The Asia Miner

SEP-OCT 2014

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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September/October 2014 | ASIA Miner | 67 THE Westech Optima, a new high performance off-highway dump truck body design, was launched recently by mining product engineer and manufacturer Austin Engineering. The frst body to be manufactured was on display at the offcial launch at Austin Engineering's Perth facility. Austin Engineering Perth operations manager Mark Richards said, "It was great to see such a high level of interest at the recent launch as we feel that many mine sites can beneft from the Optima's ability to enhance haul truck performance." "The Westech Optima body is optimized to provide greater productiv- ity by maximizing payload. Because we design each body to suit mine specifc operating conditions, the Optima is a low maintenance body." Analysed with the latest FEA and load simulation software, the West- ech Optima body is compatible with all OEM chassis and is available through Austin Engineering Australia-wide. Austin also recently added the Hitachi EX8000-6 excavator bucket (backhoe confguration) to its excavator product range. The design model has been verifed by FEA analysis in keeping with Austin's prac- tice of testing and verifying engineering theory. The in-depth engineer- ing process provides results in productivity improvements and mainte- nance cost controls. The bucket is designed within the OEM recommended maximum en- velope including correct boom stick geometry, boom and stick clear- ance, cab and deck structure clearance, and maximum suspended load. End users can be assured that there will be no warranty implica- tions with their machine. Austin custom engineer each mining bucket taking into consideration application specifc requirements such as loading practices, materi- al density and abrasiveness, potential for hang up, and dump height clearances. Austin Engineering is a leading designer and manufacturer of custom- ized dump truck bodies, buckets and ancillary products used in the mining industry. It is also a complete service provider, offering on and off-site repair and maintenance and heavy equipment lifting services to customers including miners, mining contractors and original equipment manufacturers. CRCMINING is developing wireless energy transfer systems that will be key enablers for the all-electric underground mine of the future. This ap- proach will facilitate reduced carcinogenic pollutants, energy consump- tion and downtime, with increased energy effciency and productivity. In the future mines will be signifcantly different. There will be a greater array of generation sources and greater diversity of loads and associ- ated technologies. This will present miners with challenges as well as opportunities to reduce mining's carbon footprint and energy costs. Due to the need to eliminate carcinogenic pollution as well as the drive to increase energy effciency, mines will continue to focus on re- ducing the use of fossil fuels via an increase in the application of electric powered machines. Electric machines have much higher energy effciency relative to their diesel counterparts and reliability is also higher which will result in lower maintenance costs. But most importantly, electrical machines do not emit carcinogenic pollutants. A reduction in these particulate emissions will reduce the ventilation requirements which account for up to 40% of an underground mine's energy use and are a signifcant component of a mine's infrastructure. Traditionally electrically driven machines in mining operations have had signifcant constraints around their operation, by requiring trailing cables or battery change out systems. There are distinct disadvan- tages with each of these approaches. Trailing cables are range limited by cable length and are often damaged during operation and require vigilant maintenance. Battery-based systems are limited by their rela- tively low energy density and require regular battery interchange which reduces the machine's productivity. The electric mine requires solutions that provide operational fexibility. Wireless energy transfer systems are a rapidly evolving technology which effciently transfers large amounts of energy across an air gap. Commercial systems are being used to charge trams and buses in different cities around the world. Pilot projects are also scheduled to ex- tend the technology to cars and high speed trains. This technology has reached a tipping point where its adoption into a mining environment has potential to provide signifcant operational and economic benefts. CRCMining is developing an innovative modular energy transfer sys- tem that will wirelessly charge the batteries of electrically enabled un- derground mining vehicles whilst in both static and dynamic operation. The approach will eliminate the range limitations and maintenance is- sues associated with cables and productivity losses due to the battery interchange. A wireless system has the potential to work continuously. The centre's current project also aims at developing a framework for an open systems approach, in which wireless charging is compatible between multiple platforms, machines and manufacturers, providing a common charging interface. This project is being carried out in con- junction with leading mining stakeholders. Advancing towards an electric mine The Westech Optima was launched recently at Austin Engineering's Perth facility. New optimized dump truck body

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