Almeroe de Nysschen – Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Glencore – Oaky Creek North Colliery
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Cobcroft/Gil-Sanchez/Manousso – Real-time Bund Monitoring
Tom Cobcroft GM/SSE Capcoal Surface Operations Dev Gil-Sanchez Business Improvement Specialist, Anglo American – Capcoal Open Cut Anthony Manousso Control Systems Coordinator, Anglo American – Capcoal Open Cut Bunds are a safety critical control in open pit mining to prevent and mitigate risks associated with heavy vehicle operations. Between 2014-2019 at Capcoal Surface we have had 14 incidents and in Queensland 2012 – 2018, 47 incidents where bunds have stopped uncontrolled vehicles and prevented potentially fatal injuries. At Capcoal we have 100km+ of bunds in the pit, with more than 50 heavy vehicles interacting regularly. Currently the process to monitor & audit the compliance to standard is made via visual inspection with no quantitative process or records. In a collaboration with SICK sensors we developed a system using laser sensors to scan the bunds and provide a comprehensive measurement including not only height but:
- Roadside facing batter angle.
- Width at the top, if applicable, trapezoidal bunds.
- Distance to high-wall.
- Is an objective and quantitative process to monitor / audit bunds compliance to standard in real time.
- Cost and time efficient solution as to comply with inspectorate recommendations then survey would be required, incurring in extra cost to audit.
- Visibility across all active bunds and ranking of deficient sections to prioritise as per criticality.
Leppard – Synthetic Light Weight Couplings
Josh Leppard Overburden Supervisor, BMA Saraji Mine Tragically Saraji Mine had a fatality on New Year’s Eve 2018 involving a bulldozer rolling down an embankment. The first responders to this incident required the use of heavy duty slings and shackles to upright the dozer. This involved personnel traversing down a steep embankment on undulated ground during the night carrying D-shackles that weighed approximately 62kg each, this created a significant manual handling risks to the people involved. Post incident, Saraji became aware of light weight synthetic couplings that are made specifically for the marine industry that significantly reduced the weight whilst providing exceptional strength properties. We reached out to the manufacture of the light weight synthetic couplings in New Zealand in an attempt to replicate this technology within the mining industry. By substituting the existing steel D-shackle with a custom made light weight synthetic design, we have reduced the potential of a manual handling incident when recovering surface mobile equipment or the potential for stored energy within the steel to become airborne should the steel D-shackle capacity be exceeded. The soft couplings were tested to 175,000 kg for a maximum breaking force (MBF) of 510,000 kg without breakage and have a total weight of 8.2 kg compared to the 62 kg steel D-shackles that are normally used. The synthetic couplings have been successfully trialled on site to extract various pieces of surface mobile equipment. They have been included as mandatory items in the emergency equipment recovery trailer along with other items to aid in the immediate recovery should the need arise.
Owens/Zanette – Broadmeadow Proximity Detection System
Glenn Owens Project Manager, BMA Engineering Dave Zanette Project Supervisor, BMA Engineering The Broadmeadow Proximity Detection (PDS) Project was initiated to address the risk of vehicle to pedestrian and vehicle to vehicle interactions in a low visibility environment. There have been numerous deaths and injuries which have occurred due to workers being contacted or crushed by mobile equipment in the underground environment. Following the fatality at the Moranbah North Coal Mine (2007), a Shuttle car incident at San Juan and the fatality at Escondida in 2016. Broadmeadow is committed to the implementation of an engineering solution. Proximity Detection Systems have the potential to reduce the risk of underground mobile equipment injuries and fatalities. The project has completed stage 1 trials of a Proximity Detection System (PDS) fitted to vehicles (Shuttle Car (SC), Loader (LHD) and Personnel Transporter (PJB)) designed to detect the presence of a pedestrian or vehicle in a hazardous location around a machine. Should a worker enter this zone, the system will issue a warning signal – a combination of audible and visual alarms – to notify the individual as well as the machine operator of potential danger. The system was also configured on the SC to automatically slow and stop when a pedestrian was detected in the warning and danger zones of the machine. Stage 1 of the trial was conducted both in surface and underground testing areas in isolation from production activities. The PDS is currently in stage 2 trials at Broadmeadow. During this stage the PDS (with auto slow\stop enabled) has been installed on an operating shuttle car currently in production underground in a Broadmeadow Development panel. This is the first SC in Australia to run in production with a PDS in full auto slow\stop mode. A LHD fitted with audible and visual alarms is also being trialled underground in a production environment, this trial involve fitting various attachments to the LHD including personnel-baskets, pipe trailer and stone dust pod. Various attachments require configuration changes to the system to ensure the machine zone sizes can grow and shrink dynamically to suit the attached implement or machine speed. One of the most challenging parts of the PDS trials is the application of silent zone technology which enables an operator(s) to work within the fields of the machine in what is designated as a safe area i.e. cab or inside a personnel-basket. This silent zone technology has been applied to a bolter\miner and at Broadmeadow and it effectively makes all operators standing in safe zones on the bolter\miner platform invisible to the shuttle car PDS as it docks to the machine for loading. During the course of the trials over 200 different vehicle to pedestrian and vehicle to vehicle scenarios have been tested. If a pedestrian comes within 7 to 8 metres of a shuttle car it will slow to 50% speed and if a pedestrian comes within 4 to 5 metres of the shuttle car it will automatically stop before hitting the pedestrian. Feedback from operators has been that the system gives them a greater awareness of machine NO-GO Zones and operators are standing further back from the machine. The PDS is current installed on the following machines at Broadmeadow:
- Full Auto-Stop Mode – 2 x Shuttle Cars (with a 3rd installation in progress)
- Warning only Mode – 1 x Underground Personnel Transporter, 2 x Underground Loaders (LHDs), 1 x Electric Vehicle, 1 x Moxy Articulated Truck
Goonawardene/Crosby – Use of Laser Scanners in an Underground Coal Mine for Strata Monitoring, Drift Convergence & Incident Investigations
Ravindu Goonawardene Geology and Geotechnical Superintendent, Anglo American – Grosvenor Mine Chris Crosby Surveying Superintendent, Anglo American – Grosvenor Mine The risk of fatalities due to roof and rib failures is still prevalent in underground coal mines which highlights the fundamental importance of monitoring roof and ribs in underground roadways. Monitoring strata deformation and convergence in underground roadways is a key metric for measuring instability of excavations. Visual inspections, telltales, extensometers and instrumented bolts are some of the methods used to quantify strata deformation. The significant limitations of the current methods only provide a point-measurement along the roadway. Using laser technology allows the mine to scan and measure large regions of roof and ribs across continuous regions with millimetre accuracy. The Maptek SR3 laser scanner has been used as a control during the rib optimisation trial at Grosvenor. This technology provides a baseline scan and subsequent scans to ascertain the extent of deformation throughout the active development mining areas. Thus, allowing geotechnical engineers to assess the adequacy of the trialled support system. Moreover, this technology allows geotechnical engineers to better analyse geological anomalies (fault orientations, dips, throw), bolting tolerances and excavation dimensions in an effective manner.
Howell/Pendrigh – Water Treatment Plant Inlet Screen Blower
David Howell Tailings and Water Coordinator, Rio Tinto Weipa Operations Luke Pendrigh Tailings and Water Electrician, Rio Tinto Weipa Operations During normal operation at the Water Treatment Plant the inlet screen in the Bio Reactor blocks with debris, sludge and fecal matter. The cleaning of the inlet screen was a laborious task that exposed maintainers to raw sewage and repeated manual handling risks. The crew came up with an engineering control that completely prevented the inlet screen from blocking, eliminating the need to remove and clean the screen. With this new system functioning the crew have removed a great deal of frustration and reduced the handling of this inlet screen to planned maintenance intervals and significantly reducing the crew’s exposure to the biological risk.
Goonawardene/Elliot – Proactive Floor Fracturing Using UIS Drilling
Rav Goonawardene Geology and Geotechnical Superintendent, Anglo American – Grosvenor Mine Ben Elliot Trainee ERZ Controller, Anglo American – Grosvenor Mine A series of floor heave and gas inrush events have occurred during the development mining process in MG103 and MG104 at Grosvenor Underground Coal Mine. These events have exposed coal mine workers to elevated levels of methane preventing safe mining operations. The presence of an undrained source of gas in the immediate floor, geotechnical floor characteristics, loading environment and various other factors have contributed to the dynamic floor failure. Methane released during these events are originating from the underlaying thin Goonyella Middle Lower (GML) seam which is a thin carbonaceous layer with high ash content. The 1m – 5m interburden thickness between the GM seam and the GML has an increased likelihood of the floor gas release events. Based on the analysis of these gas events, creating a conduit in the interburden between the GM seam and GML will allow the gas to freely release to the development roadway during development drivage. This will prevent the build up of gas within the interburden creating a floor gas release event. The proactive interburden fracturing was initiated using water pressure generated from a longwall salvage pump. The current UIS drilling equipment was retrofitted with a series of subs, packers and a fracturing tool to initiate a hydro fracture within the drilled UIS borehole. Once the packers are fully inflated and in position, a diversion valve is then activated to allow the fracturing tool to inject high water pressure to the desired location. Thus, given the complexity of predicting verticality of the hydro fracture in the interburden, a UIS borehole was drilled in the lower section of the GM seam as proving hole to check the effectiveness of hydro fracture. The main benefit of the proactive interburden fracturing process is having the ability to reduce the likelihood of exposing development coal mine workers at the face to high methane levels.
Zanette/Batterson – Broadmeadow Battery Electric Vehicle for UG Coal
Dave Zanette Project Supervisor, BMA Andrew Batterson BMA Engineering The Broadmeadow Battery Electric Vehicle project was initiated to address the residual Similar Exposure Groups (SEG) exposure to Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM). Over the last 3 years, Broadmeadow (BRM) has successfully completed a number of projects to reduce occupational exposures to DPM for the underground SEGs. These initiatives have resulted in ongoing improvement to the mine’s total exposure profile, which we understand is now approximately one third of most other underground coal mines in Queensland. After exhausting all options for a suitable lower emissions diesel engine package options for underground personnel transporters BMA initiated an aggressive schedule for implementation of an underground battery electric personnel transporter. With the local market opportunities exhausted, the BRM team sourced international suppliers with previous experience in manufacturing electric personnel transporters. A supplier was selected and a commitment to implement a surface trial was to commence in FY19. Broadmeadow set up and implement a team to carry out the FAT testing and trial of the vehicle, the trial included but not limited to determining all required safety, legislative, performance and failure modes required by stakeholders for the trial to be successful. In the back ground the engineering team and supplier conducted the necessary detailed assessments and engineering modifications against current Australian Standards and legislation for the suitability of implementing an underground trial. BRM has successfully completed surface and underground trials proving the safety, reliability and performance of a battery electric vehicle whilst also validating the extremely low operating cost. The next phase of the project is to implement full production trials by removing all diesel powered personnel transporters from a development section of the mine to validate the DPM exposure reductions.
Ramsay – Diamond Wire Saw Mobile Unit
Matt Ramsay Drilling Superintendent – Gas, Anglo American – Moranbah North Mine
The ProblemThe rehabilitation of redundant Mine Service boreholes requires the shearing and removal of cemented 20” Steel casing at 1.5m below the ground surface. This process previously required the entry into the excavation and the risk associated with the manual handling of a hydraulic saw device to cut the casing at required position. During this cutting process the operators experienced several rotating blade failures that resulted in small shard of steel ejected from the saw blade and contacted the operator’s glove.
The SolutionThe strategy to eliminate the hazards identified from investigation of the event; it was actioned to source an alternative device with the capacity to efficiently shear 20” cement encased steel casing, eliminating manual handling, exposure to excavation; via the functionality of remote operation. The Diamond Wire Saw (DWS) device was identified, assessed and then progressed to primary design functional testing phase in December 2018. With positive observations of improved safety, efficiency and operational performance parameters. During the trial and testing period, this involved collaboration and engagement of DWS OEM and test operators. The collaboration of stakeholders delivered engineering inputs combined with the collation of test operator feedback facilitated continuous improvement of the DWS device’s re-purposed application into an integrated mobile unit.
The BenefitsThe field functional testing and operation of the DWS mobile unit demonstrated:
- Elimination – of traditional rotating blade failure hazard – Guarded Diamond impregnated cable
- Elimination – of manual handling – proximity protected – remotely controlled loader positions and retrieves DWS
- Elimination – CMW entry into excavation – DWS utilizes self-attachment / release function
- Elimination – of manual handling – proximity protected – remotely controlled loader secures the casing during cutting process and relocates to waste transport
- Separation – remote operator console – remove CMW exposure to line of fire
- Separation – remote operator console – remove CMW exposure to excavation
- Operational effectiveness performance realized an increase of 60% on previous methodology
Lansdowne – Blind Intersection Warning LED Indication
Rod Lansdowne Outbye Electrical Coordinator