Barminco’s remote system operates loaders 1,000 kilometres away
Barminco has announced that it successfully piloted an operations centre that allows it to remotely manipulate, from the comfort of an office, underground equipment used at mine sites around the world.
The test took place at Barminco’s head office in Perth and the machine being operated was working at Independence Group’s Nova nickel-copper-cobalt underground mine, located almost 1,000 kilometres away in Australia’s Goldfields.
“The innovation was made more impressive given the remote operation occurred via the internet, instead of through a fibre-optic cable, which is the method that mine owner-operators have historically used,” the mining services provider said in a press release.
Besides the support of Independence Group, the Barminco Remote Operating Centre, also known as BROC, was trialled in collaboration with Swedish engineering company Sandvik, whose LH517 loader was being operated from afar.
“Whilst many mine sites have operators remotely operating equipment from the mine’s surface, we are one of the first, if not the first service provider, to operate underground equipment on a client’s site from a much greater distance,” Barminco’s general manager of technology and innovation, Darren Kwok, said in the media brief. “Our future plan is to have a dedicated remote operating centre manned 24/7 where our team and our client’s people can work collaboratively side by side to deliver a world-class mine-site.”