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ISSUE 4: Spence mine: From greenfield to major producer in a few short years

The transition from undeveloped ground to full-scale mining operation isn’t an easy one. It’s a complicated process involving lengthy periods of exploration, study and construction. Which makes it all the more impressive that BHP Billiton’s Spence copper mine, the first greenfield mining project in Chile in more than six years, went from board approval to active operation in less than three years.

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ISSUE 4: Vale Inco’s Creighton mine: Digging deeper by the day

For more than 100 years, workers have been bringing up ore from the Creighton mine under the Sudbury area of Ontario, Canada. Today, Creighton is one of Canada’s deepest and most profitable mining operations. Existing infrastructure and strong reserves keep Creighton profitable, but operating nearly 2,500 meters underground is not without its unique challenges — and a collection of innovative solutions to meet them.

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ISSUE 4: Building the technologies for the mine sites of the future: The time is right for autonomy

While every mine is different, they all share a number of key priorities; safety, efficiency, and productivity to name a few. All of those priorities can be achieved through the use of autonomy on site. Operators are removed from dangerous areas, routes become more consistent and redundancies help reduce the risk of collision. As autonomous technologies become more and more viable, the mining industry stands to benefit more from their use every day.

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ISSUE 3: Automation keeping underground workers safe at LKAB Malmberget Mine

Underground mining can be a dangerous business, and the safest operator is one who doesn’t need to go underground at all. Using Caterpillar’s MINEGEM system — a precursor to Cat Minestar™ — mining company LKAB has enabled their operators to run multiple machines all from the comfort of a control room on the surface. This allows for safer, more efficient operation and a significant reduction in injury risk.

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ISSUE 3: Miners speak with one voice on equipment safety

Safety is priority number one for everyone in the mining industry, from machine operators to company executives. In 2006, eight of the largest companies in the industry banded together to form the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table. EMESRT is a unique partnership aimed at sharing resources and best practices while encouraging manufacturers to improve Human Factors of design — all with the intent of making mines safer.

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