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BMAs Broadmeadow Mine breaking new ground in underground safety

Coal News - Published on Tue, 14 May 2019

Image Source: Track'em
Across the underground mining industry, there have been many incidents, injuries and even fatalities when people have come into contact with mobile equipment underground. Understanding the complex underground environment, the team at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Broadmeadow Mine looked at ways to utilise proximity detection technology to reduce the potential exposure and risk to our people while working underground. Glenn Owens, Project Manager, and Dave Zanette, Project Execution Lead, brought together a team of experienced electricians and engineers, and using the knowledge of our operators, began trialling proximity detection in Broadmeadow’s underground Shuttle Cars.

Shuttle Cars are considered to be one of the more higher risk pieces of equipment in underground mines as they are used to transport coal from the development face to the coal clearance system. This machinery can unload hundreds of tonnes of coal per shift and are critical to the mine's operations.

After many months in planning and development, the team launched an Australian first for coal – rolling out the first ever Proximity Detection Shuttle Cars in full auto and stop modes.

Dave said that "Keeping our people safe is always our highest priority so implementing this technology is a huge step forward in the future of underground mine safety. It opens up the opportunity for us to use the technology across multiple pieces of mobile equipment and, if implemented correctly, can impact human behaviours in a positive way. It also has the potential to be replicated across all of our BHP underground and surface assets and throughout the broader industry, ultimately making mining safer for our people."

The Proximity Detection System utilises low frequency magnetic field generators, which are installed in the Shuttle Cars. The magnetic fields are able to detect two zones - Zone 1 (Warning Zone) and Zone 2 (Danger Zone).

Source :

Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 14 May 2019
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