Northern Canadian First Nations Train with Mining Simulators


The YukonMine Training Association (YMTA) in Canada has taken their training initiative to the next level with the introduction of two new Cybermine surface and underground mining simulator systems.

The YMTA is a partnership between the Yukon Territory’s mining- and resource-related industriesand First Nations. YMTA is committed to working together to maximize employment opportunities emerging from the growth of the mining and related resource sectors in the North for  First Nations and other Yukoners. The YMTA also ensures that safety training is developed and delivered, meetingindustry standards.

The YMTA purchased four ‘plug-and-play’ interchangeable simulator cabs to cover four critical mining processes: hauling,drilling, digging and loading. The cabs chosen by YMTA for training include Komatsu’s PC1250 excavator, Caterpillar’s 773F haul truck, a Sandvik DD420 drill rig, and an EJC115LP load haul dumper, also by Sandvik.

“The key criterion that allowed the YMTA to make its decision was the availability of cabs from ThoroughTec for equipment used in the Yukon and Northern British Columbia,” said YMTA Executive Director Tracy Thomas.

ThoroughTec had the advantage in terms of specific kits for the Yukon market, having both underground and surface simulators.” The two surface simulator cabs will operate on a six degree- of-freedom motion platform while the two underground simulator cabs operate on a three degree-of-freedom motion platform. Both platforms are based on latest generation electric actuators which impart accurate self motion perception cues such as acceleration, braking and suspension effects.


Thorough Tec says that Cybermine simulators offer a feature-rich instructor station, giving the instructor the ability to set up and modify a set of standard exercises, inject faults randomly or on command, view historical and real-time graphs of sub-system states, view the students’ operating violations as they occur, and then replay exercises for after-action review and student debriefing.

The drill rig simulator, for instance, shows the students the correct drill placement position and drilling path. The student is then scored and assessed according to correct operational procedures.Historicalreports can then be compared to assess a  student’s progression.

The simulator system is housed in a self-contained ISO container that includes the motion platform and simulated cab, surrounded by a wide-angle projection display system and surroundsound audio. The instructorstation is situated next to the simulated cab for one-on-one student-instructor interaction.

According to Chris Magistrale, North American Business Development Manager at ThoroughTec (Canada), “Cybermine simulators perform a crucial function in training students efficiently and cost effectively. The simulators allow students to apply thetheory learned in the classroom to practice, without endangering lives and increasing unnecessary wear and tear on the real machinery.”

Due to the continuous demand for increased production, operators are often forced to operate heavy machinery without sufficienttrainingin extracting the optimum performance out of the equipment. Although this brings short term revenue gains, the consequential losses in the long term are enormous, yet often unseen and misunderstood by production management teams.

Simulators bridge the gap between theory and optimal operation of theactual equipment,without the  reduced efficiencies — and therefore loss of production —in training on the real equipment. Simulators also offer the capability to train the  operator to react safely and efficiently to emergency situations such as brake failure or engine fire, with no safety hazard– impossible to execute in any other manner.

Thomas said the simulators will be integrated into the YMTA’s Heavy Equipment Operator training program. Students will graduate with classroom, simulator and hands-on training, thus increasing their employability in the Yukon mining industry.

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