Power player

NEWCASTLE electrical engineer and infrastructure provider Ampcontrol is playing an important role in the underground development of the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper, silver and gold mine in Mongolia.
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Locals are always on hand to greet Ampcontrol workers.

Karma Barndon

Ampcontrol first started at Oyu Tolgoi in mid-2016 where it was tasked with supplying custom designed and manufactured electrical equipment from jumbos, pump and fan starters and substations and distribution control boards.

These were all fitted with in-field proven electronics and Ampcontrol's IPM electrical protection relays.

Ampcontrol also supports the mine clearance system with iMAC conveyor control equipment, to monitor a 10km underground conveyor network.

The company is a nominee in the METS Exporter of the Year Award, part of the Australia's Mining Monthly Awards in association with Komatsu.

The METS Exporter of the Year award recognises the METS player that has had the most significant export win by value or technological solution during the qualifying period of November 1 2016 to October 31 2017.

Oyu Tolgoi has been worked as an open pit since 2012.

Operations have gone underground to maximise value, with the large blockcaving operation leading to construction of 14km of lateral tunnels, with 200km of tunnels to a depth of 1300m to be built over time.

On the ground in Mongolia, applications engineer Doug Whan said after the initial culture shock he was enjoying his time at Oyu Tolgoi.

Whan said when he arrived to start commissioning a small crushing belt as part of the underground conveyor network there was nothing there.

There was no conveyor belt and no power.

Whan had to work from the ground up with local Mongolians.

He said the language barrier was a challenge, but after a lot of hand signalling he and his team got there in the end.

Ampcontrol CEO and managing director Rod Henderson said the company's products were vital to supporting Oyu Tolgoi's safety first commitment.

He said their quality was someone else's safety, so they took that very seriously and did a lot of work around Australian and international standards to ensure the products are of the highest quality and to the highest safety levels.

Ampcontrol will supply Oyu Tolgoi over the next few years to support the mine's expansion, and provide in-situ training and installation support to the mine operators.

The multi-million dollar project is Ampcontrol's largest contract and represents a significant opportunity for its local manufacturing operations, which have the chance to further develop their offerings for the global hard rock mining market.

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