target, as it changes every day.” This is why powered air purifying respirators (PAPR) with loose fitting headtops, such as the 3M Versaflo range may instead be the better choice. “While the capital outlay will be more, they can be worn with certain styles of facial hair, do not need to be fit-tested and are much more comfortable due to the reduced breathing resistance,” Reggers says. “Besides offering respiratory

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THE 3M VERSAFLO M300 SERIES HIGH IMPACT HELMET.

protection, these can include other protections, including a hard hat, a communication device and users can attach earmuffs.” Another respirator that 3M recently brought to market is the half-face reusable HF800, which has the world’s first quad flow cartridge system to improve breathing resistance. It also includes a push button seal check and speaking diaphragm to improve worker communication on the job. Poor communication can introduce other hazards and risks into the situation. However, when it comes to the selection criteria for protection against silica exposure, Reggers restates the importance of an RPP. “This will start with the question of how much silica is there? Understanding the level of exposure is essential to quantifying the risk and the appropriation of PPE,” Reggers says. “Then you need to factor in the suitability of the respirator and be methodical in that process.” Reggers also advises operators to take advantage of the bevy of free resources available, including specific online resources for the mining and quarrying sectors. “There’s a myriad of free and valuable resources available – including our 3M podcasts and online hub for respiratory protection,” he concludes. “We know silica is a hazard. We know the controls. There is a moral and ethical obligation to ensure worker safety from this preventable disease.” AM


FUTURE OF MINING

SPACE: THE FINAL FRONTIER OF MINING AUSIMM AND THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES SYDNEY’S INTERNATIONAL FUTURE MINING CONFERENCE 2021 WILL PROVIDE INSIGHT INTO HOW TOMORROW’S MINES MAY OPERATE IN THE STARS.

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rom infrastructure to renewable technology, mined minerals are at the core of almost everything manufactured in our day-to-day lives. As environmental, social and governance (ESG) demands are pushed, the mining industry must seek new ways to grow and evolve as a sustainable and long-term supplier of resources. At the same time, advanced technologies are being adopted to mitigate risk and make mining operations more productive. The mining industry is working towards operating fully autonomous mining vehicles without the need for them to be controlled remotely from a control centre. Beyond this outlook, companies such as Honeybee Robotics are pushing the boundaries for mining to occur in space. To continue discussions around these innovations and more, AusIMM and University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney are once again hosting the International Future Mining Conference 2021. The conference is scheduled for December 6 to 8 as both an online and in-person event in Perth, Western Australia. This hybrid format will allow attendees to watch technical presentations and interact with industry professionals from across the globe, preventing the issues of hard border closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers from NASA, BHP, METS Ignited, Maptek, UNSW Sydney and Honeybee Robotics will explain how innovative technologies can integrate into mining operations and shape their future. This year’s conference theme – Future mining, building tomorrow – leans into the capabilities of these companies and organisations. For the future of mining to be actioned, the industry’s next generation of workers will remain a central component. They will include today’s students who are studying and graduating from

leading mining universities across the globe. The conference committee has also included student-specific content with an online interactive panel and a networking event to allow students to engage with industry representatives globally. UNSW Sydney and conference chair Professor Serkan Saydam (FAusIMM) created the event in 2008 when the industry was on the cusp of adopting more automated solutions. “At the time, it was the only conference talking about the future of mining,” Saydam tells Australian Mining. “Our focus is not today but the future because we want to build tomorrow, and mining will continue to be part of the future of humanity. “We started talking about Internet of Things and artificial intelligence applications in 2008 and now it’s happening. And we had a paper on mining on the

Moon at our 2008 conference, coauthored by Harrison Schmitt, who is a former geologist and astronaut. “We will continue to set the agenda of the future of mining at this conference.” Honeybee Robotics is a space technology company playing a role in shaping the future of space mining. The company was founded in 1984 and eventually transitioned from custom robotics solutions to space exploration. This led to collaborations with NASA, including work with the Spirit and Opportunity rovers that

were sent to Mars in 2003. Honeybee supplied a Rock Abrasion Tool for both rovers, which were successful in cutting hard and soft rocks on the Martian surface. A few years later, Honeybee’s Icy Soil Acquisition Device on Mars Phoenix lander, cut into Martian ice for a first time in human history. Following the successful missions, Honeybee vice president and senior research scientist Kris Zacny joined the company in 2005 after receiving his PhD in extraterrestrial drilling and mining from the University of California, Berkeley. Zacny, who will be a keynote speaker at the International Future Mining Conference, has previous experience as an engineer in South African gold, diamond and coal mines, while managing several mining projects.

HONEYBEE WILL LAUNCH AN ICE MINING DRILL CALLED TRIDENT AS PART OF NASA’S VIPER TO THE MOON.

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FUTURE OF MINING

This experience has transitioned across to Honeybee where Zacny has continued to explore the possibilities of space mining. “Autonomous technology has inspired big mining giants to invest in the technologies to remove humans from relatively dangerous locations and instead give them tools to operate robots from a distance,” Zacny says. “Meanwhile, the Perseverance Rover on Mars performed sampling operations earlier this month in less than a day while operating fully autonomously. “This sort of automation in space paves the way for automation in a mining setting and the future of mining in space.” The increase in privatised rocket companies across the United States, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, has opened the door for space mining to occur. “These sorts of investments have really accelerated technological development. We’ve reached a point in space exploration where mining is a realistic possibility,” Zacny says. “Honeybee is pretty well positioned to capitalise on the missions that require us to go below the ground.” Honeybee’s vision for space mining will involve smaller equipment in higher quantities, as opposed to large excavators, to extract minerals. The company is working with NASA for a series of upcoming Moon

HONEYBEE VICE PRESIDENT AND SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST KRIS ZACNY.

missions, which will also include Honeybee’s drilling technology. In late 2023, Honeybee will launch an ice mining drill called TRIDENT (The Regolith and Ice Drill for Exploration of New Terrains) as part of NASA’s VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) mission to the Moon. Honeybee’s TRIDENT drill is designed to extract ice at the Moon’s south pole at depths of up to a metre. TRIDENT will play a key part in NASA’s VIPER mission, which will see humanity travel to the Moon’s south pole for the first time. “For commercialised space mining to take off we need capabilities to place large payloads on the surface of the Moon,” Zacny says.

UNSW SYDNEY AND CONFERENCE CHAIR PROFESSOR SERKAN SAYDAM (FAUSIMM).

“We also need to develop robust mining robots. Space mining is still mining. You really need to understand what it takes to dig a hole in the ground. “In the past few years, the landscape of space exploration has been drastically changing. There is a rapid increase in small private companies that dream of going to the Moon. “These companies are getting contracts from NASA to FedEx payloads to the Moon at extremely low costs. If they are successful, the lunar landscape will change forever. “The Moon is full of resources that would help in sustaining human permanent presence. The Moon has water – which is required for

THE INTERNATIONAL FUTURE MINING CONFERENCE WILL HIGHLIGHT HOW INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES CAN INTEGRATE INTO MINING OPERATIONS IN THE FUTURE.

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supporting human life, but water, can also be used in hydrogen/oxygen powered rockets (space shuttle use hydrogen and oxygen to get to orbit). “The powdery material that covers the surface of the Moon – lunar regolith – contains up to 40 per cent oxygen. This can be used as an oxidiser in rocket engines and support humans. “Regolith can also be processed to extract metals and be used to 3D print structures and habitats. We can essentially build an entire lunar economy with whatever we can mine locally. The best part of all of this – it’s happening right now, in our lifetime.” In 2017, a study in the journal Nature Astronomy revealed that the gas giant planets of Neptune and Uranus rain solid diamonds. While we are still a long way off having the technology and science to determine how to extract those resources, Zacny says the Moon could be the dawn of a new era for mining, which is one of the themes of the International Future Mining Conference. “It’s about setting the stage for our kids and grandkids,” Zacny concludes. “Rome wasn’t built overnight like space mining is not going to be built overnight, but it is important to lay the foundations for future generations.” AM For more information, visit https:// www.ausimm.com/conferences-andevents/future-mining/


PRODUCTS

FERROCER INCREASES LIFE, REDUCES WASTE

TF SILENT PACK PUMPS – SILENCE THAT STANDS OUT

FLSmidth has created an innovative, long-lasting modular wear panel that continually performs above expectations. Called FerroCer wear liners, an iron ore major in the Pilbara recently used them to extend the wear life of its reclaimer buckets from 48 weeks to 116 weeks. A unique combination of ceramic and ductile iron, the patented, Australian-made, easy-toinstall modular panels can be fitted to crushers, chutes, hoppers or any application where ceramics are breaking, or where steel liners are wearing out too quickly. As fewer wear liners are required over a longer period, FLSmidth is contributing to a reduction in waste for any operation which takes advantage of FerroCer wear panels.

Truflo Pumps' Silent Pack pump-sets are compact, powerful and quiet achievers. They exceed expectations and the dewatering needs of mines, contractors and councils. The Silent Pack features heavy-duty sound enclosed canopies designed to reduce noise emissions without impeding performance. This is made possible with large lockable doors which grant easy maintenance access. The heavy-duty skid mounted design is all made in Australia to world-class standards and adds to the same legendary quality that Truflo Pumps is renowned for. This new Australian-made Silent Pack pump range has capacities from four-inch, six-inch, eight-inch and 10-inch pumps, with new models becoming available each month.

• flsmidth.com

• truflopumps.com.au

NEOUSYS IN-VEHICLE COMPUTERS

IBELT MOBILE BELTGAUGE KEEPS CONVEYORS MOVING

Neousys' Nuvo-7250VTC and POC-351VTC feature Intel 9th/8th Gen Core I and Apollo Lake Atom CPUs, respectively. The compact design of the latter makes it suitable for space-limited, in-vehicle deployment for data logging. With a built-in supercapacitor power backup module, the Nuvo-7250VTC supports 4G/3G, WiFi and GPS wireless modules, making it the ideal controller hub for autonomous or teleoperated mining equipment such as trucks, shovels, bulldozers, drillers and loaders, etc. Compatible with 8-35V DC and featuring USB3.1, PoE, CAN bus, four isolated digital I/Os and ignition control, the systems are designed to be operational up to 70 degrees Celsius.

The Fenner Dunlop iBelt mobile BeltGauge accurately monitors conveyor belt cover wear and performance. Featuring a lightweight design, the solution can be installed and adjusted with ease, designed to setup almost anywhere along a conveyor. BeltGauge scans cover thickness over the full length of the belt while running. This allows results to be obtained without stopping production. Fenner Dunlop has geared the product towards mine sites that operate 24/7 and cannot afford more than a handful of shutdowns per year, with BeltGauge offering an enhanced level of belt changeout forecasting. The design of the mobile BeltGauge enables multiple conveyors to be scanned in a single shift, delivering an enhanced level of insight into conveyor performance across a mine site. Launched in September 2020, the BeltGauge solution has been installed at mining operations across Australia.

• neousys-tech.com

• fennerdunlop.com.au

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PRODUCTS

GRIPASSIST: ENSURING GET SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY

CAT HITS SWEET SPOT IN WATER TRUCK SOLUTIONS

The GRIPAssist is CR Mining‘s revolutionary safety, maintenance and productivity solution designed to efficiently and safely remove and reposition ground engagement tools (GET). With GRIPAssist, the task of removing interacting with GET has a minimal requirement for human interaction and the benefit of increased productivity through reduced changeout times. The GRIPAssist unit fits onto a tracked skid steer or similar small in-pit mobile loader and includes a hydraulic arm that grips GET products to enable safe, quick and easy maintenance changeouts. Field tests on the GRIPAssist have found it to halve changeout times, leaving more time for value to be made in productivity.

Cat’s new 777G Water Solutions truck implements a proprietary Water Delivery System (WDS) and MineStar Edge technology to enhance mine site dust control. Using the WDS, the 777G varies its water flow depending on truck speed to balance between underwatering and overwatering. The truck comes standard with a 76,000-litre water tank, spray system, splash guards, fill chute and rock ejectors. Despite the water tank’s size, the 777G’s adaptive economy mode allows the engine to use up to 13 per cent less fuel than full-power mode, while the water cannon can further reduce fuel consumption by up to half as it operates at engine-idle speed. To maximise the number of mines able to benefit from the 777G, the water truck capabilities can be retrofit to existing Cat 777G haul trucks.

• crmining.com

• cat.com

CAPS’ MINE-SPEC RENTAL RANGE

ALEMLUBE HOSE REELS PRESENT A SAFER OPTION

CAPS Australia specialises in quality air products and has proven its reliability with leading equipment brands. With an extensive fleet of electric and portable diesel air compressors, plus air receivers, dryers and auxiliary fuel tanks, CAPS’ fleet of rental equipment is perfect for mining requirements and comes standard fitted with custom options to ensure mine-spec compliance. The company offers short-term, long-term, rental or rent-to-own options at attractive rates across Australia. Ideal for short-term projects, seasonal peak demand and any breakdown requirements with flexibility to suit an operator's specific needs.

Alemlube’s new HR90000 series is a more durable and functional hose reel for mine sites. Stiffening ribs allow for product longevity while flanged edges consolidate the sturdiness and versatility of the hose reel. Safety is a big consideration when it comes to Alemlube’s EL series. Each reel features a protective outer shroud reducing potential accidental injury, while 50 per cent less rewind speed facilitates greater control and enhances hose longevity. A new innovative latching solution enables the hose to be stopped in multiple positions as required, while effortless, smooth hose extraction and retrieval further improves ease of operation and operator safety. Alemlube’s HR90000 series is suitable for the transfer of oil, grease, air and water, while the adjustable arms mean the reels can be mounted on the floor, wall or ceiling.

• caps.com.au

• alemlube.com.au

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EVENTS

CONFERENCES, SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS EVENT SUBMISSIONS CAN BE EMAILED TO EDITOR@AUSTRALIANMINING.COM.AU Iron Ore Conference Perth and Online | November 8-10 AusIMM and the CSIRO will hold an iron ore conference to explore the latest developments in the industry and where iron ore will look to expand into the future. Current and future challenges in iron ore will be addressed along with discussion on genesis, geology, exploration, mining and processing of iron ores. Attendees will get the opportunity to listen and learn from global industry leaders. These keynote speakers will include University of Melbourne professor of engineering Robin Batterham, former Roy Hill chief executive officer Barry Fitzgerald, Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia chief executive officer Nicole Roocke, and Fortescue Metals Group director sustainability and corporate affairs Alison Terry. The hybrid event will allow attendees to view content for up to three months online at any time, while making the conference in-person will allow for important networking opportunities. •a usimm.com/conferences-andevents/iron-ore/ Australian Gold Conference Sydney and Online | November 17-19 The Australian Gold Conference will take place across three days in 2021 at Crown Sydney, kicking off with an ‘Introduction to Gold’ event hosted by

The Perth Mint on November 17. From there, a two-day investment and educational symposium will be held – bringing together every aspect of the precious metals investment industry to promote and help educate everyday Australians as well as those already invested in the sector. Keynote speakers will present their investment views and look at how we can grow and protect our wealth going forward. Bullion dealers will be on hand to help you understand how and when to purchase physical metals while ASX-listed mining companies will provide updates on mining investment opportunities. With global debt of over $280 trillion, and money being printed left, right and centre, it’s never been a more important time to learn how to grow and protect your wealth. The Australian Gold Conference will help attendees with that. • g oldindustrygroup.com.au/events/ industry-event-2021-australiangold-conference International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) Melbourne | January 31 - February 2 2022 After going virtual last year, IMARC returns in 2022 with a hybrid event – welcoming thousands of guests from Australia and overseas, in-person and online. More than 130 countries will participate in Australia’s most influential mining event, with over 200 exhibitors and 70 hours of networking opportunities to take

AUSTRALIANMINING

advantage of. The event encompasses a three-day conference diving into topics of exploration, investment, production optimisation technology and global opportunities. Additionally, the expo floor will cover 13,000 square metres to accommodate the bigger-and-better machinery and equipment on show this year. Tickets range from free passes through to premium delegate passes, so visit the site below to book your spot now. Please note, IMARC has been postponed from its original dates in 2021 to next year due to the impact of COVID-19. • imarcglobal.com Australian Bulk Handling Awards Melbourne | February 17 2022 The Australian Bulk Handling Awards return in 2022, welcoming the sector’s esteemed and emerging to come together and celebrate the outstanding achievements from across the last two years. With prior events postponed, finalists from both 2020 and 2021 will be recognised at the 2022 event. Awards to be announced include Supplier of the Year, Bulk Handling Facility of the Year, Best Practice in Safety, and Dust Control Technology, Application or Practice. Taking place on February 17, the gala dinner will coincide with the Australian Bulk Handling Expo in Melbourne – a three-day event that encompasses the entire bulk solids handling industry. The Australian Bulk Handling Expo is supported by the Australian Society for

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Bulk Solids Handling (ASBSH), which will host an industry conference, while the trade expo will showcase the latest in bulk materials handling equipment and technologies. • bulkhandlingawards.com.au International Women’s Day Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth | March 4-11 2022 Returning to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth in March 2022, AusIMM will present another forward-thinking event as they continue to raise the profile of women in the resources sector. As part of their 2021 International Women’s Day event series, AusIMM welcomed 1600 people from across Australia to applaud the achievements of women in the resources sector and hear from inspiring keynotes about their own journeys on challenging bias and inequality. Women were provided an important platform to tell their stories and express their concerns, paving the way for the continued evolution and equality of the resources sector. The series welcomed respected industry speakers such as human rights lawyer and hostage survivor Rabia Siddique, Australia’s chief scientist Dr Cathy Foley AO, South Australia’s chief scientist Prof Caroline McMillen AO, success coach Yemi Penn, and company director, author and leadership expert Dr Kirstin Ferguson across the five locations in 2021. • ausimm.com/conferences-and-events/ international-womens-day


Ensure the right tailings solution for your mine’s requirements Tailings management is changing. But we know each mine site has unique characteristics so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why you need an experienced partner with a range of tried and tested tailings solutions. There are many benefi ts from partnering with the only OEM with complete dewatering, material handling technology and co-mingling solutions in-house. It means you get a complete evaluation partner when it comes to selecting the right high-performance dewatering and transportation solution for your mine’s specifi c location and requirements.

We perform technology trade-off studies to help you the most suitable processes and technologies that improve safety, reduce risk and minimise the environmental impact of your operations. FLSmidth.com/tailings


XYLEM

MINING SOLUTIONS TETHER-FREE DATA COLLECTION Designed with safety in mind, the rQPOD Remote Modular Survey Boat is a lightweight, affordable solution for conducting discharge measurements and/or hydrographic surveys. When combined with an ADCP such as the SONTEK M9, the rQPOD transforms it into a full remote survey vessel ready to tackle even the most hostile, hard to access sites. The rQPOD is ready to go wherever you need it.

13 19 14 | xylem.com/au


LET’S ROLL

2021 • EDITION 10

MINES & QUARRIES

NTN-CBC: SUPPORTING Australian mining for 50 years

T

his year marks the 50-year anniversary of the 50/50 joint venture between NTN Corporation and CBC Australia, which began in 1971. According to Fabio Rebecchi, Product Manager for NTN bearings at CBC, as the mining sector has seen increased demand for iron ore and other key minerals over that time, there has been a corresponding need to manufacture larger equipment.

an increase in demand for bearings, in particular, large bearings,” says Fabio. “As a result, components and supports have also been made larger for extraction and bulk handling processes, involving heavy mobile equipment, processing plants and conveyor systems.”

“With the tonnages in iron ore, and coal increasing year after year, we have seen

“Bigger equipment means bigger bearings, and longer lead times on supply,” says Fabio. “That said, there are a lot more bearings operating on sites now than there were15 years ago, but the quality and longevity of the bearings has improved.”

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BREATHING EASIER IN THE WORKPLACE Silicosis is a serious problem affecting mines and quarries. This article discusses the procedures companies can take to prevent this disease.

NEW DESTINATION BRANCH IN WACOL Peter Solloway discusses why he enjoys growing staff and strengthening customer relationships at the new Motion Industrial Centre.

Fabio highlights the key areas he has seen improvement in with bearings: longevity, materials, installation processes, and maintenance procedures. “If you look at older catalogues, you can see the evolution of technology across all industries, really.” says Fabio. “Prolonging the life of a bearing has included the incorporation of seals, proper lubrication, and aligning better fits upon installation,” he furthers. “In addition to this, steel technology has become more advanced over the

22

THE FULL SPECTRUM OF PROTECTION A mine attracts dust, dirt, and grime which left unchecked, can erode electrical components and slow down machinery.


BEARINGS

NTN has been providing bearings solutions for mining equipment since 1927.

years because of the purity of steel and heat treatment processes applied in the manufacture of bearings. The static and dynamic load capacities have been increasing over time,” adds Fabio. When NTN began expanding their global manufacturing and sales network, CBC became the direct link between the global manufacturing and engineering activities of NTN and the Australian market.

“We at CBC are the first point of contact for customers in determining where they have a problem and where NTN can provide a solution. No matter the location in Australia, we have a commercial and technical liaison between the branch, the customer, and directly with the manufacturer,” says Ross.

At present day, NTN is one of the top five bearing manufacturers in the world, and with backing from CBC, this allows them to deliver a full range of bearings products, technical support, and end-toend logistics to the Australian market.

“We have a network of account managers and technical specialists that engage with customers at the regional level, supporting mines and mineral processing plants. From there, we receive application engineering proposals and look at what we can put forward as a solution for a performance or a productivity problem,” he explains.

According to Ross Lee, Technical Manager of Strategic Partnerships – Bearings at CBC, “It’s all about consultation.”

“Australian ingenuity coupled with Japanese product innovation has benefitted mining operations across the nation, through the provision of a wide

PAGE 2 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

Timeline: 1927: NTN Manufacturing Co. Ltd is established in Japan. 1962: CBC’s strongest and longestrunning partnership with NTN Corporation of Japan is formed. 1971: CBC’s relationship with NTN Corporation is formalised with the incorporation of the joint venture company, NTN-CBC Australia Pty Limited. 1990s: CBC held the record for supplying both the largest and the heaviest spherical roller bearing ever produced by NTN. These bearings were supplied to diamond mines in Western Australia.


Through NTN, we are always trying to offer an appropriate bearing solution and often we secure agreements based on all of the lines of communication we keep open across our networks. The NTN-CBC joint venture was a major milestone for CBC. Pictured here is the NTN-CBC International Seminar held in Sydney in 1975.

range of bearing products,” says Ross. “Through NTN, we are always trying to offer an appropriate bearing solution and often we secure agreements based on all of the lines of communication we keep open across our networks,” Ross adds. Within the mining sector, NTN is the direct supplier to major manufacturers of heavy mobile mining equipment. NTN also extensively services the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) segments of these businesses. “This means that we supply not only parts and replacement bearings, but our bearings go into the original equipment as it’s sold,” explains Fabio. “A lot of what we do is servicing the after-market repairs for equipment. But it is a huge point of pride for us when we get to supply OEMs with the original bearings.” Through direct collaboration between Japanese engineers at the NTN factory and CBC’s Australia-wide field technical service, CBC, part of Motion Asia Pacific, has been able to improve equipment reliability, productivity, and operational safety for the mining segment. This process commences with a rootcause analysis investigation, that often draws on the resources of NTN Japan Engineering Centre and Laboratories.

“Some examples of applications where NTN enhanced bearing material technologies have significantly extended fatigue life of bearings in mining are in heavy mobile equipment drivetrains, and crushing and screening plants, says Ross. “Our ‘Long Life’ bearing series has demonstrated a twofold increase in service life. This represents a very significant cost saving to operators in terms of higher output, reduced downtime, and reduced maintenance,” he adds. In 1993, CBC supplied the largest spherical roller bearings NTN had ever produced, almost 2.2 metres in diameter, for a grinding mill trunnion application. Moreover, beginning in 1999, the heaviest spherical roller bearings ever produced by NTN were supplied by CBC. These bearings weighed over 4 tonnes and were installed in high pressure grinding roll crushers. Again, to meet and exceed the continuous improvement initiatives of Australia’s already highly productive mining organisations, NTN developed the Ultage range of sealed spherical roller bearings. Primarily applied to conveyor pulleys, the NTN design provides higher load ratings and easy installation.

Beyond ball and roller bearings, NTN Corporation are a major manufacturer of constant velocity joints, including a dedicated range for industrial applications. In mining, NTN-CBC have used constant velocity joint driveshafts and couplings in both production plants and new application development projects. “This ongoing relationship with NTN and CBC has helped CBC strengthen their position as a supplier and distributor within Australia and has allowed NTN to leave a national footprint in the mining industry here in Australia,” concludes Ross.

In 1993, CBC supplied the largest spherical roller bearings NTN had ever produced, almost 2.2 metres in diameter, for a grinding mill trunnion application.

Ask

Miner

Maddie

LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 3


LET’S ROLL

MINES & QUARRIES

CONTENTS 06

12

GEARBOX SOLUTION KEEPS THE EARTH MOVING

SOLID BLOCK BEARING UNITS ARE GOOD AS GOLD

CBC had been working with a particular earth moving customer for a while when an issue was raised regarding gearboxes on a head drum of their conveyor application.

When it comes to performance in punishing environments, the Timken® Spherical Roller Bearing Solid-Block Housed Units are as good as gold.

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DRIVING LONGEVITY WITH REMOTE CONDITION A FULL-SERVICE SOLUTION MONITORING REDUCES RISKS PACKAGE FOR COPPER MINE GATES® SOFTWARE TOOL AND IMPROVES RELIABILITY The Gates® Design Flex™ Pro™ free The CBC engineering team successfully

software tool was designed to ensure belts are achieving their life expectancy and that drives are working at optimal efficiency.

Anthony O’Keefe says mining and quarrying customers are realising significant benefits from implementing remote, wireless solutions.

designs, builds, and tests a custom bearing solution for a flotation blower at a Queensland copper mine.

10 Tightening the belt: Continuous improvement for the earth moving sector

18 Threadlockers: Securing production in mining

25 Let’s torque about tyre couplings

19 Keeping Australian mines in Motion

27 Good vibrations with high performance steel grid couplings

13 Good foundations at BSC Orange cement relationship with Hanson quarry 14 Fluid mobility 15 Customisable spill kits provide safe solutions for sticky situations

bsc.com.au

conbear.com.au

20 Solid-Block Housed units call for solid training 24 Living in a material world: Silicone for the aluminium sector in WA

websterbsc.com.au

/BearingServiceAustralia

/CBCBearingsAustralia

/WebsterBSCAustralia

/bsc-australia

/cbc-australia

/websterbsc

29 A greener cleaner for mines 30 Product showcase

sealinnovations.com.au /seal-innovations

motionasiapac.com 18 Worth St, Chullora NSW 2190


EXPERT PROFILE

MEET THE TEAM

MINING INDUSTRY

SHEREE MUNNIK, KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER Name: Sheree Munnik Occupation: Key Account Manager Experience: Over 12 years at Industrial Solutions Australia Sheree Munnik is the Key Account Manager based in Malaga, Western Australia. Her main focus is to support key customers in the fixed and mobile plant sector where she helps with aligning customers’ needs with our stocking profile and engineering capabilities. Sheree understands building good customer relationships is paramount. It is extremely important for her to ensure customers are across our entire package with the range we offer as a multi branded solutions company. She prides herself in being extremely interested in customer needs and ensuring Motion Asia Pacific with the on-going support of our Premium Partners adds value to our customer’s success. Sheree says the key is to take action immediately on time critical requirements, which ensures good customer service and makes us a preferred supplier.

LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 5


GEARBOX

GEARBOX SOLUTION keeps the earth moving

A

s a Technical Specialist in Power Transmission for CBC, it’s Milan Sreckov’s responsibility to assess the performance of power transmission equipment in customer applications. If the equipment is underperforming, he will propose an alternative solution – which was the case with an “earthmoving customer.” “We had been working with this particular earth moving customer for a while when an issue was raised regarding gearboxes on a head drum of their conveyor application – the conveyor was moving rocks and earth,” he explains. “It was breaking down every eight or nine months; that was the most they could get out of the gearbox.”

factor on the existing gearbox was too low and not appropriate for the application,” he expounds. “This was the reason it kept breaking down. I recommended the customer change to an ABB gearbox solution.” Specifically, the ABB Dodge Motorised Torque Arm II – better known as the MTA II – drive solution was suggested to the customer. “We offered this solution to replace their existing gearbox, and it’s been almost two years now since the installation and they have not had any failures,” says Milan. “The customer is very pleased with this outcome.”

Milan went out to the customer site to perform an analysis.

According to Milan, the ABB Dodge MTA II gearbox is well-suited to this type of application.

“I completed some calculations on the motor and determined that the service

“These drives have been designed exclusively for belt conveyor applications.

PAGE 6 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

Which is why the solution is excellent for a quarry environment such as the one we worked on with this customer case,” he elaborates. “The Dodge MTA II has specific features that enable it to perform well in harsh conditions. For example, the lip sealing system prevents ambient contamination from dust and other elements that could shorten the life of the gearbox.” Moreover, Milan points out that ABB has a reputation for manufacturing high quality products for the mining sector. “ABB is heavily involved in the mining segment in Australia and manufactures a range of drive solutions that have been designed with this sector in mind,” he expands. “We have confidence that the ABB gearbox solutions we provide to our customers are best in class. And customers stand to benefit from our expertise as well as the product offering


ABB is heavily involved in the mining segment in Australia and manufactures a range of drive solutions that have been designed with this sector in mind.

of ABB, and our access to ABB’s technical expertise too.” In terms of the MTA II product features, Milan says they are manifold. “The sealing system is both advanced and unique – the actual seals on the MTA are doubly thick compared with standard gearboxes,” he states. “They can also work with a temperature range of -40 degrees to 150 degrees Celsius. This extends their service life by up to six times more than standard rubber seals.” The MTA II is available in single drive assembly, dual drive assembly or screw conveyor drive assembly. Each one is built using heavy-duty tapered roller bearings and case carburised helical/ bevel gearing. The drives are available in seven sizes, ranging from 1.5 to 75kW, with a broad Torque range of up to 14,700 Nm. They also have the capacity to be mounted on any standard AC motors and the patented Dodge twin-tapering bushing system allows for easy mounting and dismounting. Importantly, the MTA II has been rated to the American Gear Manufacturers Association design standards. “This means the gearbox meets stricter measures for performance, which also translates to reduced maintenance costs,” says Milan. “This drive solution will give approximately two more times bearing design life compared with other designs.” Nayan Bagal, MTA Product Manager for ABB, says the MTA II has been embraced by the mines and quarries sector since it was first released to the market.

“The MTA was first introduced in 2012 in Australia as the next generation of the reducers, improving on the internationally recognised Torque Arm II (TA II) belt drive reducer,” he explains. “As the new product was developed from industry feedback and advancement, the market embraced the product right from its launch due to its ease of installation, robust design and safe operation.” Additionally, Nayan says ABB works closely with CBC to deliver solutions to customers in the sector, including any customisation that may be required. “The application engineering teams from CBC and ABB work closely with the end-user sites to address requirements, by providing joint visits to sites, collecting technical information, and designing and supplying a total solution,” Nayan furthers. “ABB is actively involved in after-sales support, assisting with installation and ongoing critical spares supply.” To circle back to his earlier comments, Milan says customers such as his earth-moving customer are the ultimate benefactors of this partnership. “There’s a reason these units are in such high demand – it’s a reliable drive solution that comes in a complete package consisting of bearings, conveyor drum, reducer, motor, smart sensors and variable speed drive,” he adds. “When we can provide a rugged gearing unit that delivers, which is the case with the quarry customer, then that makes for a happy customer. It also means I can perform my job with confidence, knowing the customer will have a good outcome.”

ABB Dodge MTA II heavy duty gearbox features: • American Gear Manufacturers Association rated • Compact, flexible drive design • Patented heavy-duty lip sealing solution for extended wear, designed to withstand temperature ranges of -40°C to +150°C • Exclusively uses heavy-duty tapered roller bearings • Straddle mount input pinion gives maximum torque throughput • Available in 1.5kW-75kW based on output speeds • Torque range up to 14,700 Nm • Standard IEC B5 flange adapter or NEMA C-face motors • Third party ATEX certified • Case carburised helical/bevel gearing • Drilled and tapped to accept safety end covers • Reduced assembly time and guarding costs • Reducer mounts in multiple positions • Two motor speeds and multiple gear ratios • Standard and short shaft twin tapered bushings • Industry leading backstop design LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 7


SILICOSIS

BREATHING EASIER with silica controls in the workplace

S

ilicosis has been flagged as a problem in the Australian mining industry since the beginning of the 20th century1. Yet the dust disease is still prevalent today. Over 600,000 Australian workers are exposed to silica dust each year and an estimated 230 develop lung cancer as a result2,3.

“In mines and quarry sites, there are a number of operational processes that produce dust – silica is a commonly occurring mineral found in most rock, so any activity that involves the crushing of rock can result in exposure,” explains Michael Rowe, Product Manager for Safety with CBC Australia. “While it’s not a new issue – in fact the Government has highlighted silica exposure as a key industry issue since the 1920s – the fact is this disease kills, and as it’s still the cause of so many deaths, it remains a serious problem.” Which is why Michael says workplace controls are critical. “Silicosis is preventable through controls that either stop or reduce the amount of silica dust,” he stresses. “As there is no cure for silicosis, prevention is the only option.” Mines and quarries are of course subject to Work, Health and Safety (WHS) regulations that require them to evaluate risks and implement a Hierarchy of Controls4. Nonetheless, Michael points out that it is still up to individuals to follow the rules. This is particularly important when it comes to wearing respiratory protection equipment (RPE), which is often referred to as the ‘last line of defence’. “Workers in these industries should heed their site safety rules if they want to avoid having underlying problems in their future years,” he explains. “Masks are not always fun – as everyone nationally has now experienced – and when you’re onsite and working hard, wearing a mask can be particularly challenging. This is why having the right respirator and fitment to suit your working environment is vitally important. It’s so you get to go home healthy at the end of the day.” PAGE 8 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

Hierarchy of Controls Physically remove the hazard Replace with less hazardous condition Isolate people from the hazard Change the way people work Protect the worker with personal protective equipment

Furthermore, Michael says it is fundamental employers “make sure the RPE is fit for purpose, not fit for price.” When it comes to advising customers about RPE, however, he defers to the knowledge and expertise of CBC Australia’s premium partner, 3M. “We facilitate consultations between the 3M team and our customers when it comes to specific respiratory enquiries, as they are the experts in this field,” Michael expands. “Being able to leverage this kind of technical expertise from our partners – along with the breadth and range of products we supply – is one of the key benefits we offer to customers.” Mark Reggers is one such expert that CBC Australia would direct any enquiries that require specialist attention. As both an Occupational Hygienist and Application Engineering Specialist for 3M in the Personal Safety Division, Mark provides technical and user support around the 3M respiratory protection range, including educational and training workshops on the prevention of silicosis. He draws on over 19 years’ experience in the safety and PPE industry. “Silicosis is an example of an occupational lung disease where the immediate effects of exposure are often not realised, but

the cumulative exposure can be fatal,” he cautions. “Unfortunately, by the time those long-term effects are visible, it’s already too late.” Mark attributes part of the recent media focus on silicosis to changes in the Workplace Exposure Standard (WES). “Safe Work Australia recently halved the exposure standard for Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) which is one of the reasons it’s been brought into focus,” he explains. “But the WES alone doesn’t make the workplace safer. It’s the controls and practices in the workplace that make it safer.” Importantly, Mark notes that if PPE – which is the last tier of control in the Hierarchy of Controls recommended by WHS – is required, then it is no less important than any other control. “In fact, it may be even more important because it is that last line of defence,” Mark contends. “In specific mine and quarry applications, they’re still going to be relying on PPE to protect workers from deadly dust exposure.” The biggest challenge with PPE and particularly RPE is that it relies on worker behaviour in order to be effective 100% of the time.


“Which is why it is at the lowest level in the hierarchy. Other controls in place don’t require the worker to actively participate or behave in a certain way,” Mark says. “Think about what the ‘P’ stands for in PPE. It’s personal. With respirators in particular, it’s got to be right for the individual person, it’s got to fit them correctly.” Which is why when PPE is required, workplaces need to develop a Respiratory Protection Programme (RPP), as per the AS/NZS 1715 Standard. However, Mark notes that this in itself is another challenge, as “often workplaces aren’t aware of what a Respiratory Protection Programme actually entails”. “It is not as simple as picking out a respirator from a catalogue, it requires a systematic approach to provide the level of confidence and likelihood that workers are going to be protected,” Mark states. “There are three points that must be addressed with RPE. The first is the filter, the second is the adoption – as it needs to be worn 100% of the time when protection is required, and the third is it has to fit the wearer to create an adequate seal.” Additionally, Mark says there are a plethora of other factors that fall within those three main categories that need to be considered. “Employers need to ask, is the respirator adequate and is the respirator suitable? Because both need to be addressed,” Mark says. “Selecting respiratory equipment goes well beyond the filter. Facial structure, facial hair, the length in which a task is performed, environmental conditions, physiological impacts and communication requirements should all factor into a selection process.” In regard to silica, Mark says any rated particulate filter – P1, P2 or P3 – would be adequate, but the question to ask is will the respirator that the filter attaches to be suitable? Are there other co-exposures that require a certain level of filtration, for example, diesel particulate matter (DPM) which requires a P2 as a minimum? The aforementioned factors come into play, as does cost. Significantly, products such as the 3M three-panel flat fold mask, which is a popular

choice, need to be fit tested just like any tight-fitting respirator. “The fit test is critically important with these respirators. Every person has a different facial shape,” Mark reiterates. “They’re also not ‘set and forget’, which is where training and education around the fit testing is equally important.” Moreover, all tight-fitting respirators require a clean-shaven face. “Facial hair is a huge issue. All the standards for tight fitting face piece respirators require that individuals are clean shaven – because studies show that any level of facial hair will significantly reduce the expected level of protection,” Mark explains. “This means there has to be workplace supervision as well to ensure employees are clean shaven. Facial hair is a moving target, as it changes every day.”

3M Versaflo™

Free Online Resources 3M Podcasts

This is why powered air purifying respirators (PAPR) with loose fitting headtops, such as the 3M Versaflo™ range may instead be the better choice. “While the capital outlay will be more, they can be worn with certain styles of facial hair, do not need to be fit-tested and are much more comfortable due to the reduced breathing resistance,” says Mark. “Besides offering respiratory protection, these can include other protections, including a hard hat, a communication device, and users can attach earmuffs.” Another respirator that 3M recently brought to market is the half face reusable HF800, which has the world’s first quad flow cartridge system to improve breathing resistance. It also includes a push button seal check and speaking diaphragm to improve worker communication on the job. Poor communication can introduce other hazards and risks into the situation. However, when it comes to the selection criteria for protection against silica exposure, Mark restates the importance of a Respiratory Protection Programme. “This will start with the question of how much silica is there? Understanding the level of exposure is essential to quantifying the risk and the appropriation of PPE,” he states.

3M Centre for Respiratory Protection

“Then you need to factor in the suitability of the respirator and be methodical in that process.” Mark also advises readers to take advantage of the bevy of free resources available, including specific online resources for the mining and quarrying sectors. “There’s a myriad of free and valuable resources available – including our 3M podcasts and online hub for respiratory protection,” he concludes. “We know silica is a hazard. We know the controls. There is a moral and ethical obligation to ensure worker safety from this preventable disease.” References: The struggle against silicosis in the Australian mining industry: The role of Commonwealth Government, 19201950, https://www.jstor.org/stable/27509198 Is your workplace safe from silica dust? https://www.awu. net.au/national/news/2019/12/7849/is-your-workplacesafe-from-silica-dust-2/ Cancer Council, https://www.cancer.org.au/cancerinformation/causes-and-prevention/workplace-cancer/ silica-dust Safe Work Australia, https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov. au/silica LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 9


BELTS

TIGHTENING THE BELT: Continuous improvement for the earth moving sector

B

ehind every great piece of equipment is a good belt. The humble belt is the understated essential worker of industry, says CBC’s power transmission expert Steve Hittmann. In a refinery or processing plant, failure of a belt can cause unnecessary downtime. This is precisely why manufacturers like Gates® invest their efforts into the research and development of increasingly high-performance belt technology. Gates® is a premium partner in distribution with CBC, so innovations in belt technology are Steve’s business. The Gates® PowerGrip™ GT4™ is the latest in

PAGE 10 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

materials science for belt design.

particular applications,” says Steve.

Steve explains, “The chemical composition of the GT4™ belt is excellent for torque and tension. The belt is made from ethylene-propylene elastomer rubber (EPR) which is resistant to heat, oxidation, weather, brake fluids, oils and greases. In addition to this, it has a fiberglass layer with tensile cords to reduce the amount of stretch.”

“They don’t require any lubrication or tensioning which means once installed, they are relatively hands-free on the maintenance side,” he adds.

“The GT4™ belts are designed around 25,000 hours of life which is the premium standard Gates® maintains with their products. This means a minimum of 3 years of service life. However, I have seen these belts last up to 4 or 5 years on

CBC Senior Account Manager of more than 43 years, Brian Crouch, recently identified an opportunity to put the belts into action at the Viva Energy Geelong Refinery near his branch in Geelong, Victoria. “I’ve looked after the Viva Energy site for 28 years, supplying all the power transmissions componentry there,” says Brian. “I’ve worked on many projects


over the years for them. But more recently, I upgraded all their fin fan belt drives.” “The plant had a high-heat area where there was a large bank of fin fans operating continuously that kept breaking down,” Brian explains. “Fin fans are a critical part of an operating plant because they are cooling high-heat conditions where chemicals are being used.” Brian continues, “Fin fans can often require daily maintenance to ensure they are working at their peak performance level. Fin fan failures can sometimes pose safety risks for maintenance workers because the banks they are located on are often difficult to manoeuvre. So, the idea is to try to install components that have as much longevity as possible.” For the Viva Energy fin fan upgrade, CBC Geelong supplied 16-Sets of Gates® GT4™ belts, along with bearings, pulleys, and taper locks, as a complete solution package. “Gates’ new GT4™ range provides a greater power capacity and reduces the amount of friction and heat buildup under shock loads,” explains Brian. “The fiberglass tensile cords reduce the amount of stretch by 50%. This is truly an upgraded belt design that Gates® have introduced into the market. Customers have given us a lot of positive feedback because they can see the benefits of upgrading to the Gates® GT4™, rather than running on traditional belts.”

The GT4™ has been specifically engineered with a higher power-carrying capacity.

safer to use under high temperature conditions,” says Steve. “This makes them an optimum choice for a wide range of applications in heavy industry. The 8MGT and 14MGT pitch options are ideal for high-performance drives in factories and plants where durability and low maintenance are required.” CBC technical specialists often visit sites on joint calls with Account Managers, combining knowledge and expertise on advanced material science and process engineering, as well as cost efficiency on specific applications.

processing plants in their area by getting out to site as often as possible. “With the constant advancement of materials technology, there is always an upgrade available for equipment on site. It is my job to identity ways to boost uptime and reliability on my customer’s equipment. Premium partnerships with suppliers like Gates® allow me to have the insider information on the latest innovations,” concludes Brian.

Brian Crouch and his team at CBC Geelong aim to provide on-site support to mining, quarrying and

Features and Benefits: The Gates® PowerGrip™ GT4™ Belts •S tandard widths of 20, 30, 50, 85 mm (8MGT) or 40, 55, 85, 115, 170 mm(14MGT)

• Increased uptime

• Fully operational in a wide range of temperatures: 40°C to +140°C

• Improved ergonomics

Another major point of difference, according to Steve Hittmann, is that the GT4™ belts employ a much greener and more sustainable manufacturing method due to the new material compound.

• Static conductive (ISO9563) and for conditions described in the Directive 2014/34/EU-ATEX

• Reduced environmental risk

• Higher power capacity

• Non-stretch

“The ethylene-propylene is a chlorinefree compound body making it a little

• Improved chemical resistance

• High tooth jump resistance

• Improved safety

• Rust-free

• No lubrication required

LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 11


BEARING UNITS

SOLID BLOCK BEARING units are good as gold

W

hen it comes to performance in punishing environments, the Timken® Spherical Roller Bearing Solid-Block Housed Units are as good as gold. Which was certainly the case when Michael Greelish had these units installed in a Queensland gold mine. “These unitised housings have multiple features that make them a great choice for conveying applications in the mines and quarry sector,” says the National Segment Manager for Mines, Quarries and Resources at CBC Australia. “In the case of the gold mine, we began using them on their tail drums due to failures from contamination with their previous standard bearings. The Timken units have been so successful that they’ve now installed them on all the head and gravity take up pulleys.” The Solid-Block Housed Units are literally solid-blocks of steel that have been designed to eliminate the risk of bearing contamination. “These units are completely sealed off and come pre-assembled – unlike standard bearings which are supplied in separate components, the bearing, housing and sleeve is all included,” Michael explains. “With standard bearings, if you need to install or have to replace them, you need to remove all the componentry, and on mining or quarry sites, that means you’ve got maintenance staff trying to fit them on conveyors in difficult conditions. All it takes is one small gust of wind and the dust blows in and contaminates the bearing while you’re trying to fit it.” The Timken® Spherical Roller Bearing SolidBlock Housed Units remove this risk. “With this product, it is entirely unitised,” Michael enthuses. “You open up the box and it’s ready to go, fully enclosed, and it’s just as simple as sliding the whole unit onto the shaft, locking the collar and it’s fitted.” This means installation can be an easy and quick process if maintenance staff have been properly trained on how the bearing works. “To fit standard bearings, you have to PAGE 12 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

Timken® Spherical Roller Bearing Solid-Block Housed Units are a solid steel design for eliminating risk of contamination.

understand the technique and you’ll also need special tools such as feeler gauges,” Michael expounds. “These are used to measure the clearances, and basically when fitting the bearings, the person needs to keep tightening the nut in order for it to take more and more of that clearance out and get to the optimum running clearance. But with Solid-Block arrangement it’s all set at the factory for you.” Importantly, the Timken® Spherical Roller Bearing Solid-Block Housed Units have an extended inner ring which separates the seals from the shaft. “The inner ring is extended and the seals all run on that inner ring, whereas with standard bearings the seals will run on the shaft causing wear to the shaft,” Michael says. “Once the shaft is worn you have to replace it. But with these units because the seal is separated by the inner ring, you’ll never get shaft wear.” Additional covers have also been utilised to help eliminate contamination from not only the environment but from the maintenance staff who wash them down with high pressure washers.

“The unit has triple lip seals in it, providing extra protection. Because as is the case with most conveyors, product is constantly falling off and collecting at the bottom of the conveyor, causing build up,” he elaborates. “While some people may shovel up the product and remove it, the preferred way is to hose it off with a fire hose. Standard bearings won’t cope well with that kind of water pressure, they’ll deteriorate very quickly. But these Timken ones are made to withstand this kind of pressure and the multiple sealing layers protect the bearings from water ingress.” To summarise, Michael iterates the value in CBC’s service and expertise. “We are the exclusive distributors of these Timken® Spherical Roller Bearing SolidBlock Housed Units, but more importantly, we have the in-house engineering capabilities and expertise to advise our customers on the best solutions for their conveyor applications – as was the situation with the gold mine. We invite our customers to come to us with any enquiries and we’ll problem solve to find the right solution.”


BRANCH PROFILE

BSC Orange is the local branch to the Hanson aggregate quarry in Molong, NSW.

knowledge exchange at BSC that other customers had achieved success in similar applications,” explains Phil. “Besides the cast steel – which can manage extreme loads and speed capacities – these units have multiple levels of sealing to protect them from harsh contaminants, which maximises their operational life.”

GOOD FOUNDATIONS at BSC Orange cement relationship with Hanson quarry

T

he BSC branch in Orange, New South Wales, has been servicing mines and quarries in the centralwest region since 1965. “Other bearing companies have come and gone, but we remain – it’s testament to the strong foundations of BSC, which is currently celebrating 100 years of business, and is Australia’s longest established distributor of bearings and power transmission,” says Branch Manager of BSC Orange, Phil McGarity. “Becoming a part of Motion Asia Pacific has been a huge milestone for us, but our purpose remains the same: to keep the local businesses in motion.” That of course extends to customers such as the Hanson aggregate quarry in Molong, about 30 minutes northwest of Orange. “We have been solutions providers to the Hanson quarry since I’ve been branch manager here – so at least 13 years,” says Phil. “Back in 2011 they were having ongoing issues with their conveyor, with repeated bearing and shaft failures. We had our engineers go out to site to assess the situation and create a custom bearing solution. It significantly reduced their issues and improved their productivity.” After diagnosing the problem – which was componentry failure due to dust and rock getting into the housings and bearings – the BSC team recommended the Timken®

Spherical Roller Bearing Solid-Block Housed Units. “We offered them this bearing solution and provided an in-house training session at our Orange BSC branch,” expands Phil. “They have now installed this product on every conveyor over the last 10 years.” Sales representative Kelvin McCarron, who worked with the Hanson quarry manager on providing the bearing solution, elaborated further on the customer’s reaction. “He was over the moon with them,” enthuses McCarron. “After successfully trialing the first conveyor, he asked us to swap out the rest of the conveyor bearings at the site with the Timken® Spherical Roller Bearing Solid-Block Housed Units. We only replaced those units in 2019 – almost nine years from their original trial. That’s a remarkable life for bearing units in this kind of application and environment.” Both industry experience and product knowledge played a role in the recommendation of the Timken® Spherical Roller Bearing Solid-Block Housed Units. “The solid steel housing of these units makes them pretty indestructible. They’re specifically designed to withstand conditions like those out at the Hanson Molong quarry, which is why we knew they would be a good fit – and we knew from our experience and

Importantly, the Timken® Spherical Roller Bearing Solid-Block Housed Units are preassembled which eliminates the chances of contamination when they’re installed. “They also allow the operator to grease the bearing unit,” adds Phil. “And have a purge feature so they can’t be overfilled, which helps maintain their integrity and reliability.” Besides supplying the Timken bearing units, Phil points out that it is the service that his BSC branch provides that makes the real difference to the quarry. “While we are a small team at the BSC Orange branch, customers such as the Hanson quarry know that we’ll go above and beyond for them,” enthuses Phil. “We are a close knit branch and we pride ourselves on the quality of our service.” It is the BSC Orange branch’s commitment to both quality service and product that makes them such an exceptional team. “They rely on us because of our customer service and they can use us as a one-stopshop,” explains Phil. “We visit the Hanson site regularly and they also call on us for advice. We’re their ‘go to’ branch. Mine and quarry sites are always looking to minimise their suppliers, and from the customer’s perspective, we’re both reliable and trustworthy.” To illustrate the lengths that the team at the BSC Orange branch will go to for customers, Phil concludes with an example. “I have gone to the local hardware shop in Orange to source materials for the Hanson quarry before. They know we will have a crack at sourcing anything for them,” Phil concludes. “Ultimately it helps them by reducing their time searching for and chasing materials and products. And they know that we’re here for them – around the clock.” LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 13


LUBRICATION

FLUID mobility M

obile machines on mine sites are essential workers, and similar to human resources, they need fluids to run efficiently. However, the quality of those fluids are integral to performance – which is why customers seek assurance from BSC in regards to their lubrication needs. According to Steve Keown, BSC Australia’s National Product Manager for Lubricants, customers stand to benefit from BSC’s partnership with Shell by Viva Energy Australia, in terms of both the supply of quality products, and in having access to local expertise. “Shell is the number one brand globally and we are providing a top-of-the-line solution to our customers that is unsurpassed in the market,” enthuses Steve. “Shell has a long history of research and development when it comes to lubricants for mining and quarry applications – they work very closely with equipment manufacturers to ensure the lubricants will provide operational efficiency for equipment.” Of course, preventing downtime is high on the agenda. “Shell has been providing lubrication products to this sector for nearly 100 years,” explains Steve. “They have a very long history of tailoring lubricants to a specific application and providing a cost effective solution to prevent the unforeseen downtime of equipment.” Importantly, Steve says BSC work together with Shell to match the right products to suit each customer’s application and can ensure the lubricants are complying with OEM warranty requirements. PAGE 14 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

“Customers can be confident in the quality of the lubricants and assured that their manufacturer’s warranty is in place – which is very important,” expands Steve. “As a national distributor of Shell products, we can also offer customers access to services such as the Shell technical help and Lube Analysis, which tracks how a lubricant is working on a particular piece of equipment.” Having this support and analysis offers customers peace of mind. “It takes the arduous work out of the customer’s hands knowing that they have local technical backup,” explains Steve. “In addition to that, dealing with a brand such as Shell hand-in-hand with BSC, they can be secure in the fact that they have premium support in place.” This is where BSC’s partnership with the global Shell Brand proves particularly beneficial for customers. “We are currently working closely with a customer where we are facilitating with Viva Energy’s Shell Lubricants technical engineers to perform trials on some of our customer’s equipment,” Steve expounds. “It’s a very open line of communication between BSC, our customer and Shell, who is a global leader. Essentially, we are providing high-level global assurance on a local level.” Moreover, customers can rely on BSC to help them manage their inventory and lubricant usage. “In our experience, customers want to use a brand and product that is suitable to their application and minimise inventory

as much as possible,” explains Steve. “The Shell Lubricants range often ticks all the boxes, as it covers all major mining equipment needs, however, we will work with our customers to select and match the right lubricant to their application.” Beyond the supply of lubricants, Steve says BSC provide their customers with hands-on site services. “We will come out to site, take stock at the site, and arrange the monthly ordering, lubricant transfer equipment, and any other solutions the customer may need,” he says. “We’re really a one-stop-shop for pumps, transfer equipment, spill equipment and lubricants.” Significantly, customers have access to Premium Partner services, such as Viva Energy’s Shell Lubricant Technical Help Desk. Michael Greelish, BSC’s National Segment Manager for Mines and Quarries highlights this aspect in particular. “The Shell Lubricant Technical Help desk is a fantastic resource that is available to our customers at BSC who purchase the Shell mining lubricants,” says Michael. “The support number they offer provides troubleshooting and advice. They also have online apps for lube matching and analysis.” According to Michael, the oil analysis is particularly useful to customers. “This service allows customers to monitor and compare the performance of oils and machinery,” he concludes. “This ultimately helps them optimise their maintenance and improve the efficiency of their critical mining machinery.”


BUNDING

CUSTOMISABLE SPILL KITS

provide safe solutions for sticky situations

E

npac LLC is an American manufacturer that was founded on one simple principle: “protecting the environment from hazardous chemicals by providing customers with high quality, affordable containment solutions.” From the moment a spill occurs, there is a race against the clock. Every moment lost, increases the risk of a lasting adverse effects on the health of the workers and the environment, which is why it is important for site managers to be prepared with an inventory of spill bunding kits on site. For mine site managers, one of the greatest threats is an oil or chemical spill occurring when there is nobody around to see it, or worse, no way to contain it. “It’s imperative to have a storage and containment system in place on site,” says Steve Keown, National Product Manager for Liquids, Oils, Solvents, and Adhesives at BSC. “If there is a spill when nobody is present, it can leak into the soil, a storm water drain, or run off into a creek or surrounding environment. The aim is to prevent the spill from getting away. A leak can cause significant damage and the clean-up costs are huge. The losses are tremendous all around.”

DRUMS-ON-WHEELS Enpac has a range of Drum Spill Kits, as well as Tote Spill Kits and Multi-Response Kits that are easy to roll around site in wheeled containers. “These spill kits are essentially a large drum with all that is required to take to the site. They might include absorbent pads, absorbent flexible bunding, mats to put over the drains, safety glasses, some chemical resistant gloves and perhaps a respirator. The kit can be designed for size and purpose.” STORAGE Enpac offers a complete range of bunded storage and dispensing solutions that are purpose designed. These include PolyContainers, IBC Containment Bunds and Dispensing Stations, Spill Pallets, and Overpack Salvage Drums, Drum Storage Hardcovers and TARP Covers, Totes as storage containment systems for 20L, 209L, or 1000L drums. “It’s important to consider where you have actually got your lubricant stored. These solutions include bunding to accommodate that storage area. If a failure happens with a pump, drum, or a nozzle without a particular bunding around it, it can be critical. The bunding serves as a damming piece.”

BSC’s relationship with Enpac has evolved over the last four years from proving spill bunding to fully customisable spill kits for customers.

PORTABLE

“We sell lubricants and solvents to customers and Enpac works nicely with that because they supply spill bunding and equipment and containment units where lubricants and solvents can be kept,” says Steve. “Whether it be decanting or a pump or hose, we can provide risk management and contingency solutions. It’s a nice added value for our customers.”

“When operating mobile equipment on site, it is important to have a mini containment vessel in case there is a fluid leak. While repairs are being made, this is like a miniswimming pool to prevent the leak from getting into the ground or down a drain which can cause ground water contamination.”

Enpac offers a range of more than 50 different pre-assembled spill bunding kits, “customisable for the particular type of chemical, oil, or coolant being contained,” explains Steve. To simplify the options, he separates spill bunding kits into three main solution offerings.

Enpac’s Spill Containment Berms and Duck Ponds are portable spill containment solutions for mobile equipment.

In Australia, the Environment Protection Act 20171 (EP Act) and Environment Protection Regulations 2021 (EP Regulations) now require all businesses to take proactive steps in managing the risks of spillage.1 Not only will taking heed on these preventative measures benefit the environment, but it will also save customers

in the mining and quarrying sector valuable time, resources and expensive clean-up costs and possible fines. “The solution could be as simple as off the shelf, or it could mean a day out on the mine site for one of our team,” says Steve. “We go to site, assess the points of concern, drains, creeks, or particularly dangerous product on site and we work with the Enpac Account Manager to make sure that we are offering a solution that is fully customised to that customer,” concludes Steve. Reference:1823.1: Mining and quarrying - guide to preventing harm to people and the environment. Environment Protection Authority Victoria. 2021.

Miner

Maddie’s Tips

for Assessing Environment Risk on Site Step 1: Identify any hazards from your business activities that could cause harm. Step 2: Assess the risk, based on the likelihood of the hazard causing harm, and the consequence of that harm. Step 3: Implement suitable control measures, based on what is reasonably practicable for your business, with the aim of choosing the highest level of protection and reliability. Step 4: Check controls regularly to make sure they are working, well maintained, effective and remain the most appropriate option. This process includes monitoring control measures and identifying any changes that may need to be made to improve their effectiveness. LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 15


BRANCH PROFILE

NEW DESTINATION BRANCH OPENS IN WACOL to better serve Mining and Quarry operations

P

eter Solloway believes good business involves growing staff along with sales.

He has been with BSC for more than 25 years, beginning as a driver, before moving through the sales ranks, eventually becoming State Sales Manager for Queensland. Peter’s home branch, BSC Wacol, has existed for around 30 years, undergoing a recent expansion to serve the region. The brand new BSC Wacol branch is teeming with life these days, having recently grown threefold, from a team of three to a team of ten staff members. Dan Iselin, Technical Representative at BSC Wacol, and a fitter by trade enthuses, “It’s great to have a community of fellow tradespeople and technicians who are likeminded.” “With the trade background I have got, BSC enables me to take my skills and expertise and pass it on to my customers and build relationships with them out in the field,” he adds. PAGE 16 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

Being central to some of the largest players in the mining and quarrying sector, north and south of Brisbane, local quarry customers share a mutually beneficial relationship with the Wacol staff. “Quarries are a key market for us. We stock everything they need: belts, pulleys, bearings, couplings, motors, gearboxes, lubricants,” says Peter. “These products are our core business, and they fall under day-to-day requirements for a quarry, so we need each other but we also help each other succeed.” Dan recently provided a solution to a local concrete plant that was struggling with the maintenance process on one of their shakers. In this case, the shaker needed some isolation mounts with the blind, threaded holes for bolts rather than studs to move the hopper sideways without having to lift it out. Explains Dan, “this particular shaker fed into a bin with a shroud around the outside of the bin. The shaker was so snuggly fit in this shroud of the bin, that when they need to

do maintenance on the shaker, they had to undo around 60 bolts on the bin to remove it.” “The way the bin shroud was mounted, it had about 60 bolts, and dismantling it to do maintenance was taking about six hours out of their day,” he elaborates on the cost of labour to the operation. To remedy the problem, the site maintenance manager enquired if Mackay mounts could supply isolation mounts that took bolts rather than studs to cut down their maintenance time. “The shaker was part of a process that moves stones from the concrete slurry by allowing water to travel downwards and the stone to travel upwards into a collection bin. This happens by an isolating, shaking motion,” explains Dan. “The Mackay isolation mounts have a round rubber cylinder in the middle, with a plate on each side and blind holes, so they screw a bolt into it, rather than having a stud sticking out,” he adds. “It’s an improvement on their isolation mounts that reduces maintenance


time, so now instead of being a six-hour job, they can do it in three hours.”

CBC Wacol supplied some Mackay isolation mounts as a solution for a local concrete plant that was struggling with maintenance on a shaker.

Dan highlights that every company wants to reduce maintenance costs and one efficient way to do that is to consolidate operations. The BSC Wacol branch decided to pursue the opportunity to streamline their own operations earlier this year by proposing the idea of merging three local, CBC and BSC branches in the area into one centralised branch, known as a Motion Industrial Centre. Peter and his team discovered that many of the CBC Rocklea customers were in fact residing in the Wacol area. So, they decided to drive around and visit some of the best customers to float the idea of closing their local branch to grow the Wacol location. “We had three solid branches: BSC Wacol, BSC Archerfield and CBC Rocklea, all of which had been successful in independently providing good customer service with small teams,” he explains. According to Peter, the results were positive. “The overwhelming feedback was that if we can keep the service levels up, and we retain the staff that our customers have built relationships with, there would be no issue. All of our major business has followed us because of the service we provide and our commitment to our customers.” Six weeks in, Peter says the biggest challenge with the merge has been bringing together three teams under one operation. “We have more delivery runs and more people than ever before. Which is great for us. We have come together as a team to establish new roles and work out the new operational logistics.” “When it comes to supplying industrial solutions, bigger branches mean bigger product programs, more people and more stock to service our sector,” highlights Peter. “The idea behind the merge was to make a powerful destination branch to better service the area by combining all of our expertise. The Motion Industrial Centre in Wacol is a place where customers will want to go. We have a good knowledge base, good stock and great services to offer,” concludes Peter.

Mackay isolation mounts have a round rubber cylinder in the middle, with a plate on each side and blind holes for easy mounting and dismounting. LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 17


ADHESIVES

THREADLOCKERS: Securing production in mining

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ndustry expert Michael Rowe says the unsung hero of mechanical fastening is the liquid threadlocker.

The longest standing manufacturer of threadlocker products is LOCTITE®. In fact, threadlocking fluid was invented in 1953 by a chemistry professor named Vernon K. Krieble, founder of the original LOCTITE brand. “Traditional methods of mechanical fastening often include lock washers, locknuts, jam nuts, and safety wire which protect the threads and secure bolts in place, however, they still leave gaps that will be exposed to continuous vibration, tension and torque on an operation,” explains Michael, Product Manager of Adhesive and Sealants for CBC Australia. “Liquid threadlocker holds fasteners tight by curing with viscosity and shear-resistance – effectively acting as a water-resistant sealant and an adhesive,” he adds. CBC Australia and Henkel LOCTITE have been partnered in distribution of adhesive technology for more than 40 years, serving the mining and quarrying segment. The Henkel LOCTITE Threadlocker products are available in a range of adhesive and fastening abilities, from permanent, highstrength compounds, to more time-based, removable, variations. “The right solution will depend on the application,” Michael states. “And we can help advise customers on which product will work best.” Sheree Munnik, CBC Key Account Executive for the Mining Segment in Western Australia, works closely with mining PAGE 18 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

customers to circumvent the effects of continuous vibration and torque on bolted joints, which she says is a common cause of equipment failure at mine sites. “The bottom line is that Threadlocker products enable our customers to get more running hours out of their equipment by holding everything in place,” highlights Sheree. “Bolted and machined joints on mining equipment face heavy vibration and shock loads, running at high speeds under harsh conditions for extended periods of time. Securing fasteners can mean the difference between a productive day on site or a catastrophic failure on mining applications,” says Sheree. CBC recently worked with a heavy mobile equipment company in Western Australia to provide solutions with a range of LOCTITE products. “This included the Threadlocker range, thread sealing, and retaining compounds they offer,” says Sheree

extended periods of time on the removal of oil from gears and casings. “I visited the site on a joint call with a LOCTITE on-site engineer and we made a proposal for an application trial for Henkel TEROSON® VR 10,” she explains. “The trial involved a comparison on two large sized gear units. We cleaned one with the generic brake cleaner the customer had been using and the other with the Henkel TEROSON VR 10. The result was that TEROSON left the gear visibly cleaner while using less product, time and effort.” “This was added value for our customer and a huge win for our team being able to collaborate with both the supplier and the customer on a solution.” concludes Sheree.

Features and Benefits LOCTITE® Threadlocker Series • An instant low-pressure seal

“Specifically, the LOCTITE 567 and 577 products are commonly used in hydraulics applications to prevent fluid leakage into the threaded assemblies. While LOCTITE retaining compounds are used to prevent bearing slippage on shafts.”

• Does not creep, shrink or block systems

In addition to the LOCTITE adhesive solutions, Henkel also makes degreasing agents that can be used for cleaning heavy equipment brakes and gears that build up under site conditions, laden down with dust, dirt, oil and residual grease.

• High viscosity

Sheree and her team worked with an OEM in Western Australia who had been losing

• Suited to large threads

• Cures in the absence of air and by contact with metals • Breakaway torque rating • Prevents unwanted movement, loosening, leaks and corrosion • Resists vibration • Breakaway torque


INDUSTRY PROFILE

KEEPING AUSTRALIAN mines in Motion

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ith the Australian mining industry experiencing record demand for product, there is increased pressure on plants to achieve heightened productivity targets. While this comes with challenges, CBC, BSC and WebsterBSC – all part of Motion Asia Pacific – are well placed to provide solutions, says Grant Gray.

“We’ve had a long association with the mining industry – in fact one of our businesses has been serving this sector for over 100 years – and we are in a favourable position to support the sector in times when physical site access and supply issues are posing challenges,” enthuses the General Manager of National Sales for Motion Asia Pacific. “This is due to the level of technical competency we have behind us, coupled with our ability to supply the world’s best brands through our Premium Partners.” Motion Asia Pacific’s national branch footprint provides an invaluable advantage. “This not only helps with our distribution channels, but ensures we have people in key positions around the country,” Grant explains. “We have a significant workforce available to provide triage when required, even at short notice.” Providing quick fixes, however, is not Motion’s modus operandi. “Our mode of working is solutions-based with the objective being to provide an outcome that brings long-lasting benefit and value to the customer,” Grant states. “We’re aligned with our Premium Partners in the process and delivery of these solutions-based outcomes.” To address challenges at the forefront – such as ensuring mining machinery is in uptime to meet productivity targets –

Grant says understanding the customer’s business and their pain points is critical. “The productivity targets of our customers are increasing every year – the challenge for us, whether it’s a mobile or fixed plant – is getting access to the site and that equipment. Invariably there is a small window for us to get in and identify the problem, and react with a solution,” Grant expounds. “What the solution looks like will depend on a number of factors, including the availability of componentry. At a micro perspective, that can pose a large challenge, but in terms of the big picture, what it provides is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of what success looks like for the individual customer.” Gaining this understanding will come through developing a trusted rapport with the customer. “It’s vital that we understand what success looks like to them before we provide answers. What are their expectations, what are the demands they have to meet, what are their issues with equipment?” Grant shares. “This knowledge comes from developing a high degree of familiarity with the customer and their business.” Importantly, Grant says this in-depth understanding of the customer’s needs aids in the supply of parts. “Understanding exactly what their demand plan moving forward is necessary to cater for them, and to work with our Premium Partners to make sure customers have the critical spares required to keep their mine in productivity,” Grant explains. “What we need to consider is that the requirements associated with certain bearings or power transmission products can be large and complex. Which means long

Grant Gray General Manager National Sales

production lead times. And of course, this is compounded by a larger issue of global supply and demand right now.” According to Grant, education is a twoway street. “We’re only going to have this kind of meaningful dialogue with the customer by undertaking a plant survey,” he says. “Through understanding what they have in stock, what is required and how we can best supply and service them is critical. As is their understanding around some of the complexities with regards to componentry lead time and availability.” Moreover, he notes Motion Asia Pacific’s ability to pivot and innovate to service customers in times when physical access can prove challenging. “We’ve invested heavily in technology and are able to provide a lot of service through virtual communications – a lot of the training we provide for example is now done remotely,” Grant explains. “We understand that not every mine is able to cover their staff’s training and development competencies. We can help address skills shortages through training, leveraging both our internal resources and teams, as well as those of our Premium Partners.” To conclude, Grant reiterates the unique value proposition that Motion Asia Pacific offers, together with its Premium Partners, to customers. “To keep mines in productivity, machinery must be kept in uptime. And to keep machinery running optimally requires following best practices and using best brands – we help our customers on both those fronts. We’re exceedingly proud to work with the world’s best brands as Premium Partners.” LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 19


BEARINGS

Timken® Solid-Block Housed Units offer a solution for heavy industry conveyor applications.

Solid-Block Housed units have six different internal locking mechanisms: V-Lock, Double V-Lock, Concentric, Eccentric, Tapered Adapter, and the Double-Nut Tapered Adapter.

SOLID-BLOCK HOUSED UNITS call for solid training

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s far as bearings go, the Timken® Solid-Block Housed units are famous in heavy industry, renowned for their seemingly unbreakable solid cast steel housing and ease of installation. However, industry expert Brad Kemp wants to remind readers that these are highly specialised products, which do require an understanding of the internal componentry in order to be fitted correctly. Brad is the Senior Service Engineer for Timken Australia and has been partnering with CBC representatives to organise proactive training sessions with customers to assist with the Solid-Block Housed unit installation. “The Solid Blocked Housed unit is usually ordered by the engineers who love the concept,” he says. “They order it, the maintenance guys receive it without proper training and then there is frustration with the product. Often the instructions get overlooked or just end up in the bin.” Brad points out that if instructions are not followed accurately, the bearings could become damaged prematurely. “If maintenance teams have not been trained up properly, then a lot of times they will start to do guesswork and make assumptions, which is what we want to avoid,” he explains. “Rather than PAGE 20 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

have reactions from customers who are disappointed that the bearing they ordered was incorrectly installed, we aim to ensure that the engineered componentry, the locking options and the installation process is understood by everyone on site,” he adds. CBC Senior Account Manager, Brian Crouch, works in conjunction with Brad and the Timken engineering staff to identity the need for on-site training. “We organise a three-hour on-site training session for the apprentices, fitters, engineers, and maintenance staff to come together and learn about every concept behind the Solid-Block Housed unit, to minimise any room for error or shortage of collective understanding,” says Brian. “In these training sessions, we demonstrate how the Solid-Block Housing unit works internally and we show the attendees how to install the respective shaft locking arrangements that are available. We also familiarise them with the different sealing options,” explains Brian. According to Brian, the training is a stepby-step fit up, covering all installation tools, and demonstrates how maintenance staff can ensure the clearances are correct in order to get optimal life out of their units. Depending on the application, the Timken

“The Double-Nut Tapered Adapter concept is a relatively new shaft locking option for our Timken Solid-Block Housing. This has been designed for larger sized industrial bearing applications,” elaborates Brad. “We are currently trialing this option for heavy industry conveyor pulley applications, where the most common challenge is withdrawing the bearing once it needs to be replaced. Usually, these types of applications require hydraulic removal facilities, otherwise they need to be cut off to be removed.” With, the Double-Nut Taper Adapter system, the nuts are pre-set at the factory for nominal shaft sizing, so the maintenance worker does not have to physically measure up the driver or radial internal clearance. “They can just drive the bearing up until it hits the rear extraction nut,” says Brad. “When they want to extract the bearing later, they can just back it off the driver, advance the withdrawal nut, and pull the taper out of the bearing.” The result is a much easier method of extraction. Brad strongly suggests organising training for a team to on-site managers who have placed an order for the Timken Solid-Block Housed units, adding that there is also comprehensive training available online via the Timken YouTube channel. “It’s such a well-known product that I think people expect it to be an obvious installation process, but it’s not. Teams do need to know what the product looks like internally, see how it all goes together and have the opportunity to ask questions,” he says. “Read the instructions. Refer to the YouTube clips. Organise a formal training for your team,” stresses Brad. To organise a Timken Solid-Block Housed unit training session, Brad recommends visiting a local CBC branch and speaking to a representative. “We are looking to expand the reach of this training program as much as possible,” he concludes.


CONDITION MONITORING

REMOTE CONDITION MONITORING reduces risks and improves reliability

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more accurate,” he says. “The stronger the battery, the more data that can be sent and at more frequent intervals.”

s the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. And while the covid cloud has brought many challenges to the mines and quarries industries, it has also been a catalyst for sites to adopt or update technologies to implement remote workarounds. This has been the case with the condition monitoring of machinery, where expert Anthony O’Keefe says customers are realising significant benefits from implementing remote, wireless solutions.

Another primary advantage of a remote wireless condition monitoring solution is that it doesn’t use the local site computer network. Instead, it uses a 4G network through sim cards.

“We’ve known the benefits of these systems for some time now, however the progress we’ve seen with the technology has meant we’re able to offer our customers more affordable solutions,” explains Anthony, who is the National Engineering Manager for CBC Australia. “What the pandemic has done is brought two key advantages of a remote, wireless solution to the fore – firstly, it reduces risk, by decreasing the number of contractors coming out to site, and secondly, it improves the reliability of the machinery.”

“Instead of any of our field engineers collecting data from site, the data is instead collected using wireless sensors that are mounted onto the equipment or machinery,” Anthony explains. “That data is then relayed to us via the cloud, and we analyse it and send a report back to the client that way.”

CBC provide many customers with an offline condition monitoring service. This involves technicians from CBC going out to site to collect data, then analysing the data and providing a report back to clients on the machinery health. “This has been a successful model for us and many of our customers for years,” Anthony explains. “However, when the first covid restrictions came into effect, mining companies had to put up their own borders. Only the most essential workers to their operations would be allowed onto site.”

“As technology has improved, and as electronics have become digitalised, they’ve also become smaller, smarter, faster, and cheaper,” he enthuses. “Think of digital cameras and how expensive and heavy they were, and now people have advanced cameras on their mobile phones that take high quality pictures. This technology is no different.”

Customers soon realised the need for an alternative to the traditional condition monitoring workaround was required urgently. “Our customers still required a condition monitoring service because the risks of machinery breaking down were too high,” says Anthony. “At the same time, they’ve recognised that the number of people coming to their site poses a risk to the plant operations. And they don’t want to be in a situation where they have to shut down as a result of worker exposure to the virus.” Enter a remote condition monitoring method that uses wireless sensors.

CBC offers a range of condition monitoring solutions for mining, both on and offline.

This remote condition monitoring method isn’t new, but it’s become more advanced and simultaneously more affordable. Anthony uses the analogy of a camera to elaborate.

One of the key benefits is the quality of data and the amount of data that the sensors can send. “Before, if we were manually collecting data, a service technician would perhaps do this in intervals of one a month or so – but these sensors are collecting data live and sending it across in minutes,” Anthony elaborates. “This is a much more reliable method of identifying a fault.” Anthony partly attributes the higher data quality to improvements made with the battery life of the wireless sensors. “Battery life is significantly better than it was, which means the quality of data is superior;

“This is a huge benefit as it’s not relying on the customer’s LAN connections and won’t pose any security issues or risks,” Anthony expands. “Cybersecurity is a major concern among our mining customers.” In terms of selecting and setting these systems up, Anthony says that’s where CBC – and owning company Motion Asia Pacific – offers customers real value. “There’s a lot of different models out in the market. We’re in a fortunate position in that we’ve been able to see how those different models work and have an understanding of what will suit our customers,” he explains. “We’ve aligned ourselves with specific trusted partners that offer products we know will meet the needs of our clients. Importantly, we identify the needs of the customer first, then match up the best solution to meet their requirements.” Selection of a remote condition monitoring solution will depend on the scope of work, budget and the in-house expertise of the customer. “We’re able to provide a simple and accurate pricing structure, and will tailor the system in accordance to the customer’s skillset,” says Anthony. “For example, they may only need a basic alarm system, or perhaps they need a system with more intrinsic abilities to do analysis.” While a remote condition monitoring system may seem complex, Anthony reiterates CBC’s capabilities. “The benefit of working with us is that we have a team of engineers around Australia who can assist in the selection, installation and commissioning of these wireless systems.” LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 21


DEGREASERS

THE FULL SPECTRUM of protection for cleaner equipment

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mine attracts dust, dirt, and grime which left unchecked, can erode electrical cords, cables, and connectors, slow down bearings and gearboxes and cause machinery to idle. Improper cleaning and maintenance of components can slow production to a halt, costing companies thousands in precious time and resources. CRC Industries has been servicing the mining and quarrying sector in Australia since the 1970s when they first began manufacturing in the country. Today they are one of the major players in the sector and have partnered with CBC on services. “CBC has had a relationship with CRC for a very long time. They are very good with supply and inquiries,” says Chris

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Anderson, the Area Business Manager for the Dubbo CBC branch. “Our branch is in proximity to several major mines in the area which allows us to provide better service to the sites. We try to meet with customers on site as often as possible to ensure they are getting consumable products like lubricants, cleaners, and degreasers to keep things in motion.”

segment,” says David. “On mine sites, there are electronics everywhere. All of this gets affected by dust and dirt and they need something to clean these contacts so that all the components keep operating at their peak performance.” The CO Contact Cleaner contains COZOL – a proprietary blend of solvents which is non-corrosive and evaporative, leaving no stains or grease behind.

Business Development Manager at CRC, David Bailey discusses the specific CRC products that have been developed as solutions to common issues on a mine site.

“This is a great solution for cleaning relays, switches, circuit boards and breakers, alarm and signal systems, terminals, plugs and jacks,” enthuses David.

“Two of our most popular products are our CO and NF Contact Cleaners, which have a massive turnover in the mining

CRC NF Contact Cleaner offers a similar solution as a non-flammable option with no flash point.


stick to bearings and cables where there can be no fling-off,” elaborates David. “We now have Bio-Degreaser which is quick-break, non-flammable, and contain non-toxic chemicals, so they go particularly well into the current trends we are seeing within the mining industry,” explains David. “We have seen two major mine sites switch over to the BioDegreaser, and it’s really starting to gain momentum.”

The CRC SmartWasher uses microbes to break down oil, grease, and contaminants on heavy machine parts.

“More and more we are getting requests for non-flammable products, so we have a number of different NF aerosols in our range now that suit the mining industry,” says David. “The aim with non-flammable is to reduce incidents and potential to harm workers.” The downside, says David, is “as soon as you make a product non-flammable, the costs go up because non-flammable solvents are few and far between. That said, there is no price for safety.” CRC Lectra Clean is a heavy-duty degreaser developed for cleaning generators and compressors to keep everything clean and operating well. “Lectra Clean can be used to remove oil, grease and contaminants from brakes, chains, motors, parts and bearings,” says David. “This product is also used often during maintenance for cleaning down components before they are reassembled.” “The other degreasing product that has really come into its own in the last ten years is our CRC Natural Degreaser. It is an aerosol that has a KB value of over 200, which rates it as extremely high in its degreasing ability. It removes harsh contaminants, in particular greases that

The CRC SmartWasher® is a bioremediating parts washer system that uses microbes to break down oil, grease, and carbon-based contaminants on heavy machine components.

in compounds that are biodegradable, non-flammable and non-chlorinated. In addition to this, the Brakleen Force product comes with a power button for hard-to-reach spots. Preventative maintenance with Brakleen will ensure equipment such as gearboxes, pumps, screens, crushers, conveyors, and mobile equipment continue to perform to the highest standards. CBC and CRC work in partnership to continue to improve cleaning and degreasing processes for the mining and quarrying sector, while at the same time continuing to improve the safety and reliability of their products.

“The SmartWasher is becoming more popular in the mining industry,” says David. “Every month we are selling more due to increasing demand for bio-safe alternatives.” The SmartWasher cleaning fluid, Ozzyjuice® is, water-based, pH neutral, GHS non-hazardous, meets the NSF A1 standard, leaves no residue, and was formulated to be eco-friendly, non-corrosive, non-flammable and nonirritating. “CRC Ozzyjuice SW-X1 was manufactured specifically for the mining industry to remove soot, grime, diesel fluid, tacky grease on gears and drive shafts and burnt on carbon,” explains David. “It’s been out for six months now and has also really taken off.” The CRC Brakleen is another bestseller, used in every cleaning method possible on a mine site, according to David. Over time, CRC Brakleen has been developed into several variations, including products that are more focussed on harm-reduction to workers and the environment (See breakout box for full range). The standard Brakleen cleans, degreases, and evaporates, leaving no residue, while other Brakleen products come

The CRC Brakleen Range •S tandard Brakleen, the original premium product • NC Brakleen, which is nonchlorinated • Brakleen Force, which comes with a power technology button shooting up to 20 feet. • NF Brakleen, which is nonflammable • Brakleen, Water-Based, which is biodegradable, non-toxic, quick break and can be used in confined spaces

LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 23


SEALANTS

LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD: Silicone for the aluminium sector in WA

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he value of a material can be determined by the breadth of its application. Materials such as silicone can have unlimited problemsolving benefits, depending on how it is engineered, says Sinisa Petkovic, Key Account Executive for CBC Malaga. “Silicones make other materials workbetter,” says Sinisa. “They can fix broken products and make new products possible. Silicone has some unique properties about it that make it both synthetic and sustainable at the same time,” he enthuses. Silicones combine silicon-based glass and carbon-based plastic. Sinisa points out that “like glass, silicones are temperature and moisture-resistant, chemically inert, and dielectric. As with plastics, silicones are strong and able to take on many forms.” Importantly, silicone can be formulated as a sealant. “Silicone can be formulated as an adhesive or a release agent, an antifoam or a foam stabiliser,” Sinisa explains. “There are so many applications that silicone can serve, and often these can be varied, or opposing applications.”

“Dow’s DOWSIL™ 732 can adhere to styrene, copper, glass, nylon and steel, and has the option of aluminium metallic finish. It can withstand temperatures up to 177°C.” While the DOWSIL™ 736 is similar to the 732, one of the key differences is that this product can handle temperatures up to 315°C. “It is a general-purpose heat resistant sealant that we have sold huge quantities of to the aluminium industry in the Perth area,” Sinisa elaborates. Central to the CBC Malaga location where Sinisa operates out of are some of the largest aluminium operations in the world, across the Darling Range, Kwinana, Pinjarra and Wagerup regions. Aluminium is one of the of the most critical elements in the production of the technology. The production process for the material begins with the mining of bauxite ore which oxidises alumina, a white powdered metal compound. Australian refineries extract alumina from the bauxite ore which is then shipped to global manufacturers.

perspective. At CBC, we take particular interest in materials science innovations, and we do what we can to impart that knowledge to our customers across the mining segment,” he concludes.

Why choose silicone? •F lows easily without beading up • Pliable and flexible, once cured, they will always return to their original shape • Long-term resistance to rain, sleet, snow, ozone, acid rain and damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays • Highly resistant to damage and degradation from extreme temperatures, thermal shock, chemicals, and oxidation.

For the mining segment, Sinisa recommends DOWSIL™ 732 MultiPurpose Sealant as an effective general purpose acetoxy RTV sealant.

“About 90% of the world’s alumina goes into making the aluminium used in the design and construction of buildings, airplanes, and hand-held devices. While the remaining 10% goes into industrial chemical operations,” explains Sinisa.

• No hardening, cracking, or becoming brittle with age the way carbon-based organic materials do

“American company, Dow, are experts in material sciences. They have been investing in the innovation of silicones and developing the chemical compound of the material for some time,” says Sinisa.

“Aluminium is another versatile material and silicones help to make aluminium produce run more smoothly. The two materials can be imagined in so many ways from a design and engineering

• Water repellent and waterproof

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• Inert reaction to other materials, unless by design • Outstanding for adhesion, even of substrates


COUPLINGS

Fenner FenaFlex Tyre Couplings provide flexibility for shaft misalignment and have vibration dampening properties.

Installation Guide Always refer to the manual for each product for torque ratings. • Firstly, all mating surfaces of the assembly taper balls and flanges, and taper lock bush bores should be cleaned to remove any debris that might impede assembly.

LET’S TORQUE

•B efore placing the flanges on to the shaft, loosely place the bush into the taper lock bore and align the half holes correctly. • Remove clamping rings and screws.

about tyre couplings

•P lace loose clamping rings onto the mover and drive machine shaft before locating coupling flanges.

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• I f keys are required, side fitting keys with top clearance should be used.

here there is movement, there is power. A coupling takes that power and transmits it from one shaft to another, which may sound simple enough in theory. A kid pedalling a bike turns the bike shafts, which takes the power to the chain. In a bike it’s a chain. In a car it’s a drive shaft. But what about on a slurry pump at a mine site? This is where CBC’s expert on Power Transmission, Troy Markland, comes in.

major pump applications for above ground and below ground operations because they have very good horsepower and misalignment capability,” he explains. “The coupling has up to a 4-degree misalignment which is very good for accommodating the gap between shafts.” To check that the flanges are parallel with the shafts, CBC technicians take various measurements to ensure the gap between the shafts allows for end-float.

“Slurry pumps have two shafts, one for driving and the other being driven. The power comes from the motor and transfers to the turning shaft through a coupling arrangement,” explains Troy. “Joining two aligning shafts is very difficult to do without any deflection and misalignment.”

“Since the Fenner® couplings can accommodate a high degree of misalignment, this makes it easier to test for torquing ability, says Troy. “Sometimes we use a laser alignment tool or an alignment shim to check that the installation is parallel to the unit on all sides.”

For this application, Troy recommends the Fenner FenaFlexTM Tyre Coupling for high flexibility, which he explains is critical on mining applications.

The couplings have a donut-style hub between two flanges that create flexibility for shaft-to-shaft misalignment.

“Fenner power transmission products have a long history in the mining sector,” says Troy. “From a coupling perspective, Fenner® is widely used by major pump companies, particular on high-speed applications.” ®

According to Troy, this is due to their premium manufacturing facilities, installation services and highly involved after-market support. “Fenner® couplings are a robust choice for

“The first-rated rubber tyre on the couplings has good vibration dampening properties,” Troy expounds. “Vibrations can cause cracks and fractures on drive equipment and machine failures, so the Fenner® coupling does a very good job at softening the vibration through absorption.” CBC acquired Fenner® in 2011 and has since continued to work with their engineers and technicians to provide premium couplings to the mining and quarrying segment.

nce the clamping rings and flanges •O are in place, tighten the fixing screws to the required torque, detailed in the instructions supplied with each bush. •F or keywayed flanges, place on the shaft, locate keyway, and tighten screws. •B ring the shafts into alignment, taking into consideration end-float and misalignment. •M easure the gap between the shaft to the appropriate distance. •L ay a straight edge across the flanges in several areas to check that they are aligned parallel to one another. •O pen the tyre and place over the coupling flanges ensuring it is seated properly, closing the gap of the tyre. •R eplace the clamping rings over the flanges and tighten the clamping ring screws evenly until the correct screw torque is achieved. •T here should be no metal-to-metal contact between coupling flange and clamping ring. •R un the coupling under load for a test period, if possible and check the torque to ensure it is correct.

LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 25


COPPER

A FULL-SERVICE SOLUTION package for copper mine

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xperts in metallurgy will be familiar with what is known as ‘froth flotation,’ in which a cylindrical flotation cell will typically hold the materials, while a low-pressure blower will parse the particles into hydrophobic (water-repellent) and hydrophilic (water-soluble) materials using air bubbles that are carried across the surface and removed.1 When CBC Regional Mining Manager, Sam Wilkinson, received a query from a copper mining customer in Northern Queensland about a bearing failure analysis on one of their flotation blowers, he moved quickly to draw up a proposal that included an NTN bearings solution. “Our engineering team headed to the site first to do a load case. We check the load capacity of the existing bearing, the speed and the overall suitability of the bearings and determined a better solution,” says Sam. “The flotation blower fan is absolutely critical to creating the flotation bubbles in a copper concentrator cell,” explains Sam. “The fans move at very high speeds, and in this case the spherical roller bearings the customer was using on the fan were slipping due to poor axial and radial loading, causing bearing failure every 8-12 months.” “From this, we proposed a new fan barrel assembly to the customer. We suggested using a pair of NTN Angular Ball Bearings (7226) for the shaft to reduce skid, and a single NTN Deep-Groove Ball Bearing (6226) for a smoother barrel assembly.” According to Sam, there were a lot of moving parts in the new design, requiring cooperation across the business – with the key components being the custom bearings solutions supplied by NTN. These types of engineering projects must be approved by the Registered Professional Engineer Queensland (RPEQ) standard before going to manufacturing, Sam explains. “Once the RPEQ process is approved and the customer accepts the design, we then PAGE 26 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

The CBC Engineering team designed and built a custom flotation blower solution for a Queensland copper mine.

manufacture at the CBC Design Hub in Sydney. Experts Josh Price, Engineering Hub Manager and Marcello Falcao, Senior Application Engineer were heavily involved in the production process for this project.” Because it was such a change from the original fitted bearing, the customer requested that the team at CBC perform some acceptance testing off site. “We shipped it from Sydney to Townsville, where we put it on an industrial balancing machine,” explains Sam. “We monitored the temperature and vibration, and after passing specs, we shipped it out to the customer site.” The seamless collaboration between the CBC Queensland engineering team, the Sydney manufacturing facility, the inhouse balancing service from a group company (Hardy Spicer) and technicians on the ground allowed for a complete solution for the customer. Furthermore, the joint venture between NTN-CBC also allowed for a quick turn around on supply. Fabio Rebecchi, National Product Manager for NTN-CBC describes why the solution was such a good fit.

“The angular ball and deep-groove bearings solutions are ideal for a fan application rather than spherical rollers bearings. In flotation fans, spherical roller bearings tend to skid at very high speeds because there isn’t enough load through the bearing,” explains Fabio. “These bearings are ground to face which allows for universal pairing. In this instance, the team at CBC have used a back-to-back arrangement which allows an axial load from one direction where the fan would be. Then on the other side, there is a deep-groove ball bearing which provides excellent load to medium radial load.” To summarise, Fabio says: “The best things that we do in our business happen because we have the right structure, the right stock, the right support, and the right people facing the customer, and when it happens, it happens seamlessly as an organisation.” References: 1. https://www.thecompressedairblog.com/lowpressure-blowers-and-mining-froth-flotation-and-tankleaching


COUPLINGS

GOOD VIBRATIONS

with high performance steel grid couplings

I

n the mining sector, an effective grid coupling needs to stand up to earthshattering vibrations, while at the same time, lending some flexibility to an application. “A heavy shock load can devastate a coupling arrangement even on the most robust equipment, which is why Rexnord developed the Falk Steelflex T-design range,” says Steve Hittmann, BSC’s National Product Manager for Mechanical Drive Systems & Belt Drives. “The aim with this product was to surpass competitors in performance and durability under highimpact conditions.” “In mining and quarrying, grid couplings will generally be used in the crushing, grinding, and agitating of material,” explains Steve. “They are also used in pump, conveyor, dragline, and high-speed gearbox applications, where they are really about the protection of the driven unit through their ability to absorb massive amounts of vibrations,” he adds. “Third party testing found that Falk Steelflex grid couplings are 4.7x more durable than a leading competitor’s grid coupling and 16x more durable than other brands,” furthers Steve. “Even though many grid couplings appear similar, a huge gap in performance remains between brands,” he emphasises. The technology was originally used in the production of aircraft components that carry heavy loads and deflect high vibrations in air. According to Steve, the key is torsional ability. “The Steelflex Grid Couplings employ torsion to deflect normal shock or vibratory loads, making them durable and flexible to changing load conditions,” says Steve. “In addition to this, Steelflex tunes the drive system. It absorbs the energy of impact by spreading it over increments of time, dampening the vibrations and reducing peak loads by as much as 30%,” he adds. The Falk Steelflex T10 Grid couplings are fabricated from steel for maximum strength; machined to within 0.001 inches, permitting utilisation of any hub surface for

measurement of shaft alignment.

products to customers directly.

“The tapered grids are made of high strength alloy steel, quenched, and tempered to spring hardness,” explains Steve. “The grid surface is then precision shot peened to compress the surface molecules for increased strength.”

“We have a lot of technical expertise in our sales team, but we know that we can rely on Rexnord anytime we need them, which opens up a lot of customer service opportunities,” says Steve.

“The effect is a dramatic increase in rating, providing reserve strength for longer life or allowing a smaller size coupling to be selected,” he enthuses.

“We work with Rexnord to continue providing premium products and services directly to our customer’s doorsteps,” he concludes.

When lubricated with Rexnord Falk Long Term Grease, (LTG) the Falk Steelflex coupling is then warranted for 5 years and does not require re-lubrication for the 5 year duration. “Falk LTG grease was developed specifically for couplings. It resists the separation of the oil and thickening agent that occurs in typical greases,” says Steve. “Initial use of Falk LTG coupling grease will eliminate the need for routine lubrication while still providing lubrication to the tapered grid. With LTG, Steelflex combines the high torque performance of a gear coupling and the low maintenance of a disc or elastomer coupling.” A nitrile seal prevents the loss of lubricant and entrance of water, dust, or other materials into the coupling. “These are a cost-effective, lowmaintenance solution,” says Steve. “This saves the customer time and money through fewer replacements, less frequent inspections and less hub damage.” The “replace-in-place” design of the Falk Steelflex T10 Grid couplings eliminates the need to move hubs or re-align the shafts. The Steelflex couplings are also industry compliant with the ATEX II 2GD c T6 certified standard to ensure safe use in environments that contain high volume usage of gases, vapours, mists, or dust mixtures that can cause explosive reactions. Rexnord offers full-service engineering and inventory teams and together with BSC they share a joint cause in promoting their

Design Features include: •L ong life with alloy steel tapered grids • Extended maintenance periods with the use of Falk Long Term Grease • Easy maintenance with the replace-in-place design • Absorbs shock loads and offers vibration damping with the original Falk Steelflex T-Grid design • Reduced peak torque loads by as much as 30% • Reduced wear on connected equipment components • Grade 5 cap screws ensure holding power to fasten the cover

Special design options: •T ype T63 disc brake • Type T90 flywheel • Type BW brake wheel • 12 models to choose from

LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 27


BELT DRIVE

DRIVING LONGEVITY with Gates® software tool

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the industry experience and expertise of the CBC team, which affords them access to Gates’ technical support and advice as well.

quarry or mining plant potentially has hundreds of different belt drives. How can a site or reliability manager ensure belts are achieving their life expectancy and that drives are working at optimal efficiency? According to Steve Hittmann, the Gates® Design Flex™ Pro™ free software tool is designed exactly for this purpose, providing real cost savings and benefits to customers. “We supply this software as a free issue to our customers – for example, if they’re having an issue with a belt drive, they can enter the particulars of that belt drive and the software will analyse the efficiency of the drive for their application,” explains Steve, who is the National Product Manager for Mechanical Drive Systems with CBC Australia. “It is an incredibly useful tool that can be used to design new belt drives, confirm the suitability of existing drives and obtain correct maintenance procedures and tension details.” Steve reflects on one particular quarry customer who was not achieving the estimated manufacturer’s life expectancy out of their belt products. “In this case, the customer contacted us to get a quick answer and resolution. We used this Design Flex™ Pro™ tool to confirm the existing drive information and suitability to the applications. By keying in the relative details, we had visibility on all the previous drives used, and were able to reduce the set of 12 belt drives to the one type,” Steve expands. “What did this mean for the customer? First of all, we switched to a Gates® product, which is a premium product that provides better performance and longevity. Secondly, by consolidating the belt drives the customer realised significant cost savings.” Moreover, Steve says CBC often uses the Design Flex™ Pro™ tool when performing site surveys. “Whilst the software serves as a belt drive selection tool, it is also used to determine proper belt installation tension, calculate belt pull and determine the PAGE 28 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

Gates® Design Flex™ Pro™ is a free software tool for optimising belt efficiency.

rated belt capacity,” Steve furthers. “It can also estimate the energy savings of a synchronous belt drive compared to a V-belt drive, estimate the cost savings of replacing roller chain with a Poly Chain® GT™ Carbon™ belt drive and can compare noise levels of different Gates® synchronous belt drives.” In regards to the quarry customer, Steve points out that together with using the tool to determine the suitability of the drive system, the Gates® belt solution was a good fit because of the belt’s premium design and features. “Both Gates® and CBC have similar philosophies – we believe in providing quality products and solutions that give our customers good value for money. Gates® exclusively make quality products,” Steve enthuses. “Whilst customers may pay a bit more initially, these are top end, premium products that will require less maintenance and replacement costs. Other noteworthy features that made Gates® a good choice for the quarry customer include the close manufacturing tolerances and cross section profile with its curved side walls.” Significantly, Steve says Gates® outperform competitors on the life expectancy front. “Gates® aims to provide 25,000 hours of life, and deliver on that. The Gates® standard is three years continuous running and usage,” Steve states. “Whereas competitors tend to provide between 6,000-12,000 hours of life.” Customers also stand to benefit from both

“We are ‘premium partners’ in every sense of that title – we partner to problem solve and bring long-lasting solutions to our customers, and we provide premium services and products,” says Steve. “We are often seen in the field together, and customers get to leverage our collective skillset, expertise and experience.” To summarise, Steve says the Gates® Design Flex™ Pro™ is yet another valuable resource to add to the toolbelt. “We apply this to applications by proposing new drives, confirming the suitability of existing drives and by measuring and ensuring they are working efficiently,” he concludes. “Ultimately this means less maintenance for the customer, longer life of their belt drives, improved reliability and cost savings.”

Gates Design IQ™ Easily design multi-point and complex serpentine belt drives for your specific application. Gates Design IQ™ is a downloadable engineering software that lets you design for stock and nonstock lengths and pulley sizes, with customised sprockets and conditions. Simply identify a specific Gates product, enter your drive specifications, and Gates Design IQ™ will calculate belt tension, shaft load, and belt length for you. You can use Design IQ to: • Calculate belt tension, belt length, shaft load, and more • Recommend installation tension • Offer drive geometry output • Point out principal contributing factors to flex-fatigue • Calculate belt widths or number of strands


DEGREASERS

Brakleen Water-Based is a biodegradable, nontoxic, non-flammable product that can safely be used in confined spaces.

opportunities to get our products onto mine sites,” says David. “In the last 18 months, the reps at BSC have been doing a lot of the groundwork for us to get the right information to the right sites.” With so many contaminants on a mine site, robust cleaning products such as Brakleen are required around the clock to ensure equipment, cables and bearings are free of dirt and grease and continue to perform well.

A GREENER

cleaner for mines

E

very major industry shift starts with a small step. The movement to ‘go green’ in the mines and quarries sector is no exception – with the adoption of greener cleaning products being one of the early markers of this shift.

This is what led CRC to develop the Brakleen Water Based, a completely biodegradable, non-toxic, non-flammable product that can safely be used in confined spaces, like those found on a mine site.

“Mining and quarrying managers have been increasingly seeking cleaning solutions for on-site that are comprised of safe and environmentally friendly ingredients,” says Michael Greelish, BSC’s National Product Manager for the Mines, Quarries and Resources market segments.

According to Michael, this new formula comprises all the ingredients needed in a quality, stand-alone, multi-purpose cleaning agent.

For years, the CRC Brakleen product has been a best seller at BSC, serving as the go-to, premium, cure-all, cleaning solution for mine sites. The standard Brakleen product works by cleaning and degreasing a surface instantly, before evaporating with no residue. “The turnover for Brakleen has been huge over the years. Mine workers love the easy to use, spray can in-hand option,” says Michael. “But there is one drawback– the product emits strong vapours into the air that contain some harsh cleaning solvents.”

“To be a truly ‘cure-all’ solution, health, safety, and the environment need to be at the top of the shopping list,” he states. David Bailey, Business Development Manager for CRC Industries, concurs. “Customers have been asking for more sustainable substitutes to our muchloved staple products like Brakleen,” he says. “By delivering Brakleen Water Based to the market, we are aiming to provide a safer alternative to our endusers and improve the overall safety of our customers.” CRC work closely with Michael Greelish and the BSC team. It’s a true partnership in the very meaning of the word. “Through BSC, we have gained many

Michael travels frequently to visit BSC customers across the country, working alongside OEMs and maintenance technicians at mine sites and power stations to oversee the performance of gearboxes, pumps, screens, crushers, conveyors, heavy earth moving and mobile equipment. With a wide range of products available through the BSC stock range, part of Michael’s job is to look for ways to improve systems and processes for customers and the CRC product range is rich with versatile solution offerings to choose from. “I had a customer on a New South Wales mine site that frequently purchased the CRC Brakleen product,” says Michael. “This customer had found Brakleen to be the best product for cleaning the grease and oil off equipment however he was not satisfied with how the product vaporised leaving a strong odour.” He continues, “I advised the customer that the same product is now available in a water-based version, and the customer was keen to trial the product. The trial was extremely successful.” Remarkably, the feedback Michael received was that the product performed to the same level of standard as the original Brakleen. Since then, the customer has continued to use the Brakleen Water Based option as their only degreaser. “The staff on site are happier knowing the cleaner they use daily is harmless to the environment and non-toxic for themselves,” says Michael. “The end result is that the customer is now getting the same level of clean on equipment with zero risk,” he concludes. LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 29


PRODUCT SHOWCASE

ENPAC 30 GALLON OVERPACK SALVAGE DRUM SPILL KIT

FEATURED PRODUCT

GATES® 508C SONIC TENSION METER The 508C Sonic Tension Meter can easily be operated by one person for fast, accurate readings on all types of synchronous and V-belt drive systems. Use the standard cord sensor to reach inside cramped compartments where conventional methods would be impossible. This small, light and user friendly meter features output readings measurable in hertz, pounds, kilograms and newtons.

LOCTITE® 263 THREADLOCKER LOCTITE® 263 is a red, dual cure, acrylic dimethacrylate ester fluorescent threadlocker designed for the permanent locking and sealing of threaded fasteners. It cures between close fitting metal surfaces and prevents loosening and leakage from shock and vibration. It works on active metals (e.g. brass, copper), passive substrates such asstainless steel and plated surfaces. Particularly suited for heavy duty applications.

MILLER DIMENSION™ 650 Developed for harsh environmental conditions and output requirements that range from power-intensive to precise. Rugged and durable inside and out. All aluminium construction makes the machine resist corrosion for long life. Reduced size and weight results in 40% less floor space than previous model giving a package that exceeds the welding performance of larger, heavier machines.

PAGE 30 • LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10

CRC BRAKLEEN CRC Brakleen Brake and Parts Cleaner is formulated to quickly and safely remove brake fluid, grease, oil and other contaminant from brake linings, pads, drums and callipers. Selected solvents, controlled evaporation, low surface tension and high density ensure superior cleaning and degreasing properties and can even lift and remove oil and grease that has already penetrated linings.

TECO MAXE3 HIGH-EFFICIENCY MOTORS Featuring class H insulation system, superior inverter- rated insulation (8500V/ microsecond), and precision and rugged cast iron construction including fan. True IP66 with porous drain plugs, TECO renowned grease relief system, and two sets of thermistors for frames D160 and larger. 1.2 service factor at 40°C ambient and suitable for 60°C ambient at rated output.

This 30-gallon salvage drum kit is one of Enpac’s most popular models due to its convenient size, weatherproof characteristics, and convenient disposal ability. Universal absorbents will soak up just about any liquid spilled, including water.

DY-MARK MINE MARKING Available in Standard and Non-Flammable aerosol cans. Featuring high-visibility pigmentation, quality resin for lasting application, 360º degree valve for any direction spray, and the ability to withstand environmental conditions such as heat, wet, moisture, or dry. Applications include marking out ore zones in grading control, pit walls and survey grid layouts.

EPIREZ CHOCKFAST ORANGE A specially formulated 100% solids, two component inert filling casting compound developed for use as a chocking or grouting material. Chockfast is designed to withstand severe marine and industrial environments involving a high degree of both physical and thermal shock. The compound is nonshrinking and has very high impact and compressive strength.


PRODUCT SHOWCASE

DODGE MOTORIZED TORQUE-ARM

PEERLESS HQAIR 20 HP-8 BAR ROTARY SCREW COMPRESSOR The 20HP / 15kW model is a full feature model which includes the screw, dryer and tank, making it easier to install. Just have your industrial electrician wire it in and you’re set. This eliminates installation cost on fitting a dryer, labour times and reduces floor space.

3M™ SECURE CLICK™ HALF FACEPIECE REUSABLE RESPIRATOR Greater breathability and comfort provided by the world’s first quad flow cartridge system. Push button seal check helps bolster confidence that the respirator is properly sealed to the face. Speaking diaphragm is designed to help provide easier communication while you work.

BLACK TAK MOLYPLEX GREASE BLACK TAK is a severe duty 5% molybdenum disulfide lithium complex mine and quarry grease. The extreme pressure and antiwear properties enable the grease to give long service life and outstanding boundary lubrication under high load and shock loading conditions from low temperature to very high temperature environments.

NTN DEEP GROOVE BALL BEARINGS Deep groove ball bearings are one of the most widely used bearings in all general industries. A deep groove is formed on the inner and outer ring of the bearing enabling the bearing to sustain radial and axial loads in either direction as well as the complex loads which result from the combination of these forces. Deep groove ball bearings are suitable for high-speed applications.

DOWSIL 732 TIMKEN® SPHERICAL ROLLER BEARING SOLID-BLOCK HOUSED UNITS Made with cast-steel housings and Timken high-performance spherical roller bearings, these are the only spherical roller bearing housed units to offer steel solid-block housings as standard. In addition, Timken solid-block housed units can run efficiently on misaligned shafts up to ±0.75 degrees, without a reduction in life expectancy.

DOWSIL 732 Premium Multi-purpose sealant is a general-purpose acetoxy RTV sealant. It can adhere to styrene, copper, glass, nylon and steel, and has the option of aluminium metallic finish. It can withstand temperatures up to 177°C. Suitable for sealing flashing, vents, flues, and so much more. Adhering auto trim, appliance trim, name plates. Making formed-in-place gaskets for compressors, gearboxes, and pumps.

Featuring compact space saving design, rugged and case carburised helical/bevel gearing, heavyduty tapered roller bearings throughout, metal excluder shield sealing system with rubber contact lip, harsh-duty lip seals for extended wear and -40°C to +150°C temperature ranges. Available in 7 sizes from 1.5 to 75 kW (3 hp to 100 hp). Torque range up to 14,700 Nm (130,000 in-lbs). Drilled and tapped to accept safety end covers.

DIXON FLOMAX FLUSH FACE CONNECTORS The choice of 12 colours and sizes, along with a universal evacuation nozzle. Can be connected or disconnected under pressure. Can be connected without pulling back on the nozzle. Working pressure of 500 pounds per square inch (PSI). Flow rate of 50 gallons per minute (GPM), equivalent to 190 litres per minute.

TOLEDO HYDRAULIC GEAR PULLER SET The Toledo Hydraulic bearing puller combination kit provides a complete pulling and separating solution. Featuring hydraulic ram, bearing separator, twin and triple head beam configuration, and three leg sizes (100, 150 & 200mm). Manufactured from drop forged high-quality steel, heat treated for strength and durability.

LET’S ROLL MINES & QUARRIES ED 10 • PAGE 31


LET’S ROLL

mines & quarries CHECK OUT OTHER EDITIONS OF LET’S ROLL: LET’S LET’S ROLL ROLL

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2021 • EDITION 09 2021 • EDITION 10

2021 2021 •• EDITION EDITION 08 08

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PADDOCK TO PLATE

MINES & QUARRIES

A SINGLEEXPANDS BRAND OFFERING FOR TIMKEN PRODUCT

ELOISE COPPER MINE FINDS

FROM KILN TO WALL:

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‘I

HARVEST EDITION

rotating the food and beverage line for needs Foodinand Beverage sectorindustry

F W

ood ith andpopulations beverage processing growing rapidly plants in Australia will and soonfactories have around the globe access to a complete producing at higherrange levelsofthan corrosion-resistant ball bearings and imaginable some decades ago, the risk of ® ball housedacross units from foodbearing contamination thoseTimken factories to meet their equipment needs. is higher than rotating before. The machinery at the Industrial Solutions Australia will have the heart of those operations requires premium new Timken products available components that can ensure theacross highest its business network of CBC, BSC and level of hygiene in production. Webster BSC branches as early as May. For the past few years, Timken® has Tony Tormey, Industrial Solutions Australia been working on a new range of bearing Product Manager for Industrial units for the food and beverage Bearings, industry. says theTimken new Timken products Though is relatively new have to the

already lot of interest among food andgenerated beverage amarket segment, thesolutions industry are players. its already finding global acceptance in original equipment. “The food market generally lacks a singlethe brand when it on comes With next solution harvest season the to bearing in requirements. FoodAsia and Pacific’s beverage horizon Australia, Motion plants that deal with harsh businesses – namely CBC, chemicals BSC and and aggressive can benefit Webster BSC – washdowns across the country are from maximising theirnew hygiene levels with stocking up with the Timken bearing Timken’s newthe corrosion-resistant range,” solutions for Australian food and says Tony.industry. beverage

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KEEPING THE TIM AHEAD TAMS COMING OF THE WORK When an Arnott’s in According to Shaunplant Thorneycroft Marleston an at Precise looked Headerfor & Ag alternative tobiggest chain drives, Repairs, the challenge BSC found a solution using he faces is getting parts. Gates’ belts.

The Timken Company “It’s an exciting time forhave both now, Timken and launched a new corrosion-resistant ball Motion Asia Pacific,” says Alf Mangano, bearing range applications Timken’sproduct Regional SalesforManager for the

STAYING THE PLAN FORRESILIENT, A WALSH &YIELD FORD WAY STRONG Walsh & Ford’s grain handling National Sales Manager, equipment renownedthose Grant Gray,are encourages across Readtoabout workingAustralia. in agriculture how thesupply business has grown secure in advance. over eight decades.

that require ball bearings withstand Victoria, Northern Territorytoand South chemical and wetpartnered Australianwashdowns regions. “We have environments. with Motion Asia Pacific on our food and beverage package. Australiaball is “The Timken corrosion-resistant taking the lead on these and bearing product range is products, available from we want to help get 2RS the right products stock in fully sealed version,” says to the right markets.” Tony. Alf has been a part of Timken Australia SAFER BY DESIGN for more than 23 years, specialising The new Timken ball bearing in bearings for thehygienic food and beverage housed is a premium product industry.unit He also looks after originalthat considers design (OEMs) factors to equipmentmultiple manufacturers forhelp his combat safety hazards in food sector ofcommon the bearings market.

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“NOT JUST CUTTING SERVING THE THE GRASS” AGRICULTURAL BELT Fieldquip, the the preferred Find out why BSC Wagga supplier of tractor Wagga branch hasimplements become a to manufacturers such as destination point for farmers John chooses in theDeere, Riverina region.Gulf Western Oil lubricants.

reliable conveying solution through CBC

trustworthy trustworthy conveyor conveyor drive drive was was what what Eloise Eloise Copper Copper mine’s mine’s maintenance maintenance team team were were looking looking for for when when they they consulted consulted CBC’s CBC’s experts experts in in July July last last year. year. As As aa mine mine site site located located in in the the regional regional Queensland Queensland town town of of Cloncurry, Cloncurry, spare spare parts parts and and technical technical support support is is not not always always on on hand hand for for Eloise Eloise Copper, Copper, so so Maintenance Maintenance Supervisor, Supervisor, Craig Craig Stokes, Stokes, says says he he didn’t didn’t want want to to take take any any risk risk with with the the new new conveyor conveyor drive. drive.

access access to to spare spare parts. parts. We We just just can’t can’t hold hold everything everything on on site site so so having having something something that’s that’s reliable reliable and and is is not not going going to to fail fail is is critical critical for for us,” us,” says says Craig, Craig, who who has has been been the the mine’s mine’s maintenance maintenance supervisor supervisor for for the the past past four four years. years.

Investments, Investments, feed feed 720,000 720,000 tonnes tonnes of of ore ore into into their their mill mill and and produce produce 50,000+ 50,000+ tonnes tonnes of of copper copper concentrates concentrates per per annum. annum. Craig Craig says says the the conveyor conveyor in in question question delivers delivers material material from from the the jaw jaw crushers crushers to to the the milling milling circuit circuit to to be be grinded grinded further. further.

Despite Despite being being located located more more than than 700 700 kilometres kilometres away away from from Cloncurry, Cloncurry, CBC’s CBC’s Townsville Townsville branch branch has has been been supporting supporting Eloise Eloise Copper Copper mine mine for for nearly nearly aa decade, decade, with with CBC CBC specialists specialists often often travelling travelling to to the the site site to to offer offer their their expertise expertise in in person. person.

“We “We are are aa remote remote site, site, and and we we have have limited limited

Eloise Eloise Copper, Copper, operated operated by by FMR FMR

“We “We were were having having some some reliability reliability issues issues with with the the existing existing hydraulic hydraulic motor. motor. The The conveyor’s conveyor’s performance performance became became intermittent intermittent when when the the material material on on itit got got wet wet and and heavy heavy during during the the rain. rain. Having Having multiple multiple valves valves and and pumps pumps in in the the hydraulic hydraulic drive drive system system made made fault fault finding finding more more complex.” complex.”

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WORKING WORKING BEHIND BEHIND THE THE SCENES SCENES For For its its major major overhaul overhaul in in 2020, 2020, Viva Viva Energy Energy Geelong Geelong Refinery Refinery relied relied on on CBC CBC to to supply supply key key components components and and services services to to the the site. site.

EASY EASY MAINTENANCE MAINTENANCE WITH WITH GATES’ GATES’ V-BELTS V-BELTS “A “A lot lot of of belt belt failures failures start start right right from from the the moment moment that that the the belts belts are are installed,” installed,” says says Derek Derek Hill, Hill, National National Sales Sales Manager Manager -- Industrial Industrial at at Gates. Gates.

24/7 24/7 REMOTE REMOTE MONITORING MONITORING FOR FOR MINES MINES Remote Remote condition condition monitoring monitoring technologies technologies have have become become an an integral integral part part of of mining mining operations, operations, helping helping to to prevent prevent unplanned unplanned downtime. downtime.

australian industrial businesses

The art of making long-lasting bricks

nnovation’ nnovation’ is is aa word word that that comes comes up up frequently frequently when when Robert Robert Prasloski, Prasloski, Maintenance Maintenance Manager Manager for for Austral Austral ™ Bricks Bricks™,, talks talks about about his his day-to-day day-to-day work work at at the the company company with with over over aa hundred hundred years’ years’ history history of of brickmaking. brickmaking. Originally Originally established established in in 1908, 1908, Austral Austral Bricks Bricks has has been been operating operating as as part part of of Brickworks Brickworks Limited Limited since since 1945. 1945. The The company company promises promises its its customers customers aa 100100year year product product warranty warranty –– which which is is more more than than most most companies companies can can commit commit to. to.

with with Austral Austral Bricks Bricks is is that that they they encourage encourage innovation; innovation; both both when when interacting interacting with with customers customers as as well well as as within within the the employees,” employees,” says says Robert. Robert. “We “We run run as as much much as as eight eight to to ten ten trials trials every every week week in in consultation consultation with with the the design design studio studio to to create create new new colour colour schemes schemes and and creative creative designs designs for for bricks, bricks, precast precast pavements pavements and and stonework. stonework. Once Once the the innovation innovation part part is is done, done, it’s it’s my my job job to to help help make make these these ideas ideas viable viable for for production.” production.”

“What’s “What’s really really amazing amazing about about working working

As As aa maintenance maintenance manager manager with with 30-plus 30-plus years years of of experience, experience, Robert Robert joined joined Austral Austral Bricks’ Bricks’ Golden Golden Grove Grove manufacturing manufacturing

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ADDING ADDING INNOVATION INNOVATION TO TO THE THE MIX MIX Adds Adds Up Up Engineering’s Engineering’s products products combine combine innovation innovation with with practicality. practicality. Learn Learn about about how how the the company company makes makes its its fertigation fertigation units. units.

LEADERS LEADERS IN IN CHANGE: CHANGE: BSC BSC CELEBRATES CELEBRATES BSC BSC turned turned 100 100 this this year. year. Take Take aa look look at at the the company’s company’s journey journey to to date date and and its its influence influence on on the the Australian Australian industry. industry.

plant plant in in South South Australia Australia around around aa year year ago ago and and almost almost immediately, immediately, he he started started looking looking for for ways ways to to enhance enhance the the plant’s plant’s overall overall efficiency. efficiency. In In doing doing so, so, he he also also sought sought advice advice from from the the team team at at BSC’s BSC’s Wingfield Wingfield branch, branch, with with whom whom he he had had built built aa relationship relationship for for over over aa decade. decade. “I“I was was fortunate fortunate enough enough to to start start working working with with the the BSC BSC Wingfield Wingfield branch branch over over 10 10 years years ago. ago. Today, Today, we we have have aa relationship relationship where where we we have have learned learned to to trust trust each each other other and and consult consult with with each each other other very very openly,” openly,” says says Robert. Robert.

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From From building building the the first first macadamia macadamia harvester harvester for for his his family family farm, farm, Ben Ben Steinhardt’s Steinhardt’s fabrication fabrication business business has has come come aa long long way. way.

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