BY ELIZABETH FABRI
AUSTRALIAN research body Mining3 has developed a new ‘uncrushables’ detection technology for real time identification of tramp metal in payloads.
Led by Mining3 principal research engineer Dihon Tadic, the system uses both hardware and software with a unique detector embedded in the bucket of digging and loading machines that alerts an operator before the tramp metal enters the crushing circuit.
The technology was trialled in WA and South Africa on load-haul dump and front-end loader buckets, and a prototype has been deployed in South Africa for extended mine trials.
Mr Tadic said the completed site trials confirmed the technology’s ability to improve safety, and prevent costly equipment damage and downtime.
“Mining3 has been developing this technology for detection of tramp metal in machine payloads for several years, with successful upscaling from 1/10th size laboratory tests to most recently a large front-end-loader trial at a South African iron ore mine,” Mr Tadic said.
“These site tests, in addition to previous work at a site in WA, have allowed us to assess performance in full-scale operations, enabling fine tuning of system design and configuration to improve system reliability and sensitivity.”
Mr Tadic said with strong support from several mining companies, Mining3 was able to continue to progress the development of advanced prototype systems.
“We continue to progress the development of advanced prototype systems, and are looking forward to medium-term prototype installations at two mines in the next six months,” he said.
“These installations will provide critical learnings to inform commercial system development, which we anticipate will commence in 2018.”