MINExpo wrap-up: Mining’s latest products revealed

MINExpo

The 2021 MINExpo International Conference has wrapped up for another year, having showcased various Australian innovations and equipment in Las Vegas.

Liebherr showcased its new Mining Technology Product portfolio which includes autonomous solutions for both hauling and excavation.

The portfolio aims to improve safety and productivity with machine automation, digital services and assistance systems, and on-board analytics product lines.

On-site traffic flow will also be streamlined by Liebherr as it develops vehicle-to-vehicle technologies, and load area path planning.

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Sandvik revealed its TH550B 50-tonne battery-electric truck, equipped with its Artisan battery pack and electric driveline.

The new battery electric vehicle (BEV) can make a pit stop in just a few minutes, disconnecting a depleted battery and picking up a new one without the operator leaving the cab.

The TH550B can also recharge through regenerative braking while tramming downhill, and infrastructure requirements are kept to a minimum.

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Orica improved its offering in bulk explosives technology with the launch of 4D.

Combining emulsion blended with ammonium nitrate porous prills, 4D improves fragmentation, bench productivity, and reduces overall drill and blast costs.

4D enables a broader range of applications, promising up to 23 per cent more relative bulk strength for hard rock applications and up to 43 per cent reduction in soft rock.

“Our 4D capability demonstrates the convergence of our new technologies and solutions, allowing our customers to think differently, mine more efficiently and operate more precisely,” Orica chief technology officer Angus Melbourne said.

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Epiroc added to its offering in drill rigs at this year’s Conference, with the Pit Viper 291 and two Boltec rock reinforcement drill rigs making themselves known.

The Pit Viper 291 builds upon its predecessors with larger drill diameters in soft to medium-ground conditions, while a suite of Epiroc’s best technologies complement the rig for further productivity enhancements.

The Boltec range had the M10 and E10 added to its ranks, both of which offer an option electric driveline to improve noise and emissions for underground environments.

These rock bolting rigs offer better operator ergonomics, flexible bolt options and increased productivity using the Single Bolt Auto feature.

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Komatsu offered a sneak peek at its remote-controlled PC7000-11 hydraulic excavator, controlling the 676-tonne machine from 600 kilometres away.

Using an array of cameras attached to the excavator, the remote operator has a complete view of the machine’s surrounds, plus a range of diagnostic information available to view while the machine does the work.

While being operated remotely, the PC7000-11 can take advantage of Komatsu’s Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) to be teleoperated semi-automatically, reducing cycle times and alleviating operator fatigue.

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Hexagon used MINExpo to release its HxGN MineMeasure technology, to further improve drill and blast processes.

HxGN MineMeasure maximises ore recovery by combining blast design software, high-precision drilling, blast-movement monitoring, fragmentation analysis and enterprise analytics.

In turn, this allows mineral resources to go further and reduces total cost of production for the operator.

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