MineWare says it has recently completed its first high-altitude installation of its Argus monitoring system at one of Chile’s largest copper mines.
While technology continues to digitise and automate many mining processes – with the company recently helping a major copper mine in Chile set up its Argus and Pegasys monitoring systems on five of its electric rope shovels without stepping foot on site – there are still some tasks that need to be managed on the ground, it says.
Reflecting on a recent installation of MineWare’s Argus monitoring system on a P&H 4100XPC shovel at this large copper mine in Chile, MineWare’s Vice President for South America, Ramiro Mesina, said his team specialise in adapting and responding to clients’ environmental conditions.
“We pride ourselves on understanding the unique challenges and opportunities at each of our clients’ sites,” he said. “Our technology has been developed to support this and our team are well-versed in solving complex problems.
“Our recent work in Chile saw our team manage an installation of our Argus monitoring system at an altitude of 4,800 m above sea level in -10°C temperatures with occasional earthquakes: definitely not your every-day situation.
“While this was our first high-altitude installation, the process and care our team puts into planning this type of operation is tried and tested. Efficient project management and coordination, led by our Regional Operations Manager, Hector Mendoza, was key to ensuring a successful installation as well as the safety of all involved.”
In addition to the location of the mining site, the MineWare team also needed to manage this process during a global pandemic. Mining sites in South America have continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 situation, however for many this has been at a reduced level or with a skeleton staff.
Mesina said the strict COVID-19 regulations put in place to protect worker’s health and safety meant there was also minimal on-site assistance to support MineWare’s installation process.
“This was another factor we needed to address in our planning,” he said. “We knew we needed to reconsider logistics as there would be challenges with making resources and vehicles available.
The Argus E in-cab operator display
“We determined that the most efficient process would be to add additional time to our preparation on-site and run the installation over four night shifts. This allowed our team to identify any other issues prior to the installation while taking into consideration the potential impact of the altitude on our team.”
Mesina said the team successfully completed the installation on schedule, with only a couple of small earthquakes halting the progress on-site.
Argus is an advanced monitoring system for electric shovels, hydraulic excavators and wheel loaders.
The interoperable solution captures and shares valuable operating data to on site and remote mining personnel in real time to optimise payload performance, mine compliance and machine health, according to the company.