TECHNOLOGY

Newcrest goes with Cave Tracker

NEWCREST Mining is installing a large-scale Cave Tracker system at its Cadia East mine in near Orange in New South Wales to get a better idea of cave flow and cave propagation at the operation.

Noel Dyson
Newcrest goes with Cave Tracker

Developed by Brisbane-based Elexon Mining, the Cave Tracker System was conceived in collaboration with Newcrest, CRC Mining and Rio Tinto.

Newcrest hosted the earliest trials of the prototype system at its Ridgeway Deeps mine.

Elexon Mining product manager Simon Steffen said the system would help mining companies improve their capabilities to successfully ramp up and operate cave mines.

“Newcrest’s order is another step forward for Elexon, proving that a collaborative approach to product development delivers innovative and value-adding solutions,” he said.

The Cave Tracker system gives a real-time insight into how a cave is flowing and propagating, closing a feedback loop that was not previously available.

It improves the operator’s ability to proactively manage risks of cave mine projects, meaning they will also be able to better plan and design block cave mines.

The system uses 3D position systems to track sensors in a block cave that move along with the ore, with the aim of optimising the flow of caved material.

It helps miners preserve the integrity of the resource. By monitoring the flow of material in real-time miners can minimise ore dilution in the block cave, therefore increasing performance.

Cave Tracker will also improve safety and allow better management of caving mines.

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